All domesticated dogs have their origins in the wolf. Originally wolves were camp followers and the young would be tamed and treated as pets. Taming gradually led to domestication and roughly 12,000 years ago the first domestic dogs came into being. Over the course of thousands of years and through selective breeding the genetic material of the American, European and Asian breeds of wolf, became the foundations for all the breeds we know and love today.
The pedigree dog is very much of man’s making. We have manipulated size, color, coat length and temperament and we have created a wealth of different breeds, from lap dogs, to showdogs and from guard dogs to assistance dogs. However, one drawback to sometimes taking this overzealous desire to create what we want a little too far, has been a number of health and structural problems in some pedigree dogs. In fact dogs have more physical and medical disorders that have been inherited than any other domesticated species. It is always therefore worth being vigilant to these problems when we invite a new dog into our life.
When we take on a dog as a pet we must always be sensitive to its wolf-like inheritance and thus work with its basic behavioral traits to lay good foundations through training , feeding, grooming and healthcare to give a dog the best possible life it can have in our homes.
As a society we have moved from an agrarian existence of 12,000 years ago to the city dwelling, technologically advanced people that we are today. Yet almost every culture in the world keeps pets and the dog remains the world’s most type. In North America alone over 68 million dogs are kept as pets, the highest dog population on a household basis in the world, and over 200 million dog are kept as pets worldwide. We gain much from living side by side with these animals and we owe it to them to provide a level of care that is second to none.