The History of Dogs

Dogs have a longer history than you may imagine. In this blog, we explore some of the most popular breeds origins and history.

Lead archaeologist Dr Larson of Oxford stated that dogs have a confusing and mixed up history of origin. With the mixed breeding of dogs in the 18th and 19th century, the history of dogs gets lost in a fog. However, there are some distinctions in history that help us to work out some origins of the early domesticated dogs. In this blog, we’re going to look at some of the major origins and breeds of dogs that bring them all together.

It seems that mans best friend has been around as long as man has. With domesticated dogs being said to date back over 11,000 years ago, they would have looked a lot different too as they do now. With our domestic dogs originating so many years along with many years of mixed breeding and alterations in genes it has become a complicated challenge to work out the true origin of dogs. Dr Larson of Oxford University has made it his mission to gather the world’s data on dog history and genetics to help work out the true origin of our amazing best friends.

Thankfully with so much research completed already, we’re able to find out where many of these breeds originate around the world. Here we’ll break down some of these origins and which breeds came from where.

Germany

As Germany is one of the larger countries in the Western European mainland, this made it easy for early settlers and travellers to set up in Germany from other places such as Italy and Eastern Europe. This led to the spread of human companions as well, early evidence suggests that the rottweiler ancestors once travelled thorough Europe and Germany as companions of the Romans. Many dogs from Germany were once used as work dogs. These were bred to be strong, loyal and smart dogs. As well as the Rottweiler, Germany has also been the birthplace for breeds such as the famous German Shepard, German Pointer and the Boxer.

adult mahogany Rottweiler on focus photography

Asia

In Asia, many dog breeds were seen as a pet for higher society. The pug for example in China was a sign of wealth for many people. Their popularity for the pug goes back as far back as the Song Dynasty of 960AD. Many of these dogs were used as lapdogs to keep the owner’s laps warm. However, in return for their service they were kept in the most luxurious of lifestyles with some even gaining protection from soldiers.

The Akita didn’t live as lavish a lifestyle as the neighbouring pug. Although their companionship with humans has lasted just as long as the pug, the Akita was used for a more demanding hunting role. With strong aggression for other animals and a loyal trait towards humans, the Akita was an amazing hunting dog and had been used for this purpose for thousands of years.  Other breeds that originate from Asia include the ever so cute Chow Chow and the Shiba Inu.

Britain

The history of British dog’s lies in the Victorian era as many people tried different combinations of dog breeds to find the perfect breed. Many were bred to create the perfect working dog, whether that was the perfect terrier to help derat a farm or house which lead to the creation of breeds such as the Jack Russell Terrier, they were bred to help herd cattle and sheep as we see with the highly intelligent Border colliers but we also see a lot of breeds in modern society that were once bred for brutal sport and entertainment.

The most brutal of these sports was bullfighting, many breeds such as the Old British bulldog, bull terrier and Staffordshire bull terrier were all bred to fight bulls for sport. With their short stocky frame along with a strong jaw and aggressive nature saught out to be the best features for the sport. Fox hunting was also a popular blood sport for the upper classes and lead to the popularity of breeds such as the bloodhound and the beagle. With their strong senses of smell, droopy ears and high stamina, these breeds were perfect for long fox hunts following scents and leading horses and men across the country. Thankfully these sports have now been banned and have lead to some lovely breeds for us to find companions in.

four dogs on park

America

Just like their American owners many of the well-known breeds of dog that are known to be from American actually originate from Europe. When the European settlers came over to explore and move into the New World, America, many of them brought their loyal companions along with them.

One of the Original dogs to come out of North America is the Labrador retriever. Originally bred to retrieve nets for fishermen in Newfoundland Canada, and later to retrieve fowl and game for hunters. The Labrador Retriever is now one of the most popular pets in the UK and around the world.

It’s fair to say that domesticating the wolf is an incredibly important part of our history. With such a long loving history together our dogs deserve the best, so why not give them the best nights sleep possible with one of our designer dog beds.

By Raised By Humans