It is believed that wolves were the first animals to be called “dogs.” They lived in the wild, maintained a low body fat percentage, and became skilled hunters by cooperating with one another as part of a pack. It is possible for a dog and a wolf to have fruitful offspring if they were to mate because they belong to the same kind of animal. Due to the fact that humans and birds belong to two distinct species, it is impossible for a human to conceive a fertile child by mating with a bird.
Through either providing them with food or taking in wolf cubs, man was able to domesticate wolves. Because their keepers provided them with food and care, the wolves showed their devotion to them. The early man relied on his canine companions for both the hunt and the protection of his house.
It’s possible that some of the domesticated wolves’ offspring were significantly smaller than the others when they were born in litters. The weakest or smallest of the litter would not have survived in the wild due to the process of natural selection, but because to man’s involvement, they were able to live. A new strain of smaller, gentler, and more dog-like wolves may have originated if smaller wolves mated with other smaller wolves, potentially from the same litter.
Before the influence of man, the evolution of wolves on different continents would have been slightly different from one another. Dingoes can be found in Australia, wild dogs called painted dogs can be found in Africa, Chihuahuas can be found in South America, and so on. However, man has tamed wild dogs to better serve his own ends by altering them.
The first humans discovered that their canine companions could be taught to perform jobs that were beyond their own capabilities, such as herding cattle or sheep. The instinct to head in a certain direction is really an extension of the desire to hunt in packs, which certain dogs, like collies, are particularly skilled at. Other dogs were taught to pull carts and sledges, and some were educated to recover fishing nets from the water as well as game that had been killed with an arrow or spear. Therefore, the retrievers came into existence.
It is believed that the Nordic people are responsible for the oldest records of man working with dogs, but there is no doubt that man had had a strong relationship with his canine friends even before records were maintained.
Rabies and other canine diseases were easily transmitted in those days, and there was no way to immunize dogs against them. In regions with cold temperatures, the dogs that made it through the winter were those with thick coats, while in regions with hot climates, the dogs that made it through were those with very little coat. Certain traits started to become obvious as the survivors continued to mate with each other.
Farmers discovered that little dogs were adept at digging and entering the burrows of other animals, such as foxes, rabbits, and rats. As a result, farmers began selecting the smallest pups in their litters to breed with other small dogs. This was the beginning of the terriers, sometimes known as “diggers,” which were aggressive enough to eliminate vermin.
It was common practice for emperors and other important officials to conceal their personal bodyguards, which were often little dogs, inside the flowing robes that they wore. These toy dogs were taught to jump up and bite the throats of anyone who approached their master too closely. If you have ever been curious about the form of a Pekingese’s face, you will realize that they were deliberately bred to have that particular facial structure.
Dogs were put to less labour as civilization spread, but they took on new responsibilities as society changed. It was common for ladies to have little, elegant lapdogs or dogs with long hair that they could groom. Children preferred unaggressive, playful dogs. When the family dog has puppies, most people only keep one of the canines. Six months later, the father dog mates with his daughter that was kept, and another litter of pups that resemble the family’s favorite is produced.
This is not the result of natural selection; rather, man has taken it upon himself to choose the dogs with the finest temperaments to mate with in order to produce dogs according to his own specifications. When we refer to any animal as a pedigree, what exactly do we mean by that?
An animal is said to have a pedigree if there is a record of its ancestry. Pedigreed animals all have documents from the registering body that attest to their genealogy. The minimum number of generations required varies from breed to breed, but all pedigreed animals have these papers.
The terms “purebred” and “pedigreed” are often used interchangeably; however, “purebred” refers to an animal whose ancestry is known, while “pedigree” refers to the written record of breeding that occurs over time. There are several purebred animals whose family trees do not exist in documented form.
One thing that pedigree animals (also known as purebred animals) and crossbred animals have in common is that they have all been interbred at some point in their family trees.