According to the fossil record, dogs have been domesticated for at least 15,000 years (some paleontologists say 17,000) and are descendants of the gray wolf. Some anthropologists actually believe it may have been the wolf that domesticated humans — they propose that some of the possible effects of domesticating dogs could include the shift from scavenging to large game hunting for the purpose of gathering food; the establishment and marking of territories; living in small social groups; working and hunting as a synchronized unit; and facilitating partnership bonds.
Now that’s an interesting thought, isn’t it? As humans we prefer to think that we domesticated the animals, but if you are a pet owner, you are well aware of who has really been trained and who really does the fetching and carrying. Nor that it matters, however the two species came to be intertwined, the history of the pairing indicates that life greatly improved for both species after the union.
My family has had several pets over the years. One year for our wedding anniversary my now ex-husband brought me a sweet little Yellow Lab puppy. The puppy greeted me by jumping all over me, trying to lick my face, and peeing all over my shoes in his excitement. Clearly some behavior modification was in order.
Luckily Georgie was remarkably easy to train. He’d obviously read the dog training manual I checked out of the library because at every instance it seemed he was one step ahead of me. He potty trained in one lesson. Inside of a week he knew sit and stay, plus lay-down and roll-over. Shortly after that he realized he wasn’t allowed in the kitchen or dining room without explicitly being invited. He taught me to play fetch. He learned to shake paws, speak on command, and wait politely while his food was dished out and placed on the floor.
If you are looking for a best-friend, you can’t do better than a well-trained dog. He or she will love you unconditionally, even if you aren’t well-trained.