General History of Dogs
There is no incongruity in the idea that in the very earliest period of man's habitation of this world he made a buddy and companion of some sort of aboriginal representative of our modern dog, and that in return for its help in safeguarding him from wilder animals, and in guarding his sheep and goats, he gave it a share of his meals, a corner in his house, and expanded to trust it and look after it. Most likely the animal was originally little else than an abnormally gentle jackal, or an ailing wolf driven by its friends from the wild marauding pack to find shelter in alien surroundings. One can well conceive the possibility of the collaboration start in the situation of some hopeless whelps being brought home by the very early hunters to be often tended and reared by the women and children. Dogs introduced into the residence as playthings for the youngsters would grow to regard themselves, and be pertained to, as family members
In nearly all parts of the globe traces of an indigenous dog family members are discovered, the only exceptions being the West Indian Islands, Madagascar, the eastern islands of the Malayan Archipelago, New Zealand, and the Polynesian Islands, where there is no indicator that any sort of dog, wolf, or fox has actually existed as a true aboriginal pet. In the ancient Asian lands, and usually amongst the very early Mongolians, the dog stayed savage and overlooked for centuries, prowling in packs, gaunt and wolf-like, as it prowls today with the streets and under the walls of every Eastern city. No effort was made to glamor it into human companionship or to improve it into docility. It is not till we concern examine the records of the greater civilisations of Assyria and Egypt that we find any sort of unique selections of canine form.
The dog was not greatly valued in Palestine, and in both the Old and New Testaments it is frequently spoken of with scorn and contempt as an "dirty beast." Even the familiar reference to the Sheepdog in the Book of Task "But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to set with the dogs of my flock" is not without a recommendation of contempt, and it is substantial that the only biblical allusion to the dog as an acknowledged friend of man occurs in the apocryphal Publication of Tobit (v. 16), "So they left both, and the young man's dog with them."
The wonderful wide variety of different breeds of the dog and the large differences in their size, points, and basic appearance are facts which make it challenging to believe that they might have had an usual ancestry. One considers the distinction between the Mastiff and the Japanese Spaniel, the Deerhound and the trendy Pomeranian, the St. Bernard and the Miniature Black and Tan Terrier, and is perplexed in pondering the possibility of their having descended from a typical progenitor. Yet the variation is no greater than that between the Shire horse and the Shetland pony, the Shorthorn and the Kerry livestocks, or the Patagonian and the Pygmy; and all dog breeders know exactly how simple it is to produce an assortment in type and size by studied option.
In order correctly to understand this concern it is needed first to consider the identification of structure in the wolf and the dog. This identity of structure might best be studied in a contrast of the osseous system, or skeletons, of the two pets, which so closely resemble each other that their transposition would not quickly be detected.
The spinal column of the dog includes seven vertebrae in the neck, thirteen in the back, seven in the loins, 3 sacral vertebrae, and twenty to twenty-two in the tail. In both the dog and the wolf there are thirteen pairs of ribs, 9 real and 4 incorrect. Each has forty-two teeth. They both have 5 front and four hind toes, while outwardly the common wolf has so much the appearance of a large, bare-boned dog, that a preferred summary of the one would serve for the other.
Nor are their routines different. The wolf's natural voice is a loud howl, however when restricted with dogs he will discover to bark. Although he is carnivorous, he will certainly additionally consume veggies, and when sickly he will certainly nibble lawn. In the chase, a pack of wolves will divide into parties, one following the path of the quarry, the other endeavoring to intercept its hideaway, exercising a considerable amount of method, a characteristic which is displayed by numerous of our sporting dogs and terriers when hunting in teams.
A further essential point of resemblance between the Canis lupus and the Canis familiaris lies in the fact that the period of pregnancy in both species is sixty-three days. There are from three to 9 cubs in a wolf's litter, and these are blind for twenty-one days. They are suckled for two months, however at the end of that time they have the ability to eat half-digested flesh disgorged for them by their dam or even their sire.
The native dogs of all areas approximate closely in size, coloration, type, and practice to the native wolf of those regions. Of this most important scenario there are far too many instances to allow of its being looked upon as a mere coincidence. Sir John Richardson, writing in 1829, observed that "the similarity between the North American wolves and the domestic dog of the Indians is so great that the size and strength of the wolf seems to be the only distinction.
It has been suggested that the one incontrovertible argument against the lupine relationship of the dog is the fact that all domestic dogs bark, while all wild Canidae express their feelings just by howls. But the problem here is not so terrific as it seems, because we understand that jackals, wild dogs, and wolf pups reared by bitches readily get the routine. On the other hand, domestic dogs permitted to cut loose forget how to bark, while there are some which have actually not yet discovered so to express themselves.
The presence or absence of the practice of barking could not, then, be regarded as an argument in determining the question concerning the beginning of the dog. This stumbling block as a result disappears, leaving us in the position of agreeing with Darwin, whose last hypothesis was that "it is very possible that the domestic dogs of the world have descended from two great species of wolf (C. lupus and C. latrans), and from two or 3 other skeptical species of wolves particularly, the European, Indian, and North African forms; from a minimum of a couple of South American canine species; from several races or species of jackal; and possibly from one or more extinct species"; and that the blood of these, sometimes socialized together, streams in the veins of our domestic types.
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