Dogs, man’s best friend. For thousands of years Canis lupus familiaris, the domestic dog has been right by man’s side. From the early days of the cave man, dogs have been there in man’s company. Even though we are hell-bent on making enemies off every other species there is, there is one that through thick and thin we can rely on, dogs.
Recent molecular evidence shows that dogs are descended from the gray wolf (Canis lupus) of central Asia, domesticated about 130,000 years ago. Kim Campbell Thornton’s article “Looking Back to the Beginning” (AKC GAZETTE, September 1999) describes research that has determined, through DNA sequences, that the dog breeds of today descended from only a few familiar ancestors. Although Thornton notes the difficulty in accurately dating the exact emergence of specific breeds, it is apparent that over thousands of years, man has created hundreds of breeds from a small gene pool of original dogs. While some breeds – examples include Greyhounds, Basenjis, Mastiffs and Norwegian Elkhounds – can be traced back to ancient times, most breeds have evolved over the last few hundred years, and many are still undergoing significant changes.
Most dog lovers out there refer to dogs as per their breed. But what does breed actually mean???
Basic biology and the English dictionary simply define breed as a stock of animals or plants within a species having a distinctive appearance and typically having been developed by deliberate selection. So basically, the German shepherd, the bull dog and the Chihuahua just to mention a few, are names that refer to dog breeds.
Now, there are about 360 breeds recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), the world governing body of dog breeds, sometimes known as the World Canine Organization. But the standards for breed recognition vary from country to country – the American Kennel Club currently recognizes about 202 dog breeds while The Kennel Club recognizes 211 dog breeds.
Every dog owner remembers the first time they realized they are dog people. For me, it was back in 2003. I was in primary school. Our teacher had just introduced us to the library. It was an exciting time. I stumbled upon “the encyclopedia of dogs” while browsing through the big books section and that’s when I knew that I had to get one.
Am sure other people have other stories that are far more magical and some might say they have a dog just because they are allergic to cats. Either way there aren’t that many people out there who can say that they hate dogs and actually mean it. I know someone who is allergic and they still would risk it all to play with and pat puppies. Dogs are the best. You should adopt one. National dog day.