Man’s Best Friend
Do you own a dog? If not, you probably know someone who does. Dogs are loving, loyal, and intelligent animals. What more could you ask for in a pet? Dogs were the first animals trained and tamed by humans and they remain some of our favorites.
Whether they are family-loving pets or hardworking companions, dogs are man and woman’s best friend.
How did dogs become our closest friends in the animal world? It all began about 14,000 years ago.
Wild animals called wolves began to hang around human communities to eat food that the humans threw away.
Over time, the humans tamed and trained some of these wolves. In return for food and a warm fire to live by, the tame wolves guarded the humans’ homes from enemies when the humans hunted. These tame wolves eventually became domestic dogs.
Dogs today still have traces of the wolf’s nature. Have you ever seen a dog turn around three times before it lies down? Wolves do this to flatten grass and make a soft bed for themselves outdoors.
Most pet dogs do not sleep in the outdoors, but they have retained this inherited behavior.
When a person or another dog walks by your house, your dog might leap to life and bark madly at the passerby. This is more wolf behavior.
Your dog is defending its territory, which includes your house and yard. Wolves live in packs, or small groups, that are led by a male leader.
Your dog has a pack, too—you and your family. It has transferred its loyalty from the wolf pack leader to your family members. It will follow your commands just as it would follow its pack leader’s.
Well, most of the time it will. Every dog has a mind of its own, too.