How Did the Dog Become Man’s Best Friend?

Long before history was written down, dog and man formed a friendship that was to continue throughout the ages. This friendship existed as early as 50,000 years ago, as proven by cave paintings that show prehistoric hunters with dogs at their sides.

In these early times, dogs, wolves, and jackals hunted food for themselves and scavenged food left behind by other larger creatures. They also followed prehistoric man, picking up scraps of food and bones he left behind. These animals probably prowled around hunters’ camps at night and howled if deadly beasts approached. This howling served as a warning to the hunters, who soon began to feed these animals to keep them nearby as watchdogs. The dogs then gradually came to depend on man for their food.

From this probably came the dog-man partnership in hunting. Since dogs have a keen sense of hearing and smell, even keener than man’s, they became useful to man in locating small animals that could be caught for food.

Dogs, wolves, and jackals probably bred with each other to produce the animal we call the dog today. As years passed, man came to depend on his dog for a variety of purposes. Not only was the dog his companion, but his guard, his shepherd, his guide, his hunter, his retriever, and his friend.

Evidence of man’s warm feeling for his canine friends can be seen in the numbers of dogs kept as pets, in America alone, 41,000,000! And Americans spend $1.5 billion each year on dog food, or almost four times the amount they spend on baby food!

Dogs turn around several times before lying down, even on a rug in a house, because that is the way dogs in the wild used to flatten out the grass to make a comfortable bed!

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

3 thoughts on “How Did the Dog Become Man’s Best Friend?”

  1. this is what you can add :

    Food and shelter were the biggest problems of life for both men and wild dogs in those difficult long-ago days. The only way they could live was to hunt animals for their food, kill them with their stone hatchets or teeth, and bring some of the flesh back to their families to eat, too. Man and his family lived in a cave. Wild dogs and their families lived either in a cave or in a hollow tree trunk. When winter came and food was harder to find, maybe the wild dogs became so hungry that they grew bold. They crept close to the man’s campfire. Maybe he found some bones there that a man had thrown away because he couldn’t chew them. But a wild dog could chew them, and did! And one bitter, snowy night, maybe he brought his family to the campfire, too, so they could get warm and eat bones.

  2. i think that dogs and man are so allike that alot of people may think. in the early days of cave men dogs and man proberbly came across the same paths more than once for the same pray and may have fought for the rights to the kill. dogs may have been over powered by man untill the point that dogs like humans use the common sence factor and when in a hunt often killed the pray before man did due to the speed and much more aggresiveness that they possesed at the time and sacrified the kills to humans. this proberbly led to the humans being kind and generious and once the kill was harvested an ammount of the food was supplied to the dogs as a thankyou gesture and this proberbly contiued like this for several years untill one colony of humans un exspectedly or naturaly ended up working with the dogs in hunts and hearding.

    i think it is important to believe that in early life humans and dogs strongly relied on each other for survival sometimes in life with humans you have to make allays with people to make one stronger unit rather than kill each other of as this team work effort can benifit you more in the long run.

    i also believe its safe to say that until the end of man dogs will remain best friend relationships. if through natural disasters that cause our exstiction i believe that alot of domesticated dogs will suffer with us as a matter of loyalty and pride that i believe they wouldnt abandon there owner as its been seen with many dogs who starve to death after there owner has passed away because they have been heart broken.

  3. i never knew how much a dog has been with humans until now thats pretty amazing and to think my dog has barely been with me for a year OMG!!! kmp

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