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What were the 1st dogs?

The history Of the dog

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From living in the wild to companioning as man’s best friend, the evolution and journey of dogs has quite the history. Dogs come in all shapes and sizes and can be found all over the world, but how exactly did they come to be such an integral part of our lives? The fact is that dogs have helped us hunt food and guard our possessions for so long that neither archaeology nor science can quite decide exactly where, when and how we got together in the first place.

A magnificent Czechoslovakian wolf dog

A Czechoslovakian wolf dog — early domesticated breeds would have looked a lot like this.

Where did dogs originate?

The canids — or the family of animals that includes dogs and wolves — first appeared on our planet around six million years ago. And while the actual origin of dogs remains elusive, we do know that dogs are direct descendants of modern grey wolves. Kind of hard to imagine your Chihuahua being related to a wolf, isn’t it? Many experts believe that dogs started separating from their wolf ancestors around 16,000 years ago in Southeastern Asia. It was at this point in their evolution that paleolithic dogs who had shorter snouts and fewer teeth first emerged, making them less threatening to humans than their wolf ancestors. And so man’s best friend was born.

Chihuahuas are a popular dog breed, although difficult to picture them as descents of wolves.

Chihuahuas are a popular dog breed in the United States, although difficult to picture them as descents of wolves.

How did the canine-human bond form?

Archaeological evidence shows us that dogs were living with humans in the Americas as early as 15,000 years ago. It is believed they migrated with humans as hunters and gatherers — essentially, the first animal companions. Because there was no agriculture at this time in history, dogs would have made useful allies in tracking and killing prey and alerting their owners to possible danger by barking. An early domestication theory suggests that as humans began migrating to colder climates, the canine-human bond formed very quickly. Humans relied on dogs to help them spot prey and dogs began to rely on humans for a constant source of shelter, safety and food. Centuries later, that bond has grown to include love and companionship.

Abraham Lincoln and Fido

Did you know the word ‘fido’ may have originated from the White House? A shorthand word used to describe any dog, fido is one of the most popular dog names on the planet. And it may have all started with Abraham Lincoln. Five years before he became president, Abraham Lincoln named his mixed-breed, light brown, flop-eared dog Fido. Deriving from the Latin meaning “to trust”, President Lincoln chose this name as his dog was every bit the faithful and trustworthy hound of legend. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t have a happy ending. Two years after Lincoln’s assassination, Fido himself was assassinated by a drunk with a knife. While Fido may not have lived forever, his name is still alive and well today!

Omlet dog care

Dogs and humans have a long history together. At Omlet, it is our mission to celebrate those relationships with the products we create. With dog crates that resemble ancestral dog dens, dog beds for your winning dog to rest on and a whole range of essential dog products, we engineer our designs with your dog’s comfort, safety and happiness at the forefront.


In Europe during the 1850s, attempts were being made to standardize breeds. The dogs were bred to preserve traits that assisted in their job of herding sheep and protecting flocks from predators. In Germany this was practiced within local communities, where shepherds selected and bred dogs. It was recognized that the breed had the necessary skills for herding sheep, such as intelligence, speed, strength and keen senses of smell.The results were dogs that were able to do such things, but that differed significantly, both in appearance and ability, from one locality to another.

To combat these differences, the Phylax Society was formed in 1891 with the intention of creating standardised development plans for native dog breeds in Germany. The society disbanded after only three years due to ongoing internal conflicts regarding the traits in dogs that the society should promote; some members believed dogs should be bred solely for working purposes, while others believed dogs should be bred also for appearance. While unsuccessful in their goal, the Phylax Society had inspired people to pursue standardising dog breeds independently.

With the rise of large, industrialized cities in Germany, the predator population began to decline, rendering sheepdogs unnecessary. At the same time, the awareness of sheepdogs as a versatile, intelligent class of canine began to rise.Max von Stephanitz, an ex-cavalry captain and former student of the Berlin Veterinary College, was an ex-member of the Phylax Society who firmly believed dogs should be bred for working. He admired the intelligence, strength and ability of Germany’s native sheepdogs, but could not find any one single breed that satisfied him as the perfect working dog.

2-year-old black German Shepherd In 1899, Von Stephanitz was attending a dog show when he was shown a dog named Hektor Linksrhein. Hektor was the product of few generations of selective breeding and completely fulfilled what Von Stephanitz believed a working dog should be. He was pleased with the strength of the dog and was so taken by the animal’s intelligence, loyalty and beauty, that he purchased him immediately. After purchasing the dog he changed his name to Horand von Grafrath and Von Stephanitz founded the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde (Society for the German Shepherd Dog).Horand was declared to be the first German Shepherd Dog and was the first dog added to the society’s breed register.

Horand became the centre-point of the breeding programs and was bred with dogs belonging to other society members that displayed desirable traits and with dogs from Thuringia, Franconia and Wurttemberg. Fathering many pups, Horand’s most successful was Hektor von Schwaben. Hektor was inbred with another of Horand’s offspring and produced Heinz von Starkenburg, Beowulf and Pilot, who later fathered a total of eighty-four pups, mostly through being inbred with Hektor’s other offspring. This inbreeding was deemed necessary in order to fix the traits being sought in the breed. In the original German Shepherd studbook, Zuchtbuch für Deutsche Schäferhunde, within the two pages of entries from SZ No. 41 to SZ No. 76, there are four Wolf Crosses. Beowulf’s progeny also were inbred and it is from these pups that all German Shepherds draw a genetic link. It is believed the society accomplished its goal mostly due to Von Stephanitz’s strong, uncompromising leadership and he is therefore credited with being the creator of the German Shepherd Dog

German Shepherds have a variety of colors, the most common of which are tan/black and red/black. Most color varieties have black masks and black body markings which can range from a classic «saddle» to an over-all «blanket.» Rarer colour variations include the sable, pure-black, pure-white, liver and blue varieties. The all-black and sable varieties are acceptable according to most standards; however, the blue and liver are considered to be serious faults and the all-white is grounds for instant disqualification from showing in conformation at All Breed and Specialty Shows.

German Shepherds sport a double coat. The outer coat, which sheds all year round, is close and dense with a thick undercoat. The coat is accepted in two variants; medium and long. The long-hair gene is recessive, making the long-hair variety rarer. Treatment of the long-hair variation differs across standards; they are accepted but not competed with standard coated dogs under the German and UK Kennel Clubs while they can compete with standard coated dogs but are considered a fault in the American Kennel Club.The FCI accepted the long-haired type in 2010, listing it as the variety b — while short-haired type is listed as the variety

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