The Incredible Canine

Samantha Parker
Writing. Zoology, Animal Caretaker
The Incredible Canine
Canines have been a part of human’s lives for centuries dating back all the way to 15,000 years ago. Dogs have been man’s best friend for a long time, but where did canines come from before human domestication? Where were our furry four-legged companion’s before humans came in and turned them into the loving pets that we all know today? The canines were in the wild of course!
Canines are actually a sub species of wolves, the extant grey wolf to be exact. All dogs, no matter breed or size, are all direct descendants of the extant gray wolf which is now extinct sadly. It turns out that there are only 11 fixed genes sharing variation between wolves and dogs, this is a small difference between two species. Dogs also belong to the same family as wolves which is that of the canine or Canidae. Even though canines have been around for a long time, these guys were actually not the first animals to be domesticated. That honor actually belongs to goats!
Dogs have always been loved by humans for more than just a cute face and floppy ears. Dogs have always had a uniquely in-tune relationship with humans and this is unlike any other domesticated species. Our floppy eared friends, after domestication, were bred for a great deal of things. Some of these breeding reasons include hunting, herding, pulling loads, protection, assisting the police and military, aiding the disabled, and therapeutic attributes. Dogs are often trained from a very young age when going into the field of aiding someone with a disability or to go into a hospital or nursing home to bring joy to those in need. Dogs that are in this field are trained to sense when something is going wrong withy heir human. This way they can get medication or help if their human can not do it themselves.
Dogs often learn by inference which is why hand signals work so well when training your pet. Canines also have very advanced memory skills making it easy for dogs to learn certain words. Dogs can also engage in deception if the need should ever arise. While dogs are very smart, a dog’s cognitive abilities are not any more exceptional or superior than those of other animals. Most people find this odd because people do not think about other animals being smarter than dogs, most of the time because most people live with dogs and experience nothing else. Naturally, having one type of animal can really close off learning opportunities.
Not only do dogs have the ability to read certain words or recognize certain things and labels, but they also have the uncanny ability to be able to read and react appropriately to human body language. The tone of someone’s voice is also something that dogs understand and pick up on well. That is why dogs always know when they are in trouble or did something they were not supposed to do. My dogs have always looked sad when they know that I am angry with them. Their ears go down, they kind of slouch, and usually make little eye contact. Now this may be a form of a dog engaging in deception. Simply to act sorry to get out of trouble, but who can really say? Dogs are interesting and fascinating creatures to say the least!

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