GENERAL HISTORY OF DOGS
The dog was not greatly appreciated in Palestine, and in both the Old and New Testaments it is commonly spoken of with scorn and contempt within an"unclean beast." Even the recognizable reference to the Sheepdog from the Book of Job"But they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to set with the dogs of my flock" is not without a suggestion of contempt, and it is important that the only biblical allusion to the dog as a recognized companion of man occurs in the apocryphal Book of Tobit (v. 16),"So they went forth both, and the young man's dog with them."
There's absolutely no incongruity in the concept that in the first period of man's habitation of this world he made a friend and companion of some sort of aboriginal representative of our contemporary dog, which in return for its aid in protecting him against wilder creatures, and in guarding his sheep and goats, he gave it a share of his meals, a corner at his dwelling, and grew to trust it and care for it. Probably the creature was originally little else than an unusually gentle jackal, or an ailing wolf driven by its companions from the wild marauding pack to look for shelter in alien surroundings. An individual can well imagine the possibility of the partnership beginning in the context of some helpless whelps being brought home by the hunters to be tended and reared from the women and kids. Dogs introduced to the house as playthings for the kids could grow to regard themselves, and also be regarded, as members of their household
It's been suggested that the one indisputable argument contrary to the lupine connection of the dog is the fact that all domestic dogs bark, although all wild Canidae express their feelings exclusively by howls. But the difficulty here isn't so great as it appears, since we know that jackals, wild dogs, and wolf pups reared by bitches easily get the habit. On the other hand, domestic dogs permitted to run wild forget how to bark, even although there are a few that have not yet learned so to express themselves.
The presence or absence of the practice of barking can't, then, be regarded as a debate in deciding the question concerning the origin of their dog. This stumbling block consequently vanishes, leaving us in the position of agreeing with Darwin, whose final theory was that"it is highly probable that the domestic dogs of the world have descended from just two great species of wolf (C. lupus and C. latrans), and from two or three other suspicious species of wolves specifically, the European, Indian, and North African forms; from a minumum of one or two South American puppy species; from several races or species of jackal; and possibly from one or extinct species"; and the blood of these, in some cases mingled together, flows in the veins of our domestic breeds.
The spine of the dog is made up of seven vertebrae in the neck, thirteen from the trunk, seven at the loins, three sacral vertebrae, and twenty five to twenty-two in the tail. In the dog and the wolf you will find two pairs of ribs, nine four and true untrue. Each has forty-two teeth. They have five front and four hind feet, while outwardly the frequent wolf has much the look of a large, bare-boned dog, that a popular description of the one would serve for another.
Nor are their habits different. The wolf's natural voice is a loud howl, but if confined with dogs he'll learn to bark. Although he's carnivorous, he'll also eat vegetables, and if sickly he will nibble grass. In the pursuit, a pack of wolves will divide into parties, one after the course of the quarry, the other endeavouring to permeate its escape, exercising a significant quantity of strategy, a characteristic which is exhibited by many of our athletic dogs and terriers when hunting in groups.
The fantastic multitude of distinct strains of the dog and the vast differences in their dimensions, points, and general appearance are facts which make it difficult to believe that they could have had a frequent ancestry. One thinks of the difference between the Mastiff and the Japanese Spaniel, the Deerhound and the fashionable Pomeranian, the St. Bernard and the Miniature Black and Tan Terrier, and is perplexed in considering the possibility of their having descended from a common progenitor. Yet the disparity is no more than that between the Shire horse and the Shetland pony, the Shorthorn and the Kerry cows, or the Patagonian and the Pygmy; and all dog breeders understand how easy it is to produce a variety in size and type by analyzed choice.
In almost all areas of the world traces of an native dog household are found, the only exceptions being the West Indian Islands, Madagascar, the southern islands of the Malayan Archipelago, New Zealand, and the Polynesian Islands, where there's no sign that any dog, wolf, or fox has existed since a true aboriginal animal. From the early lands that are ancient, and normally among the early Mongolians, the dog stayed savage and neglected for centuries, prowling in packs, gaunt and wolf-like, as it prowls now through the streets and under the walls of each Eastern town. No attempt was made to allure it into human companionship or to improve it into docility. It is not until we come to analyze the records of this higher civilisations of Assyria and Egypt that we discover any distinct types of canine form.
The indigenous dogs of all regions approximate carefully in size, coloration, shape, and habit into the native wolf of those regions. Of this most important circumstance there are far too many instances to allow of its being viewed upon as a mere coincidence. Sir John Richardson, composing in 1829, observed that"the resemblance between the North American wolves as well as the domestic dog of the Indians is so great that the strength and size of the wolf seems to be the only real difference.
A further important point of similarity between the Canis lupus along with the Canis familiaris lies in the fact that the period of gestation in both species is sixty-three days. There are from three to eight cubs in a wolf's mess, and all these are blind for twenty five days. They are suckled for just two weeks, but in the end of that time they are able to consume half-digested flesh disgorged to them by their dam or their sire.
In order to understand this question it is necessary first to look at the identity of construction in the wolf and the dog. This identity of structure could best be studied at a comparison of the osseous system, or skeletons, of those 2 animals, which so closely resemble each other that their transposition wouldn't readily be discovered.