How dogs came to be:
The most logical argument and the one I agree with, is that of Professor Raymond Coppinger termed Natural Selection. In a nutshell this hypothesis states that with the Human villages of early times came ample foraging opportunities for the wild animals in form of rubbish dumps, sewage systems and so on. Therefore the wild animals able to forage in close proximity to the human inhabitants of these settlements were the most successful at finding food and the closer they got the better the spoils.
Amongst these wild animals were wolves, and as the Individual wolves with the least amount of hazard avoidance separated from their initial packs and formed packs on the outskirts of the human settlements natural selection took place. The tame wolves started Breeding to other tame wolves and the offspring were even more compliant and so the natural development of the domestic dog or Canis Familiaris occurred, then humans intervened and started breeding for specific traits and from this came all the different breeds we see today. I will in a latter article go in to more detail as to the origin and natural development of the dog as a subspecies, this is purely for the sake of understanding how humans and wolfs became man and his best friend.
The study and control of procreation as a means of improving hereditary characteristics of future generations. The concept has sometimes been used in a pseudoscientific way as an excuse for unethical, racist, or even genocidal practices such as involuntary sterilization or certain other practices in Nazi Germany and elsewhere.
The mating of closely related individuals or of individuals having closely similar genetic constitutions.
Practice of successive inbreeding of closely related individuals with the object of concentrating desirable or scientifically interesting genetic characteristics of some individual or group.
From the earliest times in the interwoven cross species relationship between humans and canines, the humans selectively bred dogs for purposeful characteristics. At first this method was used to breed dogs in order to fulfil certain functions; like herding, guarding, vermin control, hunting and transport to name but a few. The dog became an aide-de-camp to the human establishing an intense bond.
As the dog were bred for specific tasks gradual physiological changes took place; coat colour, length and texture; ear size, shape and position, the actual size of the dog, shape and efficiency of the paws, position of the eyes and much much more. Dogs that exhibit similar desired traits were bred to each other to enhance said traits, the change in appearance was a mere by product of the selective breeding.
By the mid-nineteenth century the Victorian middle class started breeding dogs for physical appearance, no longer for function. Rapidly growing in popularity Dog Breeding became fashionable and a status symbol, for the affluent with lots of time on their hands. The competitive nature of the human quickly turned dog breeding into a sport and inevitably competitions ensued. The first dog show was held in 1859 by aristocrats in England as a charitable benefit. Soon all involved realised that a single governing body was needed to enforce disciplinary action. A group of dog enthusiasts under the guidance of MP Sewallis Shirley were called together and in April 1873 the Kennel Club was established in England.
The Kennel Club was founded on the principle of Eugenics, a single organisation that keeps and records all aspects concerning the canine, pertaining to breeding, showing and the endorsement of more than one breed of dog.
Gradually with as much detail as possible I will be going through the history of dog breeding from, as you have read here, the inception of the Kennel Club to where we are today. My following article will be on the Kennel Club and the role this institution plays. Check back on Thursday (2016/01/14) for more.
Thanks for reading,
This post first appeared on Dogs Basically! | Dogs Basically Whimsical And Wis, please read the originial post: here