An interesting ‘doggie’ fact for my readers; For centuries, the standard English word for ‘dog’ was “hound” or “hund”. It wasn’t until the late Middle Ages, that the word ‘dog’ ,which was etymologically unrelated to any other known word, suddenly and mysteriously appeared.
All dogs evolved from the grey wolf, our dogs’ closest living relative. They were first kept by humans around 14,000 years ago. It is believed that abandoned wolf cubs were adopted and gradually the aggression bred out of them.
How we arrived at the myriad breeds, sizes, coat colours, temperaments and characters, would take too long to explain in one blog!
So, in brief, bones and fossils found throughout the world, going back to roughly 6,500 years ago, we are able to safely say that, at that time, there were just 5 types of dog. Mastiffs, wolf-like, Pointer types, Greyhounds and Sheepdogs.
Since then literally thousands of breeds have been developed by artificial and natural selection. Many were lost over the centuries, leaving us with around 400 different breeds today.
All this from one little mammal, somewhat like a weasel, that ran around the primeval forests 60 million years ago!