Friday, September 2, 2011

Part 2 Evolution of Man and Dog

A veterinarian's point of view of the relationship of man and dog must not be overlooked. Consider how many of dogs' traits may have been of value to man, even to man's survival. Let's not overlook how many of the mans' traits may h ave been of value to dogs. With say 150 tribes over Africa and tribes in differing landscapes the humans needs could vary widely with different climate as well as topography with differing wildlife. From the point of view of a hound person of today the dog would be most useful in gaining food by trailing the game and barking on the trail for the human hunter to follow to eventually kill the exhausted creature. The dog would trail one animal into a heard and drive it out rather than it being lost among the others. The pointing attributes of the camp following dogs that located food animals for the hunter could account of those breeds of today. The sight hounds of today could have evolved from that trait of the camp following wolf-like creatures capable of running down game in open areas.

This concerns the welfare of the dogs as well as the masters. From the dog's point of view, it was able to alert the master to the danger of approaching danger such as a predator by sounding a barking alarm. The instinct of sounding the barking alarm was of survival significance in alerting the master to a possible enemy of the dog for the dog's protection. No doubt dogs following too close to early man ended up on his dinner table and it is more than likely that dogs were bred and adopted as a food element of developing humans. Dogs may well have been the originators of breeding any animal for food. When gradually some of the more curious of many tribes found advantage in migrating, the dogs may well have made the difference in survival for both man and dog as by hunting together would be food for both.

Most humans have preconceived ideas about our place in nature and scientists are included although fortunately scientists are trained to demand testing to prove a point. Among anthropologists and perhaps most scientists the human condition seems to be that man is special to itself with little to do with the likes of the lowly dog. As a scientist and a primitive student of evolution from veterinary observations I believe there is a strong case that neither man nor dog could have come out of the African Continent without the other. When the predictions of that period on electronic media show humans hunting, think about the probability of dogs leading the pursuit. Yes, I believe a dog is man's best friend but also that man is dog's best friend.

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