Ancient bond between dogs and humans

The bond between dogs and people goes back long way. Dogs were the first species to be domesticated, and evidence is mounting to show that it was a social and emotional bond, not just a utilitarian one. One theory was that doggy ancestors used to hang around the outskirts of human camps, making themselves useful by scavenging rubbish and warning the people about the approach of intruders.

But other evidence suggests that dogs were brought into the heart of human groups. Women probably breastfed puppies. This may have helped lactating women whose babies had died, as well as serving to tame orphaned pups. This is known as the “oxytocin theory” of domestication, because the hormone oxytocin, associated with the let down reflex for breast milk, produces an emotional feeling of bonding.

We had a “two dog night” in Melbourne last night, and I’m sure that they had plenty of three dog nights in ancient Siberia. Dogs would have made excellent stone age electric blankets. Recent research into burial sites shows that dogs were buried alongside people. They probably slept with their human associates.  Some dogs were wearing necklaces.


About transformational1

I have many interests and I have had a varied career. I am a semi-retired professional dog trainer, specialising in the use of positive reinforcement. I do some consultations, I run instructor workshops and I am setting up a Dogs and Psychotherapy Research Project. I have a law degree from Melbourne University (but have never practiced) and I am passionate about Human Rights. My first degree was in Sociology. I worked as a social researcher on issues such as low income housing, women's refuges and women in the workforce. I live in an inner suburb of Melbourne, Australia, and I have a German Shepherd called Chance.
This entry was posted in Dogs, domestication of dogs, Human-animal bond, origins of dogs, research about dogs. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Ancient bond between dogs and humans

  1. John Bellamy says:

    Personal message for Kaye:
    Luvverly munga, muchas gracias.
    Cheers and danke, John [wags from Molls too]


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