Dog Breeds Types History

Dogs have been in existence for at least 12,000 years, and probably much longer, and during that time there has been a progressive `infantilizing’ of the ancestral wolf species. That is to say, the wolf has, through domestication, become increasingly `juvenile’. This process is called `neoteny’ and, whenever it occurs, it is accompanied by much greater variability in the anatomy and behaviour of the species concerned.

It is this variability that has helped so much in the creation of the different breeds. Curly tails, short legs, drooped ears, coat colour-patterns, and all the rest of the gene­tic variations that we now take for granted, began to appear thousands of years ago. Ancient artefacts show us just how varied dogs had become, even in the early civiliza­tions of Egypt and the Middle East. Then, as the centuries passed, and dogs spread out around the globe, these variations increased dramatically. Dogs were asked to perform more and more tasks and they adapted brilliantly to our demands by changing in shape, size, colour and temperament. With the arrival of widespread field sports, the number of breeds multiplied yet again. And finally with the explosion of interest in compan­ion dogs in recent centuries, the number of breeds rose once more.