Dog Training Made Easy!
Useful, easy, and trustworthy information about dogs.
Welcome to Dogs and Dog Training, where our mission is to provide you with simple, helpful, and effective information about dogs, covering all aspects of caring for your four-legged friends.
On these pages you’ll find articles on all aspects of life with your dog including, dog health, grooming, feeding, training, and the core essentials of dog and puppy care.
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Facts About Dogs
Dogs were the first animals domesticated by man, but the origins of this relationship, and of dogs as a distinct species, are unclear.
One theory is that humans adopted and domesticated orphaned wolf cubs, another is that wolves were attracted to human settlements by food scraps, gradually lost their fear of man, and became part of the human ‘pack’.
How this came about may be open to debate, but why should be obvious. We share with dogs the same sociable nature, the same natural playfulness, respect for leadership, care for the young. A wolf cub adopted by humans would, with some behavior modification, have fitted right in.
The partnership was also one of mutual benefit. Dogs provided help with hunting, protection of livestock, an early warning system, and companionship. Humans provided shelter, a reliable source of food, companionship and protection.
As humans migrated across the globe their dogs traveled with them. The early emigrants to North America likely used them as sled dogs, while in Europe cave paintings dating back 15,000 years show dog-like animals working with humans on a hunt.
The ancient Assyrians, Greeks, and Egyptians depicted them in pottery, sculpture and literature. The Egyptians even had a dog-god, Anubis depicted with the head of a jackal. The Greeks believed that the gates of hell were guarded by a three-headed dog named Cerberus.
In Assyria, mastiff-type dogs were used by the nobility for hunting and are depicted in a number of friezes carved over 2, 500 years ago.
Meanwhile, the Romans took to using attack dogs on their military campaigns, while back at home it became common practice to use watchdogs for protection. This prompted a city ordinance requiring households to display a sign warning “Cave Canem” (Beware the Dog).
In China, the mythological Foo Dog was considered a guardian of people and property as well as protection against evil spirits. During the Han Dynasty, the Chinese also bred the first lap dogs such as the Pekingese, which was the favored pet of Chinese royalty.
The First Breeds
Elsewhere man continued to find new uses for dogs, and continued to breed dogs to purpose – strength and size for a guard dog, speed and agility for a herder. Puppies that suited a specific purpose particularly well were bred together, and over time desirable characteristics appeared with increasing frequency.
In some cases, dogs bred in a particular region began to acquire unique features and characteristics, quite unlike dogs from a different region, laying the foundation for the breeds we know today.
During the Renaissance period in Europe, dogs were bred specifically for hunting and coursing, a sport popular with the aristocracy. Many hound breeds were developed during this period, such as those depicted in the famous 15th century Andrea Mantegna painting.
At this time dogs were considered a status symbol and were strictly the preserve of the rich. Europe’s nobility took to keeping small lap dogs, like the King Charles Spaniel, but it was not until the 18th century that pet dogs became widespread among the lower classes.
The 19th century saw the formation of the first kennel clubs, and the first dog show took place in Great Britain in 1859. America followed suit 15 years later with a show in Detroit, and in 1884 the American Kennel Club (AKC) was founded in New York.
The role of the dog in human society also continued to evolve with dogs being deployed in a variety of jobs including military, police, and assistance roles. Dogs became movie stars and entertainers, they were eulogized in books and songs and honored with medals and memorials. Legislation was enacted to protect them and welfare organizations sprung up to care for them.
And the number of dogs kept as pets continued to grow, far outstripping that of any other species.
Today, our relationship with dogs continues to go from strength to strength, with dogs more popular than ever. Long may it continue.
If you enjoyed this article, All About Dogs, visit the links below for lots more fascinating information.
Types of Dogs
The basic pattern of dog behavior is inherited from the wolf but by selective breeding humans have succeeded in reducing or exaggerating certain behavioral and physical characteristics.
As a result we have created dog breeds in a range of shapes and sizes, as well as breeds with quite different personality types. Most often these personality types reflect the work the dog was originally designed for.
So a Dachshund, originally bred for chasing small game from burrows will be more likely to dig up your garden than say, a Border Collie. But the Border Collie is more likely to have a go at “herding” your kids. Or the family cat!
National Kennel Clubs recognize the diverse personalities of dog breeds by categorizing them according to the work they were designed to do.
The forerunner of these organizations, The Kennel Club of Great Britain, was founded in 1859. It divides recognized breeds into six groups; Gundogs, Hounds, Terriers, Toy Dogs, Utility, and Working.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) employs the following seven groups (plus a miscellaneous group); Herding, Hounds, Non-Sporting, Sporting, Terrier, Toy Dogs, Working. Here’s our own take on types of dogs, though!
Types of Dogs: Companion Dogs
As the name suggests they were bred primarily for companionship, although some of the dogs we now consider toy or companion dogs, like the Yorkie, are in fact terriers and still display terrier-like behavior.
In general they are small, sweet and affectionate, but they can be possessive and are prone to exessive barking – especially if they feel threatened.
Popular Dogs in this group include; Bichon Frise, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Chihuahua, Maltese, Papillon, Pekingese, Pomeranian, Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terrier.
Types of Dogs: Guardian Dogs
Usually large to giant in size as their size was meant to intimidate intruders. Despite this they are generally good-natured and protective, with a tendency towards laziness.
Popular Dogs in this group include; Boxer, Bull Mastiff, Cane Corso, Doberman, Great Dane, Rottweiller, St Bernard.
Types of Dogs: Gundogs
Good-natured, sociable, energetic, playful, intelligent, trainable and eager to please. Generally medium to large in size. They were bred to find and retrieve game and still have strong retrieving instincts.
Popular Dogs in this group include; Cocker Spaniel, English Pointer, Golden Retriever, Irish Setter, Labrador Retriever, Portuguese Water Dog, Weimaraner.
Types of Dogs: Herding Dogs
Sensitive, energetic, hardworking, playful, intelligent, protective and trainable. Many are still employed as sheep and cattle herders and those that are kept as pets still have a strong herding instinct.
Popular Dogs in this group include; Australian Shepherd, Border Collie, Rough Collie, German Shepherd, Old English Sheepdog, Shetland Sheepdog, Welsh Corgi.
Types of Dogs: Hounds
Hounds fall into two distinct groups, sight hounds and scent hounds. As the names suggest they are hunting dogs using sight and scent respectively. They tend to be amiable, independent, and sociable, but can be stubborn. They can also be hard to control on walks, particularly if they scent or spot potential prey.
Popular Dogs in this group include; Afghan Hound, Basset, Beagle, Bloodhound, Blue Tick Coonhound, Borzoi, Greyhound, Irish Wolfhound, Saluki, Whippet.
Types of Dogs: Terriers
They are usually small and excitable, with strong characters. Originally bred to flush and attack small prey they retain a predatory streak and are easily aroused to aggression. Tend to be brave and confident dogs.
Popular Dogs in this group include; Airedale, Border Terrier, Bull Terrier, Fox Terrier, Jack Russell Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, West Highland White Terrier.
Types of Dogs: Utility Group
A diverse group of breeds which do not fit comfortably into any of the other groups. Individual traits depend on the work they were bred for.
Popular Dogs in this group include; American Akita, Chow Chow, German Spitz, Keeshond, Shar Pei, Swedish Lapphund.
Types of Dogs: Working Dogs
The working group includes breeds as diverse as the Kelpie and the Newfoundland. These dogs tend to be large, intelligent, and protective, with temperament depending on the work they were bred for.
Popular types of dogs in this group include; Akita Inu, Alaskan Malamute, Kelpie, Newfoundland, Schnauzer, Siberian Husky, Samoyed.