Dogs: The big picture

Let’s start with the big picture, the context. After all it’s been some time since the likely parasitic relationship between cave men and wolves somehow became something more. But ever since those first cave dwellers began to lure wolves with food, or that first injured wolf, or pack-less cub, was obliged to accept human help; man has been shaping the creation of dogs, consciously or otherwise, into what is now possibly the most physically divergent mammalian species on earth.

There is nothing quite like the relationship between man and dog. Chimpanzees, though almost identical to homo sapiens genetically and smarter than dogs by every other metric, have been proven to lag behind dogs in their ability to read hand signals, facial expressions, and body language of their humans. Horse people make claims that border on the absurd regarding their potential telekinesis, but by any measurable means there is no comparing with what humans and dogs can get done. And setting aside whatever levels of "emotional intelligence" dolphins and Orcas may indeed harbor for one another. There is no creature on earth born with such inclination towards human devotion and service than a dog.

Given mankind’s largely tooth and nail existence for the vast majority of evolutionary time, I think it’s safe to say even semi-domesticated dogs were expected to pull their weight. The predominate factor in the shaping of all breeds, all over the world, for all but the most recent strobe light blink of modern history was work. They were expected to contribute in some tangible way to get fed. Over time that basic relationship, and the dogs that were a part of it, became specialized to a variety of tasks as a result of the selective breeding of man, and the selection pressures of the various environments he inhabited.

Which is not to say that there was not more to the relationship between man and dog than this pragmatic matter of survival. I fully expect that whatever instincts move us to love and care for the canine have always been there. I suspect that the most "primitive" men developed bonds with their dogs that were not much different than those who work their dogs today; and I expect that the bonds transcended those pragmatic ends. Dogs, I suspect, have always found their way into the family unit to one degree or another.

Maybe ancient man evaluated the temperaments of a litter of pups much as we do. Perhaps they called them spirits; however that was said in a hundred different tongues. Perhaps they made jokes about missing the cave-wife after she exclaimed

“ There is not room enough for me and that damn wolf dog in this cave “

Some things have probably always been the same.

But as the industrial age arrived and spread from one country and continent to the next, the need for working dogs has likewise declined, and will continue to do so. Just as economic wealth and birth control has made it easier than ever for “advanced” nations to provide for their relatively few new humans. As a result pets, it seems to me, are increasingly called upon to satisfy the nurturing and rearing instincts previously occupied by an abundance of hungry children and grandchildren.

It’s no accident that dogs are clubbed to death in the streets of China, and eaten in much of Asia and parts of Africa to this day. It’s no coincidence that dogs are generally disregarded in most parts of the world where humans still struggle to feed their own. The absurdity of notions such as “animal rights” is a by-product of the unnaturally barren state of industrialized nations and the relative ease with which they sustain themselves.

Dogs, purely as pets, is a historically new idea. And make no mistake about it, the vast majority of all dogs in industrialized nations, if not the world as a whole, are pets. And the vast majority of pet owners are not vary discerning or knowledgeable about dogs. The pathetic pandora’s box of modern dogs; pure and mixed, is more than anything a proof positive and a reflection of that reality.

That is the contextual reality of any modern day breeder. simply put it's a bit of a shit show really, with very few exceptions, across the board. And the public would do well to regard most claims to the contrary as red flags. The more pompous or grandiose the dog wear is pitched the more likely emperor dog is naked.