Everyone knows the proverb that a dog is man's best friend. On a walk through the city, it is almost impossible to overlook someone walking a dog in the Czech Republic. It is estimated that there are 1 to 2 million dogs in the Czech Republic, which is the most dogs per capita in Europe. But why does a person live in such a close relationship with a dog and why exclusively with it?
It is believed that the dog is the very first domesticated animal in the world and is also the only large domesticated carnivore. Its domestication probably took place as early as 12,000 BC and evolved from an extinct species of wolf about 100,000 years ago. Domestication may have occurred in China south of the Long River. However, the theories are different and are constantly being refined according to new knowledge. However, we know for sure that man buried dogs 14,000 years ago in a style that suggests that man took a dog as a member of the family.
The first role of a dog in living together with a human was mutual defense against other carnivores. The ancestor of the dog apparently began to travel with hunters and gatherers and ate on carrion, which distinguished it from the wolf, which lived mostly in the same place. With the first agrarian revolution, about 10,000 years ago, man began to live a settled lifestyle, thus the dog got even closer to man and began to be more different from the original wolf. However, most current dog breeds began to emerge only through targeted selection in the 19th century.
Another role of the dog was its direct involvement in hunting. People at the time usually hunted using arrows, and the wounded animal had to be chased and tracked, especially in dense vegetation. In later times, the dog's roles increased, especially in herding, guarding property and people, use in transport and also for food. Today, the use of the dog is even wider and it is possible to name, for example, his work in the armed forces, in the so-called dog therapy, the role of a guide dog, in laboratory experiments, or the most widespread role as a pet in Europe.