Dogs

Domestic Dog Origins: Origins of the domestic dog have been a topic of long scientific research. The particular research on this topic, common as in other aspects of natural sciences, begun with Carlos de Linneo (1770 – 1778) who in Systema Naturae, the most important of his works, included breeds of domesticated dogs which he considered as "pure breeds", zoologically speaking; that is, those breeds which could be differentiated clearly from others. In 1753, one of his students, Erik Lindecrantz (1727 – 1788), presented his own thesis, titled Cynographia in Latin. This work was one of the oldest in describing the species of an animal according to methods established by Linneo in his Methodus Demostrandi.

In 1756, Lindecrantz edited fragments of said thesis in Swedish, along with some additional information, titled Cynographia or description of the dog (new edition, 1962). It did not only include the first attempt to establish a simple breed classification, but also to carry out a description of the dog's smell sense, its skill to learn what its taught, its memory and safeguarding skill, all of these qualities which, from the start, were awarded to man and progressively were perfected in the dog by its owner.

The research on a larger scale began during the second half of the XVIII century, when the German zoologist Pallas (one of many foreign collaborators of Linneo, who researched mainly in Russia), and Buffon, a French collaborator, were both intrigued by the domestic dog ancestry. On the Mid XIX Century, when the Egyptian archaeological discoveries in which dogs were represented were of great diffusion, and after having identified the remains of dogs in the dwellings of the Swiss lakes, research was seriously carried out in that specialty.

Even though there has been a lot of research carried out in a couple of centuries, science has not been able to give us a conclusive answer to the question of how the domestic dog was created. However, there is no doubt about its chronological classification. On the whole, it is agreed that, as in the wolf, fox and jackal's cases, it belongs to the family of the modern dog, Canidae.

However, opinions differs when it is concerns to determine when, where, and from what rhizome or medullar origin the domestic dog originates from; the claimed different hypothesis can be reduced to three possibilities:

  • It descends from the wolf;
  • It descends from the jackal;

It descends from an extinct wild dog species, whose remains have still not been discovered.

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