House Dogs and Small Breeds ****
Many characteristics of the behavior of today's domesticdog, especially when he familiarizes with other , date back to the time when they used to live in packs of wolves. This fact helps explain why the domestic dog respects the authority of its human master. The master has become the replacement of the leader of the pack. The dog feels safe in the role of a subordinate and only wants to gain the approval of the leader. As time went by, made progress, learned how to plow the fields, related with other animals and domesticated animals that up until that moment had not been domesticated, like the horse, the camel, etc.
As the centuries advanced, man kept on discovering new things and there came a time -- once he had domesticated goats, pigs, cows, etc. -- that he became a shepherd. The dog, man's faithful companion, was trained to help him in this labor, and with time the canine became a very experimented helper. Plus, the dog had certain advantages which man has never had: the dog was quick, had a keen sense of smell, rarely got tired and had a good sense of hearing. Over the years, humans have demanded more from, for this reason they are so many different kinds of breeds. This is explained by the great interest that humans have always had in improving, or better said, adapting the breeds to our needs. This has resulted in many good specimens and it has also ruined some breeds that had maintained their purity for many centuries.
Currently there are around 330 official breeds which are recognized by the FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale), which is the international organism that most countries are associated to.
Among the ones who have undoubtedly contributed more decisively to the conservation of breeds and their adaptation to the environment are the hunters, who have always wanted to make sure that theirare adequately fit for each job. The thousands of years of civilization have transformed what was once a vital need in order to survive into a simple pastime for many people; for this reason, some aspects were introduced in different ways.
The canines, the animal family from which, wolves, foxes and jackals descend, started to evolve around 60 million years ago. The Canis Familiaris dog family can be traced all the way back to the Miacis, a climbing carnivore, which was similar to the weasel, which lived on Earth around 50 million years ago. However, the animal that is considered the direct predecessor is the Tomarctus, an animal which is similar to the fox and which appeared 35 million years later.
The tomarctus had disappeared towards the middle of the pleistocen era, more than a million years ago, and nowadays, it is commonly accepted that the closest relative to the dog is the wolf. In fact, it is believed that all the members of the Canis familiaris species are descendants of wolves. They are both sociable and have many characteristics in common. Towards the end of the paleolitical era and beginning of the neolitical era the first contact between man and dog took place. That occured at a primitive level and the first steps that were taken were more of friendship than of man's dominance;were treated like collaborators, as they helped with the hunting and kept watch of the caves where their human friends lived and slept.