Dogs have been human’s best and most loyal friends for a long time; in fact, long before documented history. It is estimated that humans and dogs have happily lived together for more than 2,000 years. However, there is historical evidence that the process of dog domestication initiated around 10,000 to 30,000 years ago. Back then, a group of wolves came into contact with hunter-gatherers and started to live along with humans. Over time, through evolutionary changes, wolves evolved physically and psychologically to become the cute and friendly pet dog, as we know today.
Most of the popular dog breeds that you come across today emerged between the 18th and 19th centuries, including the famous Boxer dog and German Shepherd. However, there are a few breeds that have survived hundreds and thousands of years. Over the years, not only have these dog breeds evolved, but they have also witnessed human evolution. In the post below, you will learn about the seven oldest dog breeds. Though there are evolutionary changes, these breeds have managed to maintain some of their original features. Let’s check them out!
One of the most ancient known dog breeds is the Afghan Hound. While there is a lack of information about this breed’s exact origin, it is estimated that the Afghan Hound is an 8,000 years old breed. Initially, this dog breed was used for hunting in the mountainous terrains of Afghanistan.
As we know the Afghan Hound today, the breed was brought to England in the 1800s, and later during 1926, it was brought to the US. Coming from the cold, rugged regions of Afghanistan, the breed is distinguished by its fine, and silky thick coat. As much as they enjoy their independence, they can make a great pet for any family.
Another ancient dog breed is the Akita Inu. The breed originated from Japan, but just like the Afghan Hound, the exact date of origin of Akia Inu remains unknown. However, there is historical evidence that suggests that the ancestors of this breed, Matagi-Inu were alive between 8,000 B.C and 200 B.C. This oldest breed of dog is known for being loyal, smart, and affectionate. Moreover, these ancient dogs make brilliant guard dogs that often assert their dominance when among dogs of other breeds.
Alaskan Malamute, an excellent sled dog too has a long history. With an East-Asian origin, Alaskan Malamute, just like its cousins the Siberian Husky and the Alaskan Husky are well adapted to living in colder regions. The ability to survive in the cold comes from its double-layered coat with an undercoat that is as thick as two inches. Historically used as a sled dog, Alaskan Malamute is now becoming increasingly popular as a family dog. Known for its independence, high-intelligence, and high need for outdoor adventures, the ancient Malamute can be a perfect addition to your family. However, if you have smaller pets or children at home, your Malamute might need a little more training on how to be around them.
Coming from the Congo Basin, the Basenji is one of the most ancient dog breeds. Its history can be dated back to 6,000 B.C., and it is believed to be the hunting dog often depicted in the cave paintings in Libya at around the same time. However, the exact date of origin is still not known. One of the most striking features of this breed that differentiates it from all other dog breeds is the “barkless” behavior. While Basenji barks lesser than other breeds of dogs, they are known for making other sounds, including whining, screaming, and growling.
The highly energetic breed requires a lot of activity and often ends up with destruction when left with periods of inactivity.
Chow Chow, the basal breed originates from Northern China and makes of the most distinctive dog breeds known today. Its history can be dated back to 2,000 to 3,000 years ago, and it is believed that the breed migrated from Northern China to Mongolia and later to other parts of the world.
With a sturdy built and thick fur around its neck, Chow Chow gives a lion’s appearance. But the fierce-looking dog is one of the most loyal friends that you can have. This dog breed is extremely particular about their owners and needs a lot of stimulation to survive.
Over 2,500 years ago, somewhere in the Himalayan Mountains of Tibet, a breed of dogs emerged known as the Tibetan Spaniel. Back then, this dog breed was used as a monastery dogs because of their excellent watchdog skills. Their keen eyesight allows them to see long distances and alter the monks in case of a threat. But they are not just fantastic watchdogs but a great company to have around.
There is one dog breed that we know for sure, is ancient. And that is Saluki. It is one of the dog breeds that are least different from the wolves genetically. The scientific data proves that this breed is one of the earliest evolving sighthounds that have lived with man. The Guinness Book of World Record recognizes Saluki as the world’s oldest dog breed. Known for its speed, strength, and endurance, Salukis have been used for hunting. Modern Saluki still shares the same characteristics as their ancestors and are great at chasing fast-paced animals, including squirrels, deer, and raccoons.
Humankind shares a unique bond with dogs. From being an amazing company to a loyal friend, dogs often replace the need to be around other humans but this relationship is not new. Our ancestors have been around dogs (and their ancestors) long before the recorded history; and creatures who have been together for thousands of years are likely to evolve together in years to come.
by Bobby J Davidson || You can’t buy love, but you can rescue it™ .
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