July 11, 2023
Before you start thinking of getting a dog, have you ever thought why dogs tend to be the best pals? Why people prefer dogs as pets compared to so many other animals? Well, the answer lies in the bondage of dogs with humans since ages. Do you know how a sad tiger looks like? Or a happy rabbit? No, I guess. But, when it comes to dogs, you actually understand its language when it is happy or sad, tired, or scared. We humans actually speak dog language better than we think. Once we start living with a dog, we can understand what they want to convey. We can easily differentiate a menacing growl from a nervous yip or a joyful welcoming bark from the one that tells someone to get lost. We communicate in that language without even learning it. This is because we have grown up in a world where we are surrounded by dogs. In 2003, a study conducted by Odendaal revealed that when humans show affecting to a dog, the body releases oxytocin, a hormone that is associated with affection, bonding, and happiness.
History of human-dog relationship
Humans always have shared a special kind of bond with dogs. We work with cows or horses, rear chickens and pigs, live with cats, pigeons, rabbits, or fish – but with dogs only we share such a special bond that we cannot disentangle ourselves from that relationship, even in bad times. We swirl our world with that of the dog’s just like two different sides of a coin. Once you get such a rare coin, you will never want to part with it. Nobody can exactly say the date when the relationship between a dog and the human started. The most ancient remains of dogs and humans interred together dates to 14,000 years back, but some sources say that it could be twice than that. In fact, our very own epic, Mahabharata, mentions dogs accompanying kings during their hunting spree or even Dharma took the guise of a dog while accompanying the five Pandavas on their journey to heaven. However, one thing is certain – if we in the ancient times as well had chosen to be buried with dogs, then the relationship must have been a special one!
Do humans and dogs share the same DNA?
Dogs are said to be descendants of wolves, sharing approximately ninety-nine percent of their mitochondrial DNA, which is passed down by the mother alone, making the two species almost indistinguishable. However, there are a few genetic scraps that call for a powerful difference. For instance, scientists have found that the chromosome six, having the three genes that form the hyper-sociability code are on exactly the same spot as that of similar genes linked in humans. Though there is no definite evidence of human and dog chromosome having similar DNA codes, but one thing is for sure, whenever a cold nose presses you or a loving pair of eyes gazes at you for affection, you simply cannot resist but surrender! We are simply smitten!
Origin of the dog language in human dictionary
Being love-drunk, humans got the name, “puppy” from the French poupée- which means doll or an object we shower irrational affection. Even our fairy tales and folklores are populated by dogs. The Welsh tells the story of the faithful Gelert, a hound, who had saved the prince’s baby from a bad wolf! The Africans has a tale of Rukuba, who gave us the gift of fire. Indian tales are full of dogs, which date back to the ancient Mahabharata times. Even in England, aristocrats used to include dogs in their family portraits. We have also seen some eccentric wealthy people including their pet dogs in the will. Today, the world has more than 900 million dogs, of which the domestic species, i.e. Canis lupus familiarisis subdivided into more than a hundred breeds, selected on the basis of their temperament, size, cuteness, or color.