Dogs are the perennial favourites when it comes to keeping animals as pets. Always the first choice in a long list of animals that humans welcome into their homes, dogs are known to be loyal and faithful to humans under any circumstances. If you are looking for an animal that is extremely responsive to the love and care that you give it, then you will find dogs on the top of that pile, always ready to give you back the love you shower on it.

Dogs are a direct descendant of the Grey Wolf, a species that has existed since humans have been living in caves. Over time, the species has evolved and humans have put in their two bits using genetic science to create specific breeds and perfect them over the years. Today, dogs continue to be one of the most common pets we have in our homes, providing us with a sense of security as well as with companionship and more.

The Domestication Process

First things first, understanding how dogs came about being has a lot more to do with the wolf and its feeding habits, than with anything else. Although it is said that the genes of dogs and wolves split apart into two distinct lines about 100,000 years ago, scientific evidence only shows concrete proof for until about 33,000 years ago. While human beings began their hunting and gathering phase, it is assumed that dogs would often come along for the ride. This wasn't due to their friendliness to humans, but because of the fact that there would be food.

Dogs quickly realised that human beings would throw away bones and scraps that they couldn't eat. As a result, dogs would get a free meal without having to work too hard for it or even put their lives at it. It is believed that this relationship developed into a mutually beneficial contract of sorts, with dogs providing humans of an early warning system by barking at any intruders, human or animal, near the human settlement. Thus, the practice of feeding dogs and getting security from them, in exchange, became a regular feature.

Getting a Dog for Your Home

It's not been more than a few hundred years that dogs have been classified based on their appearance and characteristics. Breeds are human's way of selectively breeding a particular kind of dog until certain characteristics have become more prominent than others. Their senses and capabilities have helped us classify them in various categories, allowing us to choose on the basis of the purpose we want them for. Do we need a dog to herd cattle or pull a sledge or just be a partner to a little child? Every activity has a specific dog that does it well and picking one for your own home has to be based on that aspect.

While ancient tribes like the Apache and the Navajo used dogs as their load-bearing animals when migrating from one place to another, others have used them as hunting aids for centuries. Choosing your dog, for your home, depends on the amount of time you are going to spend with the animal. Dogs cannot be left alone at a young age so when you get one, you need to give it a lot of love and care. The thicker a dog's coat is, the more attention it would need. Taking care of your dog is a process that children cannot do alone and at some point of time, adults will have to get involved, especially when it comes to taking them to the veterinarian.

Besides the immunization shots and the de-worm medication, you need to give your dog regular baths and along with baths, it needs a lot of brushing. The thicker the coat, the more often you will need to brush your dog. Not only does your dog need to be brushed or combed to get rid of its loose hair and matted hair, you also massage it with your brushing action and allow the dog to release certain chemicals that aid fur growth and lustre.

Training your dog is very important, especially if it is big in size, because anti-social dogs or dogs that don't listen to commands can become quite a handful when outside or in the company of other people or dogs. Your animal also needs a lot of regular walks, at least twice a day if not more. This allows your dog to get a lot of exercise and, in the end, prevents it from putting on too much weight and becoming unhealthy.

As time goes on, your animal will become like you, wake up when you do, eat when you do and live where you do. So make sure that you take very good care of this animal because a dog is always going to be your best friend.

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