Why is Dog Man’s best Friend?

Posted by Zsolt in Dogs

To answer that question, first we have to look into how and why dogs became man’s best friend in ancient times several thousands of years ago.

Dog with a BoyIn ancient times dogs and humans both had to overcome the challenges of finding food and keeping warm to stay alive. Man probably had an advantage because he discovered how to harness the warmth of fire and being omnivorous he could gather food as well as hunt. On the other hand dogs’ only source of food was hunting because they were predators.

When the weather got really tough, freezing temperatures drove dogs close to humans as they had fire to keep them warm. Even if early dogs looked at man as food they quickly learned that they could not keep the fire alive, they needed people to do that. Also, the pray that man caught for food contained parts, for example bones, that were indigestible for humans, but dogs ate them with pleasure.

As humans got used to having dogs around they must have noticed dogs’ outstanding abilities and started using them in their hunting quests. This cooperation seems to have benefited both races greatly.

The relationship of man and dog has been getting closer ever since. Despite the fact that successful hunting is not a question of life or death anymore as food is pretty much abundant in the developed world, we have kept dogs as our companions because of their

  • loyalty
  • unmatched senses
  • intelligence
  • and unconditional love

No other animal can give us all that in one package

A short story of Heidi, a Jack Russell Terrier from Scotland illustrates the loyalty of dogs to their masters perfectly. In 2001, Heidi scrambled down a 500 foot drop to get to her owner, Graham Snell. Snell had fallen off the cliff while hiking and died instantly. Heidi stayed by her master’s side without food and shelter and would not move until rescue teams finally found them two days later.

Dogs’ sense of smell has been brought to perfection by evolution. We rely on it so much that evidence provided by dogs can decide the outcome of a trial.

Even our high-tech devices and advanced engineering skills have not been able to replace dogs. We utilize their intelligence in countless ways today. We rely on them as guide dogs for the blind, assistants for the disabled and deaf, rescue workers in natural catastrophes, watchdogs around the home and investigators at crime scenes, just to mention a few. The people who are helped by dogs can be totally dependent on their four legged assistants as there is no other creature or machine that could ensure the same quality of life for them.

The ultimate answer to our question, why dog is man’s best friend, is unconditional love. Every dog owner knows that all the love you put in, a dog will give you back ten-fold. But the true beauty of unconditional love is that no matter, how you feel, how you look, how bad a day you had your dog will still love you. This kind of love is very rare among humans and other animals. This is why dog is man’s best friend.

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