Long Face Dog – And Fascinating Facts About Dog Head Shape
The first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “dog” is probably not a big fluffy puppy. Dogs are animals, and they have faces like other animals do too.
But what if there was another animal with a very similar appearance? What would it look like?
Well, it’s called a dog, but it doesn’t look exactly like one. There are different breeds of dogs, each with its own characteristics. Some have short fur while others have longer ones. Some are flat faced while others have round faces. They all share some common traits though: they’re all mammals!
What makes them mammals?
That’s easy enough to answer; they breathe air and eat meat (or at least they did until humans came along).
But why are they mammals?
Mammals are animals that live in the water, including fish and amphibians. You might think that these creatures wouldn’t qualify as mammals since they don’t breathe or eat anything other than water, but there’s a little bit more to it than that. There’s something called a “placenta” that mammals have. That’s an organ inside the mother’s womb where she grows and nurtures the young until they are ready to be born. Fish and amphibians don’t have this since water provides their offspring with everything they need.
Dogs have been around for about 30 million years, which means they’ve been here long before humans even existed. They were the first animals to be domesticated by humans too, although it’s not entirely sure exactly which event led to this.
The relationship between dogs and humans is a complex one that has continued for thousands of years up to the present day.
Among the earliest remains of dogs are those of the “eastern” and “western” types from Europe and China respectively. These are thought to be these oldest forms, with morphological similarities to what we know as “modern” dogs.
Perhaps the most recognizable of these early dogs are the ones found at the site at a place called Yubileinaya in Siberia. These “Yubileinaya” dogs were dated to thirty thousand years ago and had skulls that would be familiar to fans of modern day Siberian Huskies. While the Siberian Huskies themselves are a relatively new breed, only being around since the 1930s, these ancient canines are thought to be their direct ancestor.
We know that these dogs were domesticated by humans because they would have had little reason to congregate in such large groups without human influence. Some of the earliest evidence of this comes from a place called Eliseevichi in Russia, where there was a burial ground for these dogs, which were systematically buried around the settlement.
Apparently humans and dogs have been “burying their dead” together for a very long time.
On the other side of the world, the Chinese were also domesticating dogs for similar purposes. Dogs in china were initially used for herding and hunting, but over time they also became popular as pets among the aristocracy.
During the years of the Western Zhou Dynasty, it was quite fashionable among the elite to have small dog statues standing next to their thrones. These dogs were thought to be “mini-me’s” that would accompany their owners into the afterlife. Later on, during the years of the Han Dynasty, dogs were popular among all classes of society. They were bred not just for hunting but also for their meat and fur.
One of the most famous examples of an early dog breed comes from ancient Egypt. Dogs have been found in graves that suggest they have been domesticated for many years, but there is evidence that they were also used by hunters in much the same way as falcons were.
One of the more famous paintings in ancient Egypt comes from a place called the “Temple of Horus” at the site of Beka. This painting shows a man on horseback hunting wild bulls. The most remarkable thing about this painting is that alongside the man on horseback are four dogs. These dogs are a distinct breed with large heads and long legs.
Sources & references used in this article:
Dogs: A startling new understanding of canine origin, behavior & evolution by R Coppinger, L Coppinger – 2001 – books.google.com
Inside of a dog: What dogs see, smell, and know by A Horowitz – 2010 – books.google.com
Lakota woman by MC Dog, R Erdoes – 2014 – books.google.com
Dogs & Puppies: Step-by-step Instructions for 25 Different Dog Breeds by W Foster – 2004 – books.google.com
The hidden life of dogs by EM Thomas – 2010 – books.google.com
Dogs: a new understanding of canine origin, behavior and evolution by M Haddon – 2007 – National Geographic Books
So many doggone traits: mapping genetics of multiple phenotypes in the domestic dog by R Coppinger, L Coppinger – 2002 – books.google.com
A simple genetic architecture underlies morphological variation in dogs by M Rimbault, EA Ostrander – Human molecular genetics, 2012 – academic.oup.com