Ancient Egyptian god or Loveable Hound?

Ancient Egyptian god or Loveable Hound?

It’s hard to believe your loveable hound was possibly once a revered god in ancient times, especially when you’ve just caught them chewing on your favorite sneakers!

But drool-covered shoes aside, the fact is, dogs have been around for so long they’ve played many roles throughout history, including revered symbols of gods, guardians and even workers.

So where did the relationship between dogs and humans start? To find out, we must take a dog walk through history; grab your dog leads, everyone!

How the History of Dogs and Humans Began

Most research indicates that the domestication of dogs occurred between 15,000 to 30,000 years ago. Scientists speculated this process happened when gray wolves decided it was beneficial to stay near early hunter-gatherers searching for food scraps. Sound familiar? You only have to glance down at the dinner table to see those puppy-dog eyes willing you to hand over a tasty treat!  

But back to the facts, as a result, an evolutionary relationship developed between man and wolf, which eventually led to the different breeds of dogs we know today. Okay, maybe there was slightly more to it than that, but that’s the connection in a proverbial snack-sized dog bone!

Facts About Dogs Throughout History

Below are four interesting facts about the long-standing relationship between dogs and humans:

  •  Ancient Egyptians worshipped Anubis, who was depicted as a jackal-like creature.
  • The Greeks and Romans also worshipped gods in the form of dogs.
  • During ancient times, dogs were used as guardians of property, livestock, people, and the underworld (Roman and Greek Mythology).
  • The first recorded use of a dog for working purposes was by an Inuit tribe who used them to pull sleds 4,000 years ago.
  • During World War I, approximately 20,000 dogs served alongside humans as messengers or medical aid workers on both sides of battle lines.

 Dogs and Humans Today

Today there are many ways that dogs are employed to help us with our day-to-day life, such as:

  1.  Assistance animals to help those with physical impairments
  2. Search and rescue dogs trained to sniff out and find people lost in the wild
  3. Law enforcement dogs that protect citizens by tracking down criminals or narcotics;
  4. Therapy dogs that provide comfort to sick, injured or traumatized individuals.

The Most Ancient Dog Known to Man

The Saluki is widely accepted as the most ancient of all dog breeds. Thought to have originated in the Fertile Crescent, this majestic and loyal breed has been deeply entwined with humans for centuries.

The Egyptians prized these beautiful dogs for their graceful nature and extraordinary hunting talents, as evidenced by carvings discovered in tombs from 4,000 BCE!

This majestic dog has four key attributes that made them the hound of choice for Egyptian pharaohs.  

  •  A keen sense of smell
  • Incredible sight
  • Remarkable speed and endurance,
  • An obedient nature.

The bond between these dogs and their owners was considered sacred, and it is said that the Egyptian Pharaohs would not go hunting without their Salukis by their side! Today, Salukis are still beloved family pets and show dogs, and they continue to be prized for their athleticism and intelligence. Those ancient Pharaohs would be proud!

The Final Woof

No matter how long they have been domesticated, it is clear that our relationship with dogs has come a long way since early hunter-gatherers first encountered them. So while you may not be offering incense to your sneaker-chewing hound, you know he’s still number one on your list for treats and cuddles, which of course, makes him the top hound in our book!

Image by Anja Kiefer from Pixabay