The relationship between a man and his dog
What is it about the relationship between a man and his dog that’s so special? This relationship has gone through several historical changes, although there is evidence to suggest that the bond between dogs and their owners has a genetic basis. With this in mind, how can dogs have a positive effect on people, what are some famous dog and owner pairings, and how can you strengthen the relationship between you and your dog with the right supplies?
Historical changes experienced by this relationship
Historically, dogs have been viewed with a mixture of suspicion and celebration. In the Ancient world, opinions varied as to whether dogs were only useful for battle and intimidation, and whether they could work as house pets. The establishment of dogs as domesticated pets with a high place within the home only became stable in the 19th century, with Victorians breeding dogs in various ways, and also developing new ways to present and integrate dogs into the family. The Victorians also created what we now know of as the dog show as a way of showing off pets.
There is some evidence to suggest, though, that mankind is genetically predisposed towards forming bonds with animals. The discovery of archaeological sites where humans and small dog skeletons have been buried together suggests that early man formed strong relationships with animals, which may have been directly related to hunting and creating companions. Other research indicates that dogs and humans connect through similar neural pathways to those between parents and children.
Positivities of the relationship
Today, the relationship between man and dog, and dogs and humans more generally, can be positive in a number of ways. Dogs can help with exercise and mood, and are particularly beneficial to elderly people in terms of building confidence and improving physical health. Having a dog can similarly help to fight the symptoms of depression and anxiety, and can provide valuable companionship to those living alone or with illnesses.
The famous human-dog duos
It’s also worth noting the many dogs that have come to be closely associated with their owners, and that have even taken on some feats of their own. Some current examples include television presenter Paul O’Grady and his dog Buster, the Queen and her Welsh corgis, and Barack Obama’s Portuguese water dog Bo. In the past few decades, some of the more helpful dogs to have strengthened their usefulness to man include Pickles, the dog that dug up the Jules Rimet trophy.
What dog owners must do
Anyone that has a dog and wants to make the most of activities, training, and exercises should make sure that they check with a vet over special diets and allergies, while taking the time to attend paid training classes. Specialist equipment like night-time collars, dog whistles, and slip leads can also be found through companies like Forelock & Load, all of which can lead to a stronger relationship between you and your animal.
Jane is the current owner of a Labrador puppy, and likes to write about the history of and best ways to look after animals. She recommends using Forelock & Load, for dog supplies, and countryside supplies in general.