Unlike any history you've ever read, the dog did not evolve, it is the only animal that came to us already domesticated, genetically programmed to serve mankind.
DOGS: THE CREATION-EVOLUTION MYSTERY
First let's do away with the bulging bundle of theories about the creation or evolutionary origin of the species we know as dog.
There is no archaeological evidence that any of the first age wolf populations have any genetic/DNA connection to dogs. To further confound both scientists and theorists, the interbreeding of dog and wolf population "over at least the last 10,000 years, has blurred the genetic signatures and confounded efforts of researchers at pinpointing the origins of dogs." Larson G (2012). "Rethinking dog domestication by integrating genetics, archeology, and biogeography".
So my creation-evolution-genetic question is, "What makes dogs different from every other species that serves mankind?"
First, a little genetic background. Scholars tell us that all dogs descended from the wolf. (re-read the second paragraph and scoff at the scholars.) That is why dogs are genetically cataloged as genus canis lupus familiaris. You might be thinking "what about domestic cats?" or horses, or perhaps elephants. For many animal lovers they run a close second in service to mankind but they fall short in many ways.
Try hitching a cat to a cart… Horses and elephants have served man for centuries but unchained, they are gone with the speed of a gazelle! No species on the planet chooses the company of man except the dog. Not one. Scientists don't talk about that because they have no explanation. Neither do I but let's look at what we do know. (Cat lovers, you know it is all about the easy food and easy living.)
The dog as we know it joined up with man over 15,000 years ago. China was the first to domesticate and keep dogs as pets. From the Arctic to China to West Africa, dogs are still eaten. Even a rabies scare didn't slow down the dog meat market which is not exactly a claim to fame for humanity. But think about this - even if your family dog knew that people eat dogs and that he could be next, it is unlikely he would desert you.
Are you beginning to understand something that is so BIG it's hard to get a hold on it?
Dog meat has been a source of food since the time of Confucius, and possibly even before. Dogs are still eaten in the Orient and Polar regions and prior to this century, by Native Americans. That is not coincidence. Archaeologists have uncovered (pun intended) evidence that Asian people migrated out of Mongolia into Russia, crossed over the land bridge into Alaska, then Canada, and following the sun, moved on down into what is now the United States. The substantial physical evidence that Native Americans are descended from those early Asian people explains why the First Americans kept dogs as hunting companions, children's pets, and when starving, as food.
So get over the shock that human beings eat their dogs. The sit-down-and-think thing is that dogs stayed with humans!!! Eskimo, Asian, Polynesian; doesn't matter, dogs are inextricably bonded to humans. They don't need us as much as we need them. Dogs can hunt or scavenge in order to survive. They do it every day in back alleys, suburbia, and in the few prairies and woodlands we have preserved.
So why did dog come to us and more to the point - why does he stay? No other species on the planet would choose to live with a mortal enemy!
Surely you've heard that pigs are as intelligent than dogs. Discovery.com states "Pigs can often outsmart dogs and are on about the same intellectual level as our closest living relatives, chimpanzees…" Most dog owners would refute that ridiculous TV show shocker but let's think a little deeper. If pigs are smarter than dogs, they must know we eat them. Is that why pigs refuse to be our best friend? Chimps? Indeed, they are intelligent enough to know what we do to them in laboratories and that we give them life sentences in zoos. Monkeys and Great Apes would never willingly stay with us.
If not fed, every species on the planet will absolutely, without a second thought, desert us if given the opportunity. All but one. Your dog will starve right along with you. Are we on to something here?
Absolutely! Whether you ascribe to Evolution or Creation, of all the species on the planet, only dogs are born with the uncanny desire to bond with and to serve mankind. Think about that. We humans betray and even murder each other over a trifle. Dogs are different.
Only the dog is superbly, unchangingly loyal to the person they love. Only the dog will face heavy artillery, bombs and imminent death and even when un-tethered, he will not desert his human partner.
Beat him, starve him, ignore him. The dog is still there to comfort his human, to kiss the hand that just beat him, to travel a thousand miles to find his person, and in the end, to lay by the coffin or on the grave of his master.
Dogs are "different" than any other species. Dog lovers know that and we talk about it amongst ourselves. Now tell someone you know. But before you do, be sure you read How Dogs Changed Human Evolution