The relationship between Homo Sapiens and Canis Familiaris predates the written word. Dogs are found in almost every culture, useful for herding, transportation, protection, and even companionship/assistance for the “differently abled” is what I think is the current politically correct term for the disabled.
Cats are also a constant part of human culture, useful for killing rodents. But it is dogs that are on my mind.
One of the things that I think, without any real scientific basis to justify, is that like horses and people, dogs are a communal animal, and while we don’t see random groups of horses and dogs just hanging out, the trio of human/horse/dog works out well.
The horse provides transportation and labor. The man and dog provide protection and food. Of course the requirement that all domestic animals be “pack animals” is fairly well established, it makes sense that certain combinations of animals would be more robust than others. Of course some animals are group animals, but not domesticated like baboons, and chimpanzees, so clearly there is something more to domestication than just being a group animal with a reasonably quick birth to sexual maturity timeline.
But, dogs have been with us, and unlike the horse that is becoming more and more the privilege of a few, the dog has been bred up and down to accommodate nearly every household size and space. Tea cups to Great Danes, there’s something in between that will match a human for temperament, personality, and size.
And without much scientific backing at all, I find that animals are a fairly good judge of character. Maybe it has to do with the mirror neurons allowing dogs to feel empathy, or understand emotional context, I don’t rightly know, but I do know that if a dog likes someone odds are they aren’t a completely rotten human being.
Kinda wondering where the next several thousand years of human history takes the human dog relationship. To the stars? Other planets?