Opinions differ on the approximate time of domestication of dogs from gray wolves, but the window that scientists do agree on is somewhere between fifteen thousand to forty thousand years ago.
Brian Hare, director of the Duke University Canine Cognition Center reveals in the Smithsonian Magazine (August 15, 2018), “. . . the physical changes that appeared in dogs over time, including splotchy coats, curly tails, and floppy ears, follow a pattern of a process known as self-domestication. It’s what happens when the friendliest animals of a species somehow gain an advantage. Friendliness somehow drives these physical changes, which can begin to appear as visible byproducts of this selection in only a few generations.”
The relationship between dogs and humans began before agriculture and civilization began. You could say we all grew up together. In the early times dogs were never pets, they warned us, helped us find and kill food, and we became part of the same family.
A perfect example of this partnership is the Labrador Retriever. They were first known as St. John’s Dog or the lesser Newfoundland dog. Newfoundland and Labrador is north northeast of Maine and is the most easterly province of Canada.
Labrador Retrievers were first recognized by the Kennel Club in England in 1903. Fourteen years later the first lab was registered by the American Kennel Club (1917).
Beating out the poodle’s 22 year reign as the most popular dog in America, the Labrador is on a 28-year run as the most popular U.S. dog breed. There is no vote, the lab is simply the most registered dog. Actually, in popular voting Americans like their mixed breed, Humane Society family pet version. But the lab still comes in as the top breed, even in the popular vote.
The Labrador retriever is smart and ultra friendly. It’s protective and loves to run and play. – “Labs are Children covered in Fur”
The Labrador is the perfect hunting dog. It’s quiet, careful, and skillful. – “Labradors are Miracles with Paws”
My cousin and her husband moved to Pierce County last summer. Their condo was no place for Rufus, their yellow lab. Our youngest son and his family opened their hearts and for the first time in years had a new member of the family and, also for the first time, they have a dog-housebroken, too. I understand he sleeps through the Seahawks games just like the rest of us.
As a child I had a shepherd collie mix. If I had a dog today, it would be a Labrador retriever.
Cassandra Day, owner of Circle B Ranch in Graham, who raises and breeds labs as well as Olde English Bulldogges, loves their dogs and enjoys helping people select the perfect puppy for the perfect family.
“There comes a time when the bonding begins . . . When the pup meets your eyes with a resolute Gaze that says, simply, I will Trust you and do my Best for you all the days of my Life”