The development of the dog
My name is Klara Sevenich. I'm in Mrs Kern's form 10a. I would like to talk about the origin of the dog.
The development of the dog started with the wolves. They hunt and live in big packs of about 15-20 animals. Their main prey are hooved animals, for example moose or buffalo. Wolves lived all over Europe but in Western and Central Europe they are now nearly extinct. The biggest wolves live in the forest zones of Alaska, Latvia, Canada and Russia. Their shoulder height is 85 cm and they weigh about 80kg. The smallest wolves live in the Orient. They weigh only 20 kg. Wolves are very famous because they are often in myths or stories, for example "Little Red Riding Hood" or "Romulus and Remus".
In the past people thought that the dog was a separate family. However they then thought that either the dog had descended from the fox because the humans could tame it very easily or from the jackal because it often came to the humans. However neither idea could be right because the fox has too little likeness and the jackal is an enemy of the dog. A few years later scientists discovered that the dog descended from the wolf. They saw that the difference between the dog and the wolf is only 0.02%. So the dog descended neither from the jackal nor from the fox.
Today archeologists say that people started to tame the wolf about 15,000 years ago. Molecular biologists say that the Neanderthal started to tame the wolf about 135,000 years ago because in this time the humans lived in South Africa but the wolves lived in cold countries like Alaska and Latvia. So the Neanderthal must have started to tame the wolf because they lived in cold countries too. Early man tamed the wolf because he needed the fur and meat to survive. However he also needed the wolf as a protection from other wild animal, to hunt together, and as a friend or a companion.
There are some differences between the wolf and the dog. Wolves have offspring once a year and dogs twice a year. Wolves put their hindpaw into print of the forepaw, for which reason it looks like the track of one animal although it may be a whole pack. Dogs put the hindpaws between the forepaws. Another difference is that wolves hold their tail lowered and many dogs upward or curled.
Today dogs are still carnivores but also good friends. Little dogs like the "Yorkshire Terrier" live longer than big dogs like the "Great Dane". "Yorkshire Terriers" can become 16 years old but "Great Danes" usually only 9 years. However the oldest Great Dane became 29 years old, that's about 156 human years. Dogs are the oldest pets but also the most faithful animals.
Where would we be without the dog? We need guide dogs for the blind and they save lives in case of fire, alanche, earth quake and in the water.