Returning to your house after a long day of work, suddenly, you see a tail wagging in front of your eyes. After that, the beautiful creature, which is no other than your trusty dog, would begin to jump around and give his human slobbery kisses, wiping away all of the stresses and tiredness you have been suffering that day.
How has our relationship with dogs changed in modern times where technology devices such as smartphones are beginning to dominate? Have you ever wondered about that, and the origin of this inseparable bond between humans and dogs?
This article will give you a glance at the development of the relationship between humans and dogs, especially in this modern era, but, first and foremost, let’s have a look at the beginning.
Read Do dogs actually love us? for extra information about that close bond.
How Has Our Relationship With Dogs Changed In Modern Times?
More than 30,000 years ago, our ancestors domesticated their first animals – wolves – long before doing the same with ruminants and horses. During those times, the dogs would help hunter-gatherers hunt other animals in exchange for shelter and protection from larger predators. Over 1,000 years later, they gradually became the dogs that we know and pet today.
Evidence of the long-lasting bond between humans and dogs was found in different parts of the world. For example, there is an over-14,000-year-old burial site located in Germany, which contains a disabled dog buried between a man and a woman, implying that the couple loved their four-legged companion as it was their irreplaceable part.
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However, during the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, our attitudes towards dogs changed. During the time, pets and owners were regarded as “companion animals” and “caretakers”, respectively. This means that many people began to treat their four-legged friends as family members.
How About Today?
As dogs become more involved with humans, the bond has changed a bit much today. The former can understand what is going on deep down inside their owners, and the latter would consider their dogs to be the best of friends.
Furthermore, nowadays, dogs also form strong relationships with humans in various careers.
For example, tough and trustworthy German Shepherds are usually the first choices when it comes to creating dependable K-9 units in the armed forces, which will then take part in missions in search of drugs or explosive ordinances, for instance. The bond even goes the extra mile when one is willing to sacrifice themselves to ensure that the other can safely return home.
Additionally, dogs also play vital roles in sheep-herding or warehouse-guarding where they accept the responsibility to keep our assets safe.
Last, but not least, during the so-called Covid-19 pandemic where lockdowns took place, humans, especially the elders, relied on their pets to get through those tough months. An example of this is the fact that 86% of UK residents, according to a survey conducted by the Waltham Foundation, felt that they had become more connected with their pets during the lockdowns. They said that their pets had helped them to maintain daily routines, as well as reduced their anxiety.
Also, during the lockdowns, enquiries from potential dog owners increased dramatically (the number of applications in the UK once reached 180% and 600% at its peak). This rush, however, led to several negative consequences – an increase in dog thieves and smuggling, or people getting scams and paying online deposits for animals they would never get.
Nonetheless, after governments declared “new-normal” statuses, dogs suddenly became burdens to many individuals, due to the high cost ($9,000 to $27,000) to look after one for their lifetime. This fact, alongside the instability in some countries’ economies, has led to thousands of dogs being abandoned on the streets.
Despite the aforementioned negatives, the bond between humans and dogs will get stronger and stronger, no matter what events take place. The sweet moments of dog waiting for owner, dog saying goodbye to owner are wonderful examples for that.
Hopefully, the above article has answered the questions “how has our relationship with dogs changed in modern times?”, and assist you in taking the best possible care of your canine friend.