Dogs (and wolves and foxes) are descended from a small, weasel-like mammal called Miacis which was a tree-dwelling creature and existed about 40 million years ago.
Dogs, as we know them today, first appeared in Eurasia about 13,000 years ago, and were probably a direct descendant of a small, grey wolf (not from the type of jackal or jackal/wolf as previously thought). The dingo is not native to Australia but was introduced thousands of years ago by the first immigrants. Dogs were first domesticated by cavemen in the Paleolithic age and gradually developed (or were bred) into the breeds known today.
We all know that dogs have been with Mankind since time immemorial. However, did you know that far from being passive watchers of humans, they have instead sometimes helped shape human history itself?
For example, they have served with distinction in several famous wars, as well as saved the lives of countless individuals under different circumstances. King Buck – a Labrador Retriever was the first dog to ever feature on a US postal stamp and Robot, another member of the Canine family discovered the cave paintings at Lascaux.
However, there is one documented case of a dog causing the extinction of a famous family. The last surviving member of the Bonaparte family Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte was killed when he tripped over his dog’s leash! This was as late as 1945. A noble family that once dominated Europe and had survived for around 200 years came to an end (albeit accidentally) because of a dog. Perhaps the dog shouldn’t have been on a leash
The Pekingese is one of the most famous dogs in China. Apparently, this is due to it’s resemblance to the Chinese Guardian Lions. According to ancient chinese tradition, these lions were held to have magical protective properties that made them common figures in front of temples and palaces.
The Pekingese, with it’s fur coat and unique fact bears a resemblance to the lions, and thus the lion’s properties were transferred on to the dog as well. Also called “Foo Dogs” or Lion dogs, they were said to be guardian spirits.
For over 2000 years, they were held to be sacred by the Chinese emperors and were thus accorded special privileges.
Pekingese dogs are extremely childlike, thus enforcing their status as toy dogs. However, they are very protective of the person whom they consider to be their master. Their behavior may be likened to a dog that doesn’t quite realize that it’s a dog and doesn’t want the same rules to apply!
A left over trait from it’s history in the Chinese palace maybe?