All domestic dogs, from the tiniest Chihuahua to the one of the largest dog breeds, the mastiff, are a subspecies of the grey wolf. Fossils that have been studied show that wolves were becoming domesticated approximately 33,000 years ago. While it seems like there are plenty of dogs of all sizes we still have people today trying to create new breeds of dogs, created for the way they look or to combine certain traits.
Since the wolves started following humans around for scraps thousands of years ago, people have been trying to domesticate them and mold them into the pets they want them to be. Dogs have been bred to be tall and short, hunt particular animals and even to be hypoallergenic.
While some dogs do have less dander than others, which is what humans are usually allergic to, there are no dogs that actually fall into the category of hypoallergenic dog breeds in the truest sense of the word. Unfortunately in some cases this selective breeding has lead to genetic disorders being passed through to other generations. Some argue that allowing natural selection would be much healthier for all dogs in general.
We also seem to have a generation of people who think their dogs are friends instead of pets. While this is not a bad thing, it is wise to keep in mind the natural behavior of canines. Dogs need to be able to interact with a pack leader and if you do not make it clear that this is you, the dog will take charge which will lead to all sorts of problems.
Intelligent dogs will figure out very quickly how to get what they want and how to manage you, if you don’t take the lead first.This can be a huge problem if you happen to have a large breed dog. The larger breeds can easily grow to be over 200 pounds, with one Mastiff clocking in at over 300 pounds. With a dog this large, being in control is a must or the dog may hurt someone.
Much like species of other rare animals, some breeds of dogs are in danger of becoming extinct. The Stabyhoun which hails from the Netherlands is thought to have numbers as low as 4,000. Extreme measures are taken to insure that no inbreeding occurs and only small populations of this breed are found outside of the Netherlands.
While some of the breeding taking place today will ensure a healthy genetic line, it is good to remember that natural selection takes place for a reason. With natural selection and a healthy environment our canine friends will grow to be stronger, healthier and happier than ever before.