Evolution of Dogs? [timeline, History & Facts From 400,000 Bc]


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History of Dogs Timeline
400,000 BC – First Century

  • 400,000 YEARS AGO – Man and wolf share the same hunting ground and habitat, as indicated by evidence discovered at the site of Boxgrove, Kent, UK.
  • 14,000 YEARS AGO – Earliest evidence of domestic dog (a mandible), at Bonn-Oberkassel, Germany.
  • 12,000 YEARS AGO – Skeletons found at the Natufian site of Ein Mallaha, northern Israel, provide evidence that a puppy and human were buried cradled together.
  • 10,000 YEARS AGO – Dog-wolf hybrids in North America: remains are discovered at the Agate Basin site in Wyoming, USA.
  • 8500 YEARS AGO – Three dogs are deliberately buried: skeletons are discoved at Koster, Illinois, USA.
  • 8000 YEARS AGO – Dog remains dating from this time are found at Tocibara in Japan, alongside remains of the now-extinct Japanese wolf Canis lupus hodophilax.
  • c. 6000—1500 BC – Rock paintings at Tassili N’Ajjer, Algeria, depict some of the earliest known images of the dog in art.
  • c. 5000-1000 BC – The magnificent limestone ‘Statue of a Dog’ is made in Mesopotamia.
  • c. 2000-1000 BC – Distinctly different types of dog emerge, identifiable from artworks, including the greyhound type, mastiff type and small, short-legged dog.
  • c. 3468 BC – Fo-Hi, mythical founder of Chinese dynasties, extols the virtues of the ‘sleeve dog’, small enough to fit in a garment’s wide sleeve.
  • c. 2600 BC – Images of the dog-god Anubis are frequent in Egyptian funerary art of this time; dog burial is practised; dog mummies from this time have been found.
  • 1200 BC – Clay dog models depicting small, rotund dogs are made in the Basin of Mexico at Tlatilco.
  • 800 BC – The Chinese Book of Rites, one of the earliest known taxonomies of dogs, describes hunting dogs, guard dogs and edible dogs.
  • c. EIGHTH CENTURY BC – Homer writes the Odyssey, which tells of Odysseus’ faithful hound, Argus.
  • c. 771 BC – The story of Romulus and Remus, founders of the city of Rome, who were nurtured by a she-wolf.
  • c. 668-626 BC – King Assurbanipal of Assyria keeps large packs of formidable hunting dogs.
  • 350 BC – Aristotle (384-322 BC) writes his History of Animals, in which he describes different types of dog, including the Epirotic, the Laconian hound and the Molossian.

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History of Dogs Timeline
First Century — Fifteenth Century

  • 100 BC-AD 300 – Lifelike half-seated earthenware dogs are made by the Colima culture in Mexico.
  • AD 77 – Pliny the Elder (AD 23-79) writes his Natural History, including a chapter on dogs and their behaviour and characteristics.
  • AD 100 – Pompeii mosaics Dog on a Leash and Cave Canem are made.
  • AD 200 – A lifelike earthenware statue of a seated mastiff is made in China.
  • AD 476 – Fall of the Roman Empire in the West; a dark period ensues for dogs and art.
  • c. 490 – Clovis I, king of the Franks {c. 466-511), enforces laws protecting dogs, including one stating that a dog must be proved to have rabies before it can be put to death.
  • c. 727 – The St Hubert hound is named after St Hubert {c. 656-727), who developed the breed, the ancestor of the bloodhound.
  • c. 700-800 – Tradition of’blessing the hounds’ starts in France as priests come to the church doors to bless the noblemen waiting outside with their dogs.
  • c. 1001-1023 – According to a Norwegian tale, King Eystein (reigned 1001-1023) was run off his lands. He returned with troops and in disgust offered the people the choice of a dog or a slave to be their king. They chose the former and a dog called Saur took the throne for three years.
  • 1016 – In England, Canute enacts the Forest Laws: forests become royal hunting domains and all those living there fall under strict regulations concerning their dogs.
  • ELEVENTH CENTURY – In England, William the Conqueror (1028-1087) requires three toes to be amputated from any hound not from his pack and living in the vicinity of the royal forests.
  • 1066-82 – The Bayeux Tapestry depicting the Norman invasion of England includes some of the first embroidered dogs in art.
  • THIRTEENTH CENTURY – Louis IX of France (1215-1270), a great hunter, introduces the gaze hound (used for hunting gazelle) to Europe from the Holy Land.
  • 1388 – Jean, due de Berry (1340-1416) reputedly owns 1500 dogs.
  • c. 1389 – LeLivre de chasse, a hunting manual, is written by Gaston Phebus de Foix (1331-1391), giving detailed information on hunting and dogs.
  • c. 1406-13 – Spaniels are first mentioned in an English text, Master of the Game by Edward Plantagenet, 2nd Duke ofYork(i373-i4i5).
  • c. 1415 – Les Tres Riches Heures du due de Berry by the Limbourg brothers (active 1400-1416).
  • FIFTEENTH CENTURY – Louis XI of France (1423-1483) reputedly commissions a ruby-studded collar for his favourite hound.

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History of Dogs Timeline
Fifteenth Century – Nineteenth Century

  • 1434 – The ArnoIfini Marriage by Jan van Eyck (c. 1390-1441). The little griffon terrier is one of the earliest and most famous dogs in portraiture.
  • c. 1438-42 – The Vision of St Eustachius by Antonio Pisanello (1395-1455) includes several different types of dog, exquisitely rendered.
  • 1465-1474 – Andrea Mantegna (1431-1506) paints Rubino, the favourite dog of Ludovico II Gonzaga of Mantua, sitting under its master’s chair.
  • 1468 – An inventory of the possessions of military leader Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta (1417-1468) reveals that he owned numerous valuable dog collars studded with silver.
  • FIFTEENTH CENTURY – Charles VIII of France (1470-1498) reputedly allows his favourite hunting dogs to sleep in his bed.
  • c. 1495 – Satyr Mourning Over a Nymph by Piero di Cosimo (c. 1462-1521), which features one of the loveliest dogs in the art of the Renaissance.
  • END OF FIFTEENTH CENTURY – Spanish conquistadors introduce their fierce mastiffs and greyhounds to the Americas.
  • c. 1502 – Vision of St Augustine by Vittore Carpaccio (c. 1460/65-1523/26) depicts the sage dog of religious art.
  • SIXTEENTH CENTURY – Henry VIII of England (1491-1547) sends 400 mastiffs to Charles V of Spain (1500-1558) to aid in the war against France.
  • c. 1525-30 – Federico II Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua by Titian (c. 1488-1576), the master of dog painting.
  • 1538 (OR BEFORE) – Venus ofUrbino by Titian, with the spaniel type here in a symbolic role.
  • c. 1548-50 – Two Hunting Dogs Tied to a Tree Stump by Jacopo Bassano (c. 1510-1592), one of the first paintings with dogs as the subject.
  • 1570 – Johannes Caius (1533-1603) publishes De Canibus Britannicus, the first work solely on dogs.
  • 1572 – At the Battle of Hermigny, a pug saves the life of William I of Orange (1533-1584) by raising the alarm. Pugs become the official dog of the House of Orange, and wear an orange ribbon on their collars.
  • 1576 – Abraham Flemming(r. 1552-1607) publishes the English translation of Johannes Caius’s work, calling it Of English Dogges.
  • 1576 – Hare coursing, a sport in which greyhounds (and similar hounds) chase a hare, not necessarily with the aim of killing it, becomes popular in Europe. The 4th Duke of Norfolk (1558-1603) later draws up rules for coursing.
  • 1576 – George Turberville (c. 1540-1597) publishes The Noble Arte of Venerie or Hunting.
  • BY 1591 – Packs of hounds are kept to hunt fox exclusively. The specialized foxhound starts to develop.
  • MID-SEVENTEENTH CENTURY – English monarchs Charles I (1600-1649) and Charles II (1630-1685) are devoted to small spaniel-type dogs, later named the King Charles spaniel.
  • c. 1625 – A Dog Belonging to the Aldovrandi Family by Guercino (1591-1666), one of the finest dog paintings of the seventeenth century.
  • c. 1634-35 – James Stuart, 4th Duke of Lennox and 1st Duke of Richmond by Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641), a master of painting dogs.
  • c. 1650 – The pointer type of dog, descended from Spanish stock, and a recognizable type, starts to appear in England, and is used with greyhounds for coursing.
  • c. 1650-52 – A Watchdog Chained to his Kennel by Paulus Potter (1625-1654), an extraordinary image of a dog, painted with tremendous realism, so that it appears to be a living, breathing creature.
  • 1664 – Robert Boyle and Robert Hooke investigate the process of respiration by performing vivisection on a dog. Hooke later declares ‘never again’, owing to the suffering inflicted on the animal.
  • c. 1671-72 – Amsterdam Dog Market by Abraham Hondius (c. 1631-1691), an unusual image, depicting a wide variety of dogs and collars.
  • 1688 William III of Orange (1650-1702) and Mary (1662-1694) take their pugs with them when they travel to England to ascend the throne.
  • 1749 – Self-Portrait by William Hogarth (1697-1764) depicts the artist with his beloved pug called Trump. Hogarth also owned a pug called Pug.
  • 1752 – Bitch Nursing her Puppies by Jean-Baptiste Oudry (1686-1755), a groundbreaking work showing an intimate, maternal moment, the dog being invested with clearly human emotion.
  • 1753 – Georges-Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon (1707-1788), publishes Histoire naturelle, in which he discusses his theories on the evolution of dogs, and other species.
  • FROM 1758 – George Washington (1732-1799) keeps detailed records of his prize foxhounds.
  • 1792 – Ringwood, a Brocklesby Foxhound’by George Stubbs (1724-1806).
  • 1812 – The borzoi, the Russian dog of the nobility, is first mentioned in English literature.

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History of Dogs Timeline
Nineteenth Century

  • 1814 – Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) publishes the novel Guy Mannering. The Dandie Dinmont terrier is later named after one of the characters in this book.
  • 1824 – The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is formed in England, and the first meeting is held at Old Slaughter’s Coffee House, St Martin’s Lane, London.
  • 1824 – Newfoundland Dog called Lion by Edwin Landseer (1802-1873). Later, the black-and-white type of Newfoundland was named the Landseer Newfoundland, after the artist.
  • 1825 – Edward Laverack (1800-1877), a breeder, is credited with ‘fixing’ the characteristics of the English setter breed (descended from spaniel and pointer blood).
  • 1826 – MadDogby Thomas Busby (active 1804-1821), a lighthearted depiction of a dog infected with the deadly rabies virus.
  • 1827 – Houndby the French Animalier Gregoire Giraud(i783-i836).
  • 1829 – Attachment by Edwin Landseer, based on the story of the death of Charles Gough, an artist who died following a fall in the Lake District and was attended by his faithful dog.
  • 1835 – In Britain, Princess Victoria (1819-1901) becomes patron of the SPCA; later the prefix ‘Royal’ is added to the organization’s name.
  • 1835 – Bull- and bear-baiting, sports popular since the time of King John (1199-1216), are banned in England.
  • 1836 – The Waterloo Cup is established, the most prestigious hare-coursing competition, likened to the Derby of the horse world.
  • 1836 – Dash by Edwin Landseer, depicting Princess Victoria’s beloved King Charles spaniel.
  • 1837 – Victoria becomes Queen of Great Britain; her love of dogs is legendary.
  • 1839 – The Dog Cart Nuisance Law is passed in England prohibiting dog carts from within fifteen miles (24 km) of London’s Charing Cross railway station.
  • 1841 – Queen Victoria’s main kennels are built at Home Park, Windsor Castle, near London.
  • 1841 – Eos by Edwin Landseer, depicting Prince Albert’s beloved greyhound.
  • 1849 – Iyan Pavlov, the Russian physiologist, is born. His experiments with dogs (especially on conditioned reflexes) will be famous, giving rise to the adjective ‘Pavlovian’.
  • c. 1850 – The Airedale terrier is developed in Yorkshire through otter-hound and terrier crosses.
  • c. 1850-52 – Rat-Catching at the Blue Anchor Tavern, depicting Tiny the Wonder, a champion rat-catching Manchester terrier.
  • 1855 – An Early Canine Meeting by R. Marshall, thought to be the first painting of a dog show.
  • 1855 – Cart dogs are banned in England but remain in active use on the European continent.
  • 1858-72 – For fourteen years Greyfriars Bobby, a little Skye terrier, waits by the grave of his late master, John Gray, in Edinburgh’s Greyfriars churchyard.
  • 1859 – England’s first recognized dog show is held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, with fifty sporting-dog entries.
  • 1860 – British officers remove and return to England five Pekingese dogs from the Imperial Palace in China, as British and French forces take control of Beijing (Peking).
  • 1862 – The Maltese dog, the ancestry of which is ancient, first appears at English dog shows.
  • 1863 – France’s first recognized dog show is held at the Exposition Universelle des Races Canines in the Bois de Boulogne.
  • 1864 – Chacunpoursoi by Philippe Rousseau (1816-1887), an important dog-based painting of social commentary.
  • 1865 – The first field trial for sporting dogs takes place at Southill, Bedfordshire, England.
  • 1865 – The official studbook for foxhounds is established in Britain.
  • 1866 – George R. Jesse publishes Researches into the History of the British Dog, the first book to deal with different breeds in detail.
  • 1867 – Arnold Burgess publishes The American Kennel and Sporting Field, the first attempt at a studbook in North America.
  • 1870 – The Yorkshire terrier is named as a breed.
  • 1873 – The formation of the Kennel Club in Britain and publication of the British Kennel Club Studbook.
  • 1873 – The first dog show run by the Kennel Club is held at Crystal Palace, London, and has 975 entries.
  • 1874 – The black-and-tan terrier becomes known officially as the Manchester terrier.
  • 1874 – The first official American dog show is held in Chicago, Illinois.
  • 1876 – The establishment of the Fox Terrier Club in Britain.
  • 1876 – The National American Kennel Club is formed and starts to develop a studbook for breeds.
  • 1877 – The American Westminster Kennel Club is founded and holds its first show in New York. It is still the most prestigious of its kind.
  • LATE NINETEENTH CENTURY – The Reverend John (Jack) Russell develops the feisty terrier that is named after him.
  • 1882 – The official studbook for greyhounds is established in Britain.
  • 1882 – The French Kennel Club is established.
  • 1882 – The Italian Kennel Club is formed.
  • 1882 – Portrait of Eugenie Graff by Claude Monet (1840-1926).
  • 1884 – The National American Kennel Club changes its name to the National Field Trial Club.
  • 1884 – The American Kennel Club is formed to take over the jurisdiction of dog shows and the studbook.
  • 1886 – Charles Cruft (1852-1938) organizes the first Crufts Dog Show, held at the Royal Aquarium in London.
  • 1888 – The chihuahua becomes popular in America.
  • LATE NINETEENTH CENTURY – In England, Princess Alexandra (1844-1925) is given a borzoi called Alex by her brother-in-law, Tsar Alexander II of Russia, and borzois become popular.
  • LATE NINETEENTH CENTURY – Tibetan spaniels are imported into Britain from Tibet by the Hon. Mrs McLaren Morrison, an expert on exotic dog breeds.
  • 1890 – The Ladies Kennel Club is formed in Britain.
  • 1895 – The Netherlands establishes the Dutch Kennel Club.

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History of Dogs Timeline
Twentieth Century – Twenty-First Century

  • 1900 – The Ladies Kennel Association of America is founded in New York.
  • 1900 – The Italian Greyhound Club is founded in England.
  • 1902 – The Pekingese Club is founded in England.
  • 1902 – Optician s Sign by Jean-Leon Gerome (1824-1904).
  • 1911 – The Spanish Kennel Club is founded.
  • 1912 – Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash by Giacomo Balla(i87i-i958).
  • 1914 – The first Norwich terrier arrives in America, where it becomes known as the Jones terrier.
  • 1916 – The first British military dog-training school is set up by Lieutenant Colonel E.H. Richardson in Essex.
  • 1920 – Major and Mrs G. Bell Murray and Miss Jean C. Manson import Afghan hounds into Scotland and start to breed them.
  • 1923 – The Saluki Breed Club is established in Britain.
  • 1925-34 – Every day, the Japanese Akita called Hachiko visits the subway station in Tokyo where his master died. A statue is erected in Hachiko’s honour.
  • c. 1925 – Kuppenheimer: Wolfhound by Joseph Christian Leyendecker (1874-1951).
  • 1927 – The first Morris and Essex Dog Show is held; the show is run annually by Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge (1882-1973) until 1953.
  • 1929 – Mick the Miller (1926-1939), one of the first champion greyhounds in England, wins the Greyhound Derby; he wins it again in 1930.
  • 1933 – Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) publishes Flush, A Biography, a fictitious story based on the life of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s cocker spaniel.
  • 1938 – The British author Eric Knight writes a short story called Lassie Come Home, based on an English collie. An instant success, the story is expanded into a book.
  • 1939 – Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge establishes the St Hubert’s Giralda Animal Shelter.
  • 1942 – The Army War Dog School is set up in England at the former Greyhound Racing Kennels at Potters Bar, Hertfordshire.
  • 1943 – Lassie Come Home is released as a film in October, just months after the death of the original book’s author, Eric Knight.
  • 1955 – Walt Disney produces the animated film Lady and the Tramp, the story of love between a cocker spaniel and a mutt.
  • 1957 – Laika, a Russian mongrel, is the first living thing to enter outer space, doing so aboard the Russian Sputnik 2. She dies several hours after launch.
  • 1961 – Walt Disney produces the animated film 101 Dalmatians, based on the novel by author Dodie Smith, written in 1956.
  • 1976 – Pom by Andy Warhol (1928-1987), one of a series of dog portraits undertaken by the artist that have an iconic appeal.
  • 1983 – Untitled by Keith Haring (1958-1990), a disturbing reinvention of ancient symbolism attached to the dog.
  • 1986-87 – Triple Portrait by Lucian Freud (born 1922), depicting the whippet Pluto. The artist also used the dog’s profile in his design for the Bella Freud clothing label.
  • 1990 – Dog by Elisabeth Frink (1930-1993), a moving depiction of the spiritual nature of the dog.
  • 2001 – PoodleIlby Bill Jacklin (born 1943), a modern interpretation of the traditional pure-bred dog portraits of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
  • 2001 – Around 350 search and rescue dogs provide invaluable assistance in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks in New York City on 11 September.
  • 2007 – You’re a Head of Me by George Rodrigue (born 1944), part of his famous ‘Blue Dog’ series, in which the painted dog has taken on a character and life of its own.

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