Often considered one of the greatest advances in human history, the domestication of man’s best friend was a significant turning point for civilisation and helped us understand and learn how to look after and farm the wildlife around us. With the first domestication occurring approximately 30,00 years ago, the relationship between us and our four legged friends has hugely evolved. To celebrate 30,000 years of domestication, here are a 5 interesting facts that you may not have known about the domesticated household dog.
The tallest dog ever recorded currently resides in Tuscon, Arizona. Also known as ‘Giant George’, the Great Dane measures a staggering forty-three inches in height and weighs around 111 kg. Since his birth in 2005, he has appeared on several television programmes including the Operah Winfrey Show and was even given his own row of seats on a plane in order to attend the filming. After releasing his own biography in 2011, Giant George has led a life of comfort and can often be seen riding around his neighbourhood in a golf cart (though only as a passenger). Google ‘Giant George’ in order to take in the full magnitude of this beautiful dog.
Adversely the world’s smallest working dog also resides in the United States. Coming in at just 5.7 inches tall and weighing a minute 1.3 kg, Lucy the micro Yorkshire Terrier was given her Guinness World Record certificate in 2011. Weighing less than twelve sausages, Lucy helps old and disabled people all across New Jersey, working as a therapy dog. Saved by her owner from the dog shelter, Lucy was an unhealthy pup who is now striving to help those in need by simply being herself.
Although it is a relatively well-known fact that the first living entity to orbit the earth was a dog named Laika, it is hugely significant that the first living thing to breach the Earth’s atmosphere was not actually a human. With speculation of simple celled organisms coming into existence around 3.8 billion years ago, it is an awe inspiring thing to find that it was mans best friend (otherwise known as Canis lupus familiaris) who first took to the heavens on November 2nd 1957. Amazingly it would take mankind another three years to reach space in 1961, when Russian astronaut, Yuri Gagarin, took to orbit.
Keeping on the trend of Russian dogs, one of the most famous and important dogs currently in existence is Koni, the black Labrador of President Vladimir Putin. Given to Putin as a gift in 2000, the dog has often come under the Russian limelight and even gets to meet foreign diplomats. In fact, whilst meeting President Bush in 2007, Putin is said to have stated openly that his Koni is far superior to Bush’s Scottish Terrier. Although it is not known what Mr. Bush’s reaction was to this, it is claimed that this was said in good humour in effort for the two men to form a bond of friendship over their dogs. Koni also regularly attends diplomatic meetings that feature President Putin, though it has been advised on several occasions that it is best not to feed the president’s dog during these times.
Currently, the world’s oldest pooch is Max from Louisiana. Born on the 9th of August 1983, the Terrier is close to pushing past the big 30. Suffering only from mild arthritis in his joints, the canine has been seeing the same vet since his birth and his favourite hobby primarily consists of sleeping.