Over 470 million of these animals are kept as pets worldwide. (as of 2018). It is reported that 37% of Americans give this pet a present on it’s birthday. The fastest growing population of this animal is in India. They were not always “pet” material and in fact, started out as wild animals millions of years ago. Can you guess what the most popular pet in the world is?
The answer revealed:
That’s right – Man’s Best Friend – the Dog is the most popular pet, and today August 26th we celebrate National Dog Day.
Perhaps you have a dog, or you may be curious about how the dog ended up with the title: Man’s Best Friend. Today is a good day to explore that!
The dogs we keep as pets today are classified as domestic animals. Domestic animals are animals that are tamed and kept by humans as a work animal, food source, or pet. Domestic animals are members of a species that have, through selective breeding, become very different from their wild ancestors.
History of Domestication
The process of taming “wild dogs” began when a population of wolves moved to the outskirts of hunter-gatherer camps to scavenge for leftover food. Looking at the cute and cuddly little ( or even big) ball of fur beside you today it’s hard to believe – but if you go back far enough: All dogs descended from wolves.
Scientists are having a hard time agreeing on exactly where dog domestication began taking place and WHEN. There is even a theory that wolves were domesticated into ‘dogs’ twice over history.
Yet another theory of dog domestication follows the concept of what is called self-domestication. This theory is based on a study done with a particular breed of fox, and the idea that the tamer, friendlier, more attractive wolves would have had better access to the food supply of the hunter-gatherer and therefore an advantage within the pack.
I know it’s hard to resist giving my dog something to eat when she looks at me with that cute little face and wags her tail! Ancient Humans perhaps did the same.
The studies of dog domestication continue as fossils are found and newer, more advanced work with DNA develops. In the meantime, we know the end result: Dogs, Cats, Birds, Fish, Hamster and (dare I say it…) even snakes enrich our lives through pet ownership.
How to Celebrate
You can celebrate National Dog day with the Homeschool Holiday Paper Plate Craft: DOG. We have more than 12 different Paper Plate Crafts to choose from all priced at just $1.00 each or $4.50 in a bundle. They come with 2 different skill levels: easy and advanced, as well as with full color and color your own patterns ! These are great for households with multi age learners, combo classes or a learning co-op!
If you want to celebrate Pet ownership – Pet Paper Dolls & Animal coloring pages is a fantastic way! This set not only has FULL COLOR paper Dolls for Dog and Cat, it has Color-Your-Own paper dolls for: DOG, CAT, TURTLE, MOUSE, SNAKE, HAMSTER, GUINEA PIG, FISH, CAT, BIRD, & BUNNY. There are also 16 different coloring pages and a writing activity all for just $2.00.
Famous Dog Holiday
You may have missed this famous dog’s special day: Pluto the Pup. Pluto is a Mouse’s best friend – Mickey Mouse! Learn the history of this special relationship, and if you are a member of our CURRICULUM CLUB be sure to download the SENSATIONAL SIX freebie that has links and activities for all 6 of the main characters!
Be sure to visit your favorite shopping platform to purchase more great curriculum:
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