Canine Human Bond
As primitive dogs discovered cooking leftovers in the caveman’s scraps, early humans discovered watchdogs for their camps. When cavemen discovered that dogs could help hunt the food as well as clean up the scraps, man and dog began a 30,000-plus year old mutual benefit relationship that still places dogs on a special rung on the ladder of human esteem.
No other animal has developed such a close relationship with humans, period. Dogs are not cats. They’re not tropical fish or cockatiels or livestock. Many animals serve human purposes and needs, but canis familiaris far outstrips other species in their uses and talents and in their unique ability to “read” humans and respond as a dear friend or devoted, faithful family member. These sites illustrate just how profound and magic this relationship has been and continues to be:
Service, Therapy, Educational and Comfort Dogs
Dogs don’t come ready-made, as wind-up toys or preprogrammed units. They arrive with senses and instincts that need direction and training to be effective as a family pet, a working partner, or an expert at handling the complexities of serving as the eyes or ears of their masters, helping a child learn to read, or knowing how to simply provide the comfort that can relieve stress. This versatility is further testimony to the depth of their empathy for, and understanding of, their human owners. The sites below demonstrate a small sampling of the ways that dogs enable humans to look to the sunny side of the street regardless of storm clouds and challenging conditions.
Research and Reflection: Animal Assisted Therapy in Mental Health Settings
Golden Retriever Darcy Bringing Cheer
Man’s dogs will set blind kids free
Dogs helped kids improve reading fluency
Man’s dogs will set blind kids free
The Health and Emotional Benefits of Human-Animal Interaction
The Human Animal Bond and Self-Psychology: Toward a New Understanding
Animal companions and one-year survival of patients after discharge from a coronary care unit
Health Benefits of Animal Companions
Bibliography: Human-Animal Bond Studies
Creature comfort: Animals that heal
Dogs have worked with and for humans for thousands of years. They have helped advance civilization by herding, guarding, hunting, and protecting human families and villages. They are bundles of an almost endless number of talents suited to a broad variety of tasks. They can still accomplish traditional occupations such as pulling sleds, finding and retrieving game, and herding livestock, but we’re discovering new things they can do as well. Dogs can also sniff out contraband, find lost Alzheimer’s patients and even detect cancer before medical diagnostic tools or warn family members of impending seizures. Is there anything they can’t be taught to do? The sites below not only explore their uses, but also highlight the things that dogs love to do more than anything else in the world – work with people. They’ve done it for thousands of years, and they live for the opportunity to shine in the light of their instinctive abilities.
How do you make the perfect sled dog?
Gypsie the Sheep Herding Dog
Border Collies in Training
Border Collie Herding Cattle
Cattle Dogs at Work
Extreme sheep herding
Extreme Sheep Herding II
More extreme sheep heerding with background info:
Next Generation Hunting
Dog heroes simply do what needs to be done. They may not be faster than a speeding bullet or more powerful than a locomotive, but if they couldn’t leap a tall building in a single bound when it was called for, they’d die trying. They are probably the most selfless, devoted, duty-honoring, single-minded friends that anyone could ever hope to have the honor of knowing.
There is no “quit” in a dog hero. There is no “second place” in a dog hero. There is no questioning, second-guessing or fear in a dog hero … only the kind of focus and awareness that surpasses all human understanding – unless of course, it’s you whom the hero has saved. These links barely scratch the surface of an encyclopedic volume of dog hero stories.
8 Courageous Dogs
Pit Bull Saves Chihuahua from Coyote
Pit Bull Honored for Heroics
Heroic Afghan Dog Reunited With U.S. Soldier
25 Heroic Dogs and How They Saved People
The 8 Most Heroic Dogs In History
True Stories of Heroic Dogs