Women's Best Friend: How Women Shaped Coevolution With Dogs

Posted by Justin Ramb

Everybody has heard dogs referred to as man's best friend. In the sense that mankind refers to humankind, that statement holds. It's easy to imagine primitive people relying upon the ancestors of today's dogs for protection and help with hunting. At the same time, humans provided these furry companions with warm fires, shelter, and delicious scraps from the table. 

Because of the dog's role in hunting or protection, people might imagine men playing the most significant role in developing our relationship with these favored pets. But in actuality, recent studies have demonstrated that our close bond with our four-legged best friends probably did not grow so strong because of men. Instead, women greatly influenced their society's attitudes towards dogs, and in turn, stronger relationships provided more benefits for dogs and humankind. 

A brief history of the long history of people and dogs together 

People and their favored pets have enjoyed a long, storied history together. According to Discover Magazine, our relationship with dogs contributed to the co-evolution of both species. Scientists have found evidence that people and wolves began cooperating as long as 33,000 years ago, and researchers have found clear evidence of domestic dogs from 15,000 years ago. 

Since those early days, dogs have protected, guided, and served people in countless ways. Perhaps best of all, they befriend and comfort us. Studies have found that living with dogs makes people happier and healthier. 

Why women are dogs' best friends

Modern societies only represent a speck on the timeline of human-canine coevolution. Researchers from Washington State University analyzed the relationship between dogs and people in multiple cultures. Instead of looking at how people and pets live today, they researched over 140 subsistence-level cultures with studies from over 800 ethnographers. The researchers wanted to find out how the relationship between dogs and people evolved over thousands of years. 

The scientists found that three factors strengthened beneficial bonds between the species. These include hunting, temperature, and very importantly, gender. In primitive cultures where dogs form close attachments to women, the community as a whole tended to regard dogs more as a type of person rather than an animal. These cultures thought of dogs as members of the family.

In other words, men might have taken the dogs hunting, but women opened up both hearths and hearts for canine companions. Even more, as the status of dogs increased within a culture, so did their utility. In cultures that named dogs, treated them like family, and mourned their deaths, the dogs did more to help their family and community. Thus, stronger bonds between dogs and people benefit both species. And women generally influence those relationships the most. 

The evolution of pet nutrition

As with all things, pet nutrition has also evolved. Everyday we learn more about how to properly care for our dogs. That’s why the pet lovers at Moe's Healthy Pets have made it their mission to provide science-backed supplements for all dogs. For day-to-day support, add Multi-Plus Bites to your dog’s daily regimen. Your pup will love their chicken flavor and you’ll sleep well at night knowing they’re packed with fish oil, omega-3s, vitamins and more.

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