Why do we call dogs “man’s best friend”?

by on March 10th, 2010 at 7:00 am

I am a new dog owner, and even though I had dogs as a kid, now that I am older I am starting to realize the “real responsibilities” that come from owning a pet. My dog Atticus is now 9 months old, and I couldn’t help but wonder, why are dogs considered “man’s best friend”?

Atticus (Atti for short) always greets me at the door, is always excited to see me, and is always willing to overlook the small little imperfections about me (like leaving the dishes in the sink for too long). So when I researched “Why are dogs man’s best friend?”, I found a mountain of information about how humans acquired a relationship with dogs. It turns out that 16,000 years ago, men used wolves as guard dogs and to help herd livestock. We as humans have evolved tremendously, and now we also play, kiss, and hug our dogs… But still, after thousands of years, dogs are still known as “man’s best friend”.

Apart from the constant face licking, jumping up to greet, and looking with those sad puppy eyes, dogs must be considered man’s best friend because of their unwavering loyalty. So many times I will hear a story of a dog’s rescue efforts, service work or property guarding. Now, dogs may work just as hard as we do– they may not have to go to the office in a suit and tie– but some dogs spend their lives performing service-oriented tasks such as ”seeing” for the blind, “hearing” for the deaf, or “walking” for the disabled… just a few examples of service these amazing creatures provide.

It’s also been proven that owning a dog can help you feel more relaxed, lessen medical visits, and even prevent heart attacks. It seems owners have created a tight-knit bond with dogs, sometimes referring to them as “part of the family”. So… really thinking about it, dogs are actually human’s best friend.

Dogs are social creatures too just like us; they love to play and socialize. Sometimes, they may steal a treat off the table when we turn our backs, but I think we can let that slide as a repayment for their steadfast loyalty, love and non-judgment (especially when the sink is piled with dishes).

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