Dog Gift Giving – A History

In the past, dog owners looking to find the perfect dog gifts for their canine pals were often laughed at and mocked. After all, how could someone value an animal so much that they would actually want to buy it a present? Times have changed. With the advent of large department-style stores catering to owners of all types of pets, dogs have finally secured their position as worthy gift recipients—even among the most cynical of people. Nonetheless, it has been a long time coming.

Humans first domesticated dogs around 15,000 years ago. However, some scientific evidence suggests that man’s best friend may have entered the human world as many as 100,000 years ago. While these wolf-descendants were important to their human families, they still hadn’t earned the supporting role of “mans best friend” yet.

The first domesticated dogs were working dogs. As pack animals, they were easily trained and longed to please their human families. However, dog gifts were still unthinkable, and dogs made due with extra rations or the occasional pat on the head. No wonder, then, that those working dogs began to nuzzle their way into the hearts of human owners.

Not surprisingly, humans eventually began breeding their dogs to bring out specific traits and intelligences thousands of years ago. At first, dogs were bred to bring out traits—such as exceptional hunting or tracking skills—necessary to human survival. However, as humans began to appreciate dogs more, they began breeding them for looks and temperament, as well. Some common dog breeds today are:

* German Shepherds. Bred for their willingness to bark at predators, these dogs became effective guardians against threats to livestock.

* Basset Hounds. With exceptional sensitivity to scent, basset hounds were a natural choice as tracking dogs.

* Labrador Retrievers. Retrievers by nature, labs were bred to hone their skills and retrieve small game for hunters.

However, intelligence also played a role in dogs’ transformation from employee to family member. Unlike many other animals, dogs are one of the few species able to read and interpret facial expressions of humans and respond accordingly. Obviously, it is intelligence that likely secured the necessity of dogs in daily human routines—and secured their later receipt of dog gifts and human respect.

Today, people of all economic, social, and ethnic backgrounds keep dogs for a wide variety of reasons. Whether dogs have found their niche in human society as guide dogs, sport dogs, hunting dogs, show dogs, or constant companions, their evolution has become forever intertwined within human history.

Without a doubt, this respect for the animal that has served society so well is one of the driving forces behind the ever-booming pet market—resulting on more than $31 billion in pet sales every year. Today’s humans may not need dogs as much for survival, but their need to shower them with unique and individualized dog gifts is stronger than ever. Yes, the time has finally come. Visit to find something extra special for your favorite canine.

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