Early man formed an alliance with wolf-like dogs to take down big prey like mammoths and then to protect the meat from lions, hyenas and the rest. The Neanderthals had close-quarters weapons but our breed had arrows and throwing spears. Mass mammoth kill sites show up when our breed shows up and with them are these wolf-like dog bones. Pat Shipman's book describes how this works: The agile wolf dogs found and harried the game and the less fleet humans killed from a short distance away without having to grab the beasts. There's evidence that mammoth bone huts were set up at these kill sites. It would be dangerous to live next to a ton of prime red meat unless you shared guard duty with wolf-dogs.
We had a German Shepherd that grew from puppy-hood without playing with his peers. One day we saw a deer in the snowy forest and I lost control of Nicky. He came back ten minutes later with blood in every footstep in the snow. I tracked back to a fence onto some private property where the deer had escaped with its life. A single naive dog has the ability to supply my family with meat for a couple weeks and skin for clothing, horns and bones for implements. Our smart ancestors would have trained these dogs and used them in packs.
|Wolf dogs hunting buffalo, from|
National Geographic article.
Those cuddly dogs were warriors first.
After the big game wolf dogs came:
Feists and curs trained to tree small animals.
Terriers trained to dig out badgers, otters and rats
Hounds trained to track by smell and by sight.
Hog dogs that hunt in packs and take down nice fat pigs.
And junk yard dogs encouraged to kill intruders.
These natural born killers have baskets with blankets and chew toys and sleep in our homes.