I became interested in this field of study in the year 2000, after coming across a song called Where are Your Dogs? Show us Your Ugly on the internet. Well, maybe it is not exactly a "song" but more like an audio story tune, or an audio story dirge...or something.
It's an audio story tune about this dog who escapes from a plastic surgery test lab on Christmas Day (and is thus referred to as The Santa Dog). While he was in the lab, the Santa Dog got injected with human growth hormone and soon after his escape he began walking around town on his hind legs...and the "ugly humans start staying home in record numbers" in fear of the Santa Dog.
This whole concept of dogs evolving was something I found really interesting, and after being introduced to the concept, I naturally began a thorough investigation soon afterward.
From Wolves to Dogs: The Birth of the Dog
Dogs back in the day...used to be feral, vicious, ravaging beasts who traveled in packs who killed and ate all kinds of birds and deers. No one called them "doggies" back then, they were called "wolves" and everyone was dirt scared of them. You had to be scared of wolves because a pack of wolves would fuck you up back then.
It is theorized that humans thousands of years ago, in different spots of the globe, came upon wolf packs where the all the old wolves were dead and the only survivors were wolf cubs who could not fend for themselves. Humans adopted these wolf cubs and raised them and the wolves grew up to consider humans as friends and not food. Soon the wolves bred more baby wolves and the humans kept the friendliest ones in the human tribe and kicked out the ones who were too violent and feral. Basically, thanks to human influence, only the friendliest and least violent wolves got to breed and pass on their genes. Scientists call this phenomenon artificial selection.
After humans and doggies became fast and bestest friends, humans began to breed doggies more methodically. They got the dogs with the maddest skills (like hunting, smelling, running, seeing, etc.) and mated them with other dogs who displayed the maddest of skills in hopes that the puppies would be born with even madder skills. Often the puppies were indeed born with the sought after mad skills (as such).
Now we have huntin' dogs, seein' eye dogs, smellin' dogs (bloodhounds), racing dogs (greyhounds), and all kinds of skilled dogs. We even have funky dogs and nasty dogs and Dogs...woooooo!
These bad boys were being selectively pushed by humans to get better and better and in only about 100 years of breeding (1750-1850) dogs were gaining skills at alarmingly bad ass rates. In fact, with human help dogs were evolving super fast. You might go as far to say that dogs were not going through evolution...but revolution.
The Decline of the Dog in the Victorian Era
The British Empire's Victorian Era and its legacy was notoriously bad. The English Royal Family applied all kinds of silly and odd rules to speech, writing, diction, fashion, manner, behavior, and everything else you could possibly think of. For example the measuring system they created (the imperial system) measured a unit of length known as a "rod" in regard to "the length of the left feet of 16 men lined up heel to toe as they emerged from church." It's almost as if the dumbest people in society were running it.
The field of dog breeding had the same silly and odd rules applied to it in the Victoria Era. Dogs stopped being bred in hopes of getting puppies with mad-ass skills, but instead dogs started to be bred in hopes of getting a dog who's teeth were 0.01 "rods" apart, or who's eyes looked really funny, or in hopes of getting a dog who's hair looked retarded. Basically, they bred dogs for novelty and social status reasons. It was really in style to have a dog with little beady eyes who's legs didn't work...it meant you were richer than your friends.
Another huge factor that helped the decline of the dog in the Victorian Era was the notion of "pure breeding" which was big in all of Europe back then. It's not a secret that Royal Families in Europe engaged in incest and brothers, sister, mothers, and fathers all mated with each other (I'm talking about humans now, not dogs by the way). Incest in the British Royal Family is the reason they all have fucked up teeth and are morons.
|Charles: a Pure Bred creature.|
Take Liz's son Prince Charles for example, that's what "pure breeding" does to offsprings...it makes them look awful and have the intelligence of a peanut.
Pure Breeding when applied to dogs was not a good idea (just like it wasn't a good idea for humans). The Victorian Era bred dogs with their sisters, brothers, mothers, and fathers in order to keep their genetic features "pure" and fashionable and in accordance with the silly rules they invented for dog breeding. Pure bred dogs are dumber, and far less healthy (they have all sorts of genetic problems which lead to health problems and shorter lives) than dogs who were bred for mad skills.
British and other Euro-Trash Royalty stopped the Doggie-volution (which I may remind you was no longer an evolution but a revolution) and turned it backwards. You might even say that the Euro-Royals selectively de-evolved our canines.
Oh shit. Wait a sec, that would mean we have a concrete example that devolution actually is possible and is not just a theory! AHHHHHHH! BOOGIE BOY WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG! IT'S TRUE GENERAL DAD! WE REALLY ARE ALL DEVO!!!! IT'S POSSIBLE FOR EVERYONE TO D-EVOLVE!!! NOOOOOOO!!!!!
OH NOOOOOOO! WE ARE ALL DEVO!!!!!
Poor Doggies...What did we do to em' ?
To sum it up so far, humans put dogs into selective Revo, and then as quickly as we did we snapped them back and put them into selective Devo...and all these poor little puppy wuppies ever really wanted was just to naturally Evo.
|100% De-Evolution Completed...|
The purse dog (as they are known) is a dog who is 100% de-evolved thanks to selective human breeding. It's sad, it really is. I hate seeing purse dogs, it's so stupid and it really represents the hallmark example of how humans have fucked up our doggie pals.
Dogs had no choice to team up with us. Humans are mean creatures, we would have just killed all the wolves if none of them agreed to befriend us. I wonder, on a hypothetical alternate time line, one which humans didn't survive the ice age and died out...how wolves/dogs would have faired. If humans didn't make it out of the ice age, but if every other animal did...I bet things would have been different for wolves/dogs.
Wolves would have continued hunting, foraging, and ravaging in their ecosystem for aeons and would eventually have evolved naturally with no human aid. They would have lived proud lives as warrior dogs, tailor dogs, doctor dogs, and other noble lives.
|Me (Left) and Cubby (Right)|
So when I look at what humans are doing to our dog pals, I take it seriously because my best pal as a child unit was a dog.
What if Dogs Manage to Evolve Despite Our Efforts to Stop Them?
What if dogs are just one or two positive random mutations away from hitting a massive evolutionary growth spurt? Walking on their hinds legs, opposable thumbs, vocal chords for speech, brain development. What if dogs who display and excel in those traits manage to breed with each other for a hundred years or so? Wouldn't they gradually keep building on those mad skill sets?
Say by the year 2400, despite human efforts to make them our sled pullers, sheep herders, and purses...doggies still manage to level up a few evolutionary echelons. Would they still be our friends?
Would the dogs look at what we are doing the planet and approve of it? Would they approve of us doing everything in our power to pollute and ruin up our home? Would evolved dogs band together in tribes and launch a rebellion against humans? I dunno, but that would make a really good movie though (anyone readin' this can steal my idea if they want, I don't care).
Should we be living in fear of the inevitable doggie-volution, and their righteous and justified rebellion against human-kind? Should we ugly humans lock ourselves in our homes in record numbers? Is Santa Dog really out there waiting.....biding his/her time....for the Doggie Revolution?
(This dog is walking on its hind legs because she was born without her other two...so, it's not like they can't already figure out how to walk on their hind legs. Maybe it is just a fleeting and a sleeting scene of snowness and of sleeves. Will dogs have a presence in the future? More importantly will these highly evolved Santa Dogs have presents in the future? I dunno.)