The dog & human bond

The bond we have with our dogs goes deep, etched back into the seams of ancestry. In fact the dog & human bond may have led to some epic evolutionary events in our shared history. 

Backwards we go into time, not as far as the dinosaurs, but around the time the hominoids descended from the trees. These early hominoids transitioned into upright positions freeing their hands for use of tools for hunting. Dogs didn’t exist, though their wolf ancestors did. 

Time transitioned, the wolf becoming part of human life & transitioning into dogs as we know them in modern age. Many theories exist about domestication, though one of my favorite theories is that dogs played a part in the evolution of humans.

The thought goes: upright humanoids are effective at gathering, growing skilled at crafting tools with their hands. They can capture small prey, perhaps fashion nets for fishing, though they rely greatly on foraging for berries (this is where our genetics for eating sweet things comes from – sweet = typically safe to eat).  Hunting large mammals didn’t occur. Perhaps at some point, from frustration at hunting or mere observations, humans began to study how wolves hunted. Tribes that coexisted with wolves (as in a shared territory, not as companions) began to employ the tactics they observed from the wolves. These tribes found success more frequently, then fueled by animal proteins, they grew their brains. Hunting became the method of survival. The influence of hunting across many different tribes across many different landmasses didn’t mean information was shared, but observation of the wolves was observed. 

Hunting regularly meant that there were scraps and “garbage” tossed outside the edges of encampments. This kept mice & vermin out of the shelters & areas where the people lived and slept. Vermin and “garbage” meant an easy food source for the ancestor wolves. Wolves that were human friendly would be rewarded with scraps of food, perhaps a safe place to rest, if not protection when they sounded the alarm for incoming predators and opposing tribes. Each generation of human friendly wolf became friendlier, transitioning out of wild into domestication. (This also is the best theory for multiple domestication occurrences of dogs.) 

As wolves continued to transition into working companions, they began to aide our ancient ancestors in hunting, then transitioned into roles of guardian of kept livestock and watchdogs of the villages. Ancient humans began shape the wolves into dogs for certain purposes – hunting, guarding and companionship. And the dogs continued to aid in the lives of humans. 

Co-evolution and domestication of dogs and humans. 

No wonder our bond with dogs is so deep and vast. 

Zoom forward to modern day dogs and our bond with them continues to deepen. Our dogs have moved into companionship over traditional jobs and have moved into our households as family members. They inspire us, make us giggle, keep our secrets and love us unconditionally. 

In the realm of dog photography, capturing the bond you have with your dog is a must have image.

You may think… “Egads! I’m not portrait material. I need to [insert something like: lose weight, haircut, yada yada}.” SHUSH! In this moment, at this time, you are perfectly perfect for being in images with your dog.  Your dog loves you for the person you are, not the size or shape you are. If you were to lose your dog today, would you have images of them together that aren’t selfie style? (I bet the answer is no.)

Take Bender. As much as he was a tolerant model and in many images throughout the years, we did not ever have a portraits done together. There are a few casual pictures, a few selfies, but none of us together. This March marks a year since he’s been gone. 

So be in those pictures with your dog and celebrate your bond! And if you are still super adverse to being in pictures because of reasons A, B or Z, then we will get creative using parts of you with your dog. 

How about your legs and your pup? This is a great way to give a sense of size to your pup as well! 

Baby Blue & I byTiffany of TEM Photography

Or do an over the shoulder look. This works best with dogs who can be picked up, though it can be done in a sitting position too. 

Baby Blue & I by Tiffany of TEM Photography

Or just say “to heck with it” and jump right in! You’ll love the images and the memories tied to them. 

5 thoughts on “The dog & human bond”

  1. I love that you accept the humans as they are! Your comment “Egads I’m not portrait material” made me laugh because I hear it all the time too; I think we all have. Your photos are both beautiful and inspiring.

  2. The ethology of dogs never ceases to fascinate me and charming photographs throughout, you did a wonderful job of capturing the special bond between these pups and their humans.

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