By : Sarah Logan

Dogs's History in America

Dogs probably got to America somewhere between 12,000 to 35,000 years ago, perhaps crossing from Siberia to Alaska.

Indians, like many others, ate dogs. So apparently did the Spanish -- as did many whites who became desperate for food as they worked their way to the West -- but they had a crueler use for dogs: They were "specifically bred and trained to hunt down and disembowel Indians," and the Spanish followed the "practice of bringing along on any campaign chained Indian slaves as food for the dogs." They were known as "war dogs," and they brought terror everywhere they went.

During the eighteenth century, a shift occurred in people's perception of dogs and other animals and of human relationships to them, the ramifications of which are being felt to this day. . . . By the end of the eighteenth century, the 'sagacious,' loyal, adoring, faithful dog was becoming a fixture in popular articles; together with the horse, the dog was deemed far more reliable and devoted than servants or slaves. But unlike the horse, the dog made the transition into the bourgeois home. This transition was shaped by the same intellectual, social, and economic forces that were reshaping society itself.

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