Dogology: Dogs PawPrints in History Part 2
Dynasties and Dogs
Famous and Legendary Dogs in Ancient Times
♦ Historic Moments and Dogs Were There (Part II)
From Ancient China to the New World, the oldest breeds began to travel across the world and through time to witness historic moments. As early history began to unfold, dogs shared the lives of the famous, of the royal and noble families, and of ordinary dog lovers in ancient times that left their indelible paw prints in the events of the past. Read on for to learn a little bit about history and a lot about dogs.
Looking back, we can see Asia was one of the earliest protectors and breeders of dogs. The Pekinese,and Pugs originally came from Imperial China, going back to the Han Dynasty around 206 BC - 220 AD. The Han Dynasty is known for the development of trade with the West. Even Confucius, (551 BC- 478 BC), wrote about little dogs like the Pekinese.
The Emperors and those people close to them, were the only people who were allowed to own Pekinese. So if you own or know a Pekinese, chances are very good that their ancestor lived in the palace of a Chinese ruler, where only the nobility who were close to the Emperor, and of course the Emperior themselves could own these fine dogs.
The Pekinese can be found in many of the dynasties that ruled ancient China. Buddhists had a lot to do with promoting the Pekinese breed who were well pampered by the Chinese Imperial rulers. The Pekinese dogs even had their servants, and even guarded by soldiers because they were such prized possessions of the Chinese Emperors.
Anyone who stole this dog would be put to death as a punishment. These dogs were thought to be keeper of the spirits and highly treasured by their owners. Pekinese got their name from the city in China called Peking, according to wikipedia.com. DNA tests show the Pekinese through evolution, has hardly changed its genetic similarity to wolves,(as hard as this may be to believe), which backs up the theory that the Pekinese is an ancient dog breed.
Pekinese is One of the Oldest Breeds of Dogs
Paw Prints in History Part I
Chow Chows are one of the Oldest Breeds
The Tang Dynasty (618 A.D. - 907 A.D.) marked the highest peak of Chinese civilization. They had statues that are modeled after the Pekinese and Pugs. Pugs were often given as gifts to Korean and Japanese royal leaders. Other dogs that started to develop around this time were the Shar-Pei, Spitz like dog, and Chow Chow. A Tang emperor, in the 8th century, was known to have had about 5,000 chows. Chow Chows served as guard dogs and also accompanied huntsman. Chows are one of the oldest dog breeds.
Dogs Were Thought to Bring Good Luck
Pugs (possibly called Lo-sze) are another ancient dog who lived among the royalty. These dogs were considered hunting dogs who after the day of sport may have been carried back to the palace in the royal chariot. During the Sung Dynasties (960- 1279 A.D.) pugs
One of the highest honors paid to a Chinese ruler, was when his dog’s portrait was painted on a scroll and put into a book. The dogs found in these books, resemble Pekinese, Pugs, and Shih- Tzus.
In the Buddhist Monasteries in Tibet , Buddhist monks are said to have bred Lhasa Apso and Pugs as guard and companion dogs.
It is believed that during all the dynasties of China, and with the tremendous amount of trading that was done, dogs sailed on the boats that went through the trade routes. The dogs were kept on board as protection, to guard the goods, and as companions for the sailors.
In the 12th century, theShar-pei breed traveled with Mongolian armies as they invaded other countries including China. They were guard dogs for Buddhist temples. The Shar-pei breed made excellent hunting dogs for the Cantonese people. They were herders and protectors mostly for the peasants who farmed the countryside. Shar-pei were not part of the royal family, nor did they live in the Imperial Palaces of Emperors.
One of t;he oldest known dog breeds is the the Maltese dog. It is thought to originate approximately 300-600 BC. In China one of the original breeds is called the Chinese Chongqing dog. and existed around the time of the Han Dynasty. Dogs became part of the royal imperial families in China. The Emperor Ling Ti in the years, 156-189, gave royal titles to the dogs who resided in the palace. He called them imperial guards and viceroys. These dogs were often given as token gifts, a sort of ambassador from China to other royalty in other countries. The Pekinese, Shih Tzus, Chow Chows, and Pugs were popular dogs that were given as gifts. The Japanese Chin originated in China before 59 A.D, but took their name from Japan, where they were given as gifts from Chinese Royalty to the Japanese Emperors. Originally, the Japanese Chin, also known as the Japanese Spaniel, was owned by the rulers of Korea and gifted to the Emperors of Japan during 700-1000 CE and were kept by the nobility for centuries.
In Tibet, the Dalai Lama is associated with the Lhasa Apsos breed. These dogs lived in the monastery with the monks and the Dalai Lama. During the Manchurian Dynasty, about 1583, no Lhasa Apsos were allowed to be sold, someone could only get one as a gift from the Dalai Lama and they were specifically and only given to the noble class and men who were considered sacred. These dogs observed the world as watchdogs and treasured pets. They were viewed and valued for their high intelligence and the companionship they offered. They were believed to be good luck charms to people who owned them. Some of these dogs traveled around the world.
Genghis Khan and Attila of the Hun used dogs in their invasions
More Info About Dogs in History
The Historic Moments Dogs Were There
In Ancient Asia, Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun, Tibetan Mastiffs accompanied them on their journeys towards war. Legend has it that two of these Tibetan Mastiff's accompanied every army of Genghis Khan as sentries. They were not attack dogs. These dogs saw historic battles against the Greeks and Romans, the Assyrians, Persians, Mongols, and Huns. These dogs were watchdogs for the armies, and used as messengers. The Tibetan Mastiff is the ancestor of the European Mastiffs.
Papillions probably traveled with Marco Polo on his trade routes.
Your Dog's Ancestors Could Have Been Part of History
So the next time you see one of these breed of dogs, think about their ancestors and the part of history they may have helped form, whether it was making an emperor happy, guarding and protecting the palace, fighting in a war, or helping the peasants farm the land and feed the people.
Ancient Asia helped develop an extensive variety of dog breeds we know today. They were sacred and beloved part of the early development of China, and it is fascinating to think that they traveled across the world as it was being discovered.
Look for Part III, Pawprints in History: Dogs were there as Europe’s history unfolded.
Japanese Chins and Pugs are part of China's History
Dogs in History Part I
- Dogology: Famous Dogs Paw Prints in Ancient History Part I
Dogology: PawPrints in History Famous and Legendary Dogs in History Historic Moments and Dogs Were There (Part I) Around the globe and through the span of time humans and dogs have shared a history...