What Were Dogs Like in Ancient Times?

Dogs have been man’s best friend for centuries. They are loyal, loving, and always ready to protect their owners.

But what were dogs like in ancient times? Let’s explore the history of dogs and their role in human civilizations.

The Domestication of Dogs

Archaeological evidence suggests that dogs were first domesticated over 15,000 years ago. However, the exact timeline and location of this domestication are still a topic of debate among scientists.

Some argue that it happened in Europe, while others believe it occurred in Asia or the Middle East. Regardless of where it happened, we know that domesticated dogs quickly became an integral part of human society.

Dogs in Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egyptians revered dogs and considered them to be sacred animals. They believed that dogs had healing powers and were associated with the god Anubis.

In Egyptian art, we can see depictions of greyhounds, mastiffs, and other breeds that closely resemble modern-day dogs. These ancient Egyptians also kept hunting dogs to help them track down game.

Dogs in Ancient Greece

Ancient Greeks also had a deep appreciation for dogs. In fact, they were so important to Greek society that they featured prominently in their mythology.

The most famous example is Cerberus – a three-headed dog who guarded the entrance to the underworld. In addition to mythology, Greeks also kept hunting dogs like greyhounds and scent hounds for tracking game.

Dogs in Ancient Rome

Ancient Romans viewed dogs as utilitarian animals rather than companions or sacred creatures. They kept them as guard dogs and used them for hunting and as war animals.

Roman soldiers would often take war dogs with them into battle to help track down enemies or alert them to approaching danger. The most popular breed during this time was the molossus – a large, muscular dog that was bred for fighting.

The Evolution of Dogs

Over time, humans selectively bred dogs for specific traits such as size, shape, and temperament. This has resulted in the wide variety of dog breeds that we see today.

However, despite these changes, dogs have remained a constant presence in our lives. They continue to be loyal companions and faithful protectors – just as they were in ancient times.


In conclusion, dogs have played an important role in human societies for thousands of years. From their domestication to their use as guardians, hunters, and war animals, they have been an integral part of our history. Today, they continue to be beloved pets who bring joy and companionship to millions of people around the world.