What Were Dogs Used for in Ancient Times?

Dogs are often referred to as man’s best friend, and for good reason. They have been loyal companions to humans for thousands of years.

But, did you know that dogs were not always just pets? In ancient times, dogs played a much more important role in society. Let’s take a closer look at what dogs were used for in ancient times.

The Domestication of Dogs

It is believed that dogs were domesticated from wolves around 15,000 years ago. The first domesticated dogs were likely used for hunting and protection. As humans began to settle in one place and form communities, dogs took on new roles.


One of the most common uses for dogs in ancient times was hunting. Different breeds of dogs were trained for different types of game. For example, greyhounds were used to hunt small game like rabbits, while mastiffs were used to hunt large game like deer and wild boar.


Dogs were also used for herding livestock such as sheep and cattle. They helped to keep the animals together and prevent them from straying too far from the herd.


Another important role that dogs played was guarding. They were often trained to protect their owners’ homes or property from intruders.

Religious Significance

In many ancient cultures, dogs held religious significance. For example, in ancient Egypt, Anubis was the god of the dead and was often depicted with a dog’s head. In Greek mythology, Cerberus was a three-headed dog that guarded the gates of Hades.


While dogs had many practical uses in ancient times, they also provided companionship to their owners. Many people formed close bonds with their dogs and considered them part of their family.


In conclusion, dogs played a variety of important roles in ancient times. They were hunters, herders, guards, and even had religious significance.

Today, dogs are still valued for these same qualities as well as their companionship. It is clear that dogs have been an important part of human history for thousands of years and will continue to be so for many more to come.