Taking pictures of our dogs is nothing new. Open up any social media and you’ll find a pup pic pretty much immediately. But what you might not realize is that people have been “taking” pictures of their dogs before cameras even existed. For those living in the Arabian Peninsula 8,000 years ago, carving pictures into stone was their method of choice.
Researchers studying the rock-art sites of Shuwaymis and Jubbah found carvings of hundreds of dogs. But what surprised them most wasn’t the dogs, it was the leashes. The carvings showed some of the dogs attached to owners using a leash, which makes these pictures some of the earliest known evidence of dog leashes.
The dogs were shown to have curled tails, small snouts, and upright ears, which makes them most similar to the modern Canaan breed. Researchers definitely think the pictures are showing dogs and not hyenas or wolves, which are drawn differently in other parts of the carvings.
In the many rock-art panels in these sites, the dogs are shown hunting lions, gazelles, and horses. Not all of the dogs are leashed, so researchers speculate that the leashed dogs may be in training or of high value.
So while these pictures definitely look different than the ones we see today, it’s still interesting to note some of the similarities. These dogs were definitely used more for hunting than cuddling, but it’s still cool to see how long dogs really have been man’s best friend.
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