National Dog Day
National Dog Day is a holiday that’s observed on the 26th of August every year and helps people recognize the importance of dogs and how they impact our lives on a personal basis. It’s also a day that’s used by various dog charities and individuals interested in the welfare of pets to draw attention to the plight of abused and abandoned dogs.
And it’s a day to give all of those hard-working service dogs that work for us humans a day to recognize their hard work on our behalf. This holiday is one that’s been officially celebrated since 2004 but is a holiday that most people can get behind.
After all, it’s been estimated that approximately 57% of all of the people in the world own pets—and of that 57%, approximately 33% of them own dogs.
The History Of National Dog Day
This day was founded by author and animal behaviorist, Colleen Paige in 2004. She invented this observational holiday to not only show appreciation for dogs, but to bring attention to the plight of abused dogs, to end puppy mills, and to bring an end to breed-specific legislation that regulates, or outright bans, certain breeds in the hope of minimizing dog attacks.
Since its original inception, the observance of National Dog Day has expanded and now more people are using it simply to acknowledge the importance of their own pet or to recognize the achievements of service dogs.
A History Of Dogs As Pets
At one point in time, it was believed that humans and wolves first connected approximately 15,000 years ago in the Middle East. However, newer research has changed that idea. Swedish geneticist Pontus Skoglund published a study in 2015 in the journal Current Biology. In this study, he describes his findings when he examined a Siberian wolf bone that was 35,000+ years old.
His conclusion after studying this bone was that the domestication of wolves must have occurred somewhere between 27,000 and 40,000 years ago. According to various studies of dog genes, scientists have concluded that dogs probably originated in Eastern Europe, China, and the Middle East.
In western Eurasia, it’s believed that gray wolves were domesticated by humans. At the same time, people in Asia were also beginning to domesticate wolves around the same time. Why did humans begin to domesticate wolves? Well, according to scientists, it was the wolves who made the first move toward domestication.
Wolves were attracted to human camps and would scavenge leftover food. As these nomadic humans traveled from place to place, some of the wolves began to follow these human groups. Some of the wolves got closer and closer to humans, and some of the humans probably adopted some of these wolves as pets.
Over time, the bond between humans and dogs began to get stronger and stronger. It’s estimated by scientists that it takes about eight generations for canines to be domesticated, so that means that within 40 to 80 years after humans began to adopt wolves as pets they had been domesticated as dogs.
Fun & Amazing Facts About Dogs
During our research for this holiday, we’ve come across some fascinating facts about one of our favorite pets — the dog. Let’s dig into this pile of trivia and see what we can pull out. We’ve chosen three that we think are the most interesting.
Dogs Have Unique Nose Prints
Scientists have known for quite some time that human fingerprints are unique, and now they know that the prints found on a dog’s nose are unique as well. Of course, the Canadian Kennel Club has known that for quite a while because they’ve been using it as proof of identity since 1938.
Almost Half Of the Dogs Sleep With Their Owners
According to recent studies, approximately 45% of all dog owners sleep with their dogs. According to these same studies, 14% of dogs sleep in various places around the house, 17% of them sleep in a dog bed, and 20% of dogs sleep in a crate. Only about 4% of dogs sleep in an outdoor shelter such as a dog house.
Rin Tin Tin Saved Warner Bros From Bankruptcy
Since some people might not know who Rin Tin Tin is, let’s begin this piece of trivia by talking about this famous dog. The story of Rin Tin Tin begins with US Air Corporal Lee Duncan and his battalion in Lorraine, France on September 15, 1918.
Duncan chose two of the dogs, one male, and one female, and named the first Rin Tin Tin and the second Nannette. These names were chosen from the puppets that French children would give to American soldiers during WWI.
After the war, Duncan made arrangements to bring the dog home to Los Angeles, but after the arduous Atlantic crossing, Nannette became ill and died. Rin Tin Tin prospered, however, and in 1922, Duncan took the dog to a dog show that had Rin Tin Tin (or “Rinty” as he was known during the show) entertaining the crowd by doing 13.5-foot-tall jumps.
After the dog show, producer Darryle Zanuck asked to film Rinty in action and paid Duncan $350 to do so. This gave Duncan the idea to contact Hollywood studios to see if he could get his “wonder dog” a job in the industry.
He found a crew that was having trouble shooting a wolf in an exterior scene and told the crew that Rinty could do the job in one take. When Rinty did do as promised, Rin Tin Tin and Duncan were given a job for the entire shoot of Man From Hell’s River. The film was a success and Rin Tin Tin would end up making 26 movies for Warner Bros.
This would end up saving them from bankruptcy. Some notable movies Rin Tin Tin did include A Dog Of The Regiment (1927), The Lone Defender (1930), and “The Lightning Warrior.”
During the peak of his popularity, Warner Bros used 18 trained stand-ins to reduce any stress that filming might have on the dog. In 1932, Rin Tin Tin died, but don’t worry, his bloodline continues to this day in a Texas kennel where approximately 8 to 10 pups are born every year.
How To Celebrate National Dog Day
This day can be spent in any number of different ways. The most important way is for people can volunteer their time and money to various dog welfare organizations to try and help as many displaced and homeless dogs as possible. People can also celebrate this holiday with their own dogs by buying them a gift of some kind such as a new toy or sweater.
Probably the best way to observe this holiday, however, is to take the time and spend it with your faithful companion. Dogs do so much for us and all they ask for in return is that we take care of them, love them, and spend some time with them. Let’s take the time to do exactly that, shall we?