When did the cats versus dogs rivalry begin in the US?

When did the cats versus dogs rivalry begin in the US?

In the US people that own pets seem to be pegged as either dog people, or cat people. This cultural phenomenon is so prevalent that Hollywood even made a movie about it.

My question is, when did this rivalry begin in the US?


According to Katherine Grier author of Pets in America: A History (2006, UNC Press, arguably the authoritative work on the subject), the sentiment is probably rather recent, since the 1970s.

I will first make a couple of quick points:

  • You are asking about the rivalry between so-called "cat people" and "dog people," not between dogs and cats themselves. For the latter, see Darwin via Tom & Jerry.
  • According to a 2009 University of Texas study, 46% of respondents to a survey described themselves as "dog people," 12% "cat people," 28% both, and 15% neither. It was elsewhere suggested that many who describe themselves as dog people also own cats. So, dividing the population neatly into a dog camp and cat camp works better for setting up a joke than to describe the actual pet-oriented population of the contemporary United States.

The notion of preferring a dog to a cat or vice versa is only possible in a society where both are more familiar as companion animals than as working animals. After all, for most of human history, most domestic animals served an economic purpose: cats were for controlling household pests, dogs were for hunting or herding duties and guarding on the side. Songbirds filled the air with music before there were records or radio. Preferring the company of one would not have ruled out owning the others as well.

Grier notes that pet-keeping became mainstream among the bourgeoisie only in the mid-19th century (and dogs were kept purely as pets before cats were). Most pet owners would moreover have interacted with animals in traditional ways both inside and outside the home; not only horses, but pigs and chickens could be found in American cities into the 1920s.

A surge in ownership took place after World War II as prosperity and suburbanization enabled more families to keep pets. This neatly coincides with the earliest Google Books search results for "a dog person" and "a cat person" come from the late 1950s and early 1960s (aside from references to some Hollywood sci-fi/horror species).

Grier notes further that since the 1970s, "the practice of pet keeping has evolved at an accelerated rate." Spending on pets (toys, food, veterinary care, training, "doggy day care" and so on) has seen a sharp uptick, and perhaps the emotional energy available from declining marriage and birth rates has been redirected into sentimentality toward the animal population- the term “pet” itself is uncomfortable for some. She cites a figure from the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association that even 20 percent of reptile owners describe their pets as being "like a child/family member."

Anecdotally, this seems to bear out. I don't know a single cat owner who puts Morris out for the night as depicted in the closing credits of The Flintstones. Witness also the firestorm over Mitt Romney bringing the dog along in a rooftop carrier on a family road trip in the 1970s. Like driving without a seat belt, such practice was quite normal then, but today invites clucking and appalled shudders from the chattering classes.

With so much invested- financially and emotionally- into pets, it should be no surprise that we project our identities onto them as well. While a crude measure, the Google NGram of 'a cat person', 'a dog person' shows a significant uptick in the meme after 1980.


According to Google ngrams, the terms started to take off around 1970. Early uses of "dog people" and "dog person" mostly seem to be referring to people who have expertise about dogs (e.g. a 1915 article in Dog Fancier that refers to judging shows by "dog people"), but by the early 1970s the terms are clearly being used mainly to indicate people who just prefer one or the other.

The earliest version I found that clearly uses them as an "us or them" comparison was from a 1919 article in Everybody's Magazine (The Case of Mouser vs Bowser) shows that the concept was already out there that early; the table of contents teases the article with "Are you a cat person? A dog person? If so, why?" (The actual article uses "dog-person" and "cat-person" instead of the non-hyphenated versions.)

After that, the next appearance I found was from 1955 (Arts Magazine, Volume 29, Issue 3): "Are you a cat person or a dog person?" she asked. "I think there are two kinds of people." There's also one from 1963 ("The Whistling Zone", by Herbert Kubly): "To me everyone is a dog person or a cat person," she was saying, her hand on his arm.


6 Wars Fought for Ridiculous Reasons

The aptly named Pig War nearly saw an argument over a slaughtered swine lead to a full-scale conflict between the United States and Great Britain. The controversy began in 1859 on San Juan Island, a chunk of land located between the mainland United States and Vancouver Island. At the time, the island was home to American settlers and British employees of the Hudson’s Bay Company, and both parties had laid claim to its fertile soil. The first and only shots of the Pig War came on June 15, 1859, when an American farmer named Lyman Cutlar gunned down a British-owned black boar after he discovered the animal rooting through his potato patch. The ensuing argument over the dead hog increased tensions between the two groups of settlers, and Cutlar was eventually threatened with arrest.

After the Americans reported the incident to the military, the U.S. Army dispatched Captain George Pickett—later a Confederate general during the Civil War—to San Juan with a small complement of troops. Pickett upped the ante by declaring the whole island U.S. property, and the British responded by sending a fleet of heavily armed naval vessels to the coastline. An absurd standoff ensued, and the situation remained on a knife-edge for several agonizing weeks. The two nations would finally negotiate a deal allowing for joint military occupation of San Juan Island in October 1859, ending the Pig War as a bloodless stalemate—save for one unfortunate hog.


A Brief History of House Cats

On any of the surprising number of Web sites dedicated entirely to wisdom about cats, one will find quotations like these: "As every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat" (attributed to Ellen Perry Berkeley) "The phrase 'domestic cat' is an oxymoron" (attributed to George F. Will) and "A dog is a man's best friend. A cat is a cat's best friend" (attributed to Robet J. Vogel). Of course, there is such a thing as the domestic cat, and cats and humans have enjoyed a mostly symbiotic relationship for thousands of years. But the quips do illuminate a very real ambivalence in the long relationship between cats and humans, as this history of the house cat shows.

The Mystery of the Ancient House Cat

It has taken a while for scientists to piece together the riddle of just when and where cats first became domesticated. One would think that the archaeological record might answer the question easily, but wild cats and domesticated cats have remarkably similar skeletons, complicating the matter. Some clues first came from the island of Cyprus in 1983, when archaeologists found a cat's jawbone dating back 8,000 years. Since it seemed highly unlikely that humans would have brought wild cats over to the island (a "spitting, scratching, panic-stricken wild feline would have been the last kind of boat companion they would have wanted," writes Desmond Morris in Catworld: A Feline Encyclopedia), the finding suggested that domestication occurred before 8,000 years ago.

In 2004, the unearthing of an even older site at Cyprus, in which a cat had been deliberately buried with a human, made it even more certain that the island's ancient cats were domesticated, and pushed the domestication date back at least another 1,500 years.

Just last month, a study published in the research journal Science secured more pieces in the cat-domestication puzzle based on genetic analyses. All domestic cats, the authors declared, descended from a Middle Eastern wildcat, Felis sylvestris, which literally means "cat of the woods." Cats were first domesticated in the Near East, and some of the study authors speculate that the process began up to 12,000 years ago.

Egyptians cats were associated with the goddess Bastet, and thus revered and immortalized in many forms of art, like this one acquired by Henry Walters. The pendant on this cat's necklace displays a standing goddess with the double-crown nursing the young Harpokrates. (Image Source: Wikipedia) Dating from 664 B.C. - 395 A.D, Egyptians mummified their house cats, such as this one courtesy of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Note that this is a model or reproduction of a cat mummy, as there are no bones inside. The ancient Egyptian reverence for cats is well-known—and well-documented in the archaeological record: scientists found a cat cemetery in Beni-Hassan brimming with 300,000 cat mummies. (National Museum of Natural History) Possibly from the Ptolemaic Dynasty, this papyrus column with two cats dating back to 305-30 B.C.E. is made of faience. It is a good demonstration of how much Egyptians adored their house cats that statues like this one were made in their likeness. (Freer Sackler Museum) This cast of an ancient Egyptian statuette of a cat is held by the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and was discovered in 1922. (National Musuem of Natural History) Small amulets made of faience, like this one (dating back to 664-525 B.C.E.), or alternatively made of stone, ceramic, metal, or glass were common personal possessions in ancient Egypt. They were most frequently fashioned in the form of gods and goddesses or of animals sacred to them and worn as protection. Courtesy of the Freer Sackler Museum. (Freer Sackler Museum) Opus vermiculatum in the National Museum is a floor mosaic with a cat and two ducks from the late Republican era, first quarter of the 1st century BC. House cats were considered to be both useful and reverent to Roman society. (Image Source: Wikipedia)

Civilization's Pet

While 12,000 years ago might seem a bold estimate—nearly 3,000 before the date of the Cyprus tomb's cat—it actually is a perfectly logical one, since that is precisely when the first agricultural societies began to flourish in the Middle East's Fertile Crescent.

When humans were predominantly hunters, dogs were of great use, and thus were domesticated long before cats. Cats, on the other hand, only became useful to people when we began to settle down, till the earth and—crucially—store surplus crops. With grain stores came mice, and when the first wild cats wandered into town, the stage was set for what the Science study authors call "one of the more successful 'biological experiments' ever undertaken." The cats were delighted by the abundance of prey in the storehouses people were delighted by the pest control.

"We think what happened is that the cats sort of domesticated themselves," Carlos Driscoll, one of the study authors, told the Washington Post. The cats invited themselves in, and over time, as people favored cats with more docile traits, certain cats adapted to this new environment, producing the dozens of breeds of house cats known today. In the United States, cats are the most popular house pet, with 90 million domesticated cats slinking around 34 percent of U.S. homes.

God and Devil: The Cat in History

If cats seem ambivalent towards us, as the quotations from cat fan-sites indicate, then it may be a reflection of the wildly mixed feelings humans, too, have shown cats over the millennia.

The ancient Egyptian reverence for cats is well-known—and well-documented in the archaeological record: scientists found a cat cemetery in Beni-Hassan brimming with 300,000 cat mummies. Bastet, an Egyptian goddess of love, had the head of a cat, and to be convicted of killing a cat in Egypt often meant a death sentence for the offender.

Ancient Romans held a similar—albeit tempered and secularized—reverence for cats, which were seen as a symbol of liberty. In the Far East, cats were valued for the protection they offered treasured manuscripts from rodents.

For some reason, however, cats came to be demonized in Europe during the Middle Ages. They were seen by many as being affiliated with witches and the devil, and many were killed in an effort to ward off evil (an action that scholars think ironically helped to spread the plague, which was carried by rats). Not until the 1600s did the public image of cats begin to rally in the West.

Nowadays, of course, cats are superstars: the protagonists of comic strips and television shows. By the mid-90s, cat services and products had become a billion-dollar industry. And yet, even in our popular culture, a bit of the age-old ambivalence remains. The cat doesn't seem to be able to entirely shake its association with evil: After all, how often do you see a movie's maniacal arch-villain, as he lounges in a comfy chair and plots the world's destruction, stroke the head of a Golden Retriever?

David Zax, a writer in Washington, D.C., recently wrote a brief history of Wimbledon.

About David Zax

David Zax is a freelance journalist and a contributing editor for Technology Review (where he also pens a gadget blog).


Cats Rule in Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egyptians worshipped many animals for thousands of years. Animals were revered for different reasons. Dogs were valued for their ability to protect and hunt, but cats were thought to be the most special. Egyptians believed cats were magical creatures, capable of bringing good luck to the people who housed them.

To honor these treasured pets, wealthy families dressed them in jewels and fed them treats fit for royalty. When the cats died, they were mummified. As a sign of mourning, the cat owners shaved off their eyebrows, and continued to mourn until their eyebrows grew back. Art from ancient Egypt shows statues and paintings of every type of feline. Cats were so special that those who killed them, even by accident, were sentenced to death.

According to Egyptian mythology, gods and goddesses had the power to transform themselves into different animals. Only one deity, the goddess named Bastet, had the power to become a cat. In the city of Per-Bast, a beautiful temple was built, and people came from all over to experience its splendor.


Comments: Cat vs Dog

Anonymous comments (5)

February 13, 2014, 4:48am

Oh goodness gracious. Both beings have it's advantages and disadvantages. And whatever they are, we just have to accept it. I cannot choose between cats and dogs since I love both. I own a dog and two cats. And being an owner of both, I could say they compliment each other.

&mdash 49.✗.✗.15

September 23, 2013, 6:38pm

I love both cats and dogs but I think cogs are a little better since they are more interactive with people and aim to please.

&mdash 66.✗.✗.121

December 17, 2013, 6:19pm

This is Written to look like a pet war, I just wanted to know differences between them and ended up cheering on dogs

&mdash 201.✗.✗.203

October 16, 2013, 11:51am

You are a jerk. Cats are wonderful that's why they are the most popular pet in the world. You don't know a cat until you have loved and owned one.

&mdash 94.✗.✗.166

February 26, 2014, 12:52pm

Clearly cats dont rule if they are less liked. Look at the user ratings above. Obviously the dog outweighs the cat on the more liked. So quit your ignorance and just understand that dogs are clearly more liked. Satisticts can prove it like the user rating, again, above.

&mdash 108.✗.✗.239

What Do Cats Think About Us? You May Be Surprised

Since cats first got their adorable claws into us about 9,500 years ago, humans have had a love affair with felines.

Today more than 80 million cats reside in U.S. homes, with an estimated three cats for every dog on the planet. (Watch a video about the secret lives of cats.) Yet there's still a lot we don't know about our feline friends—including what they think of their owners.

John Bradshaw is a cat-behavior expert at the University of Bristol and the author of the new book Cat Sense. After observing pet cats for several years, he's come to an intriguing conclusion: They don't really understand us the way dogs do.

Bradshaw recently shared some of his insights with National Geographic.

How did you get into cat behavior?

For the first 20 years of my career I studied olfactory [smell] behavior in invertebrates. I've always been fascinated by this other world that animals live in—primarily of odor, which is dogs' primary sense. So in the early 1980s I started working on dog behavior. [Later] I very quickly became fascinated with cats, and what their idea of the world is compared to the one we have.

What do you do in your research?

A lot of observation—watching groups of cats to see how they interact with one another and deducing their social structure. [I watch] cats in colonies that are free-ranging, and in animal shelters where quite a number will be housed together—you get interesting dynamics [when new cats are introduced].

I've also done slightly more manipulative things, such as studying the way cats play with toys, or testing cat [behaviors] at different times of the day. [I also observe] relationships with owners, interviewing them and giving them questionnaires to find out how they perceive their cats.

Why did you conclude that cats don't "get us" the way dogs do?

There's been a lot of research with dogs and how dogs interact with people. [It's] become very clear that dogs perceive us as being different than themselves: As soon as they see a human, they change their behavior. The way a dog plays with a human is completely different from [the way it plays] with a dog.

We've yet to discover anything about cat behavior that suggests they have a separate box they put us in when they're socializing with us. They obviously know we're bigger than them, but they don't seem to have adapted their social behavior much. Putting their tails up in the air, rubbing around our legs, and sitting beside us and grooming us are exactly what cats do to each other. (Also see "How Cats and People Grew to Love Each Other.")

I've read articles where you've said cats think of us as big, stupid cats. Is that accurate?

No. In the book [I say] that cats behave toward us in a way that's indistinguishable from [how] they would act toward other cats. They do think we're clumsy: Not many cats trip over people, but we trip over cats.

But I don't think they think of us as being dumb and stupid, since cats don't rub on another cat that's inferior to them. (See "Cats Use 'Irresistible' Purr-Whine to Get Their Way.")

Can we discover what cats really think about us?

More research needs to be done. [It's] not an area that's received sufficient attention. [Cats are] not wild animals, so ecologists [might think], 'Well they're not really animals at all.'

What has been most surprising to you in your research?

How stressed a lot of pet cats can be without their owners realizing it, and how much it affects the quality of their mental lives and their health. Cats don't [always] get on with other cats, [and people don't realize] how much that can stress them out. Other than routine visits, the most common reason cats are taken to vets is because of a wound sustained in a fight with another cat.

[More cats are mysteriously getting] dermatitis and cystitis [inflammation of the bladder] and it's becoming abundantly clear that these medical problems are made worse by psychological stress. [For instance], inflammation of the bladder wall is linked to stress hormones in the blood.

One solution is to examine the cat's social lifestyle, instead of pumping it full of drugs. [For example, that could mean making sure] two cats that [don't get along] live at opposite ends of the house. Quite often the whole problem goes away.

I have a few questions from cat owners on Facebook. First, why might a cat yowl when it's by itself in a room?

Cats learn specifically how their owners react when they make particular noises. So if the cat thinks, 'I want to get my owner from the other room,' it works to vocalize. They use straightforward learning. (Learn about National Geographic's Little Kitties for Big Cats initiative.)

Why do some cats treat one human member of the household differently?

They're much smarter than we give them credit for: They learn what works with what person. They know if [one member of the family] is prone to get up at 4 a.m. and give them some treats.

They are using behavior that they would use toward their mother—all the behavior they show toward us is derived in some way from the mother-kitten relationship. The kitten learns to raise its tail, rub on its mother, and knead and purr. Grooming is what mothers do back to kittens.

So they're using bits of behavior already in their repertoire to communicate with us. There aren't very many behaviors—maybe half a dozen. (See National Geographic readers' pictures of cats.)

Yes. Cats can learn what they're not supposed to do. If your cat has developed a habit [of jumping up on the kitchen table], there are limited ways to prevent it.

You could use a spring-loaded toy, so when a cat jumps up on something, the toy goes bang and up in the air—the cat doesn't like that and jumps down. Another reasonably benign [strategy] is to use a child's water pistol. But make sure the cat doesn't realize you've got it. Cats don't forgive, and once they realize a person is causing them anxiety or hurt, they keep away.

What do you want owners to know about their cats?

Acknowledge that cats are sociable animals to a point, but not sociable to the extent that dogs are. A lot of people who have one cat decide they would like to have another cat, thinking two cats are twice as much fun. But the cats may not see it that way.

The simple message I would like to get across is if you do want to have more than one cat, go about it in a careful way—and be prepared to give up on it if it doesn't work.


The Biggest Trends In The Pet Industry

The pet industry has been experiencing explosive growth. According to The American Pet Products Association, almost 85 million households have a pet and over the last 30 years pet ownership has gone from 56% to 68% of all households. Some of the changes in pet ownership are due to technology and the advent of online purchasing. But most of the growth is because of changes in culture. As millennial and Generation Z consumers have come into adulthood, they have embraced the pet-owning and pet-loving lifestyles to a far greater extent than their elders. While baby boomers account for 32% of pets owned, households headed by younger cohorts account for 62% of pet ownership.

I recently caught up with Phillip Cooper, a pet industry expert who has consulted for some of the best and biggest pet industry leaders. He talked about how those cultural changes are affecting the what consumers want now when they own pets. The fastest-growing pet businesses are taking advantage of these trends:

  • Food – Consumers don’t want traditional pet foods. They want healthy ingredients and they want to understand the ingredients list. They are opting for more fresh, frozen and made-to-order diets for their pets. These products cost more and consumers are trading up.
  • Online private brands – Amazon and Chewy.com are promoting their own brands to disrupt the market and eliminate middleman margins. Other smaller, niche players are likewise creating brands with their own identity.
  • Treats – Pet parents feed their pets 8-10 treats a day and the trends in which treats are succeeding are following the same trends as pet food.
  • Technology – We are seeing pet services and conveniences developing along the lines of services for people. Just as with people, the smartphone has enabled this change.
  • Increased services – There is more attention being paid to pet grooming, pet care, pet transportation, pet hotels and many others.
  • End of Life – There are a great deal more products and services for pets as they age and pass away. Palliative services for terminally ill pets, pet cemeteries and cremation, grief consulting are some examples.
  • Availability – Mass merchants, grocery and even dollar stores are adding premium pet foods and other products so that it’s available at many more points of distribution than ever before.
  • DTC – The direct-to-consumer trend has reached the pet industry in a big way. Many brands are following their human product counterparts and selling products without going through a traditional multi-brand retailer.

There’s a conference in Austin, TX taking place at the beginning of next month called Pets & Money that brings together early-stage pet industry innovators and investors. In advance of the conference, the organizers ran a competition using a panel of industry experts as judges to choose 12 stars that will be highlighted at the conference. The companies they chose are good indications of the trends that Cooper is talking about. Here they are:

Pet Plate is a subscription service that sells premium, human-grade food for dogs. The service can be used either as a supplement to a diet or ideally as a dog’s entire diet plan. Pet Plate says its retention is higher than most subscription services because once a dog likes its diet, the pet parent is unlikely to switch. The service is not focused on urban millennial consumers, the company says its data shows that it crosses into many other demographic groups which gives it a huge potential market. The product is shipped frozen in custom, portion-sized containers. Pet Plate has already received venture capital backing.

If you’re interested in pet wellness, or you’re a user of Seventh Generation products in your home, then Wondercide is for you. Wondercide makes “safe and effective pest control for pets, families and homes.” Wondercide is sold primarily direct-to-consumer online and in pet specialty retailers nationwide. It is female-founded, will be ten years old in 2019 and has raised very little capital, no institutional money, and has grown by double- or triple-digits every year except one. Until recently, Wondercide had almost no marketing budget, its business has grown primarily by word-of-mouth.

DOGTV is, well, TV for dogs. A high percentage of dog owners leave their dogs at home alone for hours at a time and about half of those leave a tv or radio on for the dog’s time alone to be more pleasant. But human entertainment is not designed for dogs and that’s what DOGTV seeks to cure. Using numerous studies, DOGTV has created patented programming that dogs can watch, learn from and be entertained. Both the style of the programming and the images have been adapted to suit dogs’ understanding. The service is available by subscription online as well as on DirecTV, DishTV, Comcast, Cox and RCN.

Dig calls itself, “the dog person’s dating app.” The dating app universe has become increasingly niche-focused and users are usually active on several apps simultaneously. Dig offers the possibility of a relationship with someone who already has a relationship in their home or who wants to get a dog in the future. The app also helps plan dog-friendly dates. Users are 65% women which is the opposite proportion from most dating apps. The app (iOS and Android) is usable anywhere and Dig’s target markets of Austin, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, New York and San Francisco have had 154,000 unique users so far.

KitNipBox is a subscription box that comes monthly to cat owners’ homes. It has high-quality toys, all-natural treats and other fun, healthy products for cats. While this market has been widely developed for dogs, there is hardly anyone in the business for cats. As a result, the average customer remains subscribed for far longer than they do in most subscription companies, KitNipBox is profitable and has raised almost no outside capital.

Grand PooBox has introduced a kitty litter box that has a number of innovative features. First, it has good design so that it doesn’t have to be relegated to a closet or the bathroom, it’s attractive in any room. Second, it uses half as much kitty litter as traditional litter boxes. Finally, it has an internal grated ramp that cats walk on when they exit the litter box. The ramp removes litter from the cat’s paws and leaves little or no residue of kitty litter near the box or in the room. Right now the product is offered primarily direct-to-consumer for $85 and it’s made in the USA.

When you want to take your pet in an Uber or Lyft, things can get complicated quickly. Drivers are not required to take pets and the result can be delays, canceled rides and lots of inconvenience. SpotOn.Pet has the answer. Their drivers won’t reject your pet and they will provide protective seat covers for the car and seat belts (actually a harness) for your dog or cat. The price is comparable to Uber Black and the drivers receive 85% of the cost of the ride, making it much more attractive for them to join and enabling SpotOn.Pet to ramp up quickly. The service has just launched in New York and will be expanding to other cities soon.

Toletta is a kitty litter box that monitors your cat’s health passively. When the cat enters the litter box, Toletta can recognize that it’s your cat and distinguish between multiple cats using facial recognition. It monitors cats’ weight, urine volume and how often they use the litter box. It connects the data to an app on your smartphone and alerts you to health risks for your cat including urinary tract infections (very common), kidney disease and obesity. When it comes to market in 2019, there will be one price for the device and a low monthly subscription fee for the app monitoring.

According to Animal Biome, 20% of people suffer from chronic digestive conditions like colitis, infalmmatory bowel and other disorders. A similar percent of pets have these disorders too and many more suffer from food sensitivities. Animal Biome’s target market is consumers who understand proactive wellness to prevent and treat these conditions. Animal Biome offers gut health testing and supplements for pets to be healthier and 80% of cats and dogs that take their supplements have a measurable and beneficial shift in their microbiome with improved gut function.

Mixlab ingredients, products and packaging

Mixlab provides personalized medications and wellness products for pets. When a prescription is received from a vet, Mixlab customizes the dosage for the pet’s size and type. Mixlab can often give the pet parent the opportunity to have the medication mixed into a flavored treat or other form that's easier to administer. Mixlab presents its services to vets who recommend it to their pet owners. So far, a majority of the vets who have met a Mixlab representative have recommended it to their pet owners. Mixlab is only available in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and is planning to expand throughout the country.

Pupjoy product and customer

Pupjoy uses technology and data to offer mass customization of pet products. Its first offering is a subscription box that is highly customizable based on users’ preferences and dogs’ sensitivities and include treats, chews, toys, supplements, accessories as well as products for preventive care. Pupjoy guarantees a retail value in its subscription boxes that is at least double the price paid by the consumer. Pupjoy also sells customized boxes and products wholesale for corporate gifts and loyalty programs and eventually plans to offer customized pet food.

Theresa Piasta told me the company she founded, Puppy Mama, “is a platform for women to connect with each other and share how their dogs help them and bring joy to their lives.” In creating a community online for women who love their dogs, Puppy Mama advocates for a more dog-friendly world. With its brand, Puppy Mama drives revenue through digital advertising and sales of branded apparel and other products in the Puppy Mama ecommerce store.

I am a Co-founder and Partner at Triangle Capital LLC (www.TriangleCapitalLLC.com) where we specialize in mergers, acquisitions and capital-raising for consumer-related

I am a Co-founder and Partner at Triangle Capital LLC (www.TriangleCapitalLLC.com) where we specialize in mergers, acquisitions and capital-raising for consumer-related businesses. Our team has sold companies to Amazon, PetSmart, L'Oreal, AT&T, numerous financial buyers and many others. We are expert at maximizing value and getting investors and buyers to pay the most that a business is worth to them. We can also advise on how to position your company for the best possible outcome in a sale.

Before Triangle Capital, I was Managing Director at a boutique firm called Financo, Inc. where I ran most of that firm’s apparel industry transactions. Before that, I was a Partner and First Vice President at Drexel Burnham Lambert where I co-ran a group of 14 professionals doing middle-market mergers and acquisitions. I have coauthored three books on finance and computer programming. I am a former Adjunct Assistant Professor in the graduate program of the Stern School at NYU. I have a BS in Accounting from NYU and an MBA in Finance from Harvard. I’m based in New York.


Dogs were domesticated by the lure of an easy meal. While humans were still hunter-gatherers following herds, canine ancestors were drawn to their camps by the smell of food and followed to scavenge leftovers. When humans realized they would bark when predators were near, they began to feed them willingly. Dogs have loyally followed and protected us ever since.

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Leslie Carver has been a professional author since 2009. Her work appears on multiple websites. She has an associate's degree in English with progress toward her bachelor's at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She has been awarded an Outstanding Student Award in English and twice nominated for creative writing awards.


Where did dogs originate?

We know dogs evolved from wolves, and researchers and geneticists have extensively studied canines to try and pin down the exact moment in history when the first dog walked the Earth.

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Archaeological evidence and DNA analysis make the Bonn-Oberkassel dog the first undisputed example of a dog. The remains, a right mandible (jaw), were discovered during basalt quarrying in Oberkassel, Germany in 1914. First mistakenly classified as a wolf, the Bonn-Oberkassel dog was buried with two humans around 14,220 years ago.

However, there are other theories that suggest dogs may in fact be older. For example, many experts agree that dogs started to separate from wolves starting around 16,000 years before present in Southeastern Asia. The progenitors of the dogs we know and love today may have first appeared in the regions of modern-day Nepal and Mongolia at a time when humans were still hunter-gatherers.

Additional evidence suggests that around 15,000 years ago, early dogs moved out of Southern and Central Asia and dispersed around the world, following humans as they migrated.

Hunting camps in Europe are also thought to be home to canines known as Paleolithic dogs. These canines first appeared some 12,000 years ago and had different morphological and genetic features than the wolves found in Europe at the time. In fact, a quantitative analysis of these canine fossils found that the dogs had skulls similar in shape to that of the Central Asian Shepherd Dog.

Overall, while the Bonn-Oberkassel dog is the first dog we can all agree was in fact a dog, it’s possible dogs are much older. But until we uncover more evidence, it will be difficult to know for sure exactly when dogs completely separated from their wolf ancestors.


When did the cats versus dogs rivalry begin in the US? - History

Tens of thousands of years ago, during the Ice Age, a new creature appeared on Earth: the dog. How did this happen? And how has the relationship between humans and dogs changed over the years? Two fascinating articles tell an incredible story that connects to science, history—and of course, lots of adorable doggies.

As you read these articles, look for how dogs, and their relationships with humans, have changed over time.

How the Wolf Became the Dog

Life was tough for humans during the Ice Age. A new kind of friend made things better.

Be happy you didn’t live on Earth 35,000 years ago.

That was a time known as the Ice Age. Large sheets of ice covered much of Europe, Asia, and the Americas. There were no nations yet, no cities or towns. For many of our early human ancestors, life was a daily struggle for survival. They lived in caves or huts made of animal bones. They hunted reindeer with sharpened stones and sticks. Danger lurked everywhere—diseases with no cures, saber-toothed tigers with 11-inch fangs, elephant-like mastodons with swordlike tusks.

But it was during this harsh time that something beautiful was born: the friendship between humans and dogs.

Be glad you didn’t live on Earth 35,000 years ago.

That was a time known as the Ice Age. Large sheets of ice covered much of Europe, Asia, and the Americas. There were no nations yet, no cities or towns. Many of our early human ancestors struggled to survive. They lived in caves or huts made of animal bones. They hunted reindeer with sharpened stones and sticks. Danger was everywhere. There were diseases with no cures. There were sabertoothed tigers with 11-inch fangs. There were elephant-like mastodons with long, sharp tusks.

But during this harsh time, something beautiful was born: the friendship between humans and dogs.

Granger, NYC/The Granger Collection

Beloved ancient Egyptian hunting dogs were often turned into mummies.

Dogs have been guarding us, working with us, and snuggling with us for thousands of years. But scientists are only now starting to understand the long history of dogs. There
are many mysteries. One thing is certain though: Every dog has the same ancestor, the gray wolf.

This does not mean that a fierce wolf suddenly and magically morphed into a yapping Chihuahua with a pink bow. The change occurred gradually, over thousands of years. Scientists speculate that the first dog appeared between 15,000 and 38,000 years ago.

At that time, many animals—including the wolf—posed a threat to humans. But at some point, a group of humans and a group of wolves teamed up. How did this happen?

One theory: A few wolves crept into human campsites, lured by tasty food scraps. These wolves were less aggressive than other wolves. But they still helped protect humans from dangerous predators. And so humans let these wolves stick around. The gentler wolves, their bellies full of human food, lived longer than other wolves. They gave birth to even gentler babies, which grew up to have gentle babies of their own. On and on this went, until a new, calmer breed of wolf emerged.

Dogs have been living with humans for thousands of years. But scientists are only now starting to understand the history of dogs. There are many mysteries. But one thing is certain: All dogs have the same ancestor, the gray wolf.

This does not mean that a fierce wolf suddenly morphed into a yapping Chihuahua with a pink bow. The change happened slowly. It took thousands of years. Experts speculate that the first dog appeared between 15,000 and 38,000 years ago.

At that time, many animals posed a threat to humans. Wolves were among them. But at some point, a group of humans and a group of wolves teamed up. How did this happen?

One theory: A few wolves crept into human campsites to eat food scraps. They were less aggressive than other wolves. But they still helped protect humans from other animals. And so the humans let them stay. The gentler wolves ate human food. This helped them live longer than other wolves. They gave birth to even gentler babies, which grew up and had gentle babies too. After a while, there was a new, calmer breed of wolf.

Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

Sergeant Stubby was the most famous dog soldier of World War I.

As the centuries passed, the wolves living near humans continued to change. Their bodies got smaller, their ears floppier. They became friendlier and more eager to please humans. Soon, a new kind of creature had developed: the dog.

Dogs were the first domesticated animals—that is, animals bred and raised to live among us. Today, there are many kinds of domesticated animals—cows that give us milk, chickens that lay eggs, horses that we ride, and sheep that provide wool. But dogs were the first.

Eventually, humans put dogs to work in new ways. Dogs became trained hunters, fighters, and animal herders. Roman warriors marched into battle alongside enormous war dogs. In ancient Egypt, some hunting dogs were so prized that they were turned into mummies and buried with their owners.

Dogs helped in less ferocious ways too. Before people used forks, spoons, and napkins, they’d wipe their greasy hands on dogs that sat by their tables. On icy winter nights, people used dogs as foot warmers. Some European kings wouldn’t take a bite of food until their dog had tasted it first. Only then could they be sure the food hadn’t been poisoned.

Centuries went by. The wolves living near humans continued to change. They got smaller. Their ears got floppier. They became friendlier and more eager to please humans. Over time, a new kind of creature developed: the dog.

Dogs were the first domesticated animals—that is, animals bred and raised to live among us. Today, there are many kinds of domesticated animals. There are cows that give us milk, chickens that lay eggs, horses that we ride, and sheep that provide wool. But dogs were the first.

Humans began putting dogs to work in new ways. They trained dogs to hunt, fight, and herd animals. Roman warriors marched into battle alongside huge war dogs. In ancient Egypt, favorite hunting dogs were turned into mummies and buried with their owners.

Dogs helped in other ways too. Before people used forks, spoons, and napkins, they’d wipe their greasy hands on dogs. On cold nights, people used dogs as foot warmers. In Europe, some kings wouldn’t eat their food until their dog had tasted it first. That way, they could tell if the food had been poisoned.

Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

Balto became a hero for delivering medicine to sick children in Alaska.

In the Americas, dogs have been working alongside humans for thousands of years. Native peoples used dogs as guards and hunting companions. George Washington plotted Revolutionary War battles with his hunting dog Sweetlips by his side. In the early 1800s, explorers Lewis and Clark journeyed across America’s western wilderness with a big black dog named Seaman.

As the centuries have passed, the bond between dogs and people has gotten stronger and stronger. And it all began tens of thousands of years ago, with a family of wolves howling across a dangerous, frozen land.

In the Americas, dogs have been helping humans for many years. Native peoples used dogs as guards and hunting companions. George Washington planned Revolutionary War battles with his hunting dog Sweetlips by his side. In the early 1800s, explorers Lewis and Clark crossed America’s western wilderness with a big black dog named Seaman.

Over time, the bond between dogs and people has grown very strong. And it all began thousands of years ago, with a family of wolves howling across a dangerous, frozen land.

How America Went DOG Crazy

Today, dogs are more than pets. They’re members of the family.

Scout, a little brown dog, seems to be going crazy. He bounces up and down like a furry ball. His tiny pink tongue flaps from his mouth as he licks everyone
in sight.

“He’s just excited,” sighs 12-year-old Ruby. “He’s always excited.”

Since Scout’s arrival in Ruby’s home two years ago, the dog has been an endless source of ear-splitting yaps, slobbery licks, smelly indoor puddles, and brown stains on the rug.

Nobody in Ruby’s family ever imagined that they would own such a spoiled, badly behaved little beast. Nor did the family imagine that they could love an animal as much as they love Scout.

“He’s so annoying,” Ruby moans. But then she snatches up the little dog and kisses his slimy black nose.

You can practically see Ruby’s heart melting with love.

Scout, a little brown dog, seems to be going crazy. He bounces up and down like a furry ball. His tongue flaps from his mouth as he licks everyone in sight.

“He’s just excited,” sighs 12-year-old Ruby. “He’s always excited.”

Scout lives with Ruby’s family. He yaps loudly. He slobbers. He leaves puddles on the floor. He stains the rug.

No one in Ruby’s home ever imagined that they would own such a spoiled, badly behaved little beast. Nor did they imagine that they could love an animal as much as they love Scout.

“He’s so annoying,” Ruby moans. But then she grabs Scout and kisses him.

You can almost see Ruby’s heart melting with love.

Granger, NYC/The Granger Collection

President Franklin D. Roosevelt was rarely seen without his terrier, Fala.

Today, nearly 50 percent of American families own at least one dog. Americans spend tens of billions of dollars on their dogs each year—on everything from veterinarian visits and grooming to gourmet treats and high-tech gadgets like doggy treadmills. A 2015 poll found that 38 percent of U.S. dog owners cook special meals for their dogs. It’s not surprising that 96 percent of owners consider their dogs to be members of the family.

Dogs have been by the sides of humans for tens of thousands of years. But until recently, dogs were mainly valued for the work they could do. They could chase foxes away from chicken coops and clear restaurant kitchens of rats. They could hunt for ducks and pull sleds over snowy hills. When fires broke out in cities, firehouse dogs cleared the way for fire wagons pulled by horses.

These hard-working dogs were too dirty and smelly to be allowed indoors. Dogs that became sick or injured either healed on their own or died most veterinarians provided care only for valuable animals, like horses and cows.

Today, nearly half of all American families own a dog. We spend tens of billions of dollars on our dogs each year. There are vet visits, grooming, gourmet treats, and more. A 2015 poll found that 38 percent of U.S. dog owners cook special meals for their dogs. It’s no surprise that 96 percent of owners think of their dogs as family members.

Dogs have been by the sides of humans for thousands of years. But until recently, dogs were mainly valued for the work they could do. They chased foxes away from chicken coops. They cleared restaurant kitchens of rats. They hunted for ducks. They pulled sleds over snow. When fires broke out in cities, firehouse dogs cleared the way for fire wagons pulled by horses.

These hard-working dogs were too dirty and smelly to live indoors. If they got sick or hurt, they healed on their own or they died. Most vets treated only animals that were seen as valuable at that time, like horses and cows.

Gabi Rona/CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

In the ‘50s, the show Lassie helped turn dogs into all-American pets.

But by the late 1800s, that was starting to change. America was becoming wealthier. More people could afford to feed and care for a pet. New and powerful soaps scrubbed dogs clean and killed fleas. Companies started selling dog food, which made feeding a dog more convenient. Veterinarians opened offices just for treating dogs and other pets. In the 1950s, some of the most popular TV shows, like Lassie and The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, helped turn dogs into all-American pets.

Of course, Americans have embraced other pets too. For instance, there are more cats in American homes than dogs. But humans have a uniquely powerful relationship with dogs, one that scientists are just beginning to figure out.

But by the late 1800s, that was changing. America was becoming wealthier. More people could afford to feed and care for a pet. New and powerful soaps scrubbed dogs clean and killed fleas. Companies started selling dog food, which made feeding a dog simpler. Vets opened offices just for treating pets. In the 1950s, TV shows like Lassie and The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin helped turn dogs into popular pets.

Americans love other pets too. There are more cats than dogs in American homes. But humans have a special connection with dogs. Scientists are just starting to figure out this connection.

Studies show that dogs really do improve our lives. Walking a dog several times a day improves the health of elderly people. Dogs can help kids with autism and other challenges cope with stress.

New research is helping to show the scientific basis for our connection to dogs. In 2015, Japanese researchers found that when humans and dogs gaze into each other’s eyes, something happens inside both species’ bodies. Both the human’s and the dog’s brains release a chemical that makes them feel close. This is the same chemical that helps mothers feel close to their babies.

Another study showed that when humans point to something, dogs look where we’re pointing. This shows that dogs try to understand us. Not even our closest animal relative—the chimpanzee—does that naturally.

Today, dogs help humans in many incredible ways. They lead people who can’t see. They find people who are lost. They comfort wounded soldiers.

But most dogs are like Scout, with just one main job: loving us. And for most of us, that’s enough.

Studies show that dogs make our lives better. Dog owners tend to get more exercise those daily walks make them healthier. Dogs can help kids with autism and other challenges cope with stress.

New research is helping to uncover the scientific reason for our connection to dogs. In 2015, Japanese researchers found that when humans and dogs look into each other’s eyes, something happens inside their bodies. Both the human’s and the dog’s brains release a chemical that makes them feel close. It’s the same chemical that helps mothers feel close to their babies.

Another study showed that when humans point to something, dogs look where we’re pointing. This shows that dogs try to understand us. Not even our closest animal relative, the chimpanzee, does that naturally.

Today, dogs help humans in many ways. They lead people who can’t see. They find people who are lost. They comfort wounded soldiers.

But most dogs, like Scout, have just one main job: to love us. And for most of us, that’s enough.

  • Imagine you could transform yourself into either a wolf or a dog. Which would you be? Write a paragraph explaining your choice and what time period you would like to live in. Find details in the articles, and use your imagination, to describe what your life would be like, what your daily activities might be, and what your relationship with humans would be like.
  • Watch the video "Into the World of Military Working Dogs." As you watch, make a list of all the ways dogs help soldiers. Then use your list to write a thank-you note to a military working dog for being such an important helper.
  • Imagine you could transform yourself into either a wolf or a dog. Which would you be? Write a paragraph explaining your choice and what time period you would like to live in. Find details in the articles, and use your imagination, to describe what your life would be like, what your daily activities might be, and what your relationship with humans would be like.
  • Watch the video "Into the World of Military Working Dogs." As you watch, make a list of all the ways dogs help soldiers. Then use your list to write a thank-you note to a military working dog for being such an important helper.
  • Imagine you could transform yourself into either a wolf or a dog. Which would you be? Write a paragraph explaining your choice and what time period you would like to live in. Find details in the articles, and use your imagination, to describe what your life would be like, what your daily activities might be, and what your relationship with humans would be like.
  • Watch the video "Into the World of Military Working Dogs." As you watch, make a list of all the ways dogs help soldiers. Then use your list to write a thank-you note to a military working dog for being such an important helper.
  • Imagine you could transform yourself into either a wolf or a dog. Which would you be? Write a paragraph explaining your choice and what time period you would like to live in. Find details in the articles, and use your imagination, to describe what your life would be like, what your daily activities might be, and what your relationship with humans would be like.
  • Watch the video "Into the World of Military Working Dogs." As you watch, make a list of all the ways dogs help soldiers. Then use your list to write a thank-you note to a military working dog for being such an important helper.

Synthesizing, vocabulary, text evidence, main idea, key details, tone, compare and contrast, cause and effect, text structure, explanatory writing

“How the Wolf Became the Dog” explains where dogs came from and the history of their relationship with humans. “How America Went DOG Crazy” is about how dogs became popular and beloved pets in the United States.

The first text is mainly chronological. Both texts include cause-and-effect and compare-and-contrast structures.

The articles include challenging academic and domain-specific vocabulary (e.g. ancestors, domesticated, morphed, predators), as well as figurative language like similes and rhetorical questions.

Some knowledge of dog characteristics and behavior will aid in comprehension. The articles also include historical references (George Washington, Lewis and Clark) and mention of old TV shows.

860L (on level), 650L (lower level)

Preview Text Features and Vocabulary (20 minutes)

  • Have students look at the photos and captions in both articles. Ask: What difference do you notice between the dogs featured in the first article and those in the second? (The dogs in the first article have important jobs: hunting, fighting, delivering medicine. The ones in the second article seem to be adored pets.)
  • Distribute the vocabulary activity to introduce challenging terms in the text. Highlighted terms: ancestors, mastodons, morphed, speculate, aggressive, domesticated
  • Call on a student to read aloud the Up Close box on page 16 for the class.

Read and Unpack the Text (45 minutes)

Read the articles as a class. Then put students in groups to answer the close-reading questions.

Discuss the critical-thinking question as a class.

“How the Wolf Became the Dog”

Close-Reading Questions

In the first section, the authors write that “life was a daily struggle for survival” during the Ice Age. What evidence do they give to support this statement? (text evidence) The authors explain that many early humans lived in shelters made of animal bones, hunted using simple tools, suffered from diseases with no cures, and faced threats from fierce animals like saber-toothed tigers.

According to “From Wolf to Dog,” what do scientists know for sure about the history of dogs? (main idea) Scientists know that all dogs have the same animal ancestor, the gray wolf, and that it took thousands of years for wolves to turn into the creatures we know as dogs.

What is one theory about how humans and wolves first teamed up? How did this help both species? (key details) One theory is that a group of less aggressive wolves began sneaking into human campsites to eat food scraps. This helped keep the humans safe from other dangerous predators, and helped the wolves live longer than most other wolves.

Based on “Hunters, Napkins,” what is a domesticated animal? What details in this section help you understand what makes dogs domesticated animals? (vocabulary/key details) A domesticated animal is one that has developed to live among humans, often to serve a useful purpose. The section shows that dogs are domesticated by noting that they are “eager to please humans” and that humans have used them to perform jobs like hunting, herding, and even foot-warming.

“How America Went DOG Crazy“

Close-Reading Questions

In the first section, what is the authors’ tone, or attitude, toward Scout? Why do you think they describe Scout in this way? (tone) The authors’ tone is annoyed and disapproving they describe Scout as “a spoiled, badly behaved little beast.” This description shows that his owners’ love for him is strong enough to make up for the annoyance.

Reread the section “Too Dirty and Smelly.” How is the way dogs are treated today different from the way they were treated in the past? (compare and contrast) Today, dogs are treated as important members of the family they’re pampered with treats and rushed to the veterinarian when they’re sick. But in the past, dogs were seen simply as workers. They were kept outside and not considered valuable enough to be taken for medical care.

Based on “From Workers to Pets,” how was America changing in the late 1800s? How did this affect our relationship with dogs? (cause and effect) In the late 1800s, America was becoming wealthier. More people could afford to feed and care for dogs, so dogs became more popular as pets.

Why might the authors have included the section “A Surprising Discovery”? (text structure) The authors likely included this section to help explain one of the article’s main ideas—that humans and dogs have “a uniquely powerful relationship.” Understanding the scientific basis for this relationship helps readers see why dogs are such popular pets.

Critical-Thinking Question

What is the biggest difference between why people own dogs today and why people owned dogs in the past? Use details from both articles in your answer. (synthesizing) Today, most people keep dogs as companions 96 percent of owners even consider their pet dogs to be members of the family. But in the past, people kept dogs mainly to perform jobs like hunting, herding, and fighting.


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