years ago, sheep were domesticated in the area between the Tigris
and Euphrates Rivers. Simultaneously a new phase in the development
of human civilization took place. As a result of various geographical
and climatic conditions, people were forced into a nomadic style
of living. Likewise, their dogs spread over the same wide area.
History has shown that human and canine society followed two directions:
toward the east to Iran, Afghanistan, and ultimately Tibet and China;
to the north through the Caucasus and the Black Sea to Europe.
During archaeological excavations at Eliseyevichi 1, a paleolithic
settlement in the Bryansk region, participants from the Zoological
Institute of the Russian Academy of Science and the Museum of Anthropology
and Ethnography discovered two completely intact dog skulls. Dated
13,000 to 17,000 years ago, these skulls are considered to be the
oldest so far discovered.
The archaeological findings of dog bones in Europe are dated at
a later time period, approximately 9,000 years ago. In the Steppes
around what would become the Black Sea and in the center of the
Caucasus, bones of the so called Bronze Dog (Canis familiaris matris
optimae) were excavated. In Romania, excavated dog bones, considerable
smaller than the modern livestock guardian dog, have also been found.
For thousands of years, people have depended on livestock breeding.
To preserve the herd or flock, people also developed a dog that
they could depend on to guard the flock. These livestock guardian
dogs, crucial to the survival of the herd, were usually large, watchful,
fearless, strong and brave enough to resist an attack from wolf
or bear. To fulfill these requirements, a livestock guardian dog
had to display significant independence. The modern day livestock
guardian dog still possesses these qualities.