The oldest dog breed in the world

Dogs have been around quite a long time, and they've been man's best friend, or at least his closest acquaintance, for much longer than you might expect. According to PBS, all dogs can trace their roots back to the gray wolf, and while it has long been thought the domestication process began around 12,000 years ago, recent DNA evidence suggests they began to evolve around 130,000 years ago. No wonder dogs seem to know us so well — they've been studying us. 

A similar timeline had long been set for human development, with the story of modern civilizations emerging roughly 10,000 years ago, but more recent archaeological finds have dated humans back 130,000 years as well, according to National Geographic

Interestingly, this time scale suggests that wolves began to adapt to human society long before our species is thought to have settled down into agriculture. In other words, they studied humans and found an ecological niche they could fill in order to earn their way out of the cold.

Salukis date back to the dawn of recorded history

Since dogs and humans have co-evolved, it might not be surprising that the oldest references to specific dog breeds come from some of the oldest civilizations we're aware of.

According to Guinness World Records, the oldest official dog breed in the world is the saluki, the striking Egyptian breed with roots that can be traced all the way back to 329 BC. Salukis were so revered in ancient Egypt that they were considered royals while living, and mummified after death. It's likely that the breed has been around even longer than that, with carvings found in Sumer (modern day Southern Iraq) that appear to depict a saluki dating back to 7000 BC.

According to Dogster, salukis are a lanky, muscular, balanced and refined breed that moves with the grace of a prize horse. They're speed demons, but mellow and sensitive in temperament, preferring to bond through exercise. This is a great breed for those living an active lifestyle. For example, if you're a cave person who hunts by outrunning his prey until they're exhausted — the saluki may be right for you!