Cultural Landscapes Activities
Animal domestication followed a co-evolution process from a very ancient time - probably from the times in which human beings settled and developed agriculture. One of the reasons for domestication, aside from getting meat and milk, was to use them for work. The use of animals for work multiplied the capacity of human labour, taking advantage of some of their natural abilities. The use of animals can be classified in different categories like work, draught, guarding, hunting, or pest-fighting animals:
Animal power was used for pulling in agricultural labours (like ploughing, planting or weeding), device functioning (like tread-mills for grinding or water pumping), or transport of products, wood or water (pulling from carts and other wheeled vehicles, or sleds). Also, transport can also be used by packing or mounting directly on the animal. Other uses of draught animals are for water-lifting, logging and land excavation. Animals used on such purposes in European landscapes were (and still are) oxen (used especially when much power is needed), horses, mules, donkeys, and even dogs.
Animals were also used to keep people and livestock guarded from the attacks of predators or… other people. For these purposes, dogs were mainly used. Shepherding with dogs can also be included here, even thow it usually implies skills beyond simple guarding.
Dogs were also used in finding, chasing, catching or retrieving preys in hunting. Other animals were also used in hunting, like ferrets and birds of prey (normally falcons).
Cats were used in order to fight pests like mice or rats, but other animals were also used like some breeds of dogs, and even some species of snakes.