With the help of archaeology and archaeozoology, art and image studies and with an analysis of written sources, the history of our domestic animals can be traced from their wild ancestors over their Geliebtes und gehasstes Tier domestication and their further developments. Dogs as the oldest domesticated animals play a particular role: Like no other domesticated animal, they have centered on humans and are able to understand human facial expressions and gestures. The common history of humans and dogs goes back to the Paleolithic whereas the cat which is the most popular companion animal in many European countries today was domesticated only many thousand years later. The living together of humans and dogs resp. cats in prehistoric and protohistoric times is complex and characterized by adoration as well as rejection, which has an impact on our society even today.
Keywords: companion animals, dog, cat, domestication