Domestic Dog

AUTHOR: Josh Kapfer (ReptileJK)

ISSUE: 10:5-8



It has been reported that the Noldor brought dogs with them to Middle Earth during the First Age. However, many scholars question whether or not this is possible. The more likely (and currently accepted theory) is that domestic dogs were bred centuries ago from an ancestral wild canid that probably resembled current day wolves. They also believe that this ancestral canid gave rise to present day wild canids (such as wolves and foxes). Furthermore, it is believed that primitive humans domesticated this ancient canid for the purposes of acting as guards or herders. It has even been suggested that early humans used dogs as a food source when necessary. These early domestic dogs were bred over centuries by humans to be more efficient at specific tasks and eventually diverged into the multiple breeds of dogs found in Middle Earth today that are all unique in their appearance, function, and behavior. Further evidence against the theory that the Noldor Elves were the first to introduce dogs into Middle Earth is that few Elves currently utilize domestic dogs of any kind. Elves appreciate all wild and domestic animals and generally get on well with all domestic dog breeds. Yet, Elves have no need for the assistance of these canids in their daily lives and are generally against the “caging” of animals other than when absolutely necessary as mounts and food. Therefore, Elves do not keep domestic dogs. Humans, on the other hand, utilize domestic dogs extensively for many purposes. Dwarves will tolerate the dogs when necessary, but, like Elves, do not keep any of their own. Therefore, unless the Narrator grants it, Elf and Dwarf adventurers cannot keep domesticated dogs.


Common Breeds

Beorning Mountain Dog

Boar-hunting Dane of Dunland

Cattle Dog

Dunlending Foxhound

Gondorian Terrier

Lossoth Sled Dog

Mastiff of Rohan

Northmen Wolfhound


Rohirric Collie

Water Spaniel of Tharbad