Temporal range: Late Pleistocene - Recent
|other images of dogs|
|Subspecies:||C. l. familiaris|
|Canis lupus familiaris
The dog (Canis lupus familiaris) is a mammal from the family Canidae. It has been domesticated by humans for a long time. It was the first animal ever to be domesticated. Dogs are used by humans for many different things, for work and as pets. They are a popular pet because they are usually playful, friendly, and listen to humans. Thirty million dogs in the United States are registered as pets. Dogs eat both meat and vegetables, often mixed together and sold in stores as dog food. Dogs often have jobs, including as police dogs, army dogs, seeing eye dogs, fire dogs, messenger dogs, hunting dogs and sheepdogs.
They are sometimes called "canines" from the Latin word for dog - canis. Sometimes people also use "dog" to describe other canids, such as wolves. A baby dog is called a pup or puppy. A dog is called a puppy until it is about one year old.
Dogs are sometimes referred to as "man's best friend" because they are kept as domestic pets and are usually loyal and like being around humans.
Appearance and behaviour[change | edit source]
Dogs can smell and hear very well, but cannot see well in color, or they are color blind. Dogs have four legs and make a "bark" or "woof" sound. Dogs often chase cats, and most dogs will fetch a ball or stick.
Dogs usually live about 10 years or more. The size and the breed of the dog may change how long the dog lives. Smaller dog breeds usually live longer.
Like wolves, wild dogs travel in groups called packs. Packs of dogs are ordered by rank, and dogs with low rank will submit to other dogs with higher rank. The highest ranked dog is called the alpha male. A dog in a group helps and cares for others. Domesticated dogs often view their owner as the alpha male.
Origin of dogs[change | edit source]
All dogs are descended from wolves, which has happened due to domestication and artificial selection. This is known because DNA genome analysis has been done to discover this. They have been bred by humans. The earliest known fossil of a domestic dog is from 31,700 years ago in Belgium.
Dogs and humans[change | edit source]
Dogs have lived with people for at least 30,000 years.[source?] They are often called "man's best friend" because they fit in with human life. Dogs can serve people in many ways. For example, there are guard dogs, hunting dogs, herding dogs, and guide dogs for blind people. There are also dogs that are trained to smell for diseases in the human body or to find bombs or illegal drugs. These dogs sometimes help police in airports or other areas. Sniffer dogs (usually beagles) are sometimes trained for this job. Dogs have even been sent by Russians into outer space, a few years before any human being. The first dog sent up was called Laika, but died while there.
Dog breeds[change | edit source]
- See also List of dog breeds.
There are at least 800 breeds (kinds) of dogs. Dogs whose parents were the same breed will also be that breed: these dogs are called purebred or pure pedigree dogs. Dogs with parents from different breeds no longer belong to one breed: they are called mutts, mixed-breed dogs, hybrids, or mongrels. Some of the most popular breeds are sheepdogs, collies, poodles and retrievers. It is becoming popular to breed together two different breeds of dogs and call the new dog's breed a name that is a mixture of the parents' breeds' two names. A puppy with a poodle and a pomeranian as parents might be called a Pomapoo. These kinds of dogs, instead of being called mutts, are known as designer dog breeds. These dogs are normally used for prize shows and designer shows. They can be guide dogs.
Photogallery[change | edit source]
Related pages[change | edit source]
References[change | edit source]
- Gifford, Clive; Lisa Clayden (2002). Family Flip Quiz Geography. Bardfield Centre, Great Bardfield, Essex, CM7 4SL: Miles Kelly Publishing. ISBN 1-84236-146-5.
- Lindblad-Toh K, Wade CM, Mikkelsen TS et al. 2005. Genome sequence, comparative analysis and haplotype structure of the domestic dog. Nature 438 pp803–819
- Savolainen, Peter; Ya-ping Zhang, Jing Luo, Joakim Lundeberg, Thomas Leitner 2002. Genetic evidence for an East Asian origin of domestic dogs. Science 298 pp1610–3.
- World's first dog lived 31,700 years ago, ate big Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News, 10/17/2008