Portal:Dogs

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Two Australian Shepherds
The domestic dog is a mammal in the canine family of the Order Carnivora. Dogs were first domesticated from wolves at about 14,000 years B.C (genetic evidence suggests dogs split from wolves around 100,000 years ago, although it is unclear if this was related to domestication). In this time, the dog has developed into hundreds of breeds with a great degree of variation in height and weight, coat color and texture, anatomical details and behavior. Dogs fill a variety of roles in human society and are often trained as working dogs. For dogs that do not have traditional jobs, a wide range of dog sports provide the opportunity to exhibit their natural skills. In many countries the most common, and perhaps most important, role of dogs is as companions. Dogs have lived with and worked with humans in so many roles that their loyalty has earned them the sobriquet "man's best friend."
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This Chihuahua mix and Great Dane show the wide range of dog breed sizes.
A dog breed is a group of dogs that have very similar or nearly identical characteristics of appearance or behavior or, usually, both, primarily because they come from a select set of ancestors who had the same characteristics. Dogs have been selectively bred for specific characteristics for thousands of years. Initially the selections would have centered on domestication and useful behavior such as hunting ability. Later, dogs were also selected for attractive and distinctive forms, resulting in a vast variety of types.

Many traditional dog breeds recognized by the main breed registries are said to be "purebred". Only individuals whose parentage consists only of other purebred examples of the breed are regarded as part of that breed. This concept has caused controversy both because of the difficulty of regulation and because of the possible genetic consequences of a limited population (inbreeding). Recent work has been done to genetically classify the various breeds, with some surprising results regarding the estimated age and interrelations of the breeds.

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Labrador Retriever
Credit: Elf

A yellow Labrador Retriever correctly negotiating weave poles at a dog agility competition. Similar to a slalom, weave poles are a series of upright poles, each about 3 feet (1 m) tall and spaced about 20 inches (50 cm) apart, through which the dog weaves. It is one of the most difficult obstacles for a dog to master. It varies from 5 to 12 poles at one time. The dog must always enter with the first pole to his left and must not skip poles.

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Types of Dogs

Working dogs
Working dogs are those who perform jobs for people, as distinguished from companion dogs. Working dogs are of many types.
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Hunting dogs
Any dog or breed who assists humans in hunting. There are several categories of hunting dogs.
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Pastoral dogs
Any dog or breed who assists humans with livestock.
Guard dogs
Dogs used to protect people or property.
Sled dogs
Dogs whose job is primarily pulling sleds.
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Companion dogs 
Dogs whose primary function is as a companion and friend. Many toy breeds.
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Dog breeds also can be grouped into similar types such as molossers, spitz types, pit bulls, or lurchers.

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Cairn Terriers
The Cairn Terrier is a breed of dog of the terrier category. It is one of the oldest terriers, originating in the Scottish Highlands and recognized as one of Scotland's earliest working dogs, used for hunting burrowing prey among the cairns. Cairn Terriers are intelligent, strong, and loyal. Like most terriers, they are stubborn and strong-willed, and love to dig after real or imagined prey. The most famous Cairn Terrier is perhaps Toto from the film adaption of The Wizard of Oz. The Cairn Terrier has a harsh, weather-resistant outer coat that can be cream, wheaten, red, sandy, gray, or brindled in any of these colors.

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