Portal:Dogs

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The Dogs Portal

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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A Golden Retriever puppy
A puppy is a baby dog, generally less than one year of age. The term is sometimes abbreviated to pup, and in that form is used for the young of some other animals, such as the wolf. The number of puppies in a litter varies greatly by breed. Some smaller dogs typically bear only one or two puppies at a time, while some larger breeds bear a dozen or more. In some cases, one puppy will be the runt of the litter, being noticeably smaller than the others.

Born after approximately 63 days of gestation, puppies emerge in an amnion which is bitten off and eaten by the mother dog. At first, puppies spend ninety percent of their time sleeping and the rest feeding. Puppies develop very quickly during their first three months, particularly after their eyes and ears open and they are no longer completely dependent on their mother. Puppies are highly social animals and spend most of their waking hours interacting with either their mother or littermates. It is important that the puppy receive regular positive socialisation with other dogs and humans during the first sensitive period (eight to twelve weeks).

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American Eskimo Dog
Credit: Robert Southworth
A Featured picture of the day.

The American Eskimo Dog is a breed of companion dog originating in the United States (probably in New York City) in the twentieth century. It is derived from the German Spitz, the Finnish Spitz, and almost certainly the Pomeranian and Keeshond. The spitz family of Nordic dogs is one of the least altered by human husbandry and reflects most nearly the prototypical dog, from which stock all others have been derived. Archeology suggests that Neolithic dogs living with humans would today pass for spitzes.

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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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A black Siberian Husky.
The Siberian Husky is a working dog that originated in eastern Siberia. "Sibes" are a resilient breed of dog, known for their ability to thrive in the arctic cold. They were originally bred by the Chukchi tribes for use as a village dog to accomplish such tasks as herding reindeer, pulling sleds, and keeping children warm. Despite their sometimes intimidating wolf-like appearance, Siberian Huskies generally have a gentle temperament. Being a working breed, Sibes are very energetic and enjoy the ability to explore and run. That, combined with their striking appearance, has made them popular as both family pets and as show dogs.

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