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Portal:Dogs

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Introduction

Collage of Nine Dogs.jpg

The domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris when considered a subspecies of the wolf or Canis familiaris when considered a distinct species) is a member of the genus Canis (canines), which forms part of the wolf-like canids, and is the most widely abundant terrestrial carnivore. The dog and the extant gray wolf are sister taxa as modern wolves are not closely related to the wolves that were first domesticated, which implies that the direct ancestor of the dog is extinct. The dog was the first species to be domesticated and has been selectively bred over millennia for various behaviors, sensory capabilities, and physical attributes.

Their long association with humans has led dogs to be uniquely attuned to human behavior and they are able to thrive on a starch-rich diet that would be inadequate for other canid species. Dogs vary widely in shape, size and colors. Dogs perform many roles for humans, such as hunting, herding, pulling loads, protection, assisting police and military, companionship and, more recently, aiding disabled people and therapeutic roles. This influence on human society has given them the sobriquet "man's best friend".

Selected article

A healthy 13-year-old mixed-breed dog shows hybrid vigor.
A mixed-breed dog (also called a bastard, mutt (shortened from muttonhead), mongrel, tyke, mixed mutt, cur, or random-bred dog), is a dog that is a mixture of two or more breeds, or a descendant of feral or pariah dog populations. Except for extreme variations in size, dogs interbreed freely, mixed-breed dogs vary in size, shape, and color, making them hard to classify physically. Historically, all purebred dogs have been selected from a mixed-breed population. See Golden Retriever for an example.

All possible body shapes, tongue color, ear types, and tail styles can appear in mixed breeds. Extremes in appearance, such as the flattened face of the English Bulldog or the extremely curled tail of the Pug, seldom survive even the first crossbreeding. Mixed breeds also tend to have a size between that of their parents, thus tending eventually toward the norm.

It's important to note that all dog breeds are man-made creations. Dogs were traditionally bred for specific functions. Most existing dog breeds began as mixed breeds, either by random occurrence or by deliberate crosses of existing breeds.

Selected image

Komondor at the 2007 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Credit: Dave

A Komondor during the Working Group judging at the 2007 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is a two-day benched conformation show that takes place at Madison Square Garden in New York City every year. Dog owners from around the world come to show their dogs. Dogs are judged closely by eminent American Kennel Club (AKC) judges. It is considered by many to be America's most prestigious dog show.

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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.
Main article - Category
Hunting dogs
Any dog or breed who assists humans in hunting. There are several categories of hunting dogs.
Main article
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.
Main article - Category
Companion dogs
Dogs whose primary function is as a companion and friend. Many toy breeds.
More groups

Dog breeds also can be grouped into similar types such as molossers, spitz types, pit bulls, or lurchers.

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Selected breed

Smooth-haired miniature Dachshund
The Dachshund is a short-legged, elongated dog breed of the hound family. The breed's name is German and literally means “badger dog,” from (der) Dachs “badger” and (der) Hund “dog.” In German the Dachshund is known most commonly as the Dackel or Teckel (in Dutch). The breed was developed to scent, chase, and hunt badgers and other hole-dwelling animals. Dachshunds are widely recognisable, and several notable Dachshunds include Waldi, the mascot of the 1972 Summer Olympics and Odie in the Garfield: The Movie.

Did you know...

Rex, presidential dog, and friends

...that the most common breeds for use as guide dogs are Labrador and Golden Retrievers?

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