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Portal:Dogs

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Two Australian Shepherds
The domestic dog is a mammal in the canine family of the Order Carnivora. Based on genetic evidence, dogs began from a single domestication of a now-extinct wolf-like canid in Western Europe 27 to 40 thousand years ago. Since 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 police dog of the Belgian Malinois breed wearing a protective vest.
A police dog is a dog that is trained specifically to assist police and similar law-enforcement personnel with their work. They are also known in the United States as police K9s (a play on words; a homophone for canine).

The term is sometimes also used in the common parlance of several countries to refer to any German Shepherd Dog because of the long history of the use of the German Shepherd by the police and military; in some nations German Shepherds are the only dogs used by those forces. Almost all dog breeds that are trained for police work originate from Germanic and Romance countries.

In recognition of the valuable role these animals play in police duties and the dangers they face, there have been a number of measures to ensure their protection. These include outfitting dogs with bulletproof vests to protect them from guns and some areas have passed laws that make attacking a police dog a felony.

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A yellow Labrador Retriever
Credit: Herwig Kavallar

The Labrador Retriever ("Labrador" or "Lab" for short), is a retriever, and is the most popular breed of dog (by registered ownership) in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The breed is friendly, intelligent, energetic and good natured, making them excellent companions and working dogs. Labrador Retrievers are known to be one of the fastest-learning breeds of dog and respond well to praise and positive attention. The steady temperament of Labs and their ability to learn quickly make them an ideal breed for assistance dogs as well as search and rescue, detection, and therapy work.

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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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