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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 gray 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. New research seems to show that dogs have mutations to equivalent genetic regions in humans where changes are known to trigger high sociability and somewhat reduced intelligence. Dogs vary widely in shape, size and colors. Dogs perform many roles for people, such as hunting, herding, pulling loads, protection, assisting police and military, companionship and, more recently, aiding handicapped individuals and therapeutic roles. This influence on human society has given them the sobriquet "man's best friend".

Selected article

Laika (from Russian: Лайка, "Barker", as well as a name of a dog breed) was a Russian space dog that became the first living creature from Earth to enter orbit. She was found as a stray wandering the streets of Moscow. Originally named Kudryavka, she was renamed Laika after her breed type. After undergoing training with two other dogs, she was selected to be the occupant of the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 and was launched into space on November 3, 1957.

Laika died a few hours after launch from stress and overheating, likely due to a malfunction in the thermal control system. The true cause of her death was not made public until decades after the flight. Some former Soviet scientists have since expressed regret that Laika was allowed to die.

Although Laika did not survive the trip, the experiment proved that a living passenger could survive being launched into orbit and endure weightlessness. It paved the way for human spaceflight and provided scientists with some of the first data on how living organisms react to spaceflight environments.

Selected image

A yellow Labrador Retriever fetching a stick from a beach.
Credit: redjar

Retrievers, such as this Labrador Retriever, are a type of gun dog bred to retrieve downed birds from water or land. Although spaniels and some pointing breeds routinely retrieve game, retrievers are skilled in finding game, and are distinguished in that non-slip retrieval is their primary function. As a result, retriever breeds are bred for "soft" mouths and a great willingness to please, learn, and obey. A soft mouth refers to the willingness of the dog to carry game without damaging it. Retrievers are often selected as family pets, and many suburban dogs end up retrieving newspapers and sticks like this dog.

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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

Afghan Hound
The Afghan Hound is a very old sighthound dog breed. Distinguished by its thick, fine, silky coat and its tail with a ring curl at the end, the breed acquired its unique features in the cold mountains of Afghanistan, where it was originally used to hunt wolves, foxes, and gazelles. The typical Afghan Hound can be aloof and dignified, but happy and clownish when playing.

Did you know...

  • ...when lying down, dogs rest on their haunches, not their stomachs?
  • ...that Nipper was the mixed-breed dog who was the model for the painting His Master's Voice, which was later used logos and advertising for several brands, including RCA Records.
  • ...that the Canadian Kennel Club was founded in 1888, four years after the American Kennel Club?
  • ...that the Greyhound is one of the fastest breeds of dog, and can reach speeds of 72 km/h (45 mph)?

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