Portal:Dogs
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Portal:Dogs

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 animal 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 canids. Dogs vary widely in shape, size and colors. They 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 of "man's best friend".

Selected article

This Entlebucher Sennenhund is of typical Molosser build.
Molossers are a type of typically large, solidly-built dogs comprising several breeds, probably all descended from the same root stock. The name derives from Molossia, a country once located in Western Greece.

Molossers typically have heavy bones, pendant ears, a relatively short and well-muscled neck, and a short muzzle. Although some Molossers are used for search and rescue, such as the Saint Bernard and the Newfoundland, most are used as guard dogs, due to their deep voices and natural guarding instincts, or herding dogs, not for actual herding but for protection against large predators as well as poachers. Some breeds like the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog have also been used as cart dogs.

The origin of Molossers is disputed, but Assyrian bas-relief carvings found in Nineveh date back as far as approximately 640 BC. Many believe that the Tibetan Mastiff is the ancestor of modern Molossers, although there is little evidence to support this theory. It is a fact, though, that large watchdogs have existed in Asia and the Middle East for several thousand years.

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American Eskimo Dog

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.

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.

Selected breed

A Brittany
The Brittany is a breed of gun dog that is primarily bred for bird hunting. Although the dog is often referred to as a spaniel, the breed's working characteristics are more akin to a pointer or setter. The breed is noted for being easy to train, sensitive, and sweet-natured. Many enthusiasts agree that it takes little more than a stern look or cross word to chastise a Brittany.

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Mancs sculpture

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For editor resources and to collaborate with other editors on improving Wikipedia's Dogs-related articles, see WikiProject Dogs.

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