Domestic dog

Canis lupus familiaris

The domestic dog , is a subspecies of the gray wolf , a member of the Canidae family of the mammalian order Carnivora. The term "domestic dog" is generally used for both domesticated and feral varieties. The dog may have been the first animal to be domesticated, and has been the most widely kept working, hunting, and pet in human history. The word "dog" may also mean the male of a canine species, as opposed to the word "bitch" for the female of the species.

The present lineage of dogs was domesticated from gray wolves about 15,000 years ago. Though remains of domesticated dogs have been found in Siberia and Belgium from about 33,000 years ago, none of those lineages seem to have survived the Last Glacial Maximum. Although mDNA testing suggests an evolutionary split between dogs and wolves around 100,000 years ago, no specimens prior to 33,000 years ago are clearly morphologically domesticated dog.

Dogs' value to early human hunter-gatherers led to them quickly becoming ubiquitous across world cultures. Dogs perform many roles for people, such as hunting, herding, pulling loads, protection, assisting police and military, companionship, and, more recently, aiding handicapped individuals. This impact on human society has given them the nickname "Man's Best Friend" in the Western world. In some cultures, dogs are also source of meat. In 2001, there were estimated to be 400 million dogs in the world.

Most breeds of dogs are at most a few hundred years old, having been artificially selected for particular morphologies and behaviors by people for specific functional roles. Through this selective breeding, the dog has developed into hundreds of varied breeds, and shows more behavioral and morphological variation than any other land mammal. For example, height measured to the withers ranges from 6 inches in the Chihuahua to about 2.5 feet in the Irish Wolfhound; color varies from white through grays to black, and browns from light to dark in a wide variation of patterns; coats can be short or long, coarse-haired to wool-like, straight, curly, or smooth. It is common for most breeds to shed this coat.
Hope (dispairing and disappearing) I know this is somewhat on the edge of the JungleDragon rule that does not allow for pet photos, but I wanted to show this semi-wild dog in Madagascar anyway, for it being so wounded and dirty, left to fend for himself in a hopeless situation. To us personally, this photo is our symbol of Madagascar's poverty. Ambositra,Canis lupus familiaris,Domestic dog,Madagascar

Naming

"Dog" is the common use term that refers to members of the subspecies ''Canis lupus familiaris'' . The term can also be used to refer to a wider range of related species, such as the members of the genus ''Canis'', or "true dogs", including the wolf, coyote, and jackals, or it can refer to the members of the tribe Canini, which would also include the African wild dog, or it can be used to refer to any member of the family Canidae, which would also include the foxes, bush dog, raccoon dog, and others. Some members of the family have "dog" in their common names, such as the raccoon dog and the African wild dog. A few animals have "dog" in their common names but are not canids, such as the prairie dog.

The English word "dog" comes from Middle English ''dogge'', from Old English ''docga'', a "powerful dog breed". The term may derive from Proto-Germanic ''*dukkōn'', represented in Old English ''finger-docce'' . The word also shows the familiar petname diminutive ''-ga'' also seen in ''frogga'' "frog", ''picga'' "pig", ''stagga'' "stag", ''wicga'' "beetle, worm", among others. Due to the archaic structure of the word, the term dog may ultimately derive from the earliest layer of Proto-Indo-European vocabulary, reflecting the role of the dog as the earliest domesticated animal.

In 14th-century England, "hound" was the general word for all domestic canines, and "dog" referred to a subtype of hound, a group including the mastiff. It is believed this "dog" type of "hound" was so common, it eventually became the prototype of the category “hound”. By the 16th century, dog had become the general word, and hound had begun to refer only to types used for hunting. Hound, cognate to German ''Hund'', Dutch ''hond'', common Scandinavian ''hund'', and Icelandic ''hundur'', is ultimately derived from the Proto-Indo-European ''*kwon-'' "dog", found in Welsh ''ci'' , Latin ''canis'', Greek ''kýōn'', and Lithuanian ''šuõ''.

In breeding circles, a male canine is referred to as a dog, while a female is called a bitch . A group of offspring is a litter. The father of a litter is called the sire, and the mother is called the dam. Offspring are, in general, called pups or puppies, from French ''poupée'', until they are about a year old. The process of birth is whelping, from the Old English word ''hwelp'' .
Alaskan Husky -- an Alaskan sled dog in Denali, Alaska This is one of several extremely well trained sled dogs in Denali, Alaska.  They were bred specifically for their role as a sled dog, and live and breathe for their jobs.  They are used in the winter as one of the only available forms of travel (and rescue!) in the park. Alaska,Canis lupus familiaris,Domestic dog,Geotagged,Sled Dog,Summer,United States,animal,dog

Behavior

Domestic dogs have been selectively bred for millennia for various behaviors, sensory capabilities, and physical attributes. Modern dog breeds show more variation in size, appearance, and behavior than any other domestic animal. Nevertheless, their morphology is based on that of their wild ancestors, gray wolves.
Dogs are predators and scavengers, and like many other predatory mammals, the dog has powerful muscles, fused wrist bones, a cardiovascular system that supports both sprinting and endurance, and teeth for catching and tearing.

Dogs are highly variable in height and weight. The smallest known adult dog was a Yorkshire Terrier, that stood only 6.3 centimetres at the shoulder, 9.5 cm in length along the head-and-body, and weighed only 113 grams . The largest known dog was an English Mastiff which weighed 155.6 kilograms and was 250 cm from the snout to the tail. The tallest dog is a Great Dane that stands 106.7 cm at the shoulder.Although dogs have been the subject of a great deal of behaviorist psychology , they do not enter the world with a psychological "blank slate". Rather, dog behavior is affected by genetic factors as well as environmental factors. Domestic dogs exhibit a number of behaviors and predispositions that were inherited from wolves.

The Gray Wolf is a social animal that has evolved a sophisticated means of communication and social structure. The domestic dog has inherited some of these predispositions, but many of the salient characteristics in dog behavior have been largely shaped by selective breeding by humans. Thus some of these characteristics, such as the dog's highly developed social cognition, are found only in primitive forms in grey wolves.

The existence and nature of personality traits in dogs have been studied and five consistent and stable "narrow traits" identified, described as playfulness, curiosity/fearlessness, chase-proneness, sociability and aggressiveness. A further higher order axis for shyness–boldness was also identified.Although dogs have been the subject of a great deal of behaviorist psychology , they do not enter the world with a psychological "blank slate". Rather, dog behavior is affected by genetic factors as well as environmental factors. Domestic dogs exhibit a number of behaviors and predispositions that were inherited from wolves.

The Gray Wolf is a social animal that has evolved a sophisticated means of communication and social structure. The domestic dog has inherited some of these predispositions, but many of the salient characteristics in dog behavior have been largely shaped by selective breeding by humans. Thus some of these characteristics, such as the dog's highly developed social cognition, are found only in primitive forms in grey wolves.

The existence and nature of personality traits in dogs have been studied and five consistent and stable "narrow traits" identified, described as playfulness, curiosity/fearlessness, chase-proneness, sociability and aggressiveness. A further higher order axis for shyness–boldness was also identified.
Namotu Lab This picture is of one of the three Labradors that live on Namotu Island in Fiji Canis lupus familiaris,Domestic dog,Fiji,Geotagged,Labrador GoPro Namotu Fiji,Summer,Winter

Reproduction

In domestic dogs, sexual maturity begins to happen around age six to twelve months for both males and females, although this can be delayed until up to two years old for some large breeds. This is the time at which female dogs will have their first estrous cycle. They will experience subsequent estrous cycles biannually, during which the body prepares for pregnancy. At the peak of the cycle, females will come into estrus, being mentally and physically receptive to copulation. Because the ova survive and are capable of being fertilized for a week after ovulation, it is possible for a female to mate with more than one male.

Dogs bear their litters roughly 56 to 72 days after fertilization, with an average of 63 days, although the length of gestation can vary. An average litter consists of about six puppies, though this number may vary widely based on the breed of dog. In general, toy dogs produce from one to four puppies in each litter, while much larger breeds may average as many as twelve.

Some dog breeds have acquired traits through selective breeding that interfere with reproduction. Male French Bulldogs, for instance, are incapable of mounting the female. For many dogs of this breed, the female must be artificially inseminated in order to reproduce.
image  Canis lupus familiaris,Domestic dog

Food

Dog meat is consumed in some East Asian countries, including Korea, China, and Vietnam, a practice that dates back to antiquity. It is estimated that 13–16 million dogs are killed and consumed in Asia every year. The BBC claims that, in 1999, more than 6,000 restaurants served soups made from dog meat in South Korea. In Korea, the primary dog breed raised for meat, the ''nureongi'' , differs from those breeds raised for pets that Koreans may keep in their homes.

The most popular Korean dog dish is ''gaejang-guk'' , a spicy stew meant to balance the body's heat during the summer months; followers of the custom claim this is done to ensure good health by balancing one's ''gi'', or vital energy of the body. A 19th century version of ''gaejang-guk'' explains that the dish is prepared by boiling dog meat with scallions and chili powder. Variations of the dish contain chicken and bamboo shoots. While the dishes are still popular in Korea with a segment of the population, dog is not as widely consumed as beef, chicken, and pork.

Other cultures, such as Polynesia and pre-Columbian Mexico, also consumed dog meat in their history. However, Western, South Asian, African, and Middle Eastern cultures, in general, regard consumption of dog meat as taboo. In some places, however, such as in rural areas of Poland, dog fat is believed to have medicinal properties—being good for the lungs for instance.

A CNN report in China dated March 2010 interviews a dog meat vendor who states that most of the dogs that are available for selling to restaurant are raised in special farms but that there is always a chance that a sold dog is someone's lost pet, although dog pet breeds are not considered edible.

Dog meat is also consumed in some parts of Switzerland.Despite their descent from wolves and classification as Carnivora, dogs are variously described in scholarly and other writings as carnivores or omnivores. Unlike obligate carnivores, such as the cat family with its shorter small intestine, dogs can adapt to a wide-ranging diet, and are not dependent on meat-specific protein nor a very high level of protein in order to fulfill their basic dietary requirements. Dogs will healthily digest a variety of foods, including vegetables and grains, and can consume a large proportion of these in their diet.

A number of common human foods and household ingestibles are toxic to dogs, including chocolate solids , onion and garlic , grapes and raisins, macadamia nuts, as well as various plants and other potentially ingested materials.
Browny Doggy * This is not a pet dog Canis lupus familiaris,Dog,Domestic dog,brown,wet dog

Predators

The typical lifespan of dogs varies widely among breeds, but for most the median longevity, the age at which half the dogs in a population have died and half are still alive, ranges from 10 to 13 years. Individual dogs may live well beyond the median of their breed.

The breed with the shortest lifespan is the Dogue de Bordeaux, with a median longevity of about 5.2 years, but several breeds, including Miniature Bull Terriers, Bloodhounds, and Irish Wolfhounds are nearly as short-lived, with median longevities of 6 to 7 years.

The longest-lived breeds, including Toy Poodles, Japanese Spitz, Border Terriers, and Tibetan Spaniels, have median longevities of 14 to 15 years. The median longevity of mixed-breed dogs, taken as an average of all sizes, is one or more years longer than that of purebred dogs when all breeds are averaged. The dog widely reported to be the longest-lived is "Bluey," who died in 1939 and was claimed to be 29.5 years old at the time of his death; however, the Bluey record is anecdotal and unverified. On 5 December 2011, Pusuke, the world's oldest living dog recognized by Guinness Book of World Records, died aged 26 years and 9 months.

Evolution

Domestic dogs inherited complex behaviors from their wolf ancestors, which would have been pack hunters with complex body language. These sophisticated forms of social cognition and communication may account for their trainability, playfulness, and ability to fit into human households and social situations, and these attributes have given dogs a relationship with humans that has enabled them to become one of the most successful species on the planet today.

Although experts largely disagree over the details of dog domestication, it is agreed that human interaction played a significant role in shaping the subspecies. Domestication may have occurred initially in separate areas particularly Siberia and Europe. Currently it is thought domestication of our current lineage of dog occurred sometime as early as 15,000 years ago and arguably as late as 8500 years ago. Shortly after the latest domestication, dogs became ubiquitous in human populations, and spread throughout the world.

Emigrants from Siberia likely crossed the Bering Strait with dogs in their company, and some experts suggest the use of sled dogs may have been critical to the success of the waves that entered North America roughly 12,000 years ago, although the earliest archaeological evidence of dog-like canids in North America dates from about 9,000 years ago. Dogs were an important part of life for the Athabascan population in North America, and were their only domesticated animal. Dogs also carried much of the load in the migration of the Apache and Navajo tribes 1,400 years ago. Use of dogs as pack animals in these cultures often persisted after the introduction of the horse to North America.

The current consensus among biologists and archaeologists is that the dating of first domestication is indeterminate, although more recent evidence shows isolated domestication events as early as 33,000 years ago. There is conclusive evidence the present lineage of dogs genetically diverged from their wolf ancestors at least 15,000 years ago, but some believe domestication to have occurred earlier. Evidence is accruing that there were previous domestication events, but that those lineages died out.

It is not known whether humans domesticated the wolf as such to initiate dog's divergence from its ancestors, or whether dog's evolutionary path had already taken a different course prior to domestication. For example, it is hypothesized that some wolves gathered around the campsites of paleolithic camps to scavenge refuse, and associated evolutionary pressure developed that favored those who were less frightened by, and keener in approaching, humans.


The bulk of the scientific evidence for the evolution of the domestic dog stems from morphological studies of archaeological findings and mitochondrial DNA studies. The divergence date of roughly 15,000 years ago is based in part on archaeological evidence that demonstrates the domestication of dogs occurred more than 15,000 years ago, and some genetic evidence indicates the domestication of dogs from their wolf ancestors began in the late Upper Paleolithic close to the Pleistocene/Holocene boundary, between 17,000 and 14,000 years ago. But there is a wide range of other, contradictory findings that make this issue controversial. There are findings beginning currently at 33,000 years ago distinctly placing them as domesticated dogs evidenced not only by shortening of the muzzle but widening as well as crowding of teeth.

Archaeological evidence suggests the latest dogs could have diverged from wolves was roughly 15,000 years ago, although it is possible they diverged much earlier. In 2008, a team of international scientists released findings from an excavation at Goyet Cave in Belgium declaring a large, toothy canine existed 31,700 years ago and ate a diet of horse, musk ox and reindeer.

Prior to this Belgian discovery, the earliest dog fossils were two large skulls from Russia and a mandible from Germany dated from roughly 14,000 years ago. Remains of smaller dogs from Natufian cave deposits in the Middle East, including the earliest burial of a human being with a domestic dog, have been dated to around 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. There is a great deal of archaeological evidence for dogs throughout Europe and Asia around this period and through the next two thousand years , with fossils uncovered in Germany, the French Alps, and Iraq, and cave paintings in Turkey. The oldest remains of a domesticated dog in the Americas were found in Texas and have been dated to about 9,400 years ago.

Uses

"The most widespread form of interspecies bonding occurs between humans and dogs" and the keeping of dogs as companions, particularly by elites, has a long history. However, pet dog populations grew significantly after World War II as suburbanization increased. In the 1950s and 1960s, dogs were kept outside more often than they tend to be today and were still primarily functional, acting as a guard, children’s playmate, or walking companion. From the 1980s, there have been changes in the role of the pet dog, such as the increased role of dogs in the emotional support of their owners. People and dogs have become increasingly integrated and implicated in each other’s lives, to the point where pet dogs actively shape the way a family and home are experienced.

There have been two major trends in the changing status of pet dogs. The first has been the ‘commodification’ of the dog, shaping it to conform to human expectations of personality and behaviour. The second has been the broadening of the concept of the family and the home to include dogs-as-dogs within everyday routines and practices.

There are a vast range of commodity forms available to transform a pet dog into an ideal companion. The list of goods, services and places available is enormous: from dog perfumes, couture, furniture and housing, to dog groomers, therapists, trainers and care-takers, dog cafes, spas, parks and beaches, and dog hotels, airlines and cemeteries. While dog training as an organized activity can be traced back to the 18th century, in the last decades of the 20th century it became a high profile issue as many normal dog behaviors such as barking, jumping up, digging, rolling in dung, fighting, and urine marking became increasingly incompatible with the new role of a pet dog. Dog training books, classes and television programs proliferated as the process of commodifying the pet dog continued.


The majority of contemporary dog owners describe their dog as part of the family, although some ambivalence about the relationship is evident in the popular reconceptualization of the dog-human family as a pack. A dominance model of dog-human relationships has been promoted by some dog trainers, such as on the television program ''Dog Whisperer''. However it has been disputed that "trying to achieve status" is characteristic of dog–human interactions. Pet dogs play an active role in family life; for example, a study of conversations in dog-human families showed how family members use the dog as a resource, talking to the dog, or talking through the dog, to mediate their interactions with each other.

Another study of dogs’ roles in families showed many dogs have set tasks or routines undertaken as family members, the most common of which was helping with the washing-up by licking the plates in the dishwasher, and bringing in the newspaper from the lawn. Increasingly, human family members are engaging in activities centred on the perceived needs and interests of the dog, or in which the dog is an integral partner, such as Dog Dancing and Doga.

According to the statistics published by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association in the National Pet Owner Survey in 2009–2010, it is estimated there are 77.5 million dog owners in the United States. The same survey shows nearly 40% of American households own at least one dog, of which 67% own just one dog, 25% two dogs and nearly 9% more than two dogs. There does not seem to be any gender preference among dogs as pets, as the statistical data reveal an equal number of female and male dog pets. Yet, although several programs are undergoing to promote pet adoption, less than a fifth of the owned dogs come from a shelter.

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Status: Unknown
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC
Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassMammalia
OrderCarnivora
FamilyCanidae
GenusCanis
SpeciesC. lupus