Animal Class >> Mammals


The Dog is a domestic subspecies of the wolf. Dogs, like humans, are highly social animals and this similarity in their overall behavioral pattern accounts for their trainability, playfulness, and ability to fit into human households and social situations. This similarity has earned dogs a unique position in the realm of interspecies relationships. Dog breeds show more variation in size, appearance, and behavior than any other domestic animal. Within the range of extremes, dogs generally share attributes with their wild ancestors, the wolves. Dogs are predators and scavengers, possessing sharp teeth and strong jaws for attacking, holding, and tearing their food. Although selective breeding has changed the appearance of many breeds, all dogs retain basic traits from their distant ancestors. Like many other predatory mammals, the dog has powerful muscles, fused wristbones, a cardiovascular system that supports both sprinting and endurance, and teeth for catching and tearing. Compared to the bone structure of the human foot, dogs technically walk on their toes.

Facts about Dogs

  1. The first 4 months of a dog's life is known as the Imprinting Phase. Much of a dog's personality and social skills are learned during this period of time.
  2. Dogs were the first animals to be domesticated by man.
  3. The Basenji is the only dog which does not bark. 
  4. Irish Wolfhounds are the tallest breed of dog. They can stand 3 ft (nearly a meter) tall at the shoulders.
  5. Mastiffs and Saint Bernards are the heaviest breeds of dogs. They can weigh up to 180 lbs (82 kilos).
  6. The Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog in the world. It can weigh as little as 1 lb (1/2 kilo).
  7. Most dogs have 2 coats of fur. The outer coat protects a dog from the elements (rain, snow, etc.) The undercoat keeps a dog warm.
  8. Dogs shed their undercoats in the warm summer months and grow them back in the cooler months of autumn.
  9. A mongrel is a mixed dog that resembles no recognizable breed. 
  10. A dog is born blind and remains blind for 10 - 14 days after birth.
  11. Dogs cannot see as well as man.
  12. Small dogs develop faster than large dogs.
  13. Your dog\'s wild cousins include: wolves, coyotes, foxes, jackals, and dingoes.
  14. A whelp is a puppy that is still nursing on his/her mother's milk. It's unweaned. 
  15. A dog\'s sense of smell is 1,000 times more sensitive than a human's.
  16. The prairie dog makes burrows which is called Town. The town may contain 1,000 animals, and it can stretch under the ground for miles.
  17. A dog was the first in space and a sheep, a duck and a rooster the first to fly in a hot air balloon.
  18. The oldest breed of dog is the Saluki. 
  19. The world\'s smallest dog is the Chihuahua, which means "tiny dog in the sky."
  20. There are about 54 million dogs in the US, and Paris is said to have more dogs than people.
  21. There are 701 types of pure breed dogs.

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