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Portal:Dogs

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The domestic dog (Canis familiaris or Canis lupus familiaris) is a domesticated descendant of the wolf. The dog derived from an ancient, extinct wolf, and the modern grey wolf is the dog's nearest living relative. The dog was the first species to be domesticated, by hunter–gatherers over 15,000 years ago, before the development of agriculture. Their long association with humans has led dogs to be uniquely adapted to human behavior, leading to a large number of domestic individuals and the ability to thrive on a starch-rich diet that would be inadequate for other canids.

The dog has been selectively bred over millennia for various behaviors, sensory capabilities, and physical attributes. Dog breeds vary widely in shape, size, and color. They perform many roles for humans, such as hunting, herding, pulling loads, protection, assisting police and the military, companionship, therapy, and aiding disabled people. This influence on human society has given them the sobriquet of " man's best friend." ( Full article...)

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Possible depiction of the Tahitian dog from the first voyage of James Cook, c. 1769–71.
The Tahitian Dog ( Tahitian: ʻŪrī Mā’ohi, literally translated as 'native dog') is an extinct breed of dog from Tahiti and the Society Islands. Similar to other strains of Polynesian dogs, it was introduced to the Society Islands and Tahiti by the ancestors of the Tahitian (Mā’ohi) people during their migrations to Polynesia. They were an essential part of traditional Tahitian society; their meat was included in Tahitian cuisine and other parts of the dog were used to make tools and ornamental clothing. Dogs were fed a vegetarian diet and served during feasts as a delicacy. European explorers were the first outsiders to observe and record their existence, and they were served to early explorers including Captain James Cook. The Tahitian Dog disappeared as a distinct breed after the introduction of foreign European dogs. ( Full article...)
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Dogsled racing in Alaska
Credit: Doug Noon

A team of fourteen mixed-breed dogs mushing. Mushing is a general term for a sport or transport method powered by dogs, and includes carting, sled dog racing, skijoring, freighting, and weight pulling. More specifically, it implies the use of one or more dogs to pull a sled on snow. The term is thought to come from the French word marche, or go, run, the command to the team to commence pulling. "Mush!" is rarely used in modern parlance, however; "Hike!" is more common in English.

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Dogs that are familiar with each other may lick each other's faces in greeting, then they begin to sniff any moist membranes where odours are strongest

Dog communication is the transfer of information between dogs, as well as between dogs and humans. Behaviors associated with dog communication are categorized into visual and vocal. Visual communication includes mouth shape and head position, licking and sniffing, ear and tail positioning, eye gaze, facial expression, and body posture. Dog vocalizations, or auditory communication, can include barks, growls, howls, whines and whimpers, screams, pants and sighs. Dogs also communicate via gustatory communication, utilizing scent and pheromones.

Humans can communicate with dogs through a wide variety of methods. Broadly, this includes vocalization, hand signals, body posture and touch. The two species also communicate visually: through domestication, dogs have become particularly adept at "reading" human facial expressions, and they are able to determine human emotional status. When communicating with a human their level of comprehension is generally comparable to a toddler. Humans can artificially alter how dogs communicate with other dogs and with humans by surgically cropping their ears and docking their tails. These procedures can have a strong impact on how dogs communicate and interact for the rest of their lives. ( Full article...)

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The following are images from various dog-related articles on Wikipedia.

Did you know...

Rex, presidential dog, and friends

...that the most common breeds for use as guide dogs are Labrador and Golden Retrievers?

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