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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 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. 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

German Shepherd Dogs competing at the breed level at the 2007 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
In a conformation show, judges familiar with specific dog breeds evaluate individual dogs for how well they "conform" to published breed standards. Conformation shows are also referred to as dog shows or breed shows. Conformation shows are typically held under the auspices of a national kennel club. At the highest levels are Championship or all-breed shows, which have separate classes for the majority of breeds. In addition, the show can be breed- or group-specific, usually organized by a breed club and often called a "specialty show".

A conformation dog show is not a comparison of one dog to another. It is a comparison of each dog to a judge's mental image of the ideal breed type as outlined in the individual breed's breed standard. A judge chooses the dog(s) that most closely resemble the ideal on that particular day.

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A dachshund dressed in homage to the legend of the naming of the hot dog.
Credit: Jessadactyl

The naming of the modern American hot dog is supposedly influenced by the dachshund. In 1852, the butcher's guild in Frankfurt am Main created a smoked, spiced sausage in a thin casing, dubbed a "little-dog" or "dachshund sausage" for its obvious resemblance to the low-riding German dog. The popular legend on the etymology of hot dog holds that a cartoonist named Tad Dorgan attended a polo match in New York in 1901 where vendors roamed the aisles imploring patrons to "get your red-hot dachshund sausages." Enchanted, Dorgan drew a smiling dachshund nestled in a long bun, but couldn't spell dachshund, so he captioned it "hot dog!" and thus the food got its name.

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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.
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Dog breeds also can be grouped into similar types such as molossers, spitz types, pit bulls, or lurchers.

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Selected breed

Tan and white Basset Hound
The Basset Hound is a scent hound characterised by its short stature, loose skin and long ears, developed in England in the 1890s. Originally a working dog utilised for hunting hare, Basset Hounds are now mostly used as companions due to their gentle disposition and outgoing temperament. "Basset" (meaning "low set") dogs originated in France prior to the French Revolution where they were valued for their short legs due to laws against hunting from horseback. The Basset Hound is known for its scenting ability which is second only to the Bloodhound, a close relative of the Basset. Their shortened legs are due to a form of dwarfism.

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