The domestic dog is an animalistic, wild canid which is found widespread throughout the globe. The dog evolved from an ancient, extinct wolf with the other species of its genus being its closest living relative today. Domesticated dogs are used for many purposes such as hunting, companion animal, and pet. The dog is considered as man’s best friend, which explains why man owns dogs.
In terms of size, the dogs average about ten inches in height and weigh about three hundred to four hundred pounds. They have short, square bodies and wide heads with sharp teeth, short ears and a short tail. Although most dogs are said to be friendly and mild tempered, there have been reports of some particularly nasty dogs that cause injury to people. In the United States, dog ownership has declined slightly over the past decade although it is still more prevalent in the Midwest, Southeast and west coast areas.
A number of dogs are considered free-roaming wild dogs, although there are differences between the two. Domesticated dogs are usually bred for a specific purpose such as companion, hunting or work. Some dogs have been domesticated for sports such as dog racing. The word ‘fox’ is commonly used to describe wild dogs but in actual fact, foxes are domestic dogs that have been bred for hunting rather than companionship. It is estimated that dogs make up five percent of the planet’s population. This figure includes dogs, cats, birds and reptiles.
The word ‘hound’ refers to a variety of canids, which include the greyhound, the white-tailed deer dog and the long-haired dog. Long-haired dogs have longer coats which provide better insulation than their shorter haired counterparts. Greyhounds are known as the fastest cards but they are not the best friend dogs for people with handicaps, elderly people with small hands and fingers. Canids were originally bred to track and retrieve but today many people use canids as pets. They are also used as search and rescue dogs.
The family dog has played an important part in the lives of children, parents and grandparents throughout the years and today there are over 35 million households with a dog. While dogs have been known to cause problems such as excessive barking and separation anxiety, they are not considered to be dangerous. However, they can be difficult to train and command and should not be left alone for extended periods of time. They are also not recommended for children under the age of seven.
One of the most amazing dog facts is that dogs are the only animal among mammals that has both a tongue and rear end that moves side to side. This enables them to lick their prey. While most licks are conducted with the mouth, some dogs lick their prey using their tongues but do not actually swallow it. To eat their prey, they hold it in their mouth for a brief period of time then push it back into their stomachs. They use their tongues to clean their own fur and their teeth to rip and tear at their food.