Genetics

Identifying a gene for canine night blindness

Creating an effective gene therapy for inherited diseases requires three key steps. First, scientists must identify and characterize the disease. Second, they must find the gene responsible. And finally, they must find a ...

Health

Animal-assisted therapy aids in spinal cord injury recovery

Every year, approximately 17,000 new cases of spinal cord injury are reported in the United States. Recovering from an SCI can take a huge mental, emotional and physical toll on patients, but animal-assisted therapy may play ...

Inflammatory disorders

The diet-microbiome connection in inflammatory bowel disease

Much remains mysterious about the factors influencing human inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but one aspect that has emerged as a key contributor is the gut microbiome, the collection of microorganisms dwelling in the intestines.

Neuroscience

How humans have shaped dogs' brains

Dog brain structure varies across breeds and is correlated with specific behaviors, according to new research published in JNeurosci. These findings show how, by selectively breeding for certain behaviors, humans have shaped ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Parasitic worms infect dogs, humans

A human infective nematode found in remote northern areas of Australia has been identified in canine carriers for the first time.

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Dog

The dog (Canis lupus familiaris, pronounced /ˈkeɪ.nis ˈluːpəs fʌˈmɪliɛəris/) is a domesticated subspecies of the Gray Wolf, a member of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. The term is used for both feral and pet varieties. The domestic dog has been one of the most widely kept working and companion animals in human history. Amongst canine enthusiasts, the word "dog" may also mean the male of a canine species, as opposed to the word "bitch."

The dog quickly became ubiquitous across culture in all parts of the world, and was extremely valuable to early human settlements. For instance, it is believed that the successful emigration across the Bering Strait might not have been possible without sled dogs. Dogs perform many roles for people, such as hunting, herding, protection, and, more recently, assisting handicapped individuals. Currently, there are estimated to be 400 million dogs in the world.

Over the 15,000 year span that the dog had been domesticated, it diverged into only a handful of landraces, groups of similar animals whose morphology and behavior have been shaped by environmental factors and functional roles. As the modern understanding of genetics developed, humans began to intentionally breed dogs for a wide range of specific traits. Through this process, 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 a few inches in the Chihuahua to a few feet in the Irish Wolfhound; color varies from white through grays (usually called "blue'") to black, and browns from light (tan) to dark ("red" or "chocolate") 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, but non-shedding breeds are also popular.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA