Health

Dog ownership linked to lower mortality

A team of Swedish scientists have used national registries of more than 3.4 million Swedes aged 40 to 80 to study the association between dog ownership and cardiovascular health. Their study shows that dog owners had a lower ...

Neuroscience

Scientists chase mystery of how dogs process words

When some dogs hear their owners say "squirrel," they perk up, become agitated. They may even run to a window and look out of it. But what does the word mean to the dog? Does it mean, "Pay attention, something is happening?" ...

Oncology & Cancer

Dogs detect breast cancer from bandage: researchers

Dogs can sniff out cancer from a piece of cloth which had touched the breast of a woman with a tumour, researchers said Friday, announcing the results of an unusual, but promising, diagnostic trial.

Genetics

Owning a dog is influenced by genetic make-up

A team of Swedish and British scientists have studied the heritability of dog ownership using information from 35,035 twin pairs from the Swedish Twin Registry. The new study suggests that genetic variation explains more ...

Neuroscience

Study suggests neurobiological basis of human-pet relationship

It has become common for people who have pets to refer to themselves as "pet parents," but how closely does the relationship between people and their non-human companions mirror the parent-child relationship? A small study ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Dogs ignore bad advice that humans follow

Dogs are less likely to follow bad advice than children, according to a new study conducted at the Canine Cognition Center at Yale. In contrast to children, dogs only copy a human's actions if they are absolutely necessary ...

Diabetes

Researchers dig for cause of dog diabetes

(HealthDay)—Like many other animals, man's best friend isn't immune to developing diabetes. But new research suggests that while the disease in dogs looks similar to type 1 diabetes in people, there are some significant ...

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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.

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