Dogs have been described as carnivores[117][118] or omnivores.[17][119][120][121] Compared to wolves, dogs have genes involved in starch digestion that contribute to an increased ability to thrive on a starch-rich diet.[19] Based on metabolism and nutrition, many consider the dog to be an omnivore. However, the dog is not simply an omnivore. More like the cat and less like other omnivores, the dog can only produce bile acid with taurine, and it cannot produce vitamin D, which it obtains from animal flesh. Also more like the cat, the dog requires arginine to maintain its nitrogen balance. These nutritional requirements place the dog part-way between carnivores and omnivores.[122]


Decide if you need to clip your dog's coat. Many breeds have short hair and don't require regular clipping. However, if you have a shaggier breed of dog, he may require regular clipping as part of his health routine. Breeds that need regular coat trims include cocker spaniel, sheepdog, poodle, collie, Shih Tzu, Pekingese, and chow chow, among others.[7]
The genetic divergence between dogs and wolves occurred between 40,000–20,000 years ago, just before or during the Last Glacial Maximum.[27][2] This timespan represents the upper time-limit for the commencement of domestication because it is the time of divergence and not the time of domestication, which occurred later.[27][28] The domestication of animals commenced over 15,000 years ago, beginning with the grey wolf (Canis lupus) by nomadic hunter-gatherers.[27] The archaeological record and genetic analysis show the remains of the Bonn–Oberkassel dog buried beside humans 14,200 years ago to be the first undisputed dog, with disputed remains occurring 36,000 years ago.[2] It was not until 11,000 years ago that people living in the Near East entered into relationships with wild populations of aurochs, boar, sheep, and goats.[27]
Dogs bear their litters roughly 58 to 68 days after fertilization,[17][71] with an average of 63 days, although the length of gestation can vary. An average litter consists of about six puppies,[72] though this number may vary widely based on the breed of dog. In general, toy dogs produce from one to four puppies in each litter, while much larger breeds may average as many as twelve.
Dogs have lived and worked with humans in many roles. In addition to dogs' role as companion animals, dogs have been bred for herding livestock (collies, sheepdogs),[154][17] hunting (hounds, pointers),[43] and rodent control (terriers).[17] Other types of working dogs include search and rescue dogs,[155] detection dogs trained to detect illicit drugs[156] or chemical weapons;[157] guard dogs; dogs who assist fishermen with the use of nets; and dogs that pull loads.[17] In 1957, the dog Laika became the first animal to be launched into Earth orbit, aboard the Soviets' Sputnik 2; she died during the flight.[158][159]

There are many different shapes for dog tails: straight, straight up, sickle, curled, or cork-screw. As with many canids, one of the primary functions of a dog's tail is to communicate their emotional state, which can be important in getting along with others. In some hunting dogs, however, the tail is traditionally docked to avoid injuries.[38] In some breeds, such as the Braque du Bourbonnais, puppies can be born with a short tail or no tail at all.[39]
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Dry your dog. Use a squeegee or use your hand as a squeegee to force water off of the coat and body. Towel dry him as best as you can while he's still in the tub, so you don't make a mess. Place the towel over your dog’s back, or hold it next to him and give permission to shake the water off their body. Many dogs will learn the “bath rules” and wait to shake until you have placed the towel over them to contain the water droplets. Another type of towel to use is a chamois, which is a thin fleece like towel that is designed to be wrung out when wet. It lessens the amount of towels needed and does the bulk of the work. Using a chamois, then a towel makes drying less of a hassle.
The role of the dog in Chinese mythology includes a position as one of the twelve animals which cyclically represent years (the zodiacal dog). Three of the 88 constellations in western astronomy also represent dogs: Canis Major (the Great Dog, whose brightest star, Sirius, is also called the Dog Star), Canis Minor (the Little Dog), and Canes Venatici (the Hunting Dogs).
Dogs bear their litters roughly 58 to 68 days after fertilization,[17][71] with an average of 63 days, although the length of gestation can vary. An average litter consists of about six puppies,[72] though this number may vary widely based on the breed of dog. In general, toy dogs produce from one to four puppies in each litter, while much larger breeds may average as many as twelve.
Cut out mats that can't be brushed out. Severe matting can pull the skin every time the dog moves, making daily life painful for your pet. If you can't brush a mat out, you need to either cut or shave it off, depending on how close it is to the skin. Be extremely careful if you use scissors to avoid injuring yourself or your pet. Try to cut parallel to the growth of the hair to avoid a choppy look.

In conformation shows, also referred to as breed shows, a judge familiar with the specific dog breed evaluates individual purebred dogs for conformity with their established breed type as described in the breed standard. As the breed standard only deals with the externally observable qualities of the dog (such as appearance, movement, and temperament), separately tested qualities (such as ability or health) are not part of the judging in conformation shows.


Wolves, and their dog descendants, likely derived significant benefits from living in human camps – more safety, more reliable food, lesser caloric needs, and more chance to breed.[135] They would have benefited from humans' upright gait that gives them larger range over which to see potential predators and prey, as well as better color vision that, at least by day, gives humans better visual discrimination.[135] Camp dogs would also have benefited from human tool use, as in bringing down larger prey and controlling fire for a range of purposes.[135]
Avoid getting water in the ears and eyes. If water does somehow get in the ears, use a small cotton ball or cotton pad (not a Q-tip, as it could go too far in) and gently wipe pat the inside of your dog's ear. Your dog will likely shake his head to remove water as well (like after a swim). If your dog seems to be scratching his/her ear constantly after bathing, take them to a vet to address the problem.
The cost to trim a dog’s nails can vary based on whether the dog is at a doggy day care and has the service as an add-on, whether you bring your dog to a groomer’s business, or whether you have a mobile groomer provide nail trimming at your home. Nail trimming costs less than nail grinding, which usually is done with a Dremel or similar tool. Nail trimming should be a regular part of of your dog’s care, as overgrown nails can be painful and cause problems.
In 1999, a study of mitochondrial DNA indicated that the domestic dog may have originated from multiple grey wolf populations, with the dingo and New Guinea singing dog "breeds" having developed at a time when human populations were more isolated from each other.[23] In the third edition of Mammal Species of the World published in 2005, the mammalogist W. Christopher Wozencraft listed under the wolf Canis lupus its wild subspecies, and proposed two additional subspecies: "familiaris Linneaus, 1758 [domestic dog]" and "dingo Meyer, 1793 [domestic dog]". Wozencraft included hallstromi – the New Guinea singing dog – as a taxonomic synonym for the dingo. Wozencraft referred to the mDNA study as one of the guides in forming his decision.[1] The inclusion of familiaris and dingo under a "domestic dog" clade has been noted by other mammalogists.[24] This classification by Wozencraft is debated among zoologists.[25]
Trimming your dog’s nails is an important part of keeping your dog healthy and well-groomed. Well-clipped nails are also a factor in your dog grooming costs. When a dog’s nails get too long, they have the potential to break or split, which can cause them pain and mean a costly visit to your local veterinarian. Overly long dog nails can also cause discomfort for your pup, especially if you have hardwood or tile floors. Be sure to calculate regular nail trimming into your budget for dog grooming. The dog groomer may use trimmers to clip the nails, or they may use a small drill (like a Dremel) to grind down the nails. A good professional groomer will know not to clip too close to the base of the nail, where nicking a nerve or a blood vessel could injure your dog. Nail trimming costs can vary based on geographic location and whether you bring the dog to the groomer or if the groomer picks up and drops off your dog. Transportation fees for pickup and drop-off service can add a lot to the cost. A simple dog nail trim may cost between $10 and $30, depending on location. Nail grinding may cost $2-$8 more than standard clipping. Many dog groomers offer discounts for bundled services, so you could get a nail trim at a reduced rate when you purchase it with a bath.
The domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris when considered a subspecies of the wolf or Canis familiaris when considered a distinct species)[5] is a member of the genus Canis (canines), which forms part of the wolf-like canids,[6] and is the most widely abundant terrestrial carnivore.[7][8][9][10][11] The dog and the extant gray wolf are sister taxa[12][13][14] as modern wolves are not closely related to the wolves that were first domesticated,[13][14] which implies that the direct ancestor of the dog is extinct.[15] The dog was the first species to be domesticated[14][16] and has been selectively bred over millennia for various behaviors, sensory capabilities, and physical attributes.[17]
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