According to statistics published by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association in the National Pet Owner Survey in 2009–2010, it is estimated there are 77.5 million people with pet dogs in the United States.[152] The same survey shows nearly 40% of American households own at least one dog, of which 67% own just one dog, 25% two dogs and nearly 9% more than two dogs. There does not seem to be any gender preference among dogs as pets, as the statistical data reveal an equal number of female and male dog pets. Yet, although several programs are ongoing to promote pet adoption, less than a fifth of the owned dogs come from a shelter.
^ Jump up to: a b Thalmann, O.; Shapiro, B.; Cui, P.; Schuenemann, V.J.; Sawyer, S.K.; Greenfield, D.L.; Germonpre, M.B.; Sablin, M.V.; Lopez-Giraldez, F.; Domingo-Roura, X.; Napierala, H.; Uerpmann, H.-P.; Loponte, D.M.; Acosta, A.A.; Giemsch, L.; Schmitz, R.W.; Worthington, B.; Buikstra, J.E.; Druzhkova, A.; Graphodatsky, A.S.; Ovodov, N.D.; Wahlberg, N.; Freedman, A.H.; Schweizer, R.M.; Koepfli, K.- P.; Leonard, J.A.; Meyer, M.; Krause, J.; Paabo, S.; et al. (2013). "Complete Mitochondrial Genomes of Ancient Canids Suggest a European Origin of Domestic Dogs". Science. 342 (6160): 871–874. Bibcode:2013Sci...342..871T. doi:10.1126/science.1243650. hdl:10261/88173. PMID 24233726.
It is a reflexive action for many dogs to try to pull away their back leg if it is lifted. Avoid lifting the leg to the side because this is uncomfortable for most dogs. Instead, pick up the foot and gently pull forward or backward. Don't be upset or punish the dog, just struggle through it and praise your dog when he or she is still. If you have a medium or large dog, you may be able to get away with clipping the nails on the hind feet without having to lift the foot.
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.
Certain Pacific islands whose maritime settlers did not bring dogs, or where dogs died out after original settlement, notably: the Mariana Islands,[123] Palau,[124] Marshall Islands,[125] Gilbert Islands,[125] New Caledonia,[126] Vanuatu,[126][127] Tonga,[127] Marquesas,[127] Mangaia in the Cook Islands, Rapa Iti in French Polynesia, Easter Island,[127] Chatham Islands,[128] and Pitcairn Island (settled by the Bounty mutineers, who killed off their dogs in order to escape discovery by passing ships[129]).
^ vonHoldt, Bridgett M.; Shuldiner, Emily; Koch, Ilana Janowitz; Kartzinel, Rebecca Y.; Hogan, Andrew; Brubaker, Lauren; Wanser, Shelby; Stahler, Daniel; Wynne, Clive D.L.; Ostrander, Elaine A.; Sinsheimer, Janet S.; Udell, Monique A.R. (1 July 2017). "Structural variants in genes associated with human Williams-Beuren syndrome underlie stereotypical hypersociability in domestic dogs". Science Advances. 3 (7): e1700398. Bibcode:2017SciA....3E0398V. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1700398. PMC 5517105. PMID 28776031.
Clip the dog's hair methodically.[9] You can place the blade against the body safely, so long as you don't press the blade strongly into the skin. Brush against the direction of hair growth(back-brush) before running the clippers the other direction; with the direction of hair growth. Using the clippers against the growth of hair will have the same effect as back-brushing, but will leave a shorter length than the clipper blade that you are using. If you want to shave against the growth of hair, a blade size gets two blade sizes smaller when cutting against the grain. For example, when cutting with 4# against the grain check how long a 7# leaves behind when cutting with the grain. Move the clippers surely, but slowly across the dog's body to remove the hair — moving too fast might leave uneven lines. Always move the blade with the direction of the hairs' growth unless you want a shorter length than your blade claims to leave. Begin at the neck, then move down to the shoulders, under the ears, and toward the chin, throat, and chest areas. DO NOT use a size seven or any skip blades around the throat area or any flaps on the body that can fit between the teeth, such as the Achilles' tendons, arm pits, genital area, tip of tail, or anus. Then, clip the dog's back and sides. Finally, clip the hair on the dog's legs. Be careful when cutting the neck with any blade as it's the most dangerous to cut. Never cut straight down, do so at angles to avoid flaps you can't see in the neck getting cut.

The domestic dog is the first species, and the only large carnivore, known to have been domesticated. Especially over the past 200 years, dogs have undergone rapid phenotypic change and were formed into today's modern dog breeds due to artificial selection by humans. These breeds can vary in size and weight from a 0.46 kg (1.0 lb) teacup poodle to a 90 kg (200 lb) giant mastiff. Phenotypic variation can include height measured to the withers ranging from 15.2 centimetres (6.0 in) in the Chihuahua to 76 cm (30 in) 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.[131] The skull, body, and limb proportions vary significantly between breeds, with dogs displaying more phenotypic diversity than can be found within the entire order of carnivores. Some breeds demonstrate outstanding skills in herding, retrieving, scent detection, and guarding, which demonstrates the functional and behavioral diversity of dogs. The first dogs were domesticated from shared ancestors of modern wolves, however the phenotypic changes that coincided with the dog–wolf genetic divergence are not known.[26]


Clear the dog's eyes. White-haired breeds or those with large eyes that water a lot (Pekingese, Pugs, Pomeranians, etc.) may need more maintenance in this area than others. Depending on your particular dog, this step may be a simple matter of wiping or pulling eye debris away from the corners of the eyes. Long-haired or white-haired dogs may need special attention to make sure that all gunk is out of the coat, as they may get tear stains. You can buy products made for removing "tear stains" from a white coat at a pet supply store.

^ Jump up to: a b Thalmann, O.; Shapiro, B.; Cui, P.; Schuenemann, V.J.; Sawyer, S.K.; Greenfield, D.L.; Germonpre, M.B.; Sablin, M.V.; Lopez-Giraldez, F.; Domingo-Roura, X.; Napierala, H.; Uerpmann, H.-P.; Loponte, D.M.; Acosta, A.A.; Giemsch, L.; Schmitz, R.W.; Worthington, B.; Buikstra, J.E.; Druzhkova, A.; Graphodatsky, A.S.; Ovodov, N.D.; Wahlberg, N.; Freedman, A.H.; Schweizer, R.M.; Koepfli, K.- P.; Leonard, J.A.; Meyer, M.; Krause, J.; Paabo, S.; et al. (2013). "Complete Mitochondrial Genomes of Ancient Canids Suggest a European Origin of Domestic Dogs". Science. 342 (6160): 871–874. Bibcode:2013Sci...342..871T. doi:10.1126/science.1243650. hdl:10261/88173. PMID 24233726.
Despite their close genetic relationship and the ability to inter-breed, there are a number of diagnostic features to distinguish the gray wolves from domestic dogs. Domesticated dogs are clearly distinguishable from wolves by starch gel electrophoresis of red blood cell acid phosphatase.[41] The tympanic bullae are large, convex and almost spherical in gray wolves, while the bullae of dogs are smaller, compressed and slightly crumpled.[42] Compared with equally sized wolves, dogs tend to have 20% smaller skulls and 30% smaller brains.[43]:35 The teeth of gray wolves are also proportionately larger than those of dogs.[44] Dogs have a more domed forehead and a distinctive "stop" between forehead and nose.[45] The temporalis muscle that closes the jaws is more robust in wolves.[5]:p158 Wolves do not have dewclaws on their back legs, unless there has been admixture with dogs that had them.[46] Most dogs lack a functioning pre-caudal gland and enter estrus twice yearly, unlike gray wolves which only do so once a year.[47] So-called primitive dogs such as dingoes and Basenjis retain the yearly estrus cycle.[48]
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.

Dogs generally have brown eyes and wolves almost always have amber or light colored eyes.[49] The skin of domestic dogs tends to be thicker than that of wolves, with some Inuit tribes favoring the former for use as clothing due to its greater resistance to wear and tear in harsh weather.[50] The paws of a dog are half the size of those of a wolf, and their tails tend to curl upwards, another trait not found in wolves.[51] The dog has developed into hundreds of varied breeds, and shows more behavioral and morphological variation than any other land mammal.[52]
In Christianity, dogs represent faithfulness.[208] Within the Roman Catholic denomination specifically, the iconography of Saint Dominic includes a dog, after the hallow's mother dreamt of a dog springing from her womb and becoming pregnant shortly thereafter.[214] As such, the Dominican Order (Ecclesiastical Latin: Dominicanus) means "dogs of the Lord" or "hounds of the Lord" (Ecclesiastical Latin: domini canis).[214] In Christian folklore, a church grim often takes the form of a black dog to guard Christian churches and their churchyards from sacrilege.[215]

In 1758, the Swedish botanist and zoologist Carl Linnaeus published in his Systema Naturae the binomial nomenclature – or the two-word naming – of species. Canis is the Latin word meaning "dog",[21] and under this genus he listed the dog-like carnivores including domestic dogs, wolves, and jackals. He classified the domestic dog as Canis familiaris, and on the next page he classified the wolf as Canis lupus.[3] Linnaeus considered the dog to be a separate species from the wolf because of its cauda recurvata - its upturning tail which is not found in any other canid.[22]


In mythology, dogs often serve as pets or as watchdogs.[208] Stories of dogs guarding the gates of the underworld recur throughout Indo-European mythologies[210][211] and may originate from Proto-Indo-European religion.[210][211] In Greek mythology, Cerberus is a three-headed watchdog who guards the gates of Hades.[208] In Norse mythology, a bloody, four-eyed dog called Garmr guards Helheim.[208] In Persian mythology, two four-eyed dogs guard the Chinvat Bridge.[208] In Welsh mythology, Annwn is guarded by Cŵn Annwn.[208] In Hindu mythology, Yama, the god of death, owns two watch dogs who have four eyes. They are said to watch over the gates of Naraka.[212]
^ Wood, Lisa; Martin, Karen; Christian, Hayley; Nathan, Andrea; Lauritsen, Claire; Houghton, Steve; Kawachi, Ichiro; McCune, Sandra (2015). "The Pet Factor – Companion Animals as a Conduit for Getting to Know People, Friendship Formation and Social Support". PLoS ONE. 10 (4): e0122085. Bibcode:2015PLoSO..1022085W. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0122085. PMC 4414420. PMID 25924013.
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]

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