Dogs are some of the most common pets found in homes across the world. They have been in close relationships and been very important to human beings for perhaps thousands of years. In fact, many people refer to dogs as man’s best friend.
Breeds/Types of Dogs
Dogs come in many different breeds, or types. As dogs are descended from wolves, some of them can look very similar in size and general shape to wolves. However, some dogs can be much bigger (even three feet tall!) or much smaller (just a few inches tall!).
Different dog breeds have been bred for different characteristics, such as being good at certain jobs (like herding dogs or hunting dogs), being safe for people with allergies (like poodles, which are called hypoallergenic), or being good pets.
Some people breed dogs because they are good for being calm and cuddly indoor pets, and some people want dogs to perform tasks, such as working as rescue dogs, police dogs, guide dogs, or farm dogs. Dogs are very intelligent animals, and they are happy to be trained to perform tasks.
Dogs fall into the category of mammals, just like humans do. In general, dogs walk on four legs, have tails and long noses, large teeth and strong muscles, and are very athletic.
Dogs are known to have very good senses of smell. In the wild, as with wolves, dogs can track other animals by their sense of smell alone. This makes it easy to find prey and to perform search-and-rescue jobs.
Because of their sense of smell, many dogs work in law enforcement, helping sniff out illegal drugs or dangerous explosives. Dogs’ sense of smell is about 100,000 times sharper than a humans’.
Another sense that is very good in dogs in their sense of hearing. Many dogs have very large ears, and they can pick up on very high pitched sounds very easily and from very far away. Dogs’ sense of hearing is 10 times sharper than a humans’.
Dogs’ eyesight is also sharp, with an excellent field of vision allowing them to see far and wide. Dogs have slightly less color vision than humans do, however. They can see most of the colors humans can, except that they are not very good at telling the difference between green and red.
Additional Information about Dogs
Dogs sweat through their paws. That’s why sometimes you’ll see dogs splashing their feet in a water bowl on a hot day!
Because of certain substances in them, there are many human foods that are dangerous for dogs to eat, such as chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, wheat, corn, and soy. That’s why many dog foods will say “100% grain free” on the bags.
Dogs are pets in 30% of family homes in the United States. People who have dogs as pets tend to live longer and have been shown to be happier and more active.
Dogs that are mixed with other breeds (not purebred, or “mutts”) tend to be much healthier and live much longer than purebred dogs, because of the many different types of genes that make them much less likely to develop diseases.