Specifically, the domestic dog Canis familiaris, the earliest animal descended from the wolf or jackal. A member of the genus Canis (probably descended from the common wolf) that has been domesticated by man since prehistoric times; occurs in many breeds; SYN. Any carnivorous mammal of the family Canidae, including wild dogs, wolves, jackals, coyotes, and foxes.This argument is supported by the fact that the dog and wolf will interbreed with each other and produce fertile offspring, whereas most hybrids are not fertile.On the other hand the domesticated dog is in one feature very different from the wild Canidae—the pupil of its eye is round, whereas in the wolf the pupil is placed obliquely, and in the fox and jackal perpendicularly. Like wolves, dogs defend a territory against other dogs—in the case of pets the immediate area round the home—but wander further afield, marking “scent posts” by urinating and by defecating.Dogs are also employed as messengers, for tracking criminals, detecting drugs, and as guides for the blind. Canine remains have been found in the Danish kitchen-middens of the Neolithic period side by side with human remains.The friezes of Egyptian temples and many very early Egyptian monuments (dating from c. The Jews of the Old and New Testaments regarded dogs as unclean; this was perhaps a reaction to the worship bestowed upon them by the neighboring tribes of Egyptians and Syrians.Dogs in certain countries may also be at risk from rabies. Dogs are used in hunting, for coursing and retrieving game.
Early Britain was renowned for its mastiffs, which, according to the Greek historian Strabo, played an important part in the Gallic wars.
They have been selectively bred into many different varieties for use as working animals and pets. The dog has slender legs and walks on its toes (digitigrade).
Dogs were first domesticated over 10,0years ago, and migrated with humans to all the continents.
The forefeet have five toes, the hind feet four, with nonretractile claws.
The head is small and the muzzle pointed, but the shape of the head differs greatly in various breeds.