Canis familaris, more commonly known as domestic dogs, are believed to be ‘man’s best friend.’ Their long association with humans has led to them being uniquely attuned to human behavior, leading them to earn that title.
The family that dogs belong to is referred to as ‘Canidae,’ just like the cat family is scientifically regarded as ‘Felidae.’ Unlike other species of the same family, dogs and their breeds are omnivorous like humans and eat meat as well as vegetables and other starch-rich foods. Such a diet is completely inadequate for other species present in the Canidae family.
Their difference in this regard is contributed towards the evolution that has occurred over thousands of years. They are believed to be selectively bred by humans over millennia for different sorts of behavior, sensory capabilities, and physical attributes. Presently, there are over 340 breeds of dogs that are recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), which is the world governing body of dog breeds and more commonly known as the World Canine Organization. However, the standards for breed recognition of dogs vary in different countries.
Domestic dogs have these breeds spread across the globe, and these dogs can be found on every continent in the world except Antarctica, excluding the dogs that might be brought to the location by humans. The overall population of dogs across the world is believed to be around 400 million.
These 400 million dogs comprise of various breeds recognized by respective organizations. These breeds are divided into 8 different classes: sporting, non-sporting, toy, hound, herding, terrier, working and miscellaneous.
The origin of the domestic dog is unclear, but all dogs, regardless of their breed, are direct descendants of ancient wolves. This is determined by a study of the fossils that have been found in Europe.
Fun And Interesting Facts About Dogs
For years, dogs have been tamed and petted by humans that make them the most popular working and companion animals throughout the history of mankind. They are also believed to perform more tasks for humans at workplaces compared to any other animal on the face of the Earth. These tasks include hunting, farm work, security, and assisting those with disabilities such as the blind.
The most popular breed according to registered ownership is the Labrador. They are used as work dogs as well as family pets due to their gentle nature and obedience. What’s more is that they are a highly intelligent breed among dogs with nearly limitless energy. Other popular breeds include German Shepherd, Bulldogs, Golden Retrievers and Beagle.
Dogs are intelligent animals in general. They have the ability to understand up to 250 words and gestures, can count up to five, and can perform simple mathematical calculations of addition and subtraction. Of course, this does not even come at par with humans, but for animals, this signifies intelligence as most animals remain unable to do even that much. This level of intelligence is similar to that of a two-year-old human toddler, which explains why young children get along well with dogs. A human child of that age has the same intelligence level as a dog. This is on of the funny facts about dogs
Moreover, dogs have a sense of time. Living with humans, dogs adapt our routines quickly and can sense how much time has passed. Hence, dogs can improve our punctuality in our daily lives. Furthermore, dogs are studied to show different responses towards their owners for when they are gone for different lengths of time.
Being human companions has also developed in them feelings and according to a study by the University of California, dogs can get jealous seeing their owners showing affection towards something or someone else. Moreover, dogs are able to recognize many different human feelings that they have learned throughout the years in the companionship of men. From their heightened sense of smell, dogs can identify various feelings from factors like perspiration.
Other than that, dogs excel at many abilities compared to humans. Depending on the breed, a dog’s sense of smell is about 10,000 to 10 million times better than that of humans. Moreover, dogs have 18 muscles in their ears, enabling them to hear 4 times the distance humans can hear. They are born deaf, but as they mature, they develop to hear over a frequency range of 67 Hz – 45000 Hz. Furthermore, the average bite force of a dog is about 320 pounds of pressure.
The whiskers of a dog are super-cool sensory detectors. They are able to detect the slightest of change in air flow, providing them with the information about the size, shape, and speed of things in their vicinity. That enables them to work better in the dark, while their sense of sight is compromised.
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