PNG images: Dog

The domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris or Canis familiaris) is a member of genus Canis (canines) that forms part of the wolf-like canids, and is the most widely abundant carnivore. The dog and the extant gray wolf are sister taxa, with modern wolves not closely related to the wolves that were first domesticated, which implies that the direct ancestor of the dog is extinct. The dog was the first domesticatedspecies and has been selectively bred over millennia for various behaviors, sensory capabilities, and physical attributes.

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Their long association with humans has led dogs to be uniquely attuned to human behaviour and they are able to thrive on a starch-rich diet that would be inadequate for other canid species. Dogs vary widely in shape, size and colours. Dogs perform many roles for people, such as hunting, herding, pulling loads, protection, assisting police and military, companionship and, more recently, aiding handicapped individuals. This influence on human society has given them the sobriquet "man's best friend".

In 14th-century England, hound (from Old English: hund) was the general word for all domestic canines, and dog referred to a subtype of hound, a group including the mastiff. It is believed this "dog" type was so common, it eventually became the prototype of the category "hound". By the 16th century, dog had become the general word, and hound had begun to refer only to types used for hunting. The word "hound" is ultimately derived from the Proto-Indo-European word *kwon-, "dog". This semantic shift may be compared with in German, where the corresponding words Dogge and Hund kept their original meanings. The term *ḱwon- may ultimately derive from the earliest layer of Proto-Indo-European vocabulary.

A male canine is referred to as a "dog", while a female is called a "bitch" (derived from Middle English bicche, from Old English bicce, ultimately from Old Norse bikkja). The father of a litter is called the sire, and the mother is called the dam. The process of birth is "whelping", from the Old English word hwelp; the modern English word "whelp" is an alternative term for puppy. A litter refers to the multiple offspring at one birth which are called puppies or pups from the French poupée, "doll", which has mostly replaced the older term "whelp".

  • The term dog typically is applied both to the species (or subspecies) as a whole, and any adult male member of the same.

  • An adult female is a bitch. In some countries, especially in North America, dog is used instead due to the vulgar connotation of bitch.

  • An adult male capable of reproduction is a stud.

  • An adult female capable of reproduction is a brood bitch, or brood mother.

  • Immature males or females (that is, animals that are incapable of reproduction) are pups or puppies.

  • A group of pups from the same gestation period is a litter.

  • The father of a litter is a sire. It is possible for one litter to have multiple sires.

  • The mother of a litter is a dam.

  • A group of any three or more adults is a pack.

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