Information about: Dog

Index | Dog

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Dog. An animal well known for its attachment to mankind, and remarkable for the almost infinite varieties, as to size, form, color, and quality of the hair, which the influence of domestication has brought about in the species. It belongs to the order of carnivorous mammals, and to that section of quadrupeds which is distinguished as digitigrade. The zoological genus is termed Canis, and includes, besides the dog, the jackal and the wolf. It is a question of considerable interest what was the parent stock of the dog. Some zoologists are of opinion that the breed is derived from the wolf; others that it is a familiarized jackal; all agree that no trace of it is to be found in a primitive state of nature. The food of the dog is various. It will live on cooked vegetable matter, but prefers animal food. In drinking, it laps with the tongue. It never perspires, but the nose is naked and moist, and, when hot, the tongue hangs out of the mouth, and a considerable quantity of water drops from it. The female goes with young sixty-three days, and usually has about six or eight at a litter, though sometimes more. The young are blind at birth, and do not acquire their sight until the tenth day. The dog attains its full growth at the expiration of the second year; it is old at fifteen years, and seldom lives beyond twenty years.