Species common

Species common name: the domestic dog.
Canis lupus familiaris

  1. Taxonomy:
    Kingdom- Animalia
    Class- Mammalia
    Order- Carnivora
    Family- Canidae
    Genus- Canis
    Species- lupus
    Subspecies- familiaris


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  1. Life History
    2a. The lifespan of a dog depends on its breed and body size. When properly cared for, a dog may live for more than 12 years (Bhagat, 2002).

2d. Dogs are omnivores, feeding on a variety of animal proteins and grains.

  1. Reproduction

3a. Dogs are placental mammals, and give birth to live young.

3b. Litters of puppies range between 3-9 individuals on average, but this is dependent on the breed of dog and the mother’s health (Bhagat, 2002).

  1. Habitat and Distribution

4b. Domestic dogs are found globally, in close association with humans.
4c. Dogs are a solely terrestrial species, though some have been bred to hunt waterfowl and are strong swimmers as a result.

  1. Conservation

5b. Domestic dogs are so numerous and widespread that they face zero threats from a conservation perspective. However, domestic dogs and in particular feral dogs can pose a threat to many native species via predation (Bhagat, 2002).

5c. While dogs are not threatened from a conservation perspective, a number of organizations run animal shelters to care for them. This is motivated by humane concerns for animal welfare rather than conservation concerns.

  1. A behavioral study found that the food choices of owners could significantly influence the choices that their dogs made . While dogs by themselves would more often choose a larger amount of food over a smaller amount, the number of dogs choosing the smaller amount increased after they observed their owners choosing the smaller amount of food. When presented with two small amounts of food to choose from, dogs were even more likely to follow their owner’s choice.
  2. While it is well known that yawning can be “contagious” between human beings, there is also evidence that dogs can catch yawns from humans as well. One study aimed to examine if dogs developed this phenomena at a certain age and if it was influenced by emotional closeness to the yawning human (Madsen & Persson, 2013). This study found that yawning was only contagious to puppies older than 7 months, and that the puppies were equally likely to catch yawns from familiar and unfamiliar humans.







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