By: Selena Zhu
Imagine an animal wagging its tail so hard you think it’s about to fall off the second you get home. Yep, that’s a dog. Dogs are amazing animals that like attention and care from their owners. That’s why they are often called a person’s best friend. Dogs first became domesticated about 20,000 to 40,000 years ago. That means that they became pets. Dogs have lived for more than 33,000 years and are related to wolves, coyotes, foxes, dholes, African wild dogs, and jackals. Dogs were one of the first animals to be domesticated and become pets. When humans started to split into different habitats and other places in the world, they started breeding domestic dogs for practical uses. As you can see, dogs are very interesting and come from many different places and have had a rich history across the years.
There are over four hundred dog breeds in the world. Our ancestors bred dogs to make sure that specific traits were passed onto future generations. These traits are shown in hunting dogs, sledding dogs, herding dogs, and scent hounds. Different dogs look different due to their breeds. For example, spitz - type dogs look like wolves, toy dogs are small dogs, and Mastiffs are giant dogs. Some dog breeds were made for work. For example, terriers were dogs made for digging; water dogs were made for hunting in the water or fetching things; pointers were made for play and hunting; and pinchers and schnauzers are basic work dogs. Lots of dogs are also designer dogs, like chihuahuas. These dogs are the smallest breed. It is clear that there are a lot of dog breeds.
Our ancestors depended on dogs to survive. They helped hunt, herd, and pull sleds. One time in Nome, Alaska, in 1925, sled dogs saved lots of children by bringing the only medicine that could save them, which was about 1,000 miles away. Also, in the present world, dogs still do many things to help humans. For example, service dogs help the blind “see” and cross roads safely. Additionally, they also tell people if they have an illness. In conclusion, dogs have done many things to help humans in the past, present and probably will continue to help in the future.
You will be surprised at what your canine friend can and can’t eat. One example is chocolate. You might think that chocolate is a great treat, but for your pal, it is a death hazard. Most people think that dogs are carnivores, but dogs are omnivores since they eat meat, veggies, and fruit. Dogs cannot eat raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate or garlic. As you can see, dogs eat many things, but some things are poisonous to them.
Have you ever wondered which dogs live the longest? Smaller dogs usually live longer than bigger dogs. For example, the chihuahua lives to about 12 to 20 years, but the English mastiff lives to about 6 to 12 years. Other dogs can live anywhere in between. In conclusion, dogs have a variety of life spans, but if you don’t treat your pup properly, they might live shorter than you think.