A dog is a mammal in the order Carnivora.
Dogs were domesticated from wolves as recently as 15,000 years ago. New evidence suggests that dogs were first domesticated in East Asia, possibly China. Over time, the dog has developed into hundreds of breeds with a great degree of variation.
Dogs, like humans, are highly social animals and this similarity in their overall behavioral pattern accounts for their trainability, playfulness and ability to fit into human households and social situations. This similarity has earned dogs a unique position in the realm of interspecies relationships.
The loyalty and devotion that dogs demonstrate as part of their natural instincts as pack animals closely mimic the human idea of love and friendship, leading many dog owners to view their pets as full-fledged family members.
The common name for the domestic dog is ‘Canis familiaris‘, a species of the dog family ‘Canidae’. The dog is generally considered the ‘first’ domesticated animal.
Dogs can differ in appearance, function, temperament, and size. Some small dogs can weigh as little as 1.5 pounds, whereas some larger dogs can weigh as much as 200 pounds.
Depending on the country, there are about 138 officially recognized dog breeds.