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Man's best friend and one of the most popular pets in the world! They are loyal, love unconditionally, provide constant companionship and are the firmest friend, the first to welcome, and foremost to defend. Class distinctions between people have no part in a dog's life. It can be a faithful companion to either rich or poor.

A dog fits easily into family life. It thrives on praise and affection. When a master tells a dog that it is good, the animal happily wags its tail. But when a master scolds a dog, it skulks away with a sheepish look and with its tail tucked between its legs.

People in the city as well as those in other areas can enjoy a dog. Medium-size or small dogs are best suited for the confines of the city. Large dogs need considerable exercise over a large area.

Dogs have been man's pet for over 14000 years. The dog is a domestic subspecies of the wolf. The dog was one of the first animals domesticated by humans. Dogs are very social animals and this accounts for their trainability, playfulness, and ability to fit into human households and social situations.

Dogs vary greatly from breed to breed. The smallest breed is the Chihuahua. It weighs only 4 pounds and is 5 inches high at the shoulders. The tallest breed is the Irish wolfhound. It is about thirty-nine inches tall at the shoulder.

The St. Bernard is the heaviest dog. It can weigh about 200 pounds. The heaviest dog ever weighed 319 pounds. The oldest dog ever died at age 29. The first living creature sent into space was a female dog named Laika launched by the former USSR.

The English word dog, in common usage, refers to the domestic pet dog. Many are trained as assistance dogs for the seeing and hearing-impaired, and alert dogs to help those with epilepsy and psychiatric disorders. The detection dog uses its sense of smell to detect substances such as explosives or illegal drugs. Guard dogs trained to protect property. Herding dogs trained to protect livestock in the range against predators.

Hunting dogs that search for and retrieve game. Police dogs are trained to assist law enforcement officers. Rescue dogs search for missing humans. Rescue at sea dogs are usually Newfoundland. Therapy dogs, with friendly and gentle temperaments, are trained to provide comfort and affection to hospitalized and institutionalized patients. The war dog, used by the military to detect mines and enemy soldiers.

Even though all these dogs vary greatly in appearance, they are identical in anatomy. They have 321 bones and 42 permanent teeth. Most dogs are able to detect scents far better than humans. They can also hear high-pitched sounds.

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