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dog, carnivorous, domesticated wolf (Canis lupus familiaris) of the family Canidae, to which the jackal and fox also belong. The family Canidae is sometimes referred to as the dog family, and its characteristics, e.g., long muzzle, large canine teeth, and long tail, as canine traits. However, the unmodified term dog usually refers only to the domestic subspecies Canis lupus familiaris.
Two characteristics distinguish the dog from other canids and, indeed, from all other animal species. The first is its worldwide distribution in close association with humans, encompassing both hemispheres from the tropics to the Arctic. The second is the enormous amount of variability found within the subspecies. For example, the Irish wolfhound may stand as high as 39 in. (99.1 cm) at the shoulder, while the Chihuahua's shoulder is usually no more than 6 in. (15.2 cm) from the ground; the silky coat of the Yorkshire terrier may be 2 ft (61 cm) long, while a few breeds of dog (such as the Mexican hairless) are entirely without hair. The evolution of such widely differing breeds has been heavily influenced by conscious human selection, in addition to natural evolution. Dogs have been selectively bred through the centuries for special purposes, notably to pursue and retrieve game, as draft animals, as guides (e.g., for the blind), and as companions. Although dogs possess hearing abilities far superior to humans', their acute sense of smell is probably the sense most utilized. In addition to traditional hunting and tracking, the dog's sense of smell has been put to such diverse uses as the location of exotic foods and the detection of drugs and explosives, e.g., in luggage and packages.
Affenpinscher, Afghans, Airedales, Akitas, Alaskan Malamutes, American Bulldogs, American Cocker Spaniels, American Eskimo Dogs, American Hairless Terrier, American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Anatolians, Australian Cattle Dogs, Australian Kelpie, Australian Shepherds, Basenjis, Bassets, Beagles, Bearded Collies, Bedlington Terriers, Belgian Shepherd Dogs, Belgian Tervuerens, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Bichon Frise, Bloodhounds, Border Collies, Border Terriers, Borzoi, Boston Terriers, Bouvier Des Flandres, Boxers, Briards, Brittanys, Brussels Griffon, Bullmastiffs, Bull Terriers, Cairn Terriers, Canaan Dogs, Caucasian Ovcharka (Mountain Dog), Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Chihuahuas, Chinese Crested, Chinese Foo Dog, Chinese Shar-Pei, Chinooks, Chow Chows, Clumber Spaniels, Curly Coated Retrievers, Dachshunds, Dalmatians, Doberman Pinschers, Drahthaars, English Cocker Spaniels, English Shepherds, English Springer Spaniels, Field Spaniels, Flat Coat Retrievers, French Bulldog, German Pinschers, German Shepherd Dogs, German Shorthaired Pointers, German Wirehaired Pointers, Giant Schnauzers, Golden Retrievers, Gordon Setters, Great Danes, Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, Great Pyrenees, Greyhounds, Irish Terriers, Irish Water Spaniels, Irish Wolfhounds, Italian Greyhounds, Jack Russell Terriers, Japanese Chin, Keeshonden, Kerry Blue Terriers, Komondorok, Kuvaszok, Labrador Retrievers, Leonbergers, Maltese, Manchester Terriers, Mastiffs, Miniature Australian Shepherds, Miniature Pinscher, Miniature Schnauzers, Newfoundlands, Norfolk and Norwich Terriers, Norwegian Elkhound, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, Old English Sheepdogs, Otterhounds, Papillons, Pekingese, Petite Basset Griffon Vendeens, Portuguese Water Dogs, Poodles, Pointers, Pugs, Pyrenean Shepherds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Rottweilers, Saint Bernards, Salukis, Samoyeds, Schipperkes, Scottish Deerhounds, Scottish Terrier, Shetland Sheepdogs, Shiba Inus, Shih Tzus, Siberian Huskies, Silky Terriers, Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Thai Ridgebacks, Tibetan Mastiffs, Tibetan Spaniels, Toy Fox Terriers, Vizslas, Welsh Springer Spaniels, Welsh Terriers, West Highland White Terriers, Whippets, White German Shepherds, Wire Haired Fox Terrier, Wire Haired Pointing Griffons, Xoloitzcuintli Yorkshire Terriers