Animals - Dogs
Scientific Name: Canis lupus familiaris
Size: 50cm (20in)
Weight: 30kg (65lbs)
Top Speed: 50km/h (31mph)
Life Span: 15 years
Dogs are thought to have been first domesticated in East Asia thousands of years ago. People primarily used dogs for guarding the hunters and areas of land.
Todays domestic dog is actually a subspecies of the gray wolf, a type of dog that is feared by most humans. Many people today, in all countries around the world, keep dogs as household pets and many even regard their dog as a family member.
There are currently around 800 different species of domestic dog worldwide. Included are mountain dogs such as Saint Bernards or Huskys and territorial guard dogs like the Neapolitan and Tibetan Mastiffs.
Dog Foot Facts
Dogs have soft pads on the bottom of their feet which help them to run quickly and quietly
Dogs have sharp, strong claws on their feet which allow them to grip when running and also helps them to dig.
Some dog species have dew claws on the sides of their feet which help the dog to balance when running, like the baby toes on humans.
The dew claws on a dog never really touch the ground but are often used to help the dog to lightly grip their prey.
The paws of a dog are around half the size of the paws of the wolf, as the dog is generally not as powerful as the wolf.
Dog Teeth Facts
Dogs have highly specialised teeth which allows them to both bite and tear meat apart.
The teeth of the dog are small than those of their wolf relatives as the dog has no need to be able to catch and kill such large prey.
The tongue of the dog is vital in heat regulation as moisture on the tongue cools instantly and the cooler air is then passed into the respiratory system.
Puppys have around 28 teeth but the average adult dog has 42 teeth which include 12 incisors, 4 canines, 16 premolars and 10 molars.
When a puppy is about four months old, they shed their baby teeth and grow their permanent adult teeth which are much stronger.
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