Dog

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The house dog ( Canis lupus familiaris ) is a house, pet, and farm animal from the canine family (Canidae). Occasionally, real dogs (Caninae) are also spoken of.

Ancestry

The progenitor of the dog is the wolf, until recently the Indian wolf Canis lupus pallipes or Canis lupaster was thought to be the culprit, whose relationship appears to be externally similar to that of some dog breeds. Conjectures that go back to Konrad Lorenz that the domestic dog is descended from the golden jackal ( Canis aureus ) are now considered to be refuted by recent research such as that of Erik Zimen and Alfred Seitz. In the meantime, the common gray wolf (Canis lupus) has been genetically confirmed as the forefather. This means that the Indian subspecies are also ruled out as possible progenitors. The study of mitochondrial DNA * is a standard method to test populations of different species, including wolves. Genetic studies of mitochondrial DNA from wolves and dogs in the USA showed that the genetic differences between different wolf populations averaged 0.16%. The genetic difference between wolf and coyote was about 3.1%, and the difference between dog and wolf (gray wolf) was 0.2%! This correction was confirmed in the 1993 edition "Mammal Species of the World", the reference work of the Smithsonian Institution for the classification and geographical classification of the mammals of this world. This work is being developed and published in collaboration with the American Society of Mammalogists and the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature.

Domestication

Gregory Acland, a veterinarian at Cornell University in Ithaca, USA, believes that it was not humans that got dogs, but the other way around. If you believe him, the human being at that time did not even have the intellectual abilities to domesticate the dog, as he himself was "not yet completely domesticated". The early dog ​​found an ecological niche in the vicinity of Homo sapiens and thus “depleted” itself. It used the joint hunting trips with humans as social parasites. This happened about 135,000 years ago when Homo sapiens migrated from Africa to the Middle East and brought the dog to Europe with them decades later. The external appearance of the dog remained wolf-like for a long time, which is why there are no “dog-typical” bones from this time.

Age

Until a few years ago it was still thought that domestication of the dog began around 14,000 years ago (peat dog), probably in the Middle East or Asia. However, studies of the genetic information show that the domestic dog (original dog) separated from the wolf about 100,000 years ago . The clarification of the origin of the dog from the wolf also raised the question of the age of our dogs: Based on various bone finds, the canine researchers were so far convinced that the taming and domestication of pack animals took place 12,000 to 15,000 years ago. But then a genetic study - published in the journal "Science" - threw these theses overboard. Through a genetic analysis of dogs and wolves, Swedish and American evolutionary biologists have come to the conclusion that the original dog does indeed descend from the wolf, but was born around 135,000 years ago. This would make man's best friend around ten times older than previously assumed. Traditional canine researchers were - not entirely surprising - snubbed by the new study. "I think it is unlikely that the wolves were domesticated so early," said the Swiss cynologist and author Hans Räber. "You have to have archaeological finds, and we don't have them." And even in the oldest, around 14,000-year-old excavations, according to Räber, it is not always clear whether it is about wolves or dogs. Joakim Lundeberg of the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, one of the authors of the genetic study, disagrees: "Early humans were nomadic hunters and gatherers," said the biochemist. Because there were no "cemeteries" at that time, it is not necessary to find dog fossils next to human fossils.

Primitive Dogs

Primeval types of the first dogs were discovered in many countries, so these deserve a special mention. These dog breeds are called pariah dogs or Schensi dogs. They live semi-wild near humans in a stable population. Some have even received the blessing of the FCI as an independent breed.

Breeding Dog Breeds

In the course of the human-dog relationship, different dog breeds have emerged, regionally and according to the environment and living conditions. Man has understood how to use the dog for different tasks through breeding and appropriate dog training. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) is the largest international umbrella organization under whose leadership national groups set the standards for the list of different dog breeds.

Classification of Breeding Dog Breeds

The following types of dogs are distinguished primarily according to their intended use:

Herding dogs (e.g. German Shepherd Dog, Collie, Border Collie), cattle dogs (e.g. Rottweiler) and shepherd dogs (e.g. Kuvasz). Domestic dogs in the narrower sense (e.g. Landseer, Newfoundland, Leonberger, Bernese Mountain Dog) and farm dogs (e.g. Hovawart, Entlebucher Sennenhund, Appenzeller Sennenhund) Stable dogs (e.g. Pinschers and Schnauzers) and guard dogs (e.g. German Spitz), Society dogs (e.g. Havanese) and companion dogs, Hunting dogs for different types of hunting and prey including sweat dogs, rummaging dogs, pointing dogs and retrievers and earth dogs and bracken as well as hounds (for example greyhounds like the Azawakh). In addition, other unsystematic terms such as working dogs or working dogs, attack dogs, protection dogs, guard dogs, primitive or original dogs and even lap dogs are common.

A cynological system of dog breeds is maintained by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), which currently recognizes 347 breeds (status: 11/2004). Then all recognized dog breeds are divided into 10 groups, which in turn are divided into different sections:

Group 01 : Herding dogs and cattle dogs (except Swiss mountain dogs ) [1] ; Group 02 : Pinschers and Schnauzers - Molossoids - Swiss Mountain Dogs and other breeds [2] ; Group 03 : Terriers [3] ; Group 04 : Dachshunds [4] ; Group 05 : Spitz and primitive dogs [5] ; Group 06 : hounds, sweat dogs and related breeds [6] ; Group 07 : Pointing dogs [7] ; Group 08 : Retriever dogs - rook dogs - water dogs [8] ; Group 09 : Society and companion dogs [9] ; Group 10 : Greyhounds [10]. There are also a number of so-called provisionally accepted breeds in the FCI system [11] .

Outside of this system, there are over a hundred other breeds that are not recognized by the FCI , as well as a number of breeds that are considered to be extinct, such as Basset d'Artois, Braque Belge and Harlequin Pinscher, which have been deleted from the FCI system.

In addition to the actual dog breeds, there are also bastards or mixed breeds, feral domestic dogs (for example dingo ( Canis lupus f. Dingo )).

Some Breeds of Dogs

The Chihuahua (FCI No. 218) with a weight of 0.5-3 kg and a height at the withers of less than 20 cm is one of the smallest recognized dog breeds; One of the largest dog breeds is the Great Dane (FCI No. 235) with a height at the withers of at least 80 cm in males and the Irish Wolfhound (FCI No. 160) with up to 95 cm; The Curly Coated Retriever is one of the rare breeds.

Use of Dogs

Due to its social adaptability, the domestic dog is the most diverse animal connected with humans. Many people today spend their free time with their dog and also do dog sports. It is not uncommon for the animals to function as their owner's sole social relationship. The humanization of the dogs, which often occurs here, often leads to serious mistakes in keeping, as their natural needs are disregarded.

In hunter-gatherer cultures, dogs were eaten in times of need; special breeds of dogs are bred for consumption in China. In Korea, the dog meat stew poshintang is a specialty. The slaughter of dogs has been banned in Germany since 1986. The same rule applies to the rest of the EU. The only exception to this in Europe is Switzerland. However, the trade in dog meat is also prohibited there.

Some breeds of dogs are suitable as guide dogs or, because of their excellent sense of smell, are used to detect intoxicants or explosives. Many animals can also be trained as rescue dogs.

The use of dogs as the poor man's draft animal was widespread well into the 20th century. Large dogs are anatomically better suited to pulling carts and sleds than horses, for example. A draft dog can pull up to three to five times its body weight.

Dog Ownership

For several years, domestic dogs have had the option of implanting a chip that enables the animal to be identified; To read the transponder number of the animal, however, a reader is required and can therefore only be done by persons and institutions (veterinarians, animal shelters, police stations) equipped with such a device. Some non-commercial organizations like TASSO e. V. operate central registration offices for lost and found dogs; The chip number of your own animal can also be registered here. This number is unique in the world and, in contrast to a tattoo, allows the dog to be reliably identified. From October 2004, all dogs traveling within Europe must be identified by means of a chip or tattoo. As of 2012, the chip will be the only recognized identification.

Reproduction

The onset of sexual maturity in the female dog is marked by the first heat, which occurs at the age of 7 to 11 months. Males develop their sexual competence at about the same age. Smaller dogs generally become sexually mature earlier than large breed dogs.

Dogs are subject to a pronounced half-yearly heat period. With an average heat interval of 5 to 7 months, they are among the seasonally monoestrous animals.

The sexual cycle is divided into 4 phases. With the onset of pre- oestrus , the vulva swells, and bloody to flesh-colored secretion emerges, which makes the bitch attractive for males. A deck readiness is not yet given. The duration of the pre-heat is - individually different - 4 to 21 days. It is followed by oestrus , which is characterized by the bitch's readiness to mate and fertility. The vaginal discharge becomes lighter and the bitch "presents" to the males. The heat phase is 2 to 12 days. Together with the heat, it is called heat. This is followed by the metestrusin the course of which regression and regeneration processes take place in the uterus over a period of 9-12 weeks. In the fourth phase ( anestrus ) there is no sign of sexual activity. This section lasts 2 to 6 months.

When the dog mates, there is a remarkable behavior of "hanging". Upon penetration of the bitch, there is a strong swelling of the so-called knot of the dog, which is located at the lower end of the penis shaft. This has the effect that the penis is "wedged" and the two animals cannot separate from each other. As a result, the male animal descends from its partner and usually turns 180 °, so that both animals remain connected to each other with their rear ends facing each other for a period of up to 30 minutes.

The average gestation period of the bitch is 63 to 65 days, the number of puppies varies between 3 and 9 animals.

Nutrition

The easiest way to ensure complete nutrition for dogs is to feed them commercial dog food. Although the proportion of feed allergies has increased considerably in recent years, this type of feeding is the easiest way to ensure that the animals are supplied with essential nutritional components. Some are of the opinion that a dog diet with fresh meat, offal, bones, vegetables and herbs, supplemented with valuable vegetable and fish oils (= BARF), is better. Nutritionally, at least in terms of nutritional physiology, the use of in-house leftovers is questionable, as this can lead to deficiencies.

Much human food and beverages are more or less toxic for dogs, chocolate is an example. The theobromine in chocolate is very harmful to dogs in large quantities and in individual cases can also lead to death. The lethal dose is 100 mg theobromine / kg body weight, but even smaller amounts lead to symptoms of intoxication, which can manifest themselves in vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, muscle cramps and urinary incontinence.

Diseases

The spectrum of the dog diseases described is extremely rich and in its diversity it is quite comparable to human diseases. Very common dog diseases are:

Sensory organs: inflammation of the ear canal (otitis externa), cataracts, conjunctivitis, PRA (progressive retinal atrophy, retinal degeneration) Digestive organs: tartar, stomach torsion (in large breeds), food intolerance, acute absorption disorders (diarrhea), parasite infestation Respiratory organs: rhinitis, secondary tumor diseases of the lungs Cardiovascular system: heart dilation (dilated cardiomyopathy, especially in large breeds), heart valve diseases (especially small breeds) Urinary and sexual organs: renal insufficiency, uterine suppuration (pyometra), benign prostate enlargement hormonal disorders: diabetes mellitus, functional disorders in the thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) and adrenal glands (hyper- and hypoadrenocorticism), pseudopregnancy Nervous system: epilepsy, disorders of nerve function due to a herniated disc (especially in breeds with relatively long backs, for example, dachshunds) Skin: mammary tumors, allergies, parasite infestation Musculoskeletal system: in addition to traumatic diseases, joint diseases dominate: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia Infections: Most dogs are protected by vaccinations against a large number of diseases that previously appeared epidemic, such as parvovirus, distemper, or rabies. In recent years, the proportion of infections caused by motion sickness (leishmaniasis, babesiosis, dirofilariasis, or tick-borne borreliosis has increased significantly.

Genetic Defects

Gene defects are more common in isolated areas such as islands or especially America or the long-separated Eastern Bloc and are a real problem due to increasing globalization. Known here are, for example, hip dysplasia (HD) or elbow dysplasia, which among other things, German shepherds have more often and lead to lameness. Also known as the so-called dachshund paralysis, which occurs due to the greatly elongated back and can lead to paralysis of the hind legs. Less known is a genetic defect that has just been discovered in long-haired collies in particular and whose origin apparently dates back several centuries. On the one hand, this is due to the fact that our veterinary medicine is becoming more and more sophisticated so that this genetic defect played no role at all in the past and has no other visible influence on the dog. However, since the collie was also crossbred quite intensively, for example with the Borzoi, the Australian Cattle Dog, and the Saluki as well as numerous British herding dog breeds, there is a likelihood that these genes have spread in various breeds for centuries. In the meantime, they have also been detected in some breeds. What is serious here is that they are only detectable in the blood and the dog suddenly and unexpectedly dies after an operation. The problem here is overcoming the cerebral blood barrier, which occurs when various anesthetics are administered, for example. So the brain is injected into a coma because the barrier does not work. This leads directly to death and is not necessarily known to veterinarians. As a dog owner, you should therefore inform yourself thoroughly about genetic defects in your dog breed.

References

https://web.archive.org/web/20070111132010/http://zoowiki.zetapin.de/index.php?title=Pferd