Curtin, Charles B. Department of Biology, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska.
Last reviewed:April 2020
Show previous versions
- Domestic breeds
- Sporting breeds
- Working breeds
- Toy breeds
- Nonsporting breeds
- Wild species
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Members of the carnivorous mammalian family Canidae. All breeds of domestic dogs (Fig. 1), the wild dogs, and related species belong to the family Canidae. Despite the various breeds of domestic dogs that are known, the scientific name for all types is Canis lupus familiaris (also referred to as Canis familiaris). The origin of domestic dogs is obscure, but they seem to be most closely related to the wolf (Canis lupus). The dog has been associated with humans for thousands of years. Investigations have identified Southeast Asia and Europe as early centers for the domestication of dogs, which occurred approximately 18,000 to 32,000 years ago, and there are indications that, as early as 4000 years ago, several varieties of dogs had been developed by humans. In many respects, the dog is structurally primitive and shows a genetic plasticity that accounts for the many varieties. There are more than 100 breeds of domestic dogs, and their classification is based principally on their uses. The wild species of the family, numbering about 35–40 and having a wide distribution, include several wild dogs, wolves, coyotes, foxes, dingoes, and jackals. See also: Carnivora; Dog domestication; Domestication; Mammalia
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 46 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information