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Distribution

    Distribution
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Domestic dogs are now found worldwide. Their wild ancestors, gray wolves occurred in northern hemisphere continental areas, including North America and the Palearctic.

    Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Introduced , Native ); palearctic (Introduced , Native ); oriental (Introduced ); ethiopian (Introduced ); neotropical (Introduced ); australian (Introduced ); oceanic islands (Introduced )

    Other Geographic Terms: cosmopolitan

Morphology

    Morphology
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Domestic dogs come in a bewildering variety of shapes and sizes. They have been selectively bred for millenia for various behaviors, sensory capabilities, and physical attributes, including dogs bred for herding livestock (collies, sheperds, etc.), different kinds of hunting (pointers, hounds, etc.), catching rats (small terriers), guarding (mastiffs, chows), helping fishermen with nets (Newfoundlands, poodles), pulling loads (huskies, St. Bernard's), guarding carriages and horsemen (dalmatians), and as companion dogs. Some kinds were even bred simply as lap warmers (Pekingese). Their basic morphology though, no matter how modified, is that of their wild ancestors, gray wolves.

    Range mass: <1 to 70 kg.

    Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry ; polymorphic

    Sexual Dimorphism: male larger

Habitat

    Habitat
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Domestic dogs are found in association with humans worldwide and in a wide variety of habitats.

    Habitat Regions: temperate ; tropical ; polar ; terrestrial

    Terrestrial Biomes: tundra ; taiga ; desert or dune ; savanna or grassland ; chaparral ; forest ; rainforest ; scrub forest

    Other Habitat Features: urban ; suburban ; agricultural

Trophic Strategy

    Trophic Strategy
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Puppies have different feeding habits than older dogs. A puppy needs twice as much protein and 50% more calories per pound of body weight daily in order to meet its growth requirements. A rapid change in a puppy's diet may cause gastrointestinal upsets. Puppies must feed 4 times daily until the age of 3 months, 3 times daily until 6 months and twice daily for the rest of its life. Older dogs' feeding habits are different in a couple of ways. The average size dog requires about 30 calories per pound of body weight per day. Interestingly, larger breeds need only 20 calories per pound of weight, while smaller breeds need about 40 calories per pound of body weight. A dog's diet should consist of balanced porportions of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and, of course, water. A dog can go days without food and lose 30% to 40% of it's body weight without dying, but a 10% to 15% water loss could be fatal. All-meat diets are not recommended for dogs due to the lack of calcium and iron found in meat. Diet supplements should be avoided. Human foods that can be fatal to dogs include moldy cheese, onions, and chocolate. Feral domestic dogs will eat a variety of foods including animals and fruits.

    Animal Foods: birds; mammals; amphibians; reptiles; fish; eggs; carrion ; insects; terrestrial non-insect arthropods

    Plant Foods: seeds, grains, and nuts; fruit

    Primary Diet: omnivore

Associations

    Siberian Husky
    provided by EOL authors

    TheSiberian Husky(Russian: Сибирский хаски) is a medium sizeworkingdog breedthat originated in north-easternSiberia,Russia.[2]The breed belongs to theSpitzgenetic family.[3]It is recognizable by its thickly furreddouble coat, erect triangular ears, and distinctive markings.

    The original Siberian Huskies were bred by theChukchi people— whosehunter-gathererculture relied on their help. It is an active, energetic, resilient breed, whose ancestors lived in the extremely cold and harsh environment of the Siberian Arctic. William Goosak, a Russian fur trader, introduced them toNome, Alaskaduring theNomeGold Rush, initially assled dogs. The people of Nome referred to the Siberian Huskies as "Siberian Rats" due to size and weighing 40 to 50 pounds when compared to theMalamutedogs.[4]

    Associations
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Feral domestic dogs impact ecosystems primarily through predation on native wildlife, often resulting in severe population declines, especially of island endemic species.

    There are many species of parasites and disease organisms that infect dogs. Some of which can also infect humans.

    Associations
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Because of their association with humans, domestic dogs are not preyed upon by wild predators. However, feral domestic dogs may be preyed upon by any large predator. Often they are killed by other canids, such as wolves and jackals.

    Known Predators:

    • wolves (Canis lupus)
    • coyotes (Canis latrans)
    • golden jackals (Canis aureus)

Behavior

    Behavior
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Domestic dogs use a complex set of communication modes to navigate their social environment. Chemical cues, such as pheromones, communicate information on reproductive status, social status, and mood. Body language is heavily used and various vocalizations are used as well. Social bonding and communication also occurs through touch.

    Communication Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

    Other Communication Modes: pheromones

    Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

Life Expectancy

    Life Expectancy
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Longevity in domestic dogs depends on the care they receive, their breed, and body size. In general, larger breeds have shorter lifespans. Well-cared for animals can live for 12 years or more.

    Average lifespan
    Status: wild:
    29.5 years.

    Average lifespan
    Status: captivity:
    20.0 years.

Reproduction

    Reproduction
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Reproduction in domestic dogs is generally manipulated by humans. Feral males tend to compete amongst themselves for access to receptive females. Some feral domestic dog populations have reverted to ancestral habits where a single male and female pair (the alpha animals) dominate mating in a small, family group, or pack. Other pack members help to care for the offspring of the dominant pair.

    Mating System: monogamous ; polygynandrous (promiscuous) ; cooperative breeder

    Domestic dogs have a gestation period of 9 weeks, after which anywhere from 1 to dozens of puppies can be born, depending on the breed and nutritional status of the mother. Average litter sizes are from 3 to 9 puppies. Male and female dogs usually reach puberty between 6 and 12 months of age; however, the time that a dog actually breeds depends on many social factors, ranging from size of breed (larger dogs need more time before they are ready to breed) and level of confidence a dog must attain before being ready to breed.

    Most breeds are seasonally monocyclic, showing signs of heat every 6 months or so. The reproductive cycle has four stages: anestrus, proestrus, estrus, and diestrus. The anestrus period lasts about 2 to 4 months. Proestrus is the time when a bloody discharge first appears in a female. This is the beginning of "heat," a period that usually last 9 days but that can last up to 28 days. The end of this period is marked by the female's acceptance of a male partner. Estrus is the period when the female is sexually receptive and breeding can occur. Ovulation occurs about 24 hours after the acceptance of the male. Ova survive and are capable of being fertilized for about 4 days after ovulation; therefore it is possible for a female to mate with more that one male. Diestrus follows estrus in the nonpregnant cycle, characterized by a state of "pseudopregnancy", which is followed by a return of the uterus and ovaries to the anestrus, resting state.

    Breeding interval: Domestic dogs can reproduce at approximately six month intervals, though usually less frequently.

    Breeding season: Breeding can occur throughout the year.

    Range number of offspring: 1 (low) .

    Average number of offspring: 3-9.

    Average gestation period: 63 days.

    Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 6 to 12 months.

    Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 6 to 12 months.

    Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; year-round breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; viviparous

    Females nurse and care for their puppies until they are weaned at about 8 to 10 weeks of age. In feral domestic dog packs, puppies are cared for by all members of the pack.

    Parental Investment: altricial ; male parental care ; female parental care

Conservation Status

    Conservation Status
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Domestic dogs are not threatened, though some agencies try to protect rare breeds from disappearing.

    US Migratory Bird Act: no special status

    US Federal List: no special status

    CITES: no special status

Benefits

    Benefits
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Domestic dogs carry and transmit human diseases, including viral, bacterial, and parasitic diseases. Dogs are still one of the primary vectors for transmitting rabies to humans in undeveloped parts of the world. In addition, domestic dogs are responsible for attacks on adults and children, sometimes resulting in death.

    Negative Impacts: injures humans (bites or stings, carries human disease)

    Benefits
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    If trained properly and treated well, dogs are loyal and protective animals. Domestic dogs have been bred to many purposes throughout the millenia, including as draft animals, guards, hunting, herding, and fishing aids, and as lap animals. More recently dogs are employed as guide dogs for the blind, deaf, and disabled, using their keen sense of smell to detect bombs or drugs, and as therapy animals.

    Positive Impacts: pet trade ; research and education