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The Online Dog Encyclopedia

Dogs. Canis lupus familiaris. Man’s best friend. The dog-human bond has existed for 10-15 thousand years, from the beginning, where man recognized dogs to be very much like themselves-pack animals and hunters.

Imagine our primitive ancestors with a taste for meat gathered together hunting down an antelope--maybe a dog watching on the sidelines--or coming forward at the scent of meat roasting over a fire. Dogs are fiercely loyal and trusting and develop deep bonds with humans. Throwing a dog a few scraps would surely be a sign of invitation to join the human pack.

Once the bond of trust was established, there was nothing the eager and willing dog would not do for its human companion. Humans found they could put dogs to use. Originally wolf-like, humans bred dogs for traits and characteristics best suited for their needs. Dogs with dense coats could be utilized in cold climates, dogs with the keenest smell would become trackers; small dogs with short legs could pull animals from burrows; sleek, long-legged dogs could be made to race, others trained to herd, and yet others--unfortunately--to fight each other. Continued breeding to develop and maintain such traits eventually established the great variety of dog in existence today.

But their appearance and their traits and characteristics are just the beginning. Each breed, even each dog--have their own nuances and distinct personalities that are not explored in mere fact books. Aside from offering facts about dogs including height and weight, country of origin, bred for, temperament, coat color, life expectancy, kennel club affiliation, rescue resources, and special needs, this online dog encyclopedia investigates the personality of each dog breed.

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