"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."
- Groucho Marx
August 26th is National Dog Day! We’re celebrating by looking a bit closer at our canine companions. How much do you know about your dog?
The domestic dog (Canus familiaris) seems to go back to pre-agricultural times. The first remains that have been classified as a domesticated dog go back more than 14,000 years. DNA sequencing shows that today’s dogs were domesticated from a now extinct wolf population and are different from modern wolves. This domestication has brought noticeable physical changes, including the ability to live on a starch-rich diet that other canines couldn’t survive on.
The concept of dog breeds came about during Victorian times, when directed breeding began developing distinctive dog breeds. Currently there are more than 450 distinct dog breeds, making them the most diverse mammal in the world. Larger dogs were bred to become larger breeds like mastiffs. Dogs suffering from dwarfism were bred to produce animals with short legs, like dachshunds and corgis. In addition to the five senses that humans have, dogs also have a sensitivity to the Earth’s magnetic field.
Some studies suggest that dogs have advanced intelligence and capabilities. One dog learned commands associated with 1,000 words. However, other studies find that dogs have similar intelligence capabilities as other animals like horses, cats, and chimpanzees. Their behaviors, honed by millennia of contact with humans, show a high level of social-cognitive ability, as much as that found in a human child. This is better than other canines (e.g., wolves) and even intelligent mammals like great apes. The genetic differences between dogs and wolves seem to account for reduced fear and aggression compared to wolves. Other genes seem to correspond to higher sociability.
Dogs are highly versatile creatures. They can serve as pets, but are also trained for work in police and military applications. Other dogs are trained as service animals to assist the disabled. Dogs can also be trained to pull a sled in colder, snowier climates. Purebred dogs are often entered into special breed competitions. They can also be trained to participate in other kinds of sporting behavior. Unfortunately, some cultures view dogs as food, but this seems to be declining in popularity.
Here are some fast facts about dogs from Care.com:
- Puppies grow to half their body weight in the first four to five months!
- Puppies can sleep 18 to 20 hours a day during that rapid body growth phase.
- The fastest breed, the Greyhound, can run up to 44 miles per hour.
- The Labrador Retriever is the most popular breed, according to the American Kennel Club.
- The world’s oldest breed, the Saluki, originated in Egypt around 329 B.C.
- Thomas Jefferson helped enact a dog tax in Virginia, because he was annoyed that dogs were killing his sheep.
- The heaviest breed, the Mastiff, weighs about 200 pounds.
- Just like human fingerprints, no two dogs’ nose prints are alike.
- The best age to bring a puppy home is 6 to 12 weeks.
- The Newfoundland has a water-resistant coat and webbed feet.
- Petting a dog can lower your blood pressure.
- The U.S. has the highest dog population per capita in the world.
- Mastiffs wore armor and were sent after mounted knights in Roman times.
- Dogs can be taught to count and solve simple math problems.
- With love and a little patience, dogs can learn to walk backwards.
Dogs are a part of the family, so you probably want the best for your pooch. Age-related conditions can make life difficult for both you and your dog. Dogs can suffer from inflammatory diseases like osteoarthritis, preventing your dog from moving like it used to. But your dog doesn’t have to suffer like this. Elk velvet antler (EVA) is the concentrated form of elk velvet and antler. This substance is rich in compounds that help with arthritis, including glucosamine, chondroitin, and collagen. Studies performed using EVA showed significant improvement for dogs using EVA as a supplement. EVA is a safe, all natural, sustainably harvested product that can help your dog age gracefully.
* The statements and products referred to throughout this site have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition. If you have a health condition or concern, consult a physician/veterinarian.
Wikipedia contributors. (2021, July 6). Dog. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 00:23, July 8, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dog&oldid=1032270993
Wallace, S. (2021, February 18). 101 dog facts to delight and fascinate animal lovers. Care Resources. https://www.care.com/c/101-facts-about-dogs-you-might-not-know-2
Moreau, M., Dupuis, J., Bonneau, N. H., & Lécuyer, M. (2004). Clinical evaluation of a powder of quality elk velvet antler for the treatment of osteoarthrosis in dogs. The Canadian veterinary journal = La revue veterinaire canadienne, 45(2), 133–139.