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Dogs are man's best friend
Dogs are intelligent and very social animals
There can be few animals that engender in us such an active sense of love, trust and companionship as dogs. Known as man's best friend, they're always pleased to see us and happy just to be with us, whether it's in the car, by the fireside or simply having a stroll.
Amazingly then, to think that these lovely tame animals are, according to DNA research and fossil evidence, descended from wolves and domesticated as little as 15,000 years ago somewhere in East Asia before being taken with the first peoples into North America.
Dogs are social animals
Dogs are social animals able to adapt and fit into almost any social situations we put them into, and this position makes them unique among pets. They are playful, sensitive to our moods and can be trained for a number of specialised roles, such as guide dogs for the blind, hearing dogs, sniffer dogs at airports and hunting dogs.
Dogs are pack animals
One thing that hasn't been bred out of dogs is the pack mentality or pack instinct. This is often interpreted by us to reflect their qualities of devotion and friendship and loyalty, which is also why so many owners see their dogs as family members and why dogs see their owners as human companions and leaders of their pack.
Dogs are intelligent animals
Depending on the breed, dogs can be very intelligent, particularly breeds such as German shepherds, poodles, labradors and retrievers. This quality is often much valued by their owners. As mentioned earlier, their intelligence has led to some breeds being trained to assist society in specialised roles such as avoiding dangerous situations, search and rescue, as guards for sheep and other livestock and law enforcement.
This intelligence, though, isn't always shown in ways we might expect, such as obeying our orders and commands. In some breeds and some dogs, their intelligence is reflected rather mischievously — such as working out how to open doors to get out, how to steal food from the table or how to slip their collars or leads and escape from the back garden. No wonder these animals enjoy a special relationship with us and are loved the world over.
The Breed Categories of Dogs
There are more than 8080 breeds of dogs recognized by kennel clubs around the world. The American Kennel Club (AKC) has assigned all breeds of dogs to one of several main categories: