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The dog (Canis familiaris or Canis lupus familiaris) is a domesticated descendant of the wolf. Also called the domestic dog, it is derived from an ancient, extinct wolf, and the modern wolf is the dog's nearest living relative. The dog was the first species to be domesticated, by hunter-gatherers over 15,000 years ago, before the development of agriculture. Due to their long association with humans, dogs have expanded to a large number of domestic individuals and gained the ability to thrive on a starch-rich diet that would be inadequate for other canids.

The dog has been selectively bred over millennia for various behaviors, sensory capabilities, and physical attributes. Dog breeds vary widely in shape, size, and color. They perform many roles for humans, such as hunting, herding, pulling loads, protection, assisting police and the military, companionship, therapy, and aiding disabled people. Over the millennia, dogs became uniquely adapted to human behavior, and the human-canine bond has been a topic of frequent study. This influence on human society has given them the sobriquet of "man's best friend". (Full article...)

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A German Shorthaired Pointer on point
A German Shorthaired Pointer on point

The German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP) is a medium to large sized breed of pointing dog developed in the 19th century in Germany for hunting. A versatile hunting breed, being an all-purpose gun dog suitable for both land and water, they are streamlined yet powerful with strong legs. While a hunting breed that retains a strong drive to find and chase game, they are extremely energetic and can excel at a wide variety of dog sports. Their demeanor when well-socialized is friendly toward both people and fellow canines, with some tendency to be "velcro dogs".

The German Shorthaired Pointer has a short coat that comes in various combinations, generally a mix of liver and white. They have moderately long floppy ears set high on the head. Longer, broad, and strong, muzzles allow retrieval of heavier game. The dog's profile should be straight or strongly Roman nosed; any dished appearance to the profile is incorrect according to breed standards. Their eyes are generally brown, with darker eyes being desirable; yellow or "bird of prey" eyes are a fault. The tail is commonly docked, although this is now prohibited in some countries. In competition they are penalized if the tail is curved either up or down while the dog is moving. When the GSP is in classic point stance, the tail should be held straight out from the body, forming a line with the pointing head and body. Like all German pointers, GSPs have webbed feet and are known for going after waterfowl in the water. (Full article...)
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Dogsled racing in Alaska
Credit: Doug Noon

A team of fourteen mixed-breed dogs mushing. Mushing is a general term for a sport or transport method powered by dogs, and includes carting, sled dog racing, skijoring, freighting, and weight pulling. More specifically, it implies the use of one or more dogs to pull a sled on snow. The term is thought to come from the French word marche, or go, run, the command to the team to commence pulling. "Mush!" is rarely used in modern parlance, however; "Hike!" is more common in English.

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Carrying the mail and the weekly Klondike Nugget, this service covered all the creeks adjacent to Dawson City. The service was established by Jean (or Gene) Allen in 1898
Carrying the mail and the weekly Klondike Nugget, this service covered all the creeks adjacent to Dawson City. The service was established by Jean (or Gene) Allen in 1898

A sled dog is a dog trained and used to pull a land vehicle in harness, most commonly a sled over snow.

Sled dogs have been used in the Arctic for at least 8,000 years and, along with watercraft, were the only transportation in Arctic areas until the introduction of semi-trailer trucks, snowmobiles and airplanes in the 20th century, hauling supplies in areas that were inaccessible by other methods. They were used with varying success in the explorations of both poles, as well as during the Alaskan gold rush. Sled dog teams delivered mail to rural communities in Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Sled dogs today are still used by some rural communities, especially in areas of Russia, Canada, and Alaska as well as much of Greenland. They are used for recreational purposes and racing events, such as the Iditarod Trail and the Yukon Quest. (Full article...)
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