I know, I know. It’s been way too long since my last post, but it’s taken me awhile to research this subject and get pictures to show you what I mean.
Since I’m one of the co-owners of Free Dog, I thought it’d be a good idea to learn as much as I can about dogs. Being a dog myself, I pretty much figured I was already an expert, but as it turns out, there is a lot about dogs I don’t know.
“Do tell us, David.”-Editor/Mom
Actually, there’s so much to tell, that I couldn’t possibly cover it all in one post, so I guess I’ll start with the basics.
“Should I sit down? Maybe make a cup of tea?”-Editor/Mom
Well, that’s up to you, but I’m gonna get started, cause there’s a lot of basics to talk about.
You probably know that people are also known by their Species name, Homo Sapiens, which is Latin for wise man. Since dogs are obviously different from people, it only makes sense that we have our own Species. We’re called Canis Lupus Familiaris, which is also Latin, and has something to do with wolves.
I don’t really know what Latin is, but I’m pretty sure it’s a language that nobody uses anymore, and it’s pretty easy to figure out why that is. I mean, it’s a lot easier just saying “dog” than “Canis Lupus Familiaris”. Think about it, my Mom would have to say “This is my Canis Lupus Familiaris, David.” Or “I have to bring my Canis lupus Familiaris to the Vet. Or “What kind of Canis Lupus Familiaris do you have?”
“Okay, I think we get your drift, David.”-Editor/Mom
Right, sorry. Sometimes I get carried away. But I was getting back to my story when I asked about the kind of dog. Most of us dogs don’t really care about what kind of dogs we are, but since it seems like it’s really important to the humans, I started wondering about how many different kind of dogs there really are.
So naturally, I asked my friend Aleksa, and Wow, was I surprised! The American Kennel Club, of which I am a Member, recognizes 167 different breeds. I thought that was a lot, ’til I kept digging (Get it? Digging? Hey, dogs like to dig) and found out that The World Canine Organization, also known as the FCI (Don’t ask me why. Probably some Latin abbreviation) says there are 340 different breeds. 340? Yikes! At first I thought it must be a mistake, but then I started looking around at all of my friends at Camp, and the other dogs I see when we’re out and about. And there really are lots of different kinds of dogs.
I’m an English Springer Spaniel, and am considered a medium sized dog. By the way, there are 25 different kinds of Spaniels alone. Waya is a Belgian Malinois, which is obviously a larger dog. There are really big dogs like my friend Looch, whose an English Mastiff, and really small dogs like my friend Bruiser. whose a Miniature Pinscher, and all kinds in between from tall and skinny, to low and long like my friend Willow.
I’m black and white, but some dogs are all black like Retriever Buck, some are all white like Samoyed Tikva, some are yellow or brown like Labs Kelly and Finn, some are all red like Viszla Finley, some are multi-colored like Australian Shepherd Harvey and some are even striped like Khloe the Boxer. And then there’s even more combinations of all of those colors.
It’s not just our size and colors that make us different. Let’s talk about the kind of fur we have. Just from the pictures I’ve already shown, you can see that some have really short coats and some have a lot more fur. Italian Grayhound Radley has hardly got any fur at all, and never needs a haircut, and then there’s Labradoodles Griffin and Sunny, who both have longer fur, only one is kinda straight and the other one is more curly.
Enough about fur, let’s talk about shapes. Like noses and ears. I’ve got a sort of round head and long, floppy ears, and Waya has a skinny head and pointy ears. Then there’s dogs like Stella the French Bulldog and Sophie the Boston Terrier, who have really short noses and small ears.
And the last, but certainly not least difference between different breeds of dogs is that some dogs have tails and some don’t. Waya has a long tail that wags all the time. I was born without a long tail, so you have to look a little closer to see if mine is wagging.
“Well David, you were actually born with a tail that would’ve been as long as Waya’s.”-Editor/Mom
What? I was? What happened to it?
“Ummm, well, when you and your littermates were three days old, you were all taken to have your tails cut off.”-Editor/Mom
WHAT?!? You cut off my tail? Why would you do that?
“Hold on. “I” didn’t do it. It’s the breed standard. It was decided a long time ago that Springer Spaniels, along with many of the other Sporting Breeds should have their tails cut off, or docked. There are a lot of dissenting opinions about why. Some say it’s purely cosmetic, but many say it’s to reduce the chance of injury in the field while they’re out hunting.”-Editor/Mom
I don’t hunt. I don’t even like birds. Shouldn’t I have had some say about whether I wanted a tail or not?
“Yeah, well, that’s not how it works, and it’s got to be done when you’re really young so you won’t remember it, not to mention, it would hurt a lot more if you were older and your tail was bigger. You’ll be happy to know that people are starting to change their thinking about this practice, though. In fact, if you lived in the UK, they don’t let anyone dock tails anymore unless they prove that the dog will actually be hunting.”-Editor/Mom
I’m not sure that makes me feel any better. I’d just like to go on the record to say that I think it’s totally wrong!
“Well, then I guess we won’t be talking about dew claws any time soon.”-Editor/Mom
Dew claws? What are dew claws?
“Trust me David, you don’t want to know.”-Editor/Mom