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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 the extinct Pleistocene wolf, and the modern wolf is the dog's nearest living relative. Dogs were 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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The Pomeranian (often known as a Pom) is a breed of dog of the Spitz type that is named for the Pomerania region in north-west Poland and north-east Germany in Central Europe. Classed as a toy dog breed because of its small size, the Pomeranian is descended from larger Spitz-type dogs, specifically the German Spitz. It has been determined by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale to be part of the German Spitz breed; and in many countries, they are known as the Zwergspitz ("Dwarf Spitz").

The breed has been made popular by a number of royal owners since the 18th century. Queen Victoria owned a particularly small Pomeranian and consequently, the smaller variety became universally popular. During Queen Victoria's lifetime alone, the size of the breed decreased by half. Overall, the Pomeranian is a sturdy, healthy dog. The most common health issues are luxating patella and tracheal collapse. More rarely, the breed can have Alopecia X, a skin condition colloquially known as "black skin disease". This is a genetic disease which causes the dog's skin to turn black and lose all or most of its hair. As of 2017, in terms of registration figures, since at least 1998, the breed has ranked among the top fifty most popular breeds in the United States, and the current fashion for small dogs has increased their popularity worldwide. (Full article...)
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American Eskimo Dog
Credit: Robert Southworth
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The American Eskimo Dog is a breed of companion dog originating in the United States (probably in New York City) in the twentieth century. It is derived from the German Spitz, the Finnish Spitz, and almost certainly the Pomeranian and Keeshond. The spitz family of Nordic dogs is one of the least altered by human husbandry and reflects most nearly the prototypical dog, from which stock all others have been derived. Archeology suggests that Neolithic dogs living with humans would today pass for spitzes.



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Stump Best of Show Westminster.jpg
Stump is named Best in Show at the 2009 Westminster Dog Show.

Ch. Clussexx Three D Grinchy Glee (December 1, 1998 – September 25, 2012), better known as Stump, was a male Sussex Spaniel who won Best In Show at the 2009 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Stump was the first of his breed to win that honor and, at 10 years old, the oldest dog ever to win the prize. He also won the Sporting Group at Westminster in 2004, the first such victory for his breed, and amassed 51 Best in Show awards throughout his career. One of his owners described him as "the most famous Sussex (Spaniel) that has ever lived".

Stump's breeders were Douglas Horn, Douglas Johnson, and Dee Duffy, and he was owned by Cecilia Ruggles and Beth Dowd. He was handled by Scott Sommer, who also trained 2001 Westminster Best in Show winner J.R., a Bichon Frise with whom Stump lived for most of his life. Stump became seriously ill in 2005 with a body-wide bacterial infection, infection on his heart valves, and other ailments often fatal for dogs. He was so sick that euthanasia was considered. Stump spent 19 days in hospitalization, including 12 in intensive care at Texas A&M University's Small Animal Hospital, and he ultimately survived. (Full article...)
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