Dogs are one of the world's most popular pets, although dogs are still used for hunting, working and even racing all around the world. Descended from wolves, the dog today is sociable, intelligent and, if treated properly and trained well, a loving family member.
As dogs, and of course puppies, are always popular with children, we are in the process of expanding our range of dog printables and colouring pages and will soon be introducing a range of dog crafts too - but you will still find lots to keep the kids busy below!
All dogs are descended from a single species known as Canis lupus, a wolf. Dogs were domesticated from wild South Asian wolves about 10,000 to 15,000 years ago. After a while, people began to actively breed dogs for different purposes, such as helping hunters or herding livestock. The earliest European images of dogs date back 12,000 years ago to cave drawings found in Spain.
Dogs have many different roles in today's world, as pets, hunters, police and rescue dogs, and as service dogs for the blind.
Dogs are omnivores (meaning they eat both meat and plants).
Different breeds of dogs have different sizes of litters (the amount of puppies born at one time). The largest litter on record was 24 puppies, born to Tia (a Mastiff).
Some Interesting Facts
- The most popular names for male dogs are Max and Jake, and the most popular names for female dogs are Maggie and Molly.
- Most dogs can run at around 19mph, but greyhounds can run 45mph, making them the fastest breed in the world, and the second fastest land animal behind the cheetah.
- Dogs have more than twelve separate muscles controlling the movement of their ears!
- When the Titanic sank in 1912, three dogs survived.
- It is thought that there are more than half a billion dogs in the world in total, but only around 30 million of these are kept as house pets (the rest are wild dogs or strays).
The dog is one of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac. If you have a "dog" in your family, you might want to check out our Year of the Dog resources:
Year of the Dog