Reference Article

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dog anatomy

The anatomy of dogs varies tremendously from breed to breed, more than in any other animal species, wild or domesticated.

And yet there are basic physical characteristics that are identical among all dogs, from the tiny Chihuahua to the giant Irish Wolfhound.

Like most predatory mammals, the dog has powerful muscles, a cardiovascular system that supports both sprinting and endurance, and teeth for catching, holding, and tearing.

The dog's ancestral skeleton provided the ability to run and leap.

Their legs are designed to propel them forward rapidly, leaping as necessary, to chase and overcome prey.

Consequently, they have small, tight feet, walking on their toes; their rear legs are fairly rigid and sturdy; the front legs are loose and flexible, with only muscle attaching them to the torso.

Although selective breeding has changed the appearance of many breeds, all dogs retain the basic ingredients from their distant ancestors.

Dogs have disconnected shoulder bones (lacking the collar bone of the human skeleton) that allow a greater stride length for running and leaping.

They walk on four toes, front and back.

The dog's ancestor was about the size of a Dingo, and its skeleton took about 10 months to mature.

Today's toy breeds have skeletons that mature in only a few months, while giant breeds such as the Mastiffs take 16 to 18 months for the skeleton to mature.

Dwarfism has affected the proportions of some breeds' skeletons, as in the Basset Hound.

Note: This article excerpts material from the Wikipedia article "Dog anatomy", which is released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

See the following related content on ScienceDaily:


Related Videos

last updated on 2014-11-26 at 9:03 pm EST

Wearable Technology Is Going To The Dogs With Voyce

Wearable Technology Is Going To The Dogs With Voyce

TheStreet (June 25, 2014) Wearable technology has gone to the dogs. No, really, Voyce has designed a wearable device for dogs that measures a range of key vital signs like heart rate and respiratory rate. The device also tracks the dog's sleeping patterns and activity levels. Voyce's online tool that displays the data also provides a library of information if you have questions about your dog's vital signs. The collar is lightweight and not much heavier or bigger than a normal collar. Unfortunately, it doesn't say what your dog is thinking, but our guess is that he just wants another treat or go for a walk. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
More to Zebra Finch Than Meets the Ear

More to Zebra Finch Than Meets the Ear

Reuters (Feb. 3, 2013) The common zebra finch may hold the key to improving the lives of people with speech impediments. Researchers in Denmark are looking closely at the birds' vocalization anatomy and say there are links between the mechanics of birdsong and human speech that could be exploited for therapeutic purposes. Basmah Fahim has more.
Powered by NewsLook.com
Eyes and Ears Speak Volumes About a Dog's Life

Eyes and Ears Speak Volumes About a Dog's Life

Reuters (Aug. 14, 2013) A wagging tail is not the only clue to a dog's level of happiness, according to researchers in Japan. A team from Azabu University say their studies suggest that if you really want to know how your dog feels, take a close look at its ears and eyebrows.
Powered by NewsLook.com
Humpbacked Mutt Wins "World's Ugliest Dog" Contest

Humpbacked Mutt Wins "World's Ugliest Dog" Contest

AFP (June 24, 2013) Dog owners from around the US go head-to-head at the Marin-Sonoma Fair's 25th World's Ugliest Dog competition. The winner this year is a beagle-basset-boxer mix named Wallie, who boasts both a humpback and duck waddle.
Powered by NewsLook.com

Related Stories


Share This



Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins