The dog has been our best friend at work and at play for thousands of years. No animal lover can fail to admire this versatile and endearing creature, combining as it does strength, personality, intelligence and a willing nature.
The dog is humanity's oldest companion. Human and dog came together thousands of years ago for mutual comfort and slowly developed the interdependence seen today human's caring for the dog in return for continuing companionship and a great variety of working functions. The gradual recognition of the many different ways in which the dog could contribute to the association has led to the development of an enormous variety of dog types. All varieties of dog are members of a single species; it is the most varied of any species known, ranging from the tiny Chihuahua to the massive Irish Wolfhound. Although every breed of dog, is expected to be domesticated, certain type characteristics tend to persist through many generations, and these are not just characteristics of conformation. Everyone realizes that if you buy a Great Dane puppy, for instance, small though it may be at eight weeks old, it will grow into a very large dog. If you buy a terrier of whatever breed, it will have terrier behaviour characteristics, inherited from its working ancestors. If you have decided to buy a dog, look into all the breed characteristics, and consider them carefully before you decide which type of dog you want to live with. A dog may live for between ten and twenty years-it is yours to care for over a good part of your life.