Why Dog Breeds Look So Very Different, But Cats Don't

BY | May 01 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY
Why Dog Breeds Look So Very Different, But Cats Don't

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Whether you love dogs, cats, or all animals in general, you might have wondered why pet dogs come in so many uniquely different shapes, sizes, and colors, while cats look so similar with barely any variations in the general characteristics. Why is it that there are so many dog breeds and so few cat breeds? Why do dog breeds differ from each other so much while cat breeds have minimal differences?

  • Dogs were bred for specific tasksDogs were brought into peopleโ€™s lives because they could fulfil very specific functions. Retrievers were bred to retrieve animals and birds that were hunted and shot down by hunters. Shepherding breeds were bred to manage sheep and other cattle on farms. Every breed that exists today was bred for a specific purpose, although some recent breeds have only been bred because people like certain facial features and think they look cute.There are very few dog breeds today that are completely natural and have evolved naturally from their ancestors. Because of such selective breeding, every breed looks, sounds, and behaves a certain way and is markedly different from other breeds.
  • Dogs have been domesticated longer than cats haveDogs have been with humans for over 19,000 years and, during this time, have been bred and used for a number of specific tasks. Cats, on the other hand, have been with humans for only 10,000 years and have mostly been kept only as companions.An important point to note here is that dogs were intentionally and specifically domesticated by ancient humans and were chosen to be domesticated for certain tasks. Cats, on the other hand, chose to be with humans and adapted themselves to live with human civilizations. Even today, cats are considered to be only semi-domesticated, while dogs are said to be completely domesticated.
  • Many cultures look down on selective cat breedingA big reason cats were never bred specifically on a large scale like dogs is because a number of cultures looked down on the practice of selective breeding of cats. Cats were revered ass deities in many cultures and, therefore, selective breeding was frowned upon. This probably protected cats from selective breeding and allowed them to naturally evolve to be with humans instead.
  • Cats are loved for their natural looks and not bred for tasksPeople do not adopt cats to get them to perform tasks. Cats have never been used by humans for labor like dogs have been used. People like cats and keep them around because they can be entertaining, they look cute, and they can provide great companionship.

These are just a few main reason why you do not see the kind of vast differences in cat breeds the way you do among dog breeds.

How to Identify a Dog Breed by its Looks?

Itโ€™s always a good thing when you choose to adopt a dog from the shelter instead of buying one from a kennel. Not only are you rescuing the animal, you are also giving yourself a loving companion that will always stay by your side.There is, however, a small drawback to adopting a dog from your local animal shelter. You may not get enough information about your dog, especially regarding its breed. While it is not uncommon to find pure-bred pedigree dogs at the shelter, you are more likely to find cross-breed canines.It is not very difficult to identify a Husky, Beagle, or a Great Dane, but there are new breeds being created through cross-breeding. Even dog professionals can sometimes be baffled with these new breeds. The easiest way to determine a dogโ€™s breed is through its physical appearance. Studying its behavior will also help.

Identifying a dogโ€™s breed by its appearance

If youโ€™re confused about a dogโ€™s breed, start with its looks. Study its appearance and pay attention to specific features.

  • Check if the dogโ€™s coat has short or long hair. If it has long hair, find out if the hair is straight or curly
  • Identify the dogโ€™s predominant color. Many dogs comes with two or more colors
  • Next, study the dogโ€™s ears. Is it long, floppy, tipped, hooded, or pricked? There are many types. You could check online for the right term
  • Pay attention to the dogโ€™s tail. There are many types of tails too - sickle, docked, curly, etc.
  • Dogs come with different shaped heads - domed, flattened, or square. Some dogs heads face up while others face down. Different breeds also have different nose types
  • If you have a puppy, you will have to wait for it to grow a little so you know how big it can get. There are small-sized dogs and then there are large ones. You can eliminate certain breeds according to your dogโ€™s size, weight, and height

Once you have thoroughly checked these features, you can conduct your own research online. Start with pedigree dogs that have similar features as your canine friend. Even if you do not have an exact match, you can rule out many breeds. You will be left with a list of possible breeds that your dog may have descended from. If your canine pal is a pedigree, you will be able to determine the breed easily.If you still are unable to narrow down possible breeds, it is always a good idea to take your dog to the vet. They are experts and are familiar with thousands of breeds.

Is breed important?

Despite the breed, all dogs are loving, wonderful animals. Even if you have adopted a mongrel, he will show you undying affection and loyalty for as long as he lives. Do not go by their breeds. Love your dog no matter what kind he is.

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