Your duty to care
Owning and caring for a dog is great fun and immensely rewarding. But it is also a big responsibility. If you own or are responsible for a dog, even on a temporary basis, you are required under the Animal Welfare Act to care for him/her properly.
It is generally accepted that the common ancestor of the domestic dog (Canis familiaris) is the wolf.
Domestication of the dog began around 15,000 years ago and during this process humans selected desirable traits such as coat colour and leg length.
This selection process has resulted in over 400 different breeds of dog. Why not view our full Dog Factfile (PDF 48KB).
Dogs use a range of methods to communicate
Dogs produce a range of sounds, often in complex combinations, including whines, whimpers, growls, barks and howls.
Many dogs can use their body, face, tail, ears and limbs to communicate with other dogs.
Dogs are playful
When inviting others to play, a dog crouches on its forelimbs, remains standing on its hind limbs and may wag its tail or bark. This is called the ‘play bow’.
Dogs really are man’s best friend
Assistance dogs can help blind, deaf and disabled people, whilst some dogs can alert owners before an epileptic fit starts.