The word, Domestic, means that a species of animal has lived alongside humans for so many years that they are no longer considered wild. Humans keep many kinds of animals as pets (birds, fish, rabbits) but even though they have been with humans for hundreds of years, they are still not domestic. It takes thousands of years to take the wild out a species of animal. Dogs and cats are the most common domestic animal. They are much different than their wild cousins but they still have many things in common. Here are Animal Wonders' domestic animal residents. Click on their picture to see their biography!
Domestic Dog (Canis familiaris). Dogs have been living with humans for about 15,000 years. During that time, humans have bred dogs to have specific traits. These are called breeds. The dogs that are a mixture of different breeds are called mixed breeds, or mutts. Mixed breed dogs come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. You never know what personality a mixed breed dog will have. Sometimes a mutt can be healthier than a pure bred dog because their genetics are more diverse.
Domestic Dog (Canis familiaris). Beagles are a pure bred dog. They were purposely bred by humans to have very specific traits. They are members of the hound group and are well known for their amazing sense of smell. Beagles where bred in the 1830's to chase rabbits, so they are fast, smart, and athletic. They have a white tip on their tail so they can be easily spotted in tall grass. Beagles make good watch dogs because they will bark when an unfamiliar person or situation comes along.
Beagles are intelligent but equally hard to train because of their extremely sensitive nose. Once they catch a scent they are determined to follow it and forget the rest of the world around them, including their trainer.
Domestic Cat (Felis catus). Domestic cats have been with humans for over 9,000 years. In some religions the cat is sacred. Cats have been welcomed into many homes for several reasons. They are excellent hunters of mice and rats that tend to get into houses and food storage areas. They are also good companion animals and form strong bonds with their human owners.
There are quite a few breeds of cats. However, many cats are distinguished by common coat patterns. Like: tabby, tuxedo, calico, and tortoise shell.
Domestic Cat (Felis catus). There are many myths surrounding cats. "If a black cat crosses your path you will have 7 years bad luck". This myth actually came from a different myth that said you would have 7 years good luck. The original myth was popular among an unpopular religion and was most likely changed by the more popular religion of the time. Another myth is "Cats have 9 lives". This myth most likely originated from the cat's uncanny ability to land on its feet from a fall through the air. They can twist their body in an amazing feat to right themselves in the air.