What would you say if asked, “what animals have been living together with humans since ancient times?”
The answer to this question…Yes, the “dog” which is a very familiar animal to us.
Dogs are often seen not only when walking around town, but also on TV, social networking sites, and other media, but surprisingly, many people may not know much about their history and background.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what characteristics and secrets canines have and how they live together!



~ Basic information. ~

Mammalia Carnivora-Canidae.

Body length, height, and weight vary greatly from dog breed.
Although there is no clear definition of dog size classification, “small dogs” are breeds with an average weight of less than 10 kg, “medium-sized dogs” are breeds with an average weight of 10 kg to less than 25 kg, and breeds with a weight of 25 kg or more are “large dogs.

Dogs are domesticated animals from wild wolves.

Dogs have been improved over a long period of time to suit their use (hunting dogs to help hunt, sheep and cattle dogs to help manage livestock, etc.) And are bred in all parts of the world.

For this reason, the size, personality, and characteristics of dogs vary completely from breed to breed, with some chihuahuas weighing only 1-3 kg, while others are large saint bernard weighing over 50 kg.


Depending on the type of dog, small dogs reach sexual maturity at 8-10 months of age, while large dogs reach sexual maturity at 10-12 months of age and are able to breed.

After that, the female goes into heat once or twice a year and gives birth to 5 to 10 puppies per birth (depending on the dog breed).


Dogs are familiar pets.

For thousands of years, canines have lived with humans. For this reason, they are very familiar animals to us.

Dogs are thought to have lived with humans for at least 30,000 years ago, and fossils of dogs have been found in many countries around the world.

It is said that canine bones are sometimes found in the same grave as humans, and it is thought that dogs have been important to humans since ancient times.

In Japan, it is thought that dogs have been bred since at least the Jomon period.

At that time, they were mostly bred as hounds to help hunt deer and wild boar, but sometimes they were used for food and ritual purposes.

As of 2020, there are 8,489,000 dogs in Japan.


What should I give her when I keep her at home?

There are several types of dog food, which is a staple food for dogs, such as “comprehensive nutritional food,” “snack” and “medical food”.

As a staple food to feed healthy dogs, feed them dog food labeled “comprehensive Nutrition Diet”. A comprehensive nutritional diet is a diet that provides the nutrition that dogs need with just dog food and water.

A “snack” is a dog food used for training and rewards. It should not be given as a staple food because it is not nutritionally balanced.

A “medical food” is a dog food with adjusted amounts of specific nutrients prescribed by veterinary clinics for the treatment of diseases. Since there are rules on how to give and how much to give, be sure to follow your veterinarian’s instructions when giving medical treatment food.


Breeding environment.

A long time ago, many people kept dogs as “guard dogs” to protect their homes and property, and dogs were usually kept outside.

However, nowadays, more and more people are keeping dogs not for guard dogs, but for petting purposes, and it is common to keep them indoors.

Basically, when keeping a dog, it is recommended to keep it indoors.

This is because if you keep them outside, they are more susceptible to physical and mental stress, including the effects of heat and cold, as well as insects and parasites such as mosquitoes, flies, fleas, and ticks.

However, when keeping dogs indoors, please clean up the room so that the dogs do not accidentally swallow dangerous items, and be careful not to touch dangerous items such as electrical cords.

If you are raising your dog outdoors for some reason, please prepare a sturdy kennel that can withstand the rain and wind, and create an environment that can withstand the summer heat and winter cold as much as possible.

Other notes.

In Japan, there is a law called the “Rabies Prevention Law,” which requires dog breeders to vaccinate their dogs against rabies vaccine once a year.

Rabies is a disease that is transmitted to all kinds of animals, including humans and cats, in addition to dogs. Although it has not occurred in Japan since 1957, it is a terrible disease that used to kill many humans and dogs, and even today, it kills more than 50,000 people a year around the world.

To protect humans, dogs, and all other animals from rabies, even dogs that are kept indoors should be vaccinated against rabies.

If you do not wish to breed, it is recommended that you have your baby neutered or spayed as soon as possible.

This is because surgery can prevent unwanted pregnancies and also prevent genital diseases that older dogs are prone to. If you are interested in neutering or birth control, please consult your veterinary clinic.




Dog’s Q&A.

What is the origin of the dog’s name?

By the way, what is the origin of the name “dog”?

Incidentally, they are called “inu” in Japan.

It is called “dog” in English and “inu” in Japanese, but this page will introduce the origin of the name “inu” in Japanese.

There are a number of possible theories, including the origin of the name from the sound of the voice, and the old Japanese word for “neru” is “nenu,” but the word “nenu” changed and became a dog.

By the way, “nenu” means the same as “sleep” in English.

However, even today, it is not clear which theory is correct.

Incidentally, the scientific name of the dog is expressed as “Canis lupus familiaris”.


Why do dogs live there?

Dogs are kept not only in Japan, but in every country in the world.

There are various purposes for which dogs are kept, such as for petting or hunting, but it can be said that the place where all dogs live is determined by human convenience.

Dogs are domesticated wolves, but even now, the origin of the dog is not clearly known, such as where the dog was born or where the wolf that lives was the ancestor of the dog.

However, dogs whose body size, color, and skeleton have been changed according to the climate and usage of countries around the world have become an indispensable part of our lives now and in the past.


What do dogs eat?

A dog is an animal born from the domestication of a wolf.

Wolves basically like to eat large herbivores such as deer, elk, and wild sheep and goats. However, depending on the season, they may eat small animals such as rabbits, beavers, birds, and reptiles, as well as plants such as fruits.

Dogs also prefer meat, but they also eat plants such as rice, wheat, vegetables, and fruits. Dogs that have spent a long time getting used to living with humans should be considered as omnivorous animals that are highly carnivorous.


Is it true that the ancestors of dogs are wolves?

It’s true.

Until now, many researchers have studied which animals are the ancestors of dogs and have published many papers on them.

For example, the idea that wolves are the ancestors and that the blood of coyotes, a small canine animal that lives mainly in North America, is mixed in.

In addition, there were many thoughts and opinions, such as those that claimed to have evolved from animals such as the wild canine dingo that live in Australia.

Some people seemed to think that it was impossible to identify the ancestor of the dog, but now that highly accurate genetic analysis is available, it has become a common belief that the ancestor of the dog is a wolf, although the type is unknown.

The history of the dogs that live with us today is thought to have started in Germany or Siberia 20,000 to 40,000 years ago. Wolves are by nature cautious and cautious, so they don’t show up in public so easily.

However, some wolves were not very cautious, and it seems that such individuals approached human habitats and ate food scraps and leftovers. And it is thought that some wolves that approached people became dogs over the years.

Both wolves and humans are highly social animals that live in packs. Wolves can get extra food if they get close to humans.

From a human perspective, it is thought that they came to live together because they had mutual benefits such as being able to help hunt and protect themselves from wild animals if they were with wolves.


Are there wild dogs?

A “dog” is basically an animal that has been “domesticated” by humans from wolves.

Since dogs were domesticated, there should not have been any wild dogs, but in Japan and around the world, dogs that have escaped or been abandoned have become wild, and as a result, there are dogs called “wild dogs”.

In Japan, the number of wild dogs has been decreasing due to the development of animal laws and the increase in the number of people keeping dogs indoors.

However, in some areas such as Yamaguchi and Kyoto prefectures, the number of wild dogs is increasing, and they are attacking people.

“Why do dogs become wild dogs?” This is because your dog can no longer be kept for some reason, or as a result of too many puppies being born, they are thrown away.

In addition, it is not uncommon for young dogs that used to be active as hounds to be abandoned in the mountains as they get older.

By the way, as I mentioned in “Is it true that the ancestors of dogs are wolves?”, there is a wild dog called “dingo” living in Australia.

The ancestors of dingoes are thought to have been brought to Australia by human hands about 4,000 years ago, but they are now treated as vermin because they attack sheep and other livestock.


How many types of dogs are there in the world?

It is known that there are many different types of dogs, from small dogs like chihuahuas to large dogs like saint bernard. So how many dog breeds are there in the world?

There are many breeds of dogs in the world, and if you include unapproved breeds, there are thought to be a whopping 700 to 800 breeds.

Since dogs are often crossed with various breeds according to their purpose, some breeds, such as the “clydesdale terrier” and “turnspit” have become extinct over their long history. However, various breeds will continue to be bred and new breeds will be created.


Incidentally, the “Japan Kennel Club” an organization that registers pure dog breeds and publishes pedigrees in Japan, recognizes about 200 breeds.

What types of dogs are unique to Japan?

There are many breeds of dogs in the world, but Japan has a unique breed of dog called “Japanese Dog” since ancient times.

There are many types of Japanese dogs, but six of them are designated as national natural monuments.”Akita dogs” (Akita Prefecture), “kai dogs” (Yamanashi Prefecture), “kishu dogs” (Mie and Wakayama Prefectures), “shiba dogs” “shikoku dogs” (Shikoku region), and “hokkaido dogs” (Hokkaido).


In addition, there are many Japanese dog breeds, such as the “Satsuma dogs” (Kagoshima Prefecture) and the “Takayasu dogs” (Yamagata Prefecture), that have become extinct due to mixing with other breeds.

Is there a zoo or facility where dogs can be seen?

I like dogs, so I want to get a dog, but I can’t for a reason, or I’m thinking of getting a dog, but I want to actually touch it before I do! I’m sure some of you are thinking about it. For those people, I would like to recommend a facility that breeds mainly dogs.

On this page, we will introduce you to the facilities that raise dogs in Japan.

First of all, there is the “Wan Wan Zoo” in Aichi Prefecture, then the “World’s Famous Dog Farm” in Gunma Prefecture, and the “Tsukuba Wan Wan Land” in Ibaraki Prefecture.

There are many breeds of dogs bred at these facilities, and you can experience feeding and walking them, so if you are a dog lover, you may want to go and play with them.


How long do dogs live?

There are many theories about the life span of a dog, but it is thought to be about 14 years on average. Overall, the larger the dog, the shorter the life span, and the smaller the dog, the longer the life span tends to be.

In recent years, research on dogs has been progressing, and it is said that the lifespan of dogs is gradually increasing due to various reasons such as the increase in indoor breeding, the improvement of the quality of dog food, and the development of veterinary medicine. While this is gratifying, you should also be aware of the fact that more and more older dogs are becoming bedridden or have dementia and need nursing care.

According to Guinness World Records, the longest-lived dog in the world was the “australian cattle dog”, BLUEY, a sheepdog native to Australia, which lived for a whopping 29 years and 5 months.




Type of dog.

・Shiba Inu
・Miniature Schnauzer
・Shih Tzu
・Yorkshire Terrier etc.


猪熊 壽・遠藤 秀紀(2019年)『アニマルサイエンス3 イヌの動物学 第2版』東京大学出版会


ナショナルジオグラフィック「イヌへの進化のきっかけ 人と遊ぶオオカミだった?」

Guinness World Records「Oldest dog ever」



一般社団法人 ペットフード協会「2020年(令和2年)全国犬猫飼育実態調査 結果」



Special thanks to

The translation tool uses “meta translation”.