All of today's 350 plus breeds of domestic dog are descended from the grey wolf. It is believed that four distinct forms of the grey wolf contributed to the ancestry of the domestic dog.
Although most dogs are kept as companions some are used for traditional working purposes.
At birth dogs are totally dependent on their mothers, they start to suckle soon after being born. For the first two weeks of their lives, puppies cannot hear of see. After three weeks their eyes open and they start to respond to sounds and by a month old they start to show an interest in solid food. At this stage their first set of teeth begin to emerge, these will be retained for the first six months after which they are replaced by a permanent set.
The bitch will start to spend less time with her litter and start to resent their attempts to suckle. The puppies will then switch to a diet of solids as her milk supply dries up.
To meet their requirements, approximately twice as much food as normal will be needed by the puppies. This should be given three or four times daily, gradually cutting back to a single daily feed.
Most dogs have a life expectancy of 10 years with smaller breeds often living well into their teens.