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What Is the Scientific Name for Dogs?

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Quick Answer

The scientific name for the dog, or domestic canine, is Canis lupus familiaris. This scientific name is of Latin origin, and the literal meaning is "friendly wolf dog."

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In 1993, there was a reclassification of the scientific name for domestic dogs. Prior to this time, its scientific classification was Canis familiaris and Canis familiaris domesticus. While Canis was the genus, familiaris domesticus was the species. Carolus Linnaeus gave the dog these assignations in 1758.

However, in 1993, these classifications were reassigned to its present scientific name by the Smithsonian Institution and the American Association of Mammalogists. This scientific name includes the fact that domesticated dog breeds descend from wolves.

The domestic dog has an average lifespan between 9 to 15 years. Dogs are carnivorous mammals. There are approximately 500 recognized dog breeds that are domesticated.

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