Identifying Dog Adaptations

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					                          Identifying Dog Adaptations
Dogs have specific adaptations that helped them to survive in the wild. Match each adaptation on
the left with its advantage to dogs on the right.
Adaptations                                        Advantages
_____ 1. keen sense of smell                       a. catch prey much larger than themselves
_____ 2. strong, blunt claws                       b. communicate with other dogs
_____ 3. long, slender legs                        c. catch or bite prey while running
_____ 4. barking, howling                          d. track prey and identify territories of other
_____ 5. live in packs with dominant leaders       dogs
_____ 6. able to see well in dim light             e. hunt at night
_____ 7. long, powerful canine teeth               f. run at a fast pace, with bursts of speed
_____ 8. long muzzles                              when
                                                   g. cutting and tearing meat
                                                   h. traction and speed on rough ground

Compare the diagrams below. Then answer the following questions.

9. Which dog do you think was bred to chase game animals out of underground dens?

What characteristics of the dog make it well suited for this purpose?

10. Which dog do you think was bred to chase rabbits and catch them?

What characteristics of the dog make it well suited for this purpose?
The table below lists the roles that various dog breeds have played in the lives of people. It
also lists the temperament, or personality, of the breeds. Use the table to answer the
questions that follow.

Write your answers to the following questions. Continue on a separate sheet of paper if
1. Which dogs are currently used as companions, or pets?

2. Which dogs were first used to herd animals?

3. What were bulldogs first bred for? What kind of temperament do bulldogs have?

4. Why would the temperament of a Doberman pinscher help make it a good
guard dog?

5. Which breeds are currently used for search and rescue work? How do their
temperaments make these breeds suitable for this kind of work?

6. The Shih Tzu is still used the same way as it was when it was first bred. What
other breeds are still used in the same way?

7. Which breeds would probably not make good family pets? Explain.

8. Which breeds would probably make the best family pets? Explain.

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