The dog (Canis lupus familiaris) is a domestic subspecies of the wolf, a mammal of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. The term encompasses both feral and pet varieties and is also sometimes used to describe wild canids of other subspecies or species. The domestic dog has been (and continues to be) one of the most widely-kept working and companion animals in human history, as well as being a food source in some cultures.
The dog has developed into hundreds of varied breeds. Height measured to the withers ranges from a few inches in the Chihuahua to a few feet in the Irish Wolfhound; color varies from white through grays (usually called blue) to black, and browns from light (tan) to dark ("red" or "chocolate") in a wide variation of patterns; and, coats can be very short to several centimeters long, from coarse hair to something akin to wool, straight or curly, or smooth.