Miss P

A Beagle named "Miss P" (short for Miss Payton) poses with handler William Alexandre as they win "Best In Show" at the 139th Westminster Kennel Club dog show held inside Madison Square Garden on Feb. 17, 2015. (Anthony Behar/Sipa USA/TNS)

Anthony Behar/Sipa USA
TownNews.com Content Exchange

Everyone loves the Westminster Dog Show in New York City. (Well, maybe not cat people, but I'll give them a pass.) It starts tonight up in Manhattan.

My house is overrun by dogs -- three of them, two rescues and one we bought from a litter of Dachshunds. (We also have a cat with a stomach ailment, which is why I'm giving cat people a pass.) That said, I'm always curious about the science behind domesticated dogs and how they came to be.

Luckily, the fine journalists at Reuters have given us this: "Good Dogs."

It starts this way:

"Dogs have been companions to humans for thousands of years. As the relationship has developed, so have various breeds — in response to both their environment and duties. Herding, hunting and guarding were among the initial types of work, but companionship has been a durable trait in the success of all breeds."

Hooked, aren't ya?

My favorite stat is a simple one. There are 89.7 million pet dogs in the United States, some high-class dogs, others just mutts. The color-coded U.S. map that shows which breeds are most popular in certain areas (based on AKC registrations) is cool, too. Enjoy.

Oh, and if a dachshund wins Best in Show this week, I'm throwing a party. Everyone's invited. It's BYOD -- bring your own dog, of course.

-- Phillip Tutor

This article originally ran on annistonstar.com.

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