Dog breeds are groups of closely related and visibly similar domestic dogs, which are all of the subspecies Canis lupus familiaris, having characteristic traits that are selected and maintained by humans, bred from a known foundation stock. The term dog breed is also used to refer to natural breeds or landraces, which arose through time in response to a particular environment that included humans, with little or no selective breeding by humans. Such breeds are undocumented, and are identified by their appearance and often by a style of working. Ancient dog breeds are some of the modern (documented) descendants of such natural breeds.
Dog breeding is the practice of mating selected dogs with the intent to maintain or produce specific qualities and characteristics. When dogs reproduce without such human intervention, their offsprings' characteristics are determined by natural selection, while "dog breeding" refers specifically to the artificial selection of dogs, in which dogs are intentionally bred by their owners. A person who intentionally mates dogs to produce puppies is referred to as a dog breeder. Breeding relies on the science of genetics, so the breeder with a knowledge of canine genetics, health, and the intended use for the dogs attempts to breed suitable dogs.
A working dog is a canine working animal, i.e., a type of dog that is not merely a pet but learns and performs tasks to assist and/or entertain its human companions, or a breed of such origin. In Australia and New Zealand, a working dog is one which has been trained to work livestock, irrespective of its breeding.
Within this general description, however, there are several ways in which the phrase is used.
Sled dogs (also sledge dogs and sleigh dogs) are a group of dog breeds and mongrels that, historically, were bred for the purpose of pulling a dog sled. These dog sleds were important for transportation in arctic areas, hauling supplies in areas that were inaccessible by other methods. They were used with varying success in the explorations of both poles, as well as during the Alaskan gold rush. Until snowmobiles became reliable, sled dog teams delivered mail to rural communities in Alaska and northern Canada.
Sled dogs today are still used by some rural communities, especially in areas of Alaska and Canada and throughout Greenland. They are also used for recreational purposes, and are raced in events known as dog sled races such as the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest. Numerous sled dog breeds are also kept as pets or raised as show dogs.
In journalism, a human interest story is a feature story that discusses a person or people in an emotional way. It presents people and their problems, concerns, or achievements in a way that brings about interest, sympathy or motivation in the reader or viewer.
Human interest stories may be "the story behind the story" about an event, organization, or otherwise faceless historical happening, such as about the life of an individual soldier during wartime, an interview with a survivor of a natural disaster, a random act of kindness or profile of someone known for a career achievement.