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Dogs could be descended from ancient European wolves

New evidence in the long-running argument over the origins of the domestic dog indicates that the European wolf may be a top contender.

Dogs more likely to yawn contagiously if they see their owner do it (VIDEO)

New research has found that dogs are sensitive to how much we yawn — especially when a canine's owner starts the chain-reaction first.

Best in Show 2013: America's top dogs

Monkey-faced Joe beat six other prize-winning pooches to become America's top dog.

Affenpinscher Banana Joe is Westminster's Best in Show (PHOTOS)

"He's a fantastic Affenpinscher, with a fantastic face, a great body," judge Michael Dougherty enthused. "I've never had my hands on a better Affenpinscher. Ever."

All dogs in Britain must have microchips by 2016, government says (VIDEO)

British dog owners must implant a microchip in their pets by 2016 or face a hefty $800 fine, in an effort to make owners more responsible for their pets.

Feral dogs kill four in Mexico City park

Four have been killed by wild dogs in a park outside of Mexico City over the course of two weeks, in a series of deaths that have horrified the Mexican public.

New Zealand: These dogs can drive cars (VIDEO)

It turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks.
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This dog is driving a car. No, really. (SPCA Auckland/Facebook)

Dogs. Can. Drive.

This stunning, and vaguely terrifying, revelation is brought to us by an animal welfare charity in New Zealand, which has got at least three of its rescue pups ready to pass their driving tests. (N.B., they won't actually be taking tests. They are dogs.)

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Carjacked wiener dog rescued by South African police

Police found Jesse the carjacked wiener dog "shivering" and "staring out of the back window" of her owner's Volkswagen Polo.
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Pup of the year meets the press: 17-months-old Stanley, a Dachsund (aka "wiener dog") is mobbed by photographers after being named 'Pup of the year' in London, January 4, 2001. Stanley won the prestigous award beating 10 000 entrants and 31 finalists. (ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Andrew Beet was carjacked while collecting his mail Wednesday night near Pretoria, South Africa.

Beet, 48, found himself held at gunpoint by "a very friendly man who said he was going to take my car now," the Beeld newspaper reported.

His wiener dog Wally was ejected from the Volkswagen Polo before the carjacker drove off.

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Puppy diplomacy: Japan hopes to win Vladimir Putin over with Akita Inu dog

A two-month old Akita puppy is Japan's latest diplomatic weapon.
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Oh hai, Mr President. (Leonardo Bighetti/Wikimedia commons)

Diplomacy has always been a carrot-and-stick game, but Japan's latest approach involves more sticks and bones.

The world leader in all things adorable is hoping Russia's top dog will fall for one of its cutest exports: an Akitu Inu puppy.

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Dogs and robots, the ideal search and rescue team (VIDEO)

Dogs equipped with "snake-like" robots could one day carry out search and rescue operations.
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German Shepherd Freitag demonstrates the Canine Assisted Robot Deployment system. (Carnegie Mellon University/YouTube)

Scientists have come up with a new search and rescue team: dogs and robots.

And not just any robots: snakebots. Inspired by the movement of real snakes, the long, thin robots are equipped with a camera and programed to "wriggle" their way toward disaster victims, explained Innovation News Daily.

While the technology has been around for a while, what's new is that the search snakes are now being teamed with real live dogs.

It's an ideal pairing, according to IEEE Spectrum: the dog, with its keen sense of smell and running ability, detects the person trapped underground or in rubble, approaches as close as it safely can, then drops off the snakebot to slither in and take a closer look – which can then be relayed to human rescuers further away.

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