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Over the 15,000 year span the dog had been domesticated, it diverged into only a handful of landraces, groups of similar animals whose morphology and behavior have been shaped by environmental factors and functional roles. Through selective breeding by humans, the dog has developed into hundreds of varied breeds, and shows more behavioral and morphological variation than any other land mammal.
   In Judaism and Islam, dogs are viewed as unclean scavengers. In Christianity, dogs represent faithfulness. In Asian countries such as China, Korea, and Japan, dogs are viewed as kind protectors. (Excerpt from Wikipedia)

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