The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The consensus is that these items represent different entities whose relationship is indicated by their statements. − Pintoch (talk) 23:40, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
An editor has requested the community to provide input on "Why do we have an item for dogs and another one for ''Canis lupus familiaris''?" via the Requests for comment (RFC) process. This is the discussion page regarding the issue.
If you have an opinion regarding this issue, feel free to comment below. Thank you!
Actually we do, see Felis catus (Q20980826). We just failed to also split off Felis sylvestris catus (at least so far); an oversight, perhaps cats are not as popular as dogs? - Brya (talk) 11:06, 28 May 2018 (UTC)
And why is the former classed as an "instance of common name"? Common names don't have legs, or teeth, or tails... Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:11, 28 May 2018 (UTC)
The English Wikipedia page says that dog is called "Canis lupus familiaris" when considered a subspecies of the gray wolf and "Canis familiaris" when considered a distinct species--Malore (talk) 19:50, 28 May 2018 (UTC)
There are any number of reasons, but the two main points are:
retaining information. There are three concepts: Canis lupus familiaris, Canis familiaris, and "dog". There exists a great deal of literature out there, and if there are three items all references can be put in the item that the reference in question refers to (an article on Canis familiaris can be included as a reference in the item Canis familiaris, an article on Canis lupus familiaris can be included as a reference in the item Canis lupus familiaris, etc). This retains information which may well be important. If everything were to be dumped into one item, this information would be lost, and anybody to whom this information is important will need to re-examine all references to recover it. The purpose of a database is better served by retaining relevant information, rather than by eliminating information because it does not fit in the software used by a particular user, at the time, or in the ideas of a particular user, at the time.