How Dog Breeds Are Created
Anyone looking at the huge variation in the dog world might ask themselves how dog breeds were created. From dogs a small child could ride on to dogs that fit in a handbag, it is sometimes baffling to think about how different dogs are.
Where did these dog breeds come from and how many more can there possibly be?
Today, we look at how different breeds were created and what the future of dog breeds can look like.
Great Variety from One Species
Most people who study these things now believe that all dogs have come from one species. This one species is the grey wolf. What researchers have found goes even deeper than dogs tracing their lineage back to just one species.
After a 2009 study from researchers at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, it was discovered that all dog species actually trace their DNA back to one ancestor. That is not to say that all dogs come from the grey wolf of China. Rather it means that all dogs can trace their ancestry back to one wolf-dog.
But how can all dogs trace themselves back to one parent?
Domestication of Dogs
While we have some ideas of how domestication occurred, there is still some controversy. It is possible that there were many domestication events that occurred. This would mean that different people would befriend different wolves. But the research from the Royal Institute of Technology says that’s not the case.
By testing mitochondrial DNA from many breeds from around the world, these researchers discovered that the domestication of dogs can be traced back to southern East Asia about 33,000 years ago.
While this information doesn’t really explain how domestication occurred, it is likely that a human befriended a grey wolf, and that friendship spurred a whole new creature.
Oldest Dog Breeds
Dogs today looks completely different from what the first domestic dog probably was. There are many ancient dog breeds that we have today though. These dogs can trace their lineage further back than any other breeds. Some of these breeds include:
- Chow Chow
- Chinese Shar-Pei
- Alaskan Malamute
- Afghan Hound
- Akita Inu
While the Alaskan Malamute probably looks closer to the wolf family, each of these dogs has a rather unique appearance. They have also likely been bred for specific purposes or jobs.
Breeding is a tradition that continues today as well. New breeds are being created all the time. In fact, in 2018, the American Kennel Club welcomed two new breeds into their ranks. These purebred dogs are:
- Nederlandse Kooikerhondje – A Spaniel-type breed that traces its roots back to European duck hunters. This energetic breed was a favorite among Dutch nobles because they are medium maintenance dogs that are super friendly.
- Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen – This new addition to the AKC’s hound group is fast on its feet and ready to take off at a moment’s notice. They were bred to chase hares, so you’ll want to keep an eye on them. That hunter’s instinct is still in them. They are intelligent and loving though, which makes them a happy addition to any family.
Popular New Dog Breeds
While some people prefer purebred dogs, there have been many new dog breeds created lately. Look at some of the most popular dog breeds of the last few years:
The Goldendoodle has become very popular in the last few years. This breed is a combination of the Golden Retriever and the Poodle. This mix allows you to have a dog with the sweet disposition of the Retriever but the hypoallergenic coat of the Poodle.
The Bassador is an interesting mix of the Basset Hound and the Labrador Retriever. This gives a dog with the body and shape of the Basset but with the unique coloration of the Lab. they are also good-natured dogs and will love mixing in with your family. Just be cautious that their size and energy have been known to topple a toddler or two.
This breed was one of the first designer breeds to become popular. This Pug and Beagle combo makes for a strong and playful dog. These dogs are strong-headed and eager to please, that is unless you don’t have a great relationship. If that’s the case, they can be uncooperative. But really, who gets a dog they don’t want?
Dog breeds are as unique and special as each individual dog. Each breed has characteristics, but your puppy pal can certainly be their own dog. That’s part of the adventure of having a dog. You two get to grow up together.