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Dog / Wolf Breeding History and Genetic Diversity  



NEWS  - Studies of mitochondrial DNA suggest that Dog were probably originally domesticated in China no more than 15 thousand years ago.

Foxes bred for tameability in a 40-year experiment exhibit remarkable transformations that suggest an interplay between behavioral genetics and development. Early Canid Domestication  American Scientist. Trut, L.N. 2000.

The origin of dogs: running with the wolves. Science 276:1647-1648. Morell, V. 1997. Subscription required.

Another study of Mitochondria DNA previously suggested that domestication occurred as much as 125,000 years ago due to the fact that dogs possess sequences not present in the wolf. Multiple and ancient origins of the domestic dog. Science 276:1687-1689. Vila, C. et al. 1997.

Phylogenetic Relationships, Evolution, and Genetic Diversity of the Domestic Dog  Journal of Heredity, 90:71-77. Vila C., J.E. Maldonado, and R.K. Wayne. 1999.

Recent explorations into the field of canine genetics are changing the way we think about man's best friend. The Truth About Dogs by Stephen Budansky The Atlantic Online July 1999.

Canid Genetics Molecular evolution of the dog family by Robert K. Wayne The domestic dog is an extremely close relative of the gray wolf, differing from it by at most 0.2% of mtDNA sequence. In comparison, the gray wolf differs from its closest wild relative, the coyote, by about 4% of mitochondrial DNA sequence.

"The first dog domesticated by man was a wolf.... The remains found in the Beaverhead mountains of Idaho and those found in Europe, Asia and pre-Columbian America all belong to the same epoch. The friendship between man and dog is one of the oldest and most lasting in history." Simon & Schuster's Guide to Dogs, ISBN 0-67-1-25527-4

"Herre and his colleagues at the institute had come to the firm conclusion on the basis of a large number of skull measurements and examinations of the size and structure of the brain, blood factors, and numbers of chromosomes that all dogs, whether Pekingese, bulldogs or Alsatians, were descended solely from the wolf and not, as has often been assumed, from the wolf and the jackal. "The domesticated wolf is the dog". The Wolf, a Species in Danger, Dr. Erik Zimen, Delacorte Press, NY, ISBN 0-440-09619-7

"Somewhere in early history a young wolf was brought into the family circle of man and through the years became the source of the domestic dog and our most successful and useful experiment in domestication". From foreword written by Ian McTaggart Cowan, Dean of Graduate Studies and Professor of Zoology, University of British Columbia, to The Wolf, Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species, Dr. L. David Mech, USFWS, Natural History Press, Garden City NY, ISBN 0-385-08660-1

"Wolf-dog Genetics", N.A. Iljin, 1941
"The Phylogeny of dogs", W.D. Matthew, 1930

"Although the subject continues to be controversial, most authorities now agree that all dogs, from chihuahuas to dobermans are descended from wolves which were tamed in the Near East ten or twelve thousand years ago". Wolves, C. Savage, Sierra Club Book, ISBN 0-87156-689-3

"But man also made use of the wolf. The dogs owned by the American Indians must have descended from wolf stock". The Living Wilderness, Rutherford G. Montgomery, Torquil Books, 1964, Library of Congress No. 64-20648

"Canis sp. was parent to Canis lupus, the wolf; and the wolf was probably parent to the domestic dog, Canis familiaris, the first large creature who would live with men. "Today the wolf's closest relatives are the domestic dog, the dingo, the coyote and the jackal." Of Wolves and Men, Barry Holstun Lopez, Scribners, ISBN 0-684-15624-5

"The wolf is in fact a wild dog, a member of the scientific family Canidae, which includes domestic dogs as well as other dog-like wild animals such as foxes and jackals. "Scientists believe that wolves are the direct ancestors of today's domestic dogs. They think that early humans domesticated wild wolves to make them useful companions and work animals. Since that time, selective breeding has produced the many varieties of domestic dogs, some of which are very un-wolflike in appearance and habit". Wolf Pack, Sylvia Johnson, Alice Aamodt, First Avenue Editions, ISBN 0-8225-9526-5

"Canis familiaris was probably domesticated from the wolf 10-12,000 years ago. It found it's way into North America as far south as Idaho. Given thousands of years to selectively breed mutants that cropped up in their dog colonies, humans have manipulated an almost incredible diversity in this species. And there exist today more than 800 true breeding types worldwide". Looking at the Wolf, no author listed, Teton Science School, ISBN 0-911797-24-6

"Although wolves and dogs are both members of the Canid family, wolves rarely bark". The Kingdom of Wolves, Scott Barry.

"Few other species have had such a diversity of relationships with man as has the wolf. Evidently early humans tamed wolves and domesticated them, eventually selectively breeding them and finally developing the domestic dog (Canis familiaris) from them. "To date no differences in karyotypes have been found between the wolf and the domestic dog or the coyote (Hungerford & Snyder, 1966), or the red wolf (Nowak, 1970). According to Hsu and Benirschke (1967), both dog and coyote have 39 pairs of chromosomes, with the autosomes described as "acrocentrics or teleocentrics" and the sex chromosomes as "submetacentric" for the X and 'minute' for the Y in the coyote and "minute metacentric" for the Y in the dog. Iljin (1941) crossed a wolf with a black mongrel sheep dog and then made various types of crosses for four generations, totaling 101 individuals, all of which were fertile". The Mammalian Radiations, John F. Eisenberg, The University of Chicago Press, ISBN 0-226-19537-6

"A wild wolf is genetically little more distant from the domesticated dog than a wild mustang is to a quarter horse. (That wolf and dog can be hybridized, while a fox and dog cannot, points to the genetic and ancestral affinities of wolf and dog.)...."In actuality, a poodle, like any purebred dog, already has innumerable wolf genes since they share a close common ancestry." Dr. Michael W. Fox, D.V.M., Ph.D., D.Sc., Vice President, Bioethics, Humane Society of the United States. Affidavit.

"....Breeds of dogs can not be distinguished from each other by any known anatomical attribute or even biochemical genetic test, including DNA fingerprinting. Since a given breed of dog can not be defined by any scientific means currently known, our contention is that it is not possible to write any ordinance or law that would single them out for special treatment since they cannot be so defined in a legal sense. "Recently I attended a canine genetics workshop at Texas A & M University in which it was further emphasized that there is no biochemical genetic test that can even distinguish wolves from domestic dogs. "....I would taxonomically identify all wolves, wolf hybrids and domestic dogs as the species Canis lupus. Technically, the domestic dog and wolf hybrids should be designated as the sub-species "domesticus". I. Lehr Brisbin, Jr., Research Professor, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, The University of Georgia. Letter, 30, Jan. 1990

"There is not presently a valid test that will guarantee analysis of whether a particular canine carries wolf blood. Certain DNA studies have been conducted by a New York laboratory under contract by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, but a much larger population study of wolf and dog breeds would have to be done before conclusive results can be obtained." Jerry M. Conley, Director, Idaho Fish and Game Dept. From letter to Gov. Cecil D. Andrus, March 19, 1992

"Canis familiaris is the scientific name for the domesticated dog. He belongs to the same genus as the wolf, Canis lupus. Scientists, after many years of controversy, now agree that wolves were domesticated about 12,000 years ago by various Indian tribes throughout the world". Leader of The Pack, Shaping Dog Instincts Through Pack Training, Nathan B. Childs, Pack Publishing, ISBN 0-9616304-1-8

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