Dogs and wolves

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by primroselane, May 23, 2004.

  1. primroselane

    primroselane Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    Deep in the heart of Texas
    WASHINGTON May 20, 2004 — The tail-wagging, stick-fetching family pooch may be more closely related to Lassie, Rin Tin Tin or even White Fang than its human companions think.
    While dogs have about 99 percent of their genes in common, a few very distinct genetic differences separate them into some 400 breeds known worldwide.

    Comparing dog genes to wolves, researchers found that a group of ancient dog types split off first. Later the majority of canines evolved into three other clusters of dog variants hunters, herders and guard dogs largely as a result of breeding programs developed over the last several hundred years.

    The new study of purebred dogs says among those closest to their wild wolf ancestors are the Siberian Husky, Chinese Shar-pei and African Basenji.

    "One of the most interesting questions still to understand ... is why did the wolf keep locked in its genome everything that was necessary to make a Pekingese to a Great Dane," said Elaine A. Ostrander of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

    Ostrander, a co-author of the study in Thursday's issue of the journal Science, said dogs share the human environment and diseases, so learning more about their genetic development also can shed light on human diseases.

    Human families are too small and "its often difficult to get samples from more than one or two generations, whereas dog families are huge ... and you can get DNA for two, three, four generations," she said. "That gives you enormous statistical power for understanding the genetics."

    In the process, scientists learned some interesting things about dogs.

    For example, at least two breeds long thought to be ancient, the Ibizan Hound and Pharaoh Hound, were found not to be so old after all. Because of their resemblance to dogs depicted on ancient Egyptian tombs, they had been considered among the oldest of breeds. However, their genes indicate they have been developed in more recent times, the researchers said.

    And two separate breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club Belgian Terveren and Belgian Sheepdog turned out to be genetically identical.

    According to co-author Leonid Kruglyak of the Howard Hughes Medical Center, the study also found that while dogs have much in common, the 1 percent of their genes that determine different breeds are genetically quite distinct.

    "These differences are so distinct that we could just feed a dog's genetic pattern into the database, and the computer could match it to a breed," said Kruglyak.

    That was surprising because most of the breeds were genetically isolated only in the 19th Century, with the advent of breed clubs and breed standards, she said.

    Two branches of the canine family tree were the earliest to diverge from the wolves, the study found.

    One branch includes the oriental breeds Shar-pei, Shiba Inu, Chow Chow and Akita; the other the seemingly diverse breeds of African Basenji, Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Afghan Hound and Saluki.

    In addition to these ancient dogs three other groups were developed later including canines for guarding, herding and hunting.

    Of 85 breeds tested, only four failed to show consistent sets of genes in common. They were the Perro de Presa Canario, German Shorthaired Pointer, Australian Shepherd and Chihuahua.

    In addition to the virtually identical genetics of Belgian Sheepdog and Belgian Tervuren, the study also showed five pairs of breeds with very similar genetics: Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky, Collie and Shetland Sheepdog, Greyhound and Whippet, Bernese Mountain Dog and Greater Swiss Mountain Dog and Bull Mastiff and Mastiff.
  2. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

    Sep 13, 2003
    Whiskey Flats(Ft. Worth) , Tx
    ............Anybody who has ever owned A Siberian Husky or Malamute knows that you can't simply lock them UP in a backyard. That same ability to pull a sled for miles and miles is ALSO the same ability to pursue game in a Pack and dispatch it for supper.
    ............The Akita, which is my current "Best Friend" will KILL another dog over a bowl of food . Why?? ...Well, if we as humans had to Kill each morsal for supper and somebody tried to eat our meal they are endangering our existance....fordy.... :eek: :)

  3. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

    Apr 14, 2004
    Dogs and Wolves are not of different species from a genetic standpoint. They can be mated and produce fertile offspring. Same for dogs and coyotes. I don't know if anyone has ever tried getting offspring from wolf/coyote cross. There will be some differences at the genetic level, just like my DNA will be different from the next person, but the main differences are because of differing hormones activating and deactivating at different ages. Our human races, are no different than the "breeds" of dogs. Personally I think Neanderthals were just a different breed of people, and not a different species
  4. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

    Sep 4, 2003
    Akitas are pretty high on my personal list of dogs that I don't care for. My former neighbors had 2 of them. A male & a female that they hoped to breed to sell puppies. It turned out that the female had been spayed. That was probably a good thing for the breed, since these 2 dogs were prone to escaping the yard & killing smaller dogs in the neighborhood. They had killed or severely injured several dogs in the neighborhood before they jumped my fence & attacked my dogs. In the process of getting my wounded dogs into the house & to safety, I was bitten. I did not wait for official permission. I took my 12ga shotgun into my backyard & killed both of the killer Akitas. My neighbors applauded me while I was bleeding from my bites. Of course, the police became involved, but after the testimomy of my neighbors, the athourities declined to press charges against me, & the former owners of the akitas quickly moved away. My dogs & I recovered from our wounds, & we enjoyed the treats that our neighbors brought to us. I especially enjoyed the pies & the boxes of 12ga shells that were sent to me. I would never say that all Akitas are bad, but I will say that they are less domesticated than other breeds.
  5. Kirk

    Kirk Well-Known Member

    Oct 30, 2003
    You should have taken the owners of the Akitas to small claims court for the costs of the vet bills and two 12ga rounds.
  6. wabbitswayer

    wabbitswayer Active Member

    Mar 2, 2004
    South Dakota
    On a side note, according to some registeries, the Belgiun Sheepdog breed INCLUDES the Tervuren and Malinios and those other two "breeds" can come from one litter from the Sheepdog. That's what we get when these "experts" decide to only look at one registry and no history behind certain breeds. UGH! :no:
  7. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

    Mar 21, 2004
    deep south texas
    well George K i got news the coyote and domestic/feral dogs do cross and it is called a coydog they are mean viscious animals to boot.