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Dog Breeds

Interactive: See how your favourite canine breeds are associated messages



Now known as the perennial family pet, the Labradoodle was invented in the 1990s as a low-allergen guide dog. The breed’s recent origins and Portmanteau name make it pretty obvious that Labradors and Poodles were mixed in the creation of the Labradoodle. But what about the other 400 or so dog breeds – how does a wolf become a Pomeranian?

Modern dogs originated tens of thousands of years ago (anywhere between 20,000 and 40,000) when humans domesticated an ancient relative of today’s wolves. Since then, people have been performing targeted, selective crossbreeding, initially creating dogs that specialize in herding, hunting, and guarding.

Then came the explosion of the Victorian race. In the mid-19th century there was a period of intense innovation and codification in dog breeding that resulted not only in a diversity of breeds but also in the very concept of “breed”. During this boom, different dog lines were purposely crossed to improve beneficial traits or to dilute undesirable ones. The crossbreeding was also carried out with the express aim of creating novel breeds and looking for aesthetic traits.

Many so-called designer breeds are unique. The exception is the Labradoodle, which was bred as a low-allergen guide dog.
Photo: Phil Crowder / Alamy

This created a chaotic, intertwined relationship between different types of dogs, with the details of a breed’s origin sometimes only recorded in oral history.

It wasn’t until a landmark genetic study was published in 2017 that we were able to get a clearer picture of how all of these races are related to one another.

An illustration showing a turnspit dog at work in a wheel near the ceilingA turnspit dog at work in a wheel near the ceiling. Turnspit dogs are now an extinct breed originally created for turning roasts.
Illustration: Henry Wigstead / Wikimedia

Researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute in the United States analyzed DNA from 161 breeds to create a pedigree for dog breeds. The groups of trees are divided into categories according to their common history. These groups, known as clades, reflect the fact that dogs, for much of their domestication history, were only known by the type of service they offered to humanity. The hunting dogs are a family with retrievers and setters, the herding dogs include the shepherds and shepherds.

Dr. Elaine Ostrander is the head of cancer genetics and comparative genomics at the institute and was the lead researcher of the 2017 study as part of the NHGRI’s canine genome project.

“We wanted to know how dog breeds relate to one another.” She said.

“We know that most races have only existed since Victorian times. In Europe there were breeders who wanted to create breeds that had a certain look or ability or personality. “

Many of the relationships make intuitive sense, she said.

“One of the things that matters is geographic location – where the breeds evolved,” she said.

“Function was certainly important too, and there is certainly a relationship between dogs of the same appearance as the Miniature and Standard Schnauzers.

“But there are always surprises, things that we might not expect.”

The study also presented analyzes showing the shadows of crossbreeding that hide in modern “purebred” dogs.

A German Shepherd is sitting on a benchAccording to researchers, the German Shepherd shares DNA with Italian dog breeds, including the sugarcane parator.
Photo: Ganna Aibetova / Alamy

While the genome of all dogs is 100% canine DNA, a small amount of the genome varies between breeds. These parts are responsible for the impressive range of variations in size, shape and behavior in domestic dogs. The researchers sequenced canine genomes at thousands of these variable locations. If blocks of them are identical across two different races, it suggests a historical cross between them.

These new results confirmed documented histories for some breeds. Heidi Parker, the study’s lead researcher and also a geneticist at NHGRI, said the results also showed evidence of crosses that were not documented or otherwise unexpected.

“We found that the German Shepherd was quite Italian,” she said. “I don’t know if we still know what the German Shepherd Dog story actually is other than that it’s one of the breeds that comes up with the most outcrosses to various things.”

Here we used the data from the genetic study to visualize the relationship between a single breed and all other breeds studied (where the relationship was above a certain threshold – see notes below for more details):

How closely is the German Shepherd Dog related to other breeds?

Displaying an index of kinship between races based on “haplotype sharing by ancestry” which measures identical sections of DNA inherited from a common ancestor

Move the pointer or tap a dog to view more information


In this example, you can see that the German Shepherd Dog shares larger amounts of DNA with the Sugar Cane Paratore, the Berger Picard, and the Chinook. It is important to note that these graphics do not indicate the direction of the cross – just that two races are more or less closely related.

“We don’t know about directionality, it just tells us that there have been mixes and matches between races,” said Ostrander.

In some cases, much older racial histories have been confirmed. A legendary animal, the original Irish Wolfhound, had not been seen in nearly 100 years and was considered extinct. In the 1860s, George Augustus Graham set out to recreate it from existing lines of dogs, ranging from Scottish deer dog populations to a Great Dane for extra size.

How closely is the Irish Wolfhound related to other breeds?

Displaying an index of kinship between races based on “haplotype sharing by ancestry” which measures identical sections of DNA inherited from a common ancestor

The results for the pug – originally from China – were surprising. Breeders have sprinkled a dash of pug genes into a variety of breeds around the world, presumably to make them smaller.

How closely is the pug related to other breeds?

Displaying an index of kinship between races based on “haplotype sharing by ancestry” which measures identical sections of DNA inherited from a common ancestor

Here you can select each breed included in the study to see relationships with other races, or try one of the groups to get a bigger picture of racial connections.

How closely related
to other races?

Displaying an index of kinship between races based on “haplotype sharing by ancestry” which measures identical sections of DNA inherited from a common ancestor. COO or USA indicates whether a dog from the country of origin (COO) or the USA was sampled

Change the dog breed or group

Move the pointer or tap a dog to view more information


* For more information, see the notes at the end of the article

One thing that is missing from this analysis are so-called “designer races” such as Goldendoodle or Groodle, Cavoodle and various other -oodles.

The reason for this, according to Parker, is that most of these dogs are not a continuous breed.

“Most of these breeds, almost all of them, are simply made as one-offs. But they don’t continue, ”she said. “The only group that really does that is the Labradoodles – the Australian Labradoodle Club.”

The NHGRI canine genome team specifically examined the Labradoodle and showed that it is genetically more poodle than Labrador.

Some dogs in the study, such as the dachshund or the gray wolf, had no ties to any other breed. Parker said there are several possible explanations for this.

“The sharing we identified in the paper was about 200 years old or less. Some breeds, like the Dachshund and the Dalmatian, don’t show bonds of sharing at this age, ”she said.

A dachshund dressed as a hot dog.A dachshund dressed as a hot dog.
Photo: Gregor Waschinski / AFP / Getty Images

“This could mean that these races were brought into their current form before that time and no one thought it appropriate to play with that form. It’s also possible that we don’t have the correct breeds in the dataset to see other additions.

“This is one of the reasons we keep adding more breeds, and especially regional breeds, to our tree to fill in the missing parts.”

Regarding the future of the Canine Genome Project, Ostrander says they are doing the same analysis between different breeds, using full genomes for comparison.

“One of the questions we really want to know the answer to is, what are the differences? What do you see that you haven’t seen before with this much higher resolution? “

  • The canine genome project is interested in collecting more samples from interesting or exotic dog breeds. You can email [email protected] to see if your sample could be useful for future research.

Notes and methods

Groups used in the figures are the 23 clades identified according to the analysis by Ostrander et al. Were stated, with cashless races being grouped into “other”.

Colors are mainly used to indicate if two dogs are in different classes rather than to identify the specific classes as it is very difficult to make a categorical color key with 23 colors.

The kinship index simply uses a scale of 1 to 100 based on the smallest base pair size match with the largest base pair size match. As in the original article, it only contains matches greater than 250,000 base pairs.

• This article was amended on October 26, 2020 to clarify that a boom in dog breeding occurred in the 19th century instead of the 18th century.

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Dog Breeds

Even Puppies Get the Point



Dogs’ ability to understand us and respond to our attempts to communicate with them has long been considered a fundamental part of the close relationship we share. More than two decades ago, researchers first provided evidence that dogs can follow human pointing gestures.

Many studies have since shown that when humans point at one of two identical objects to indicate the location of the food, dogs respond by choosing the one pointed more often than we would happen to expect. This may sound like an easy skill, but maybe that’s because it’s so easy for us. The idea that another species can respond to our hint is a big deal.

As with any significant discovery, this topic has been discussed at length. Behavioral questions mainly revolve around whether dogs are learning what this gesture means from spending so much time with us, or whether they can naturally understand that pointing is a way to get their attention to something interesting.

It is difficult to study for practical and ethical reasons. Most adult dogs have a lot of experience with humans. Raising dogs without such contact for the purposes of scientific study would be cruel and totally unacceptable. It would also be pointless because such dogs would be so poorly socialized and so fearful that they would not be able to participate in studies. However, puppies are a different matter.

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In a recent study, researchers used the fact that young puppies have limited experience with humans to examine their ability to respond to human pointing gestures. The 375 participating puppies were between 7.3 and 10.4 weeks old (mean age 8.4 weeks). The puppies were loaned out by Canine Companions for Independence, a non-profit group that provides assistance dogs to people with disabilities. The 203 females and 172 males came from 117 litters. In terms of breed, there were 98 Labrador Retrievers, 23 Golden Retrievers, and 254 Golden Retriever / Labrador Retriever crosses.

The experimenter hid food in one of two places and either (A) pointed and looked at the bait container, or (B) placed any marker next to the bait container. (C) Puppies exceeded chance expectation with both social cues, but not in an olfactory control state. Source:

In the study, the pups had a choice of two containers, one of which held a piece of snack food. While one person was holding the pup, another caught the pup’s attention and either pointed and looked at the food reward container, or showed the pup a marker (a small yellow block) and then placed the marker next to the correct container. Based on the dot gesture, the pups chose correctly more than two-thirds of the time. They correctly picked almost three-quarters of the time the person communicated the location of the food by placing the marker.

In control trials, where puppies were not directed and were likely to choose based on the smell of the food, their decisions had a success rate of 48.9 percent – essentially random and slightly worse than you’d expect based on chance alone. These experiments showed that puppies could not find the food by sniffing it out.

Multiple replications did not appear to improve the puppies’ performance. This suggests that they don’t learn the task while studying. (They had either already learned the task even though they were so young, or they could do it without having to study.) Previous studies in adult dogs – both lap dogs and assistance dogs – found similar success rates for the pointing task, and were even higher Success in the marker task.

Another aspect of this study examined the genetic basis for the variation in dogs’ ability to find food based on human information about their location. They found that 43 percent of the variation was due to heredity, confirming a long-standing belief that genetics play a role in dogs’ social and cognitive abilities. This is an important finding. In order for selection to affect a dog’s ability to respond to human communication, as there are many theories about the domestication of dogs, there must be a genetic basis.

It is important to understand that even a natural ability can be adaptive. Hence, it is not that dogs either have an innate ability or need to learn that ability. The idea that behavior is binary is extremely out of date. In fact, an influential 1967 study in my field of ethology had the brand name “Ontogenesis of an Instinct”. To understand why it was so dangerous, it is important to know that ontogeny means evolution.

The study looked at changes in a pattern of behavior that was believed to be instinctive: a gull chick pecks at one point on the beak of an adult gull to trigger feeding. Such species-specific behavior patterns were viewed as innate rather than learned. In a series of studies, Jack P. Hailman, PhD showed that learning took place and that gull chicks improved their chopping accuracy with practice.

The idea that instinctive behavior can be improved and that learning occurs in relation to such behaviors was revolutionary and has changed the field significantly. But here, more than 50 years later, we are still debating whether behavior is instinctive or learned. It is more complex than that, and we have to accept that learning can play a role even in natural and species-prevalent behavior.

One possibility that must always be considered is that dogs have a tendency to learn the ability to follow human gestures. That is, it can be easy and natural for them to learn. In fact, it can be so simple and natural that it can be difficult to find dogs who have not yet learned how to do it. The current study provides evidence that even young puppies who have not had extensive experience with humans can perform this task and – equally interesting and important – that there is a genetic basis for this behavior. However, dogs have not been shown to have this ability in the absence of experience with humans.

The researchers say it fairly in their work: “Taken together, our results show that the social skills of dogs are very important in early development and that the variation in these traits is strongly influenced by genetic factors.”

Source * – *

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Dog Breeds

How to Tell if Your Dog is a Genius



Anyone who has lived with a dog knows their ability to learn the meanings of words, even those you wouldn’t want them to know. How many times did you have to spell the words “going” or “dinner” to avoid an explosion of excitement?

Previous studies have looked at how non-human animals, including chimpanzees, sea lions, and rhesus monkeys, learn words. But now, a paper published in Nature shows that some dogs learn the name of a new object after hearing it just four times, a skill previously believed to be limited to humans.

The researchers found that this skill was not common in all dogs studied, but may be limited to a few “talented” or well-trained individuals. So how do you know if your own dog is a genius or not?

The study was simple and easy to repeat at home. Just follow the researchers’ steps to see if your dog can learn the names of objects that quickly. But don’t worry if your dog doesn’t have this ability. This can only be due to his race or previous experience.

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Whiskey and Vicky Nina

The new study included a collie named Whiskey who knew 59 objects by name and a Yorkshire terrier named Vicky Nina who knew 42 toys.

The researchers tested each dog’s knowledge of their toy by asking them to bring each toy in turn. Neither the owners nor the experimenters could see the toys so as not to influence the choice of dogs.

Once it was determined that the dogs knew the names of all of their toys, the researchers introduced two new objects, each placed one at a time in a group of familiar toys. In this test, Whiskey chose the new toy every time. Vicky Nina got the right one in 52.5% of the attempts, which is a bit more than chance.

Learn new names

For the next part of the study, the dog was shown a toy, given its name, and then allowed to play with it. After repeating the name of two different new toys four times, the dog was asked to choose one of the two new toys.

No known toys were included in this part of the experiment in order to prevent the dog from choosing the right toy through exclusion. Knowing the name of all the other toys, the dog may choose the right toy, guessing that the unfamiliar word must indicate the unfamiliar toy.

Both dogs opted for the new toy more often than chance would predict, suggesting that they actually learned the name of a new object very quickly. However, her memory deteriorated significantly after 10 minutes and almost completely after an hour. This shows that the new learning needs more reinforcement if it is to be maintained.

Read More: Six Tips For Grooming Your New Puppy According To Science

The test with the new toy was also done by 20 volunteers with their own dogs, but these dogs did not show the ability to learn new names after a few hearings.

The authors suggested that the difference between the performance of the two dogs in their test and the volunteer dogs means that the dog may need to be unusually intelligent or have a lot of name learning experience in order to learn new names quickly.

A dog surrounded by toys.

Clever dogs

It is likely that a combination of factors are at work in these experiments. It is significant that the most common breed used in studies of this species is a border collie, specifically bred to perform audible commands and very highly motivated to perform tasks and please the handler. Yorkshire terriers also enjoy mental and physical stimulation.

Similar tests have been carried out by other research groups, usually using border collies. In 2004, a dog named Rico was found to know the names of 200 different objects, and in 2011 Chaser learned 1,022 unique objects.

Other breeds may be less interested in playing with or fetching toys. For example, greyhounds such as salukis and greyhounds are primarily bred for hunting or racing and are therefore generally more difficult to train. They may not show any interest in toys at all and be far less motivated to please the handler.

Smart dogs can learn new names quickly.

Both test dogs in this study received extensive training through play and social interaction to pay attention to the names and characteristics of the toys. This could make them more likely to notice the differences between new and familiar toys and to care about the verbal cues associated with them.

While their training was not formal, it was nonetheless positive reinforcement training, a powerful method of teaching animals and people. The dogs have undoubtedly learned their skills to a great extent.

It is entirely possible to train all dogs to perform tasks, including learning the names of objects. However, the degree to which they are willing and able to learn and perform the task depends heavily on the breed of dog and the motivation of the individual dog.

If your pet is an Afghan or Saint Bernard, don’t expect them to be interested in spending hours getting toys for you. On the other hand, if you have a border collie or poodle, their abilities can only be limited by your imagination and commitment to playing with them.The conversation

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Dog Breeds

10 Most Challenging Dog Breeds That Are Full Of Love



🔥 Stay tuned in our Community:

All dogs need love, attention, and training – but some dog breeds need a little more than others. Every dog breed has its strengths and weaknesses. That doesn’t make any particular breed less loveable, but these 10 dog breeds may need a lot more patience and obedience training than others.
These breeds tend to be intelligent, independent, and stubborn, making then the least obedient dog breeds. Successfully training one of these breeds should win you an award!

00:00​ – Intro
00:30​ – Afghan Hound
01:19​ – Chow Chow
02:04​ – Basenji
02:45​ – Bulldog
03:24​ – Bloodhound
04:08​ – Pekingese
04:45​ – Dachshund
05:22​ – Welsh Terrier
06:03​ – Beagle
06:37​ – Borzoi
07:10​ – Outro

💌 For anything please contact us at [email protected]


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