15 Jan 2019 Unlocking Your Dog’s Family Tree
The craze of finding your own family’s history through DNA tests and family tree tools has already taken over the human world. Now it’s taking over the dog world too. Pet owners can now unlock their dog’s family tree and discover an accurate history of their heritage. Scientists have studied the genomes of over 1,500 dog breeds in the US and have created a comprehensive map showing how each breed is related and connected to one another. This map groups dogs into categories such a herding or hunting, and also shows the many ways in which human breeding has created the modern dogs we know today.
The benefits of finding out your dog’s family tree and heritage is that this information can help scientists cure some domestic dog diseases that are commonly found in our pets. Of course, knowing your dog’s exact breed and origins is an interesting fact for those curious parents of mixed breed dogs. This data can also help scientists cure diseases that are common in both dogs and humans, like epilepsy.
Did You Know?
We all know that dogs originally came from wolves, but the heritage of dogs is much more complicated than that. The majority of breeds that make up our furry friends today come from European and Asian dog groups. Although domestic dogs were in Europe and Asia for much longer than in the Americas, they came over thousands of years ago after humans traveled from Siberia to Alaska via the Bering land bridge.
Researchers found that two different dog breeds, the Peruvian Hairless dog and the Xoloitzcuintli, from South America have genes that aren’t found in any other dog breed. Scientists think that the genes of these domestic dogs came from ancient dogs that arrived in America before Christopher Columbus.
Finding Out for Yourself
Much like finding out your own ancestry, DNA tests for dogs are widely available and can be purchased online. We all love our furry friends, so it makes sense that we would want to know more about them to feel closer to their history and heritage. Let us know in the comments if you’ve ever done a dog DNA test or want to in the future!