WHAT ARE THE OLDEST PURE DOG BREEDS???

by Kathy Dannel Vitcak 2 min read

ALASKAN MALMUTE ANCIENT BREED

till mixed breed dog

THE ORIGINAL DOG BREEDS

The Originals, as in dog breeds, not one of my fave CW shows with lots of hot vampires and werewolves and such. The original dog breeds have been subject to an infinite amount of conjecture by scientists, dog geeks and dog lovers probably since the first wolf inched closer to that long ago fire.

This year, in 2017, it was discovered that 9,000 years ago the domestic dog was present in the north eastern part of Siberia, which was connected to the rest of Russia at that time. They were heavy built dogs bred to pull sleds through the brutal snows and cold of that area and to be able to hunt. These dogs are very similar genetically to the Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky of today. No surprise there!

THE VICTORIAN ERA WAS DOG CRAZY

Thanks to the British during the Victorian Era (1830-1900) when dog breeding for very specific traits, looks and features was undertaken with a vengeance, the DNA has been a bitch to trace (hehehe-bad dog pun, I am giddy).

IT'S SCIENCE!

A group of VERY dedicated scientists examined 48,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms  of  912 dogs representing 85 breeds.*

As would be expected, the breeds were differentiated by function, or what people wanted them to DO.

CANINE PHENOTYPES

  • Toy Dogs - Companions bred for small size
  • Spaniels - Bred to flush birds
  • Mastiffs - Bred to guard
  • Spitz - Bred to withstand cold
  • Terriers - Bred to kill rats
  • Retrievers - Bred to bring game back to hunter
  • Scent Hound - Bred to follow trail
  • Sight Hounds - Bred to hunt by sight
  • Herding Dogs - Bred to keep flocks/herds under control

After further genetic study and I'm sure some shouting at the dog researcher meetings, they narrowed it down from the 17 first round down to 13.

The criteria was they had to genetically divergent (loved the movies) and not be a cross. The 13 breeds that were genetically divergent from the modern breeds are the Afghan Hound, Akita, Alaskan Malamute, American Eskimo, Basenji, Canaan Dog, Chow, Chinese Shar-Pei, Dingo, New Guinea Singing Dog, Saluki, Samoyed, and Siberian Husky. Later the Eurasier, Finnish Spitz and Shiba Inc were added to this list as a sub-group.  

After further testing, deliberations and fisticuffs this list was reduced to just NINE. 

ANY THE FINAL NINE ARE....

These nine were grouped into three categories of dogs considered distinct from today's modern dogs:

  • ASIAN GROUP - Akita, Chow, Chinese Shar-Pei, and New Guinea Singing Dog
  • MIDDLE EASTERN GROUP - Afghan and Saluki
  • NORTHERN GROUP - Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky

chow chow

* vonHoldt, Bridgett; Lohmueller, Kirk E.; Han, Eunjung; Parker, Heidi G.; Quignon, Pascale; Degenhardt, Jeremiah D.; Boyko, Adam R.; Earl, Dent A.; Auton, Adam; Reynolds, Andy; Bryc, Kasia; Brisbin, Abra; Knowles, James C.; Mosher, Dana S.; Spady, Tyrone C.; Elkahloun, Abdel; Geffen, Eli; Pilot, Malgorzata; Jedrzejewski, Wlodzimierz; Greco, Claudia; Randi, Ettore; Bannasch, Danika; Wilton, Alan; Shearman, Jeremy; Musiani, Marco; Cargill, Michelle; Jones, Paul G.; Qian, Zuwei; et al. (2010-03-17). "Genome-wide SNP and haplotype analyses reveal a rich history underlying dog domestication". Nature. 464 (7290): 898–902. Bibcode:2010Natur.464..898V. PMC 3494089Freely accessible. PMID 20237475. doi:10.1038/nature08837.



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