From Affenpinscher to Zweigenpinscher...we offer over 100 different dog breed labels for NOSE BUTTER®. Yes, NOSE BUTTER® is the same recipe for all 100+ dog breeds, mixed and our generic labels. Yes, I know my life as an entrepreneur would be much easier with one label of a shiny nose....but I could not do that! You see, I am a DOG GEEK. For as long as I can remember dogs have fascinated me. All dogs...purebred, mixes, big ones, little ones...I am besotted.
Many a marketing expert has contacted me to pitch their services to help grow the NOSE BUTTER® empire (as the husband calls it). Inevitably every one of them asks, "Why do all the dog breeds? Why not just have one label with a dog nose on it."
I explain to them about the huge diversity in dog breeds and how amazing it is that human beings have manipulated canine DNA to make dogs look so different. Yikes, that sounded a wee bit politically incorrect or sci-fi movie-ish, oh well.
With a minimal or no knowledge of the science of genetics people have bred dogs to fill their needs for over 15,000 years. Ever since dogs split from wolves, humankind has wanted a dog that was bigger, smaller, fluffier, taller, longer, and every imaginable color combination. Talk about diversity!
Back in the early dog breeding day, people pretty much just bred dogs to hunt and guard. Adaptations for the climate and geographical area shaped the decisions made. For example, the Tibetan Mastiff is a huge guarding dog with a very thick coat, which is needed to withstand the harsh Tibetan weather. The Saluki has a much closer coat and was bred to run across the desert sands in the heat. The difference in body types is evident.
As our world became more industrialized and the middle and upper classes developed. When more people did not have to physically toil to survive, companion and toy dogs began to be bred.
Toy Dogs were specifically bred to be a loving companion and often to look like human babies. For example, in Victorian England a very flat-faced look was desired in dogs. Many breeds were bred to Japanese Chin, Pekingese and Pugs to shorten the face.
Also, canine genetics is relatively easy to work with compared to many other species. In dogs, ONE genetic variation controls the type of coat and shape and size of ears. In people every single characteristic like hair color or eye color is controlled by a complex genetic map.
CanMap, a mind-boggling research project actually determined that all, as in EVERY, factor that changes how dogs look (ears, coat type, color) are controlled by one of only 50 different genetic combinations.
There is a dog breed for every preference, every climate, every lifestyle, every imaginable desire! Plus, we have the dazzling array of fabulous mixes!
In answer to the question...WHY SO MANY DOG BREED LABELS? I say this.
NOTE: I Googled and Googled trying to find the photographer of this picture to give credit to, with no luck. If anyone knows, I would love to thank them and give them credit!
BROAD INSTITUTE Dog Genome Project
The CanMap Project: Population Genetics and Whole Genome Association Mapping of Morphological and Behavioral Differences among Domestic Dog (Canis familiaris) Breeds. C.D. Bustamante1, T. Spady2, H.G. Parker2, B. vonHoldt2,3, K. Bryc1, M.H. Wright1, N.B. Sutter2, A. Reynolds1, A.R. Boyko1, M. Castelhano1, E. Wang4, K. Zhao1,5, G. Johnson6, M. Nordborg5, R.K. Wayne3, M. Cargill4, E.A. Ostrander2 1) Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; 2) NHGRI/NIH, Bethesda, MD; 3) UCLA, Los Angeles, CA; 4) Affymetrix, Santa Clara, CA; 5) U. Southern California, Los Angeles, CA; 6) U. of Missouri, Columbia, MO.