Genetic Differences and Origins In Dog Breeds

I chose the topic of the diversity in the dog breeds by traits, and how those traits where bred into specific dogs.  From the lovable golden retriever, to the helpful newfoundland, to the tiniest of them all, the chihuahua, these breeds have become very exclusive and formed into a dog perfect for a task and groomed to be perfect in every way for that task.
I currently have three West Highland White Terriers, two boys and one girl, whom I plan to breed in the future.  This topic particularly fascinates me because as I have seen in the past, my first Westie has proven to have stark similarities and can be polar opposites in other characteristics.  I want to look at how these dogs were bred to be the way they were, and what genetic differences my dogs would have compared to, lets say a doberman.  I will be looking at one dog per group (ie:hounds, terrier, working, herding, gundog, non-sporting, toy, and miscellaneous class) and how they differ from each other both in genetics and defining characteristics.
I hope to find out more, not only about the breed of dog that owns me, but others as well to be more informed for my chosen career path as a Veterinary Technician.  I have included a short video looking at different dog breed groups recognized by the American Kennel Club, and a brief explanation for those groups and what they are known for.

~ER

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4 thoughts on “Genetic Differences and Origins In Dog Breeds

  1. Can this theory apply to other animals too? Maybe like cats, birds, or snakes? Maybe you could look into where they originally came from to tell you why they are shaped like they are, why they eat what they do, or why they have the tendencies that they do. Different areas may have had different food sources or different weather than we do here.

  2. Bcuba brings up a good point- other organisms (especially those we domesticate) can have a lot of variety in one specie or a handful of species. Our artificial selection of traits very much influences the various breeds. Good work.

  3. I know lots of selective breeding goes into developing or modifying breeds but how close are dogs to being different enough genetically to be different species?

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