October 7, 2022

Meet the shaggy, isolated closest living relative of a now extinct dog breed

3 min read


These rare shepherd dogs are not only cute but also cuddly – although these are certainly things – they also provide important genetic information as the closest living relatives to the ancestors of an extinct sheep dog. Are doing The study was published Thursday in the journal PLOS Genetics..

“They are something that is a lost link between modern breeds and the original shepherd breeds of Western Europe.”

“They’re not a breed in the sense that you can register someone with a society or find them in a dog show,” Ostrender said. But when looking at both visual and genetic traits, he said it is clear that these dogs have a lot in common, such as their medium texture, rough skin and specific range of colors to be categorized together.

The research is interesting and “can give us a picture of what dogs were like before the advent of modern breeds”. Jeffrey Kidd, Associate Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Michigan. Kidd was not involved in the investigation.

Ostrender and his colleagues were sent genetic samples from partners in Chile, and after comparing them to 175 breeds of European and Western breeds, they found that the Patagonian dog was the closest to this sophisticated dog. Belongs to what is considered the real sheep dog, from Britain. .

“Because they are isolated, they retain whatever genetics they had in their ancestors and great-grandparents,” Ostrender said. “The Patagonian sheepdog is the closest thing to anything anyone has ever seen and that’s what makes them so attractive.”

A small population of sheep dogs in Patagonia is genetically closest to the original sheep dog.

Move around the world

How did the British sheep-dog genes come to live and how did they live in South America, half a world away?

Dina Drager, a staff scientist at the National Human Genome Research Institute and co-author of the study, said: “These dogs were brought from Britain at a time before the breeds we know of today were Were isolated. ”

Drager said that in the 19th century, South American authorities looked to sheep farming to improve farming and agriculture, which they saw as a promising industry in terms of geography and climate.

Studies show that dogs can recognize different languages ​​and nonsense words.

He met with shepherds and farmers in the UK, especially in the north, such as Scotland.

“If you come here and help us grow our sheep industry, we will give you the land, we will give you the sheep, and we will do it. Then you have to bring the dog with you.” Officials told UK shepherds, Drager said.

Ostrander said that geography was becoming isolated. Therefore, since then, sheep dogs in the region have had little effect on breeding characteristics.

Meanwhile, in other parts of the world, sheep dogs were making branches in other breeds that we can recognize today.

Collecting culture and data

Ostrander said that the Patagonian Sheep Dog has become a kind of national dog.

And while it provides an important insight into the native sheep dog, it also provides an example of how science and culture can come together.

According to pet experts, your cat or dog would love to sleep on 14 beds (courtesy CNN Underscore)

“There are many interesting dog populations around the world, and people living in these areas depend on these dogs for their livelihood,” he said. “They are part of the culture, they are part of the knowledge, they are part of the story of this village, or this region, or this part of the world.

“I think it’s important in human genetics, too, that you not only include facts and figures about DNA, but that you really embrace culture and history to get the best and most complete story.”



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