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The Big Dog Project: East meets West

This is not our typical fare, but one we believe many of you will be interested. According to a recent article in The Atlantic, there have been new developments in tracing the development of domesticated dogs. Virtually all Subject Matter Experts agree that every dog alive today, from F3 Tactical's Bolt to Enzo, the Cane Corso puppy you see above, descended from wolves.

“Some say wolves were domesticated around 10,000 years ago, while others say 30,000. Some claim it happened in Europe, others in the Middle East, or East Asia. Some think early human hunter-gatherers actively tamed and bred wolves. Others say wolves domesticated themselves, by scavenging the carcasses left by human hunters, or loitering around campfires, growing tamer with each generation until they became permanent companions.”

Where they did so, however, and how many times, remains a point of contention.

Particularly now. Traditional thought has it that domesticated dogs developed many thousands of years ago in one place. There is some genetic proof to support this, but recent developments indicate there may be more to the tale (see what we did there?).

Good-Job-Bolt


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The Big Dog Project

“Here’s the full story, as he sees it. Many thousands of years ago, somewhere in western Eurasia, humans domesticated grey wolves. The same thing happened independently, far away in the east. So, at this time, there were two distinct and geographically separated groups of dogs. Let’s call them Ancient Western and Ancient Eastern. Around the Bronze Age, some of the Ancient Eastern dogs migrated westward alongside their human partners, separating from their homebound peers and creating the deep split in Larson’s tree. Along their travels, these migrants encountered the indigenous Ancient Western dogs, mated with them (doggy style, presumably), and effectively replaced them.

Today’s eastern dogs are the descendants of the Ancient Eastern ones. But today’s western dogs (and the Newgrange one) trace most of their ancestry to the Ancient Eastern migrants [emphasis added]. Less than 10 percent comes from the Ancient Western dogs, which have since gone extinct.”

If you're interested in the whole story, you can read it right here.

“You know what? If I’m completely wrong and I have to eat crow on this, I don’t give a shit. I just want to know.” Geneticist-archeologist Greger Larson.


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