Small Dogs Came from the Middle East
Here's a great article that I thought I would pass on...hope you find it interesting! –Kim Origins of Small Dogs by Brian Thomas, M.S. March 9, 2010 Although dogs come in many sizes, scientists have found some specific genetic markers for small dogs. A recent survey of these markers across many wild and domesticated dogs seems to have provided some answers for when and where the smaller breeds developed. And what the researchers discovered comes as no surprise in light of biblical history. In their study , published in the online journal BMC Biology, four researchers led by UCLA's Melissa Gray found that the same genetic markers for small dogs are found both in domesticated dogs and "in Middle Eastern gray wolves." Since there are so many modern varieties among small domestic dogs, it is apparent that a wolf with small stature, containing a remarkable inherent potential for variety, was first removed from a larger wolf population thousands of years ago. Afterward, other traits – like snout size and coat texture – were expressed in different descendant breeds. Thus, it appears that early on in the history of domesticated dogs, small dogs were separated out. "All small dogs possess these diagnostic mutations," according to the researchers . They found that a mobile DNA sequence, called a SINE, had been inserted into a particular place in the genome of small dogs. They also found a characteristic single DNA base change nearby, amidst a growth factor gene. But insisting th...