prehistoric woof
June 23, 2009 2:42 PM   Subscribe

The Village Dog Project is an ongoing research project to document genetic diversity in pariah dogs. These dogs haven't been subject to breed pressure, and may be able to help researchers learn more about the transition from wolf to dog. (via)
posted by Pants! (5 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Previously on Metafilter, nickyske posted this great blog for pariah dog enthusiasts as well, though it's a little less "documenting genetic diversity" and a little more AWW, CUTE PUPPIES!
posted by infinitywaltz at 2:46 PM on June 23, 2009

My three big rescue mutts non-breed-affiliated dogs give this post a big dewclaws up.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:20 PM on June 23, 2009

Cool. My anthropology class in college....decades ago...touched on the subject of the ubiquitous yellow village dog, even down to the trademark curly tail.

Interesting that this can be studied from a genetic diversity standpoint. We'll learn as much about ourselves as we do the dogs.

And that is one ridiculously cute batch of puppies.
posted by Xoebe at 6:29 PM on June 23, 2009

I've always been interested in Yellow Dogs as a "breed" that seems to be so common in any non selected gene pool for domestic dogs. I had a chance a few years ago to check out the skeletons of some South Carolina Yellow Dogs, and compare them to some more established breeds vs wolves. On the one hand they have no where near the size or mass of wolves. On the other, they show NONE of the strange breed pressures (like S shaped femurs or bowed shoulders or distorted skulls) that pure breeds show, and thus look far more wolf like in terms of skeletal structure.

The one data point I didn't have and wish I had was of dingo skeletons. In terms of physical appearance American Yellow Dogs look very much like some groups of dingos, but in other ways are very different (temperament being one).

I'm very glad that this project is being done to look at all of the populations of these dogs all over the world. They are perhaps the ultimate back breeding program - what happens when the gene pools of all the varieties of dogs remix into older stock.
posted by strixus at 9:14 PM on June 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

strixus - that picture of carolina dogs is great. MY GOD THOSE EARS. JUST LOOK AT THEM ALL!
posted by rmd1023 at 4:01 AM on June 24, 2009

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