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Charlie

West Asian Village Dog

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“Charlie and his 2 siblings were found in a ditch in a box in Tehran when they were only few months old! We don’t know exactly how old (any where between one to two months). He was brought for adaption to Toronto through a friend at which point we fell in love with his face and have adapted him since March of 2021. One of many funny things about Charlie is that he howls every time he hears the fire truck siren and he talks back to you!”

Place of Birth

Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran

Current Location

London, Ontario, Canada

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Genetic Breed Result

West Asian Village Dog

Village dog trace breed analysis

Village dogs often have short stretches of DNA that match purebred dogs, due to a distant common ancestor or a more recent mating between a purebred and a village dog. Charlie has short stretches of DNA in common with these breeds:

What exactly are village dogs?

Village dogs are the free-breeding, free-roaming “outside” dogs found around the world living in and around human settlements big and small. They are also known as island dogs, pariah dogs, or free-ranging dogs.

Many village dog populations precede the formation of modern breed dogs.

They make up about 3/4s of the billion or so dogs living on Earth today. They serve as trash cleaners, sentinels, and even sometimes companions while still retaining much of their freedom. Embark’s founders have studied village dogs on six continents since 2007 in their efforts to understand the history, traits, and health of the domestic dog. Through this work they have discovered the origins of the dog in Central Asia, and also identified genetic regions involved in domestication and local adaptation, such as the high altitude adaptation in Himalayan dogs. Embark is the only dog DNA test that includes diverse village dogs from around the world in its breed reference panel.

So what breeds are in my dog?

In a very real sense, West Asian Village Dog is the actual breed of your dog. Village dogs like this descend from separate lines of dogs than the lines that have been bred into standardized breeds like Labradors and Poodles. If you trace the family tree of Charlie back, you won’t find any ancestral dogs that are part of any of those standardized breeds.

West Asian Village Dog

West Asian village dogs were instrumental in dog evolution. From this region, dogs spread across Africa and Europe, where eventually they were bred to become most of the hundreds of dog breeds we know today.

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Genetic Stats

Wolfiness

0.9 % MEDIUM

Predicted Adult Weight

61 lbs

Genetic Age
23 human years

Based on the date of birth provided

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Village dogs have lived just about everywhere across the world for thousands of years. Long before there were any recognized dog breeds, there were village dogs around the fires and trash heaps of early human villages. Charlie is part of this ancient heritage, not descended from a specific breed, but continuing the ancient lineage of dogs that were our first, best friends.

Embark's co-founders studied Village Dogs on six continents in their efforts to understand the history, traits, and health of the domestic dog. Through this work, they discovered evidence for the origins of the dog in Central Asia , and they also identified genetic regions involved in domestication and local adaptation. As a result, Embark has the largest Village Dog reference panel of any canine genetics company.

We compared Charlie's DNA to a global panel of thousands of village dogs. This plot highlights regions of the world where Charlie's DNA is most similar to those village dogs. The areas of darkest red reflect the greatest similarity to our village dog panel.

Village Dog Map
Similarity to village dog groups around the world. Darker red reflects greater similarity.

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Base Coat Color

Base Coat Color

Coat Color Modifiers

Coat Color Modifiers

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Other Coat Traits

Other Body Features

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Body Size

Performance

Performance

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Through Charlie’s mitochondrial DNA we can trace his mother’s ancestry back to where dogs and people first became friends. This map helps you visualize the routes that his ancestors took to your home. Their story is described below the map.

Haplogroup

B1

Haplotype

B28

Map

B1

Charlie’s Haplogroup

B1 is the second most common maternal lineage in breeds of European or American origin. It is the female line of the majority of Golden Retrievers, Basset Hounds, and Shih Tzus, and about half of Beagles, Pekingese and Toy Poodles. This lineage is also somewhat common among village dogs that carry distinct ancestry from these breeds. We know this is a result of B1 dogs being common amongst the European dogs that their conquering owners brought around the world, because nowhere on earth is it a very common lineage in village dogs. It even enables us to trace the path of (human) colonization: Because most Bichons are B1 and Bichons are popular in Spanish culture, B1 is now fairly common among village dogs in Latin America.

B28

Charlie’s Haplotype

Part of the large B1 haplogroup, we have spotted this haplotype frequently in Cocker Spaniels, Pomeranians, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and village dogs in Liberia and Namibia.

Some other Embark dogs with this haplotype:

The B1 haplogroup can be found in village dogs like the Peruvian Village Dog, pictured above.

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Through Charlie’s Y-chromosome we can trace his father’s ancestry back to where dogs and people first became friends. This map helps you visualize the routes that his ancestors took to your home. Their story is described below the map.

Haplogroup

D

Haplotype

H7.2

Map

D

Charlie’s Haplogroup

The D paternal lineage is very common in well-known populations of dogs. Breeds belonging to the D lineage likely have direct male ancestors that can be traced all the way back to the origin of domestic dogs themselves! One popular breed that commonly sports a D lineage is the Boxer. Boxers were developed in the late 19th century from Mastiff dogs, so it is no surprise that D is well represented among Mastiffs, Bulldogs, as well as Terriers. Intriguingly, D is also found among Lhasa Apsos, an ancient Tibetan breed, and Afghan Hounds. While the presence of this lineage in Polynesia or the New World can be chalked up to interbreeding with European dogs brought during voyages of discovery or later settlement, D is also well represented among village dog populations in the Middle East and Africa. If the fact that we find dogs bearing a D lineage in the Middle East (not to mention the large amount of diversity among Middle Eastern D lineage males) is any indication of ancient residence in that region, then the presence among Oceanian village dogs is peculiar. Rather, it may be that D is part of a broader Eurasian group of ancient paternal lineages which disappeared from the eastern portion of its original range, persisting in the island of New Guinea as well as West Asia and Africa. With the rise of Mastiff breeds, the D lineage received a new life as it became common among many types of working dogs.

H7.2

Charlie’s Haplotype

Part of the D haplogroup, the H7.2 haplotype occurs most commonly in Sarplaninacs. We've also spotted it in Middle Eastern Village Dogs and European Village Dogs.

Some other Embark dogs with this haplotype:

The D paternal lineage is common in Boxers.

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