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Kona

Southeast Asian Village Dog

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“We got Kona in a rescue center in Penang, Malaysia and to our knowledge he is a Telomian, he likes to use his paws a lot (tries to climb tries) and also uses them to communicate he wants something from us by scratching random things. He's got a lot of anxiety, but is super loyal and loves running around in sand.”

Instagram tag
@konabearmillionaire

Place of Birth

Penang, Malaysia

Current Location

SF, California, USA

From

Penang, Malaysia

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Genetic Breed Result

Southeast 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. Kona 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, Southeast 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 Kona back, you won’t find any ancestral dogs that are part of any of those standardized breeds.

Southeast Asian Village Dog

Dogs inhabit the forests, mountains, and beaches of Southeast Asia, living among the hundreds of civilizations found in that region. These dogs are as diverse as the region, showing a wide range of shapes and sizes, as well as harboring very high genetic diversity. Each Southeast Asian dog is a remarkable and unique pup!

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Genetic Stats

Wolfiness

3.7 % HIGH

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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. Kona 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 Kona's DNA to a global panel of thousands of village dogs. This plot highlights regions of the world where Kona'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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Through Kona’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

A1e

Haplotype

A158

Map

A1e

Kona’s Haplogroup

This female lineage likely stems from some of the original Central Asian wolves that were domesticated into modern dogs starting about 15,000 years ago. It seemed to be a fairly rare dog line for most of dog history until the past 300 years, when the lineage seemed to “explode” out and spread quickly. What really separates this group from the pack is its presence in Alaskan village dogs and Samoyeds. It is possible that this was an indigenous lineage brought to the Americas from Siberia when people were first starting to make that trip themselves! We see this lineage pop up in overwhelming numbers of Irish Wolfhounds, and it also occurs frequently in popular large breeds like Bernese Mountain Dogs, Saint Bernards and Great Danes. Shetland Sheepdogs are also common members of this maternal line, and we see it a lot in Boxers, too. Though it may be all mixed up with European dogs thanks to recent breeding events, its origins in the Americas makes it a very exciting lineage for sure!

A158

Kona’s Haplotype

Part of the large A1e haplogroup, we have detected this haplotype in village dogs in India.

Some other Embark dogs with this haplotype:

Irish Wolfhounds are a consistent carrier of A1e.

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Through Kona’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

B

Haplotype

H15.3

Map

B

Kona’s Haplogroup

B is a relatively rare paternal line that has only recently started to expand. The dominant lineage among the ancient Shih Tzu breed, it is also found among Tibetan Spaniels. Outside of these two breeds, B seems to be a particularly common paternal line among the village dogs of India and Southeast Asia, though it is found as far afield as Africa and down into Oceania. Considering that it is particularly diverse in northern India, it could be that this lineage hung out mostly in South Asia after the expansion of domestic dogs from Central Asia. Because it is present in Mongolia as well, it may not be surprising that ancient East Asian dog breeds are also part of this lineage. Alternatively, perhaps males representing this lineage headed north out of southern Eurasia, which eventually gave rise to the Shih Tzu and may have inspired stylistic representations of lions in ancient China!

H15.3

Kona’s Haplotype

Part of the B haplogroup, this haplotype has been found mostly in village dogs in south (India and Nepal) and southeast (Afghanistan) Asia, but has also been spotted up in Mongolia.

Some other Embark dogs with this haplotype:

The B Haplogroup is most commonly found the adorable Shih Tzu breed.

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