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Ralf

Southeast Asian Village Dog

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“Came on a plane from Thailand to Canada with 19 other dogs!”

Place of Birth

Thailand

Current Location

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

From

Bangkok, Thailand

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

A1d

Haplotype

A11a/419

Map

A1d

Ralf’s Haplogroup

This female lineage can be traced back about 15,000 years to some of the original Central Asian wolves that were domesticated into modern dogs. The early females that represent this lineage were likely taken into Eurasia, where they spread rapidly. As a result, many modern breed and village dogs from the Americas, Africa, through Asia and down into Oceania belong to this group! This widespread lineage is not limited to a select few breeds, but the majority of Rottweilers, Afghan Hounds and Wirehaired Pointing Griffons belong to it. It is also the most common female lineage among Papillons, Samoyeds and Jack Russell Terriers. Considering its occurrence in breeds as diverse as Afghan Hounds and Samoyeds, some of this is likely ancient variation. But because of its presence in many modern European breeds, much of its diversity likely can be attributed to much more recent breeding.

A11a/419

Ralf’s Haplotype

Part of the A1d haplogroup, this haplotype occurs most frequently in Yorkshire Terriers, Old English Sheepdogs, and Miniature Schnauzers.

Some other Embark dogs with this haplotype:

The vast majority of Rottweilers have the A1d haplogroup.

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Through Ralf’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

E

Haplotype

H8.7

Map

E

Ralf’s Haplogroup

The E lineage is sticking around to remind dog lovers of a truly ancient ancestor among all modern domestic dogs. Males with this Y chromosome type are reminiscent of dog-like canids reaching deep into the most recent ice age (the Pleistocene). E is much more common among village dogs than breeds. However, it is found as a minor lineage among the Basenji breed, as well as the ancient Canaan dog, which has been present in the Middle East for thousands of years. E is present widely among African village dog populations, as well as among some Mongolian dogs. With its greatest diversity and most frequent occurrences popping up in the Middle East, this lineage extends all the way over into India. Thus, African, South Asian, and Central Asian populations may descend from founders in this region, perhaps somehow tied to the spread of agriculture.

H8.7

Ralf’s Haplotype

Part of the E haplogroup, this haplotype is found in village dogs a bit further north than other E haplotypes, in Mongolia.

Some other Embark dogs with this haplotype:

An example of a Basenji.

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