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Winston

Arabian Village Dog

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“He is a study in contradictions. He is super affectionate at times but also - at times - quite independent and almost indifferent to us humans.”

Place of Birth

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Current Location

Montréal, Québec, Canada

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Genetic Breed Result

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

Arabian Village Dog

The oldest known dog remains are from Israel, where dogs have been loved by humans, and buried with them, for over 12,000 years. Middle Eastern village dogs were instrumental in dog evolution. From the Middle East, dogs spread to Africa and Europe, where eventually they were bred to become most of the hundreds of dog breeds we know today. Dogs that remained in the Middle East took on the iconic form of the Saluki, sleek and cool under the desert sun.

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Genetic Stats

Wolfiness

0.6 % LOW

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

A1b

Haplotype

A361/409/611

Map

A1b

Winston’s Haplogroup

This female lineage was very likely one of the original lineages in the wolves that were first domesticated into dogs in Central Asia about 15,000 years ago. Since then, the lineage has been very successful and travelled the globe! Dogs from this group are found in ancient Bronze Age fossils in the Middle East and southern Europe. By the end of the Bronze Age, it became exceedingly common in Europe. These dogs later became many of the dogs that started some of today's most popular breeds, like German Shepherds, Pugs, Whippets, English Sheepdogs and Miniature Schnauzers. During the period of European colonization, the lineage became even more widespread as European dogs followed their owners to far-flung places like South America and Oceania. It's now found in many popular breeds as well as village dogs across the world!

A361/409/611

Winston’s Haplotype

Part of the A1b haplogroup, this haplotype occurs most frequently in German Shepherd Dogs, Poodles, and Shiloh Shepherds.

Some other Embark dogs with this haplotype:

A1b is the most common haplogroup found in German Shepherds.

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Through Winston’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

Winston’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

Winston’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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