Where Do Dogs Come From? DNA Study Says It's The Middle East
Just last week, an international team of researchers announced they had finally figured out where in the world dogs first originated: the Middle East, though they can't pinpoint a more specific location. "Dogs seem to share more genetic similarity with Middle Eastern gray wolves than with any other wolf population worldwide," one of the study's lead authors, Robert Wayne, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) tells Science Daily. "We know that dogs from the Middle East were closely associated with humans because they were found in ancient human burial sites," Wayne is quoted as saying. "In one case, a puppy is curled up in the arms of a buried human."
The study also found that while "80 percent of today's modern breeds evolved in the last few hundred years, some dog breeds have ancient histories that go back thousands of years," reports Science Daily. According to the study's authors, these ancient breeds include the "basenji, Afghan hound, Samoyed, saluki, Canaan dog, New Guinea singing dog, dingo, chow chow, Chinese Shar Pei, Akita, Alaskan malamute, Siberian husky and American Eskimo dog."