Understanding Vocal Communication in Dogs

The loyal dog, our first friend, has been an integral part of human society for thousands of years. Over this extensive period of domestication, dogs have developed a sophisticated and diverse repertoire of vocalizations, of which barking is the most prevalent and distinctive. Recent research has begun to unravel the complexities of dog vocal … Read more

Understanding and Managing Genetic Load in Dog Breeding

The term “genetic load” is a fundamental concept in genetics and particularly important for understanding the health of a population, including specific dog breeds. Genetic load refers to the presence of deleterious alleles, or harmful genes, within a population’s gene pool. These can negatively impact an organism’s fitness and are maintained in populations through a … Read more

The Impact of Domestication and Selective Breeding on Canine Ears: Hearing and Communication Implications

Canine ears have been affected by domestication and selective breeding, as noted by Feddersen-Petersen (2001). The process of domestication has led to a wide variety of breeds with different physical traits, including ear morphology. Hanging or drooping ears, like those seen in breeds such as Basset Hounds, Beagles, and Cocker Spaniels, are the result of … Read more

Sensory Adaptations in Domestic Dogs: Co-evolution with the Anthropogenic World

Dogs have a long history of coexisting with humans, dating back to their domestication from wolves around 20,000 to 40,000 years ago. Over time, their perceptual systems have evolved to adapt to the anthropogenic world they inhabit, enabling them to better communicate, cooperate, and bond with humans. Some of the key adaptations in dogs’ perceptual … Read more

Coat Color Variations and Tameness in English Shepherds: A Hypothesis on the Role of Pleiotropy in Domestication


In English Shepherds, coat color changes could be a result of selection for tameness through a process similar to the one observed in Belyaev’s silver fox experiment. The underlying genetic mechanism may involve pleiotropic effects, where certain genes influence both tameness and coat color.

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Coat Color Transformations and Tameness: Unraveling the Genetic Link Through Selective Breeding in Silver Foxes

Dmitry Belyaev, a Russian geneticist, conducted a long-term experiment on the domestication of silver foxes (Vulpes vulpes) that demonstrated how selecting for tameness could result in a number of correlated changes, including coat color changes. Starting in the late 1950s, Belyaev and his team selectively bred silver foxes, choosing only the tamest individuals to … Read more

Studying the Role of Canine Temperament in the Selection and Performance of Working Dogs

The importance of canine temperament in the selection and performance of working dogs has long been acknowledged. This short article reviews the literature on canine temperament, focusing on its role in the success of dogs in various working roles, such as assistance, therapy, search and rescue, police, and military work. Furthermore, the article explores … Read more

Unintended Consequences: Disadvantages of Selective Breeding in Farm Dogs

This article examines some of the less successful evolutionary strategies in farm dogs, primarily resulting from human-driven selective breeding for specific traits. While these traits may have initially provided an advantage in agricultural settings, they have also led to unintended consequences or disadvantages for the dogs. The article explores issues related to overemphasis on … Read more