Where did aboriginal North American dogs come from?

ImageIndian Hunter’, 1864 statue by J.Q.A. Ward in New York’s Central Park. Image downloaded from http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6214/6333110210_b510b0fde0_b.jpg

Once thought to be extinct, Native American dogs are now confirmed to be linked to dogs from ancient Asia. According to a recent study, “The arrival of Europeans in the Americas has generally been assumed to have led to the extinction of indigenous dog breeds; but a comprehensive genetic study has found that the original population of native American dogs has been almost completely preserved, says Peter Savolainen, a researcher in evolutionary genetics at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.”

“Our results confirm that American dogs are a remaining part of the indigenous American culture, which underscores the importance of preserving these populations,” he says.

Savolainen and his colleagues have traced the American dogs’ ancestry back to East Asian and Siberian dogs, and also found direct relations between ancient American dogs and modern breeds.

See the article: KTH The Royal Institute of Technology, 2013 (July 10), ‘Asian origins of native American dogs confirmed,’ online at ScienceDaily, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130710182540.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop_science+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+News+–+Top+Science%29

For an article on the American “primitive” Carolina Dog, see http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/16/science/a-dog-that-goes-way-back.html?pagewanted=all.

Further reading on Native American dogs:

Cummins, B.D., 2002, First Nations, First Dogs: Canadian Aboriginal Ethnocynology,  Calgary, Canada: Destilig Enterprises.

Little Wolf, Stephanie, n.d., ‘Precolumbian tribal dogs in the Americas’, online at: http://www.native-languages.org/dogs.htm. (Includes a short bibliography.)

Marion Schwartz, 1997, A History of Dogs in the Early Americas, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Russo, Juniper, 2012, ‘Native American dog breed profiles: Many still play a role in modern native culture,’ online at http://voices.yahoo.com/native-american-dog-breed-profiles-11375158.html

‘Dog breeds originating in N. America’ online at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category%3ADog_breeds_originating_in_North_America

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About LiteraryDogs

I write and read about dogs, and admire dogs in print; ergo 'LiteraryDogs'. If you have some or all of these same sentiments, let's share our reading/writing knowledge and canine literary insights. My own writings are about Tibetan mastiffs, but I'm flexible and enjoy all dogs.
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