Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Ep 129: The domestication of the dog and the Australian dingo

The Australian dingo and the New Guinea Singing Dog may be the world's oldest dog breeds.

The study, Genome-wide SNP and haplotype analyses reveal a rich history underlying dog domestication, which was published in Nature and is a major genetic study into the domestication of the dog, was a world-wide effort and had 37 authors - including Dr Alan Wilton, of the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences at UNSW. The study found that the dingo and the New Guinea Singing Dog are the most closely related breeds of modern dogs to the original wolves from which all dog breeds come from. They are also the most like the original domesticated dog.

The study looked at 48,000 sites in the dog genome in hundreds of wolves, almost a thousand dogs from 85 modern breeds and several ancient dog breeds. Dr Wilton, a celebrated scientist in the field of dingo research and conservation who won the Unsung Hero of Science Award in 2004, provided the dingo DNA. The data suggest most dogs were domesticated in the Middle East around 10,000 years ago, rather than in Asia as had been previously thought.

Dingoes separated from other breeds of dog when brought to Australia around 5,000 years ago. However, they never made it to Tasmania, which became isolated from the mainland around 12,000 years ago. It is thought that the dingo out-competed the thylacine (Tasmanian Tigers) leading to its extinction on the mainland.

Other ancient breeds include Chow-Chow, Basenji, Akita, Chinese Shar-Pei, Siberian husky and Alaskan malamut.

I had a great chat to Dr Wilton about this work into the domestication - or as I repeatedly say, domestification... - of the dog and also about his work in dingo studies and conservation.

To listen to this show, tune in here (or press play below):

vonHoldt, B. (2010). Genome-wide SNP and haplotype analyses reveal a rich history underlying dog domestication Nature, 464 (7290), 898-902 DOI: 10.1038/nature08837


  1. I was going to query you about the domesticification thing, but I see that you acknowledged it in your notes above. So is domestification a real word? Love your show. Cheers. Nigel

  2. Stephanie J Little WolfApril 04, 2014 7:25 am

    too bad he use malamutes and siberian huskies instead of more ancient and primitive dogs such as Indogs of India or Alaska Village dogs in Alaska, or of the true Eskimo dog the Greenlander. Malamute DNA is shown to be little related to original indigenous coastal maritime dogs of the far north. Another dog that he should of sampled are the dingoish Carlolina Dog.

  3. Stephanie J Little WolfApril 04, 2014 7:27 am

    also, you have to use RNA for complete analysis

  4. As we draw closer to the front door the dog may start to bark and spin around in circles in excitement. At this point we may get our dog to sit, even though it maybe shaking in excitement.

  5. The last feature to take into consideration when evaluating the design of a transmitter is the resistance of the transmitter to weather. dog training collars reviews

  6. I respect this article for the all around scrutinized content and superb wording. I got so included in this material that I couldn't quit perusing. I am inspired with your work and expertise. Much thanks to you to such an extent. training collar

  7. Many may even appreciate the organization of some different dogs... our oldest is extremely content with the organization of our most youthful and frequently requests that her play. Dog Friendly Beaches

  8. You should make a beeline for a globule search for this one.necklace for dog

  9. Nice Blog !
    Our team at QuickBooks Customer Support Number 1-855-550-7546 plays a significant role in troubleshooting all the problems of QuickBooks in less time so that you can peacefully work on your software.

  10. very nice blogs!!! i have to learning for lot of information for this sites.Sharing for wonderful information. Thanks for sharing this valuable information to our vision. You have posted a trust worthy blog keep sharing

    Horizontal Asymptote
    utsa blackboard
    Special Right Triangles
    Perfect Square Trinomial Formula

  11. To know more about Chief Dr Lucky you can visit his website (
     A friend that suffered from Herpes and was cure with the help of this great herbal doctor Chief Lucky so i decided to contact him for help in getting rid of my families genital herpes virus 1/2 which i did and all i was told to provide was just some useful information and some materials used in preparation of the natural cure and that i did and now i am the happiest person on earth because i am writing this testimony of mine with joy and happiness in my heart to the whole world to know that natural remedy is real because i am a living testimony of Chief Lucky traditional herbal cure and i want you all to contact Chief Lucky via his email: or WhatsApp him +2348132777335 am sure he will help you too.

  12. I generally want quality content and this thing I found in your article. It is beneficial and significant for us. Keep sharing these kinds of articles, Thank you.Dog Collar Accessories Uk

  13. I always believe that one should always share their knowledge to let the people know the real truth. This content is superb in every means.
    dog training brisbane