What’s in a Dog Breed? Science Offers an Answer

Dog Breed Facts There are many breeds that a dog trainer may work with throughout his or her career, some similar in some ways, and others vastly different. The American Association for the Advancement of Science reports that a new “tree of breeds” that maps the origins of almost all dog breeds can show us the relation between two seemingly different types of dogs.

At Dog Trainer College – and in your day-to-day career afterwards – it might be helpful to know where each breed of dog falls on the tree to best understand their dog trainees.

Scientists and biologists at the National Human Genome Research Institute used DNA mapping to understand the genetics of different dog breeds. They spent years collecting samples, analyzing DNA, and charting the historic genetic makeup of the world’s domesticated dog breeds. Today, there are about 350 different breeds, each of which has specific traits, characteristics and behaviors as the result of choices made by dog breeders through the millennia.

The results of these years of mapping and study showed that most breeds fall into about 23 larger categories, which are called clades. There may be dozens of breeds in a clade, and each breed within the clade may share similarities in behavior and physical traits.

When a trainer is working with a certain dog that may be difficult to train, it can be helpful to know that the particular breed is in the same clade as other breeds, which may be easier for the trainer to identify other breeds in the future that may pose equal levels of difficulty. On the other hand, breeds that are easy to train or that excel at specific training duties may all fall in the same clade, as well. That means that identifying and paying attention to the similarities among these breeds may allow you to make more informed decisions when it comes to training approaches in the future.

At Dog Trainer College, it’s important for our students and aspiring dog trainers to be knowledgeable about dog breeds, their traits and characteristics, and their behaviors. We offer a number of trainer education courses to instruct new trainers in the knowledge and skill necessary to succeed as dog trainer. To learn more, call the college today at 812-650-2394.