Dogs, Genetics and Evolution

Although there has been a variety of canines, both wild and domesticated, for many years, selective breeding has provided more and more breeds in recent years. It seems that they have been companions for humans for most of history, being companions, hunters, protectors, lap warmers and so on. A great variety, but also with some startling similarities all the way down to the genetic level.

Dogs In Landscape - Setters and Pointer, George Morland, 1792
Personally, I am more of a cat person. While there are many varieties of cats, there are many more varieties of dogs. And dogs are probably easier to study.

Proponents of evolution have tried to explain the variations by invoking natural selection. That does not explain much, especially when it comes to behavior modifications. Instead, the explanation lies in genetics traced back to the original dog kind. The Creator had all this in mind when he programmed their genes.
The American hairless terrier is one of the newest official dog breeds, recognized by the United Kennel Club in 2004. Just in time, too. Allergies have reached epidemic proportions, forcing many sufferers to miss out on one of life’s basic pleasures. Now an adorable dog is available for them, too—the perfect lap size and no shedding. These dogs’ natural intelligence and calm temperament make them excellent companions. They are also curious, active, courageous, and playful. Humans had a need, and presto, we could breed a dog to meet those needs. Just coincidence?
Centuries ago, English breeders saw another need—a massive dog that could guard, do search and rescue, and assist police work. So the English mastiff was born. It is, in fact, the heaviest breed on record, tipping the scales at 343 pounds (156 kg). These gentle giants have an amiable nature. They love families and desire to please.
Biologists are puzzled how tiny genetic changes can produce so many dog varieties in such a short time.
How could any two animals be more different? And these are just two of the 500 dog breeds around the world!
You can finish reading "Suite Dogs", here.