Dogs May Have Come From Central Asia

Dogs May Have Come From Central Asia


Richard Manning—Getty ImagesA Mongolian woman with her caravan of animals about to travel to the Galshar Naadam, Khentii Province, Mongolia.

The study is the largest to date of canine origins

Dogs haven’t always been man’s best friend, and the question of when they were first domesticated is surprisingly complex. A new study sheds some light on the issue, with an international team of scientists pointing to Central Asia as the the best candidate for the origin of today’s pups.

The study, published Tuesday in the journal PNAS, is the most expansive one to date, using three types of DNA gathered from 161 breeds of 4,500 dogs, along with 549 “village dogs”—street and feral dogs that make up an estimated 75% of the world’s total dog population—from 38 countries. Read more.