You may take your pet dog for granted, but dogs have a long history as human companions and working partners. Domesticated dogs have been bred for specific traits, far removed from their wolf ancestry. Evolutionary scientists have been able to trace the roots of different dog breeds and the results have been surprising.
Dogs were domesticated in Asia long before dogs were domesticated in America and some of the oldest breeds of dogs primarily originate from Asia. DNA research has found that many dogs in America actually have ancestry which originates from Asia. More dogs were found to have genetic markers relating to Asian ancestry as opposed to European ancestry.
It has been suggested that “dogs came to the Americas with the ancient humans who established pre-Columbian civilizations.” Dogs may have passed across the Bering Strait with early American settlers, this is supported by the presence of “fossil evidence of domesticated dogs which dates back to approximately 10,000 years ago.”
Breeds such as Siberian Husky, Afghan Hound, Shih Tzu, Chihuahuas, and Pekingese, amongst other well known breeds, have origins from Asian regions. Eastern Asia is considered to be the area in which dogs were first domesticated. Specific breeds originate from particular Asian provinces, for instance the Afghan Hound originates from Afghanistan and are renowned for their hunting prowess. Estimates of the age of this breed ranges from 2,000- 6,000 years and DNA supports a very close relationship to Wolf DNA . Http://wordlydogs.com/afghan_hound.php
Research indicates that up to “95% of dog breeds carry identical mitochondrial gene sequences” Mitochondrial genes are passed on through the female line which allows researchers to follow the lineages of different breeds of dogs. http://www.worldlydogs.com/asia.php
It has been considered that Chinese hunter gatherers were the first to domesticate dogs approximately 30,000 years ago, using them as work animals. Animals were bred according to which traits were most valued, helping to create separate breeds of dogs.
Traits which made certain dog breeds more compatible with humans were valued, with dogs displaying valued traits more likely to be bred. Evolutionary scientists such as Savolainen et al (2002) and (2009) found that “ Chinese dogs had the most wolf like genomes.”, Indicating that this is where domestication first appeared. http://www.isciencetimes.com/articles/6322/20131115/dogs-wolf-east-asia-europe-dna