I apologize for intruding on your ng but I have a question about dog breeding from a scientific perspective. I am debating with someone about the length of time it would take to get every breed of dogs from 25 to 50 muts at the pound? Is this even possible? If I gave you 50 muts...when could you develop every major breed we have today? Thank you for responding!
When the ancient war dogs did battle on Tue, 5 Aug 2003 18:53:46 -0400, "Routerider" (Email Removed) did speak the following bit of wisdom:
I am debating with someone about the length of time it would take to get every breed of dogs from ... pound? Is this even possible? If I gave you 50 muts...when could you develop every major breed we have today?

Well, you might be able to recreate some of the newer breeds fairly quickly. However, please note that many breeds were developed from other breeds or types of dogs that are now extinct in the world. And seeing as how a few breeds of dogs have existed basically in their present form for THOUSANDS of years, I'd say that you what you ask would be pretty impossible to accomplish...
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I apologize for intruding on your ng but I have a question about dog breeding from a scientific perspective. I ... possible? If I gave you 50 muts...when could you develop every major breed we have today? Thank you for responding!

No, 50 dogs wouldn't be anywhere near sufficient to replicate even just a few breeds. You may be able to get dogs that resemble some of the more common breeds in shelters, such as Labs, Huskies, German Shepherds, and pit bulls. You almost certainly could not get anything resembling a Pharoah Hound, Chinese Crested, Deerhound, Clumber Spaniel, etc.

Christy
I apologize for intruding on your ng but I have a question about dog breeding from a scientific perspective. I ... pound? Is this even possible? If I gave you 50 muts...when could you develop every major breed we have today?

Given 50 mutts and perhaps 25-30 years, you might and I do emphasize MIGHT* be able to create a single new breed, which might or might not resemble any existing breed very much. Note that the resulting breed would be very inbred as a founding population of 50 is a pretty small one, although breeds *have been developed from less.

As far as re-creating every existing breed, forget it. There are many genes that are rare-to-nonexistent in the general population of dogs, but are common in a particular breed. Your theoretical founding population of 50 is going to have a maximum of 100 different alleles at a given locus (um... "locus" pretty much corresponds to what most people think of as a "gene"; an "allele" is a particular form of a gene).
Think about a Dalmatian's spots maybe not a good example, as that's an exaggerated form of ticking, which DOES occur in other breeds but I'm going to use it anyway :-). If the ticking/spotting allele doesn't occur in your founding population of dogs, there's really no chance you're going to get it back it was probably originally caused by a mutation, and it's unlikely that a similar mutation will occur in your population.
JFWIW,
Dianne
I apologize for intruding on your ng but I have a question about dog breeding from a scientific perspective. I ... possible? If I gave you 50 muts...when could you develop every major breed we have today? Thank you for responding!

50 mutts between them can't contain all the different genetic traitsthat make up the several hundred breeds that exist in the world. That would be too easy.
That doesn't mean that it's impossible, just that you'd have to recreate many of the breeds the hard way, in other words the way they came into existence in the first place - selective breeding according to function and performance, taking advantage of spontaneous mutations, selection for specific characteristics, developing some breeds then developing others from them, etc. My guess is that it might even take pretty nearly as long as it took the first time.
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I apologize for intruding on your ng but I have a question about dog breeding from a scientific perspective. I ... would take to get every breed of dogs from 25 to 50 muts at the pound? Is this even possible?

No, I really don't think it is.
Most dogs at the pound are mixes of pre-existing breeds, usually very commons ones. Some breeds of dog were developed from other breeds that no longer exist, and still others are very primative and were developed mainly by foces of nature and have traits rarely found in other breeds. You cannot regain genes that have been selected out. Therefore, starting with a bunch of mixed breed dogs you already have a more limited gene pool that that with which dogs in general started originally. You can't breed Labs and GSDs and get a wolf.
Could you get some dogs that are similar to one or two breeds? Potentially. Depends what you started with. But if the traits aren't pre-existing in your population (expressed or latent) you can't make them appear.

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.. I am debating with someone about the length of time it would take to get every breed of dogs from 25 to 50 muts at the pound? Is this even possible?

It's not possible.
An integral (and scientific) part of each breed includes function in the form of breed character and natural drive to do the job of the goal breed. Additionally the specific structure, correct coat, climatic adaptations and size are all important parts of what makes the breed type successful for it's job. Several hundreds of breeds and the variations they come in simply cannot be made from 50 starter dogs. Even when you have breeds that no longer work in those functions, they do have vestigial character and traits that are part of what makes them signature breeds for experienced owners.

A basenji that barks with the voice of a mastiff; a border collie couch potato without eye; an English Bulldog that is hyper and works nonstop; a German Shepherd dog that is skittish and has a voice like coon hound; a Golden that is independent and indifferently nondemonstrative to its owners; a cloying and clingy Komondor that doesn't know a stranger and wants to sit in everyone's lap?

No... I don't think an approximation of the true breed is possible without the correct breed character. And some of the extinct ancestral dogs of the more primitve breeds that exist today probably hold the genetic keys to success but they are no more.

Janice
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