The Canaan Dog - Progenitor Breed of the Herding Dogs

Photo by Pardo Yigal, Israel -

Progenitor: Canaan Dog (left) and Welsh Corgi

Date: 2200 BC - 1200 BC

Place: Israel, Wales

Characteristics: Keen herders of livestock, sense of order, good memory, high intelligence and trainability, agility

Examples: Border Collie, Old English Sheepdog, Bearded Collie, Collie, Shetland Sheepdog, Belgian Sheepdog, Australian Cattle Dog
An article in THE TIMES, Saturday 14th February 2004, written by Mark Henderson, reported on a presentation made the previous day at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference by Deborah Lynch of the Canine Studies Institute in Aurora, Ohio. Ms Lynch and Jenny Madeoy of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle "combined a genetic map of the similarities and differences between breeds with historical records of the dates at which breeds are known to have emerged to establish the distinct categories and how and when they are likely to have originated. The result is the most scientifically rigorous family tree yet for the canine world, which expands significantly on the seven broad breed groupings used by the Kennel Club."

According to the findings, "every modern breed of dog is descended from one of just ten "progenitor breeds" selected for their peculiar traits hundreds or even thousands of years ago, according to a genetic and historical analysis of the evolution of man's best friend."

The herding dogs are descended from the Canaan Dog, kept in Israel around 2200 BC, and the Welsh Corgi, which originated in Wales in about 1200 BC. They were bred for intelligence, agility and ease of training.
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Last Updated on the 10th April 2004