Central Asian Village Dogs are very special dogs. While they might not look like much—they are sort of a drab color, and they look a little bit like coyotes—they are a gem in the dog world. They are suspected to be the closest living relative to the earliest ancestors of domestic dogs. Essentially, this means Central Asian Village Dogs are genetically the closest thing to the canines that ancient humans let into their camp thousands and thousands of years ago. More specifically, Central Asian Village Dogs can trace their ancestry over 15,000 years. Now, that’s quite the family tree.
People would have a hard time finding a Central Asian Village Dog to bring into their family—they’d have to travel to Central Asia to pick one up. These dogs are rarely bred on purpose; they generally just populate on their own. They can be both domesticated and undomesticated, and they can be found curling up in homes, at the campfires of their humans, or rummaging through the trash. They get along well with other dogs because some of them are still relatively feral and live in packs. In addition, they are generally friendly dogs if people are lucky enough to have one trust them. Keep in mind that feral dogs and companion dogs are very different. If someone traveling in Central Asia finds a dog running around with other dogs that look like Central Asian Village Dogs—don't touch them! Dogs like that are wild and do not respond to humans like domesticated dogs.
Central Asian Village Dogs don't have a breed standard like other breeds—they can come in many colors, a variety of sizes, and can have short or medium length fur. People are unlikely to find them to have as pets; however, if they were to stumble across some, Central Asian Village Dogs make fine companions as long as they are obtained as little puppies and raised with humans. Prospective owners are unlikely to find a breeder of these dogs because they have developed in rural areas and are often strays. Rather than sought after and kept as pets, Central Asian Village Dogs should be appreciated for their historical and genetic significance. Without their contribution to the doggie gene pool, it is possible we wouldn't have the myriad of breeds that we love and appreciate today.
Central Asian Village Dogs contain the highest levels of genetic diversity, and they are the furthest away (genetically speaking) from European dog breeds.
Explore some Embark dogs that share Central Asian Village Dog ancestry.