Chinese Village Dog

Illustration courtesy of the Swedish Kennel Club

Chinese Village Dogs are very special dogs. Originating in China, these dogs have some of the most ancient domestic dog ancestry around, going back over 15,000 years. Now, that’s quite the family tree.

Fun Fact

Village dog populations from East Asian carry more mitochondrial haplotypes than any other village dog populations!

  • Chinese Villiage Dogs at a glance

    Scientific research involving Embark’s founders has found that the genetic diversity of indigenous dogs in Central Asia is considerably higher than in other parts of the world. They remain closely related to their first domesticated ancestors, aren’t artificially selected, and have limited mixing with European dogs. Chinese Village Dogs vary greatly in their size, shape and temperament. They can have short stretches of DNA that match well-known, modern purebred dogs.  This is usually the result of sharing a distant common ancestor, or there could have been a more recent mating with a purebred. Generally, however, they remain relatively untouched by modern breed genetics. Embark is the only dog DNA test that includes diverse village dogs from around the world in its breed reference panel.  As we get more samples of Chinese Village Dogs like yours, we could learn even more about their role in the history and evolution of the domestic dog.
  • About the Chinese Village Dog

    Village dogs – medium-sized dogs with pointy snouts that freely breed and live near people around the world – from present-day Nepal and Mongolia are direct descendants of the first domesticated dogs, which originated at least 15,000 years ago in the same region. Genetic studies observe a clear divergence between village dog populations in East Asia (Vietnam and Island Southeast Asia), Central Asia (Mongolia and Nepal), India, the Middle East (Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar, Turkey, and Afghanistan), and sub-Saharan Africa. Chinese and East Asian village dogs (like yours!) are some of the most genetically diverse dogs on earth, similar to their counterparts in Southeast and Central Asia. Many years ago, when wolves began scavenging our hunting camps, they became gradually attuned to human life. Genetic changes in those wolves over time led to tameness, small body size and early age of first reproduction that soon after yielded what we see today in the Chinese village dogs. Most modern breeds are less than 200 years old, and primarily derive from European dogs. As Embark gets more samples of Chinese village dogs like yours, we may be able to learn even more about their role in the history and evolution of the dog-like what were the pressures that led a wild population of dogs to hitch their futures to us – or – why were dogs the first animal to become domesticated by humans? Thanks to you, we’re even closer to advancing science enough to answer those questions.
  • Physical traits

    Typically, Chinese Village Dogs measure from around 12 to 19 inches at the shoulder. Greater extremes in sizes are not uncommon, however. Smooth, wire-haired, long, and curly coats are all possible in Chinese Village Dogs. Although pricked and erect ears are common, drop or cocked ears are also seen. Tails are curly or straight, and they can vary in length and carriage. 
  • Training and playtime

    Given the wide range of genetic diversity found in these types of dogs, temperaments can vary considerably. Chinese Village Dogs aren’t known for aggression, but they can be prolific guarders. You may have to work on reducing alert barking or wariness with strangers using positive training techniques.   Populations used for hunting will have high prey drives. Off-leash walks for this type of adopted Chinese Village Dog may not be possible until you’ve put the work in with recall training.

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