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Vietnamese Village Dog

Vietnamese Village Dogs are very special dogs. Originating in Vietnam, 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.

Illustration courtesy of the Swedish Kennel Club

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About this Breed

Southeast Asian village dogs are some of the most genetically diverse dogs on earth. Dogs spread from their original in Central Asia 15,000 years ago through East Asia and into Southeast Asia. Studies show that all of those populations retain very high levels of diversity, making them very interesting to study and learn more about the history and genetics of the dog generally. Vietnamese village dogs were then developed into their own distinct breeds and races. For example, the H’mong people in northern Vietnam have a distinct breed with a docked tail that is used for hunting and guarding. Some dogs in the region have also been bred for meat, although this practice is waning in many areas.

In general, very little is known about the history of dogs in Southeast Asia. Due to genetic similarity, we know that they came from East Asia and further spread into the islands of far Southeast Asia, Australia, and Oceania starting over 5,000 years ago. These dogs have not had much recent interbreeding with European dogs, retaining their distinct nature.

As Embark gets more samples of Vietnamese village dogs, we may be able to learn even more about their role in the history and evolution of the dog. Your unique pup can help us advance science!

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