A Beginner's Guide to the Origins of Dogs

Published On 10/20/2015 Published On 10/20/2015

If you've ever looked a pug straight in its scrunched-up little bastard face and said, "How the hell could you have possibly come into existence?" then we might have some answers for you.

Scientists are now saying that Central Asia โ€” specifically Mongolia and Nepal โ€” may hold answers as to the when and where dogs came into existence. While the data doesn't pinpoint an exact date, scientists place the origins of the species of around 15,000 years ago.

The recent study conducted by scientists at Cornell University studied the DNA of both purebred and street dogs to further unravel the mystery and complexities of this beloved species' origins. According to The New York Times, the study is the first of its kind and apparently sampled "4,500 dogs of 161 breeds and 549 village dogs from 38 countries" studied. 


While the research concludes that the ancestors of our beloved pets probably lived in Central Asia, the idea that domesticated dogs could have walked to Central Asia (ร  la Homeward Bound) is not being ruled out either. 

If you're wondering how the scientists lured the dogs to get to their precious DNA, your gut instinct is on point: food. Adam R. Boyko at Cornell University says that "...the great thing about working with dogs is that if you show up with food you donโ€™t usually have trouble recruiting subjects... we showed up in Puerto Rico at a fishing village and the dogs turned up their noses at roast beef sandwiches."

This directly clashes with the prior accepted theory that dogs originally came from Europe.

Still, no word yet on why exactly Chihuahuas (or, really, any dog under 10 pounds) actually exists. 

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Jeremy Glass is a writer for Thrillist and all he knows is all dogs go to heaven.



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