Why dogs are stupid, yet lovable

This is sort of depressing. Dogs have been bred for generations to favor those slavishly faithful and attention-seeking traits that make them seem so stupid. No one would dare try such a trick with catsimages-5

Dog brains, as reports the The New York Times, “have become exquisitely tuned to our own minds. Scientists are now zeroing in on some of the genes that were crucial to the rewiring of dog brains.

“Their results are fascinating, and not only because they can help us understand how dogs turned into man’s best friend. They may also teach us something about the evolution of our own brains: Some of the genes that evolved in dogs are the same ones that evolved in us.

“To trace the change in dog brains, scientists have first had to work out how dog breeds are related to one another, and how they’re all related to wolves. Ya-Ping Zhang, a geneticist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has led an international network of scientists who have compared pieces of DNA from different canines. They’ve come to the conclusion that wolves started their transformation into dogs in East Asia.

“Those early dogs then spread to other parts of the world. Many of the breeds we’re most familiar with, like German shepherds and golden retrievers, emerged only in the past few centuries.

“Meanwhile, back in China, those early dogs lingered on for thousands of years. Today, they’re known as Chinese native dogs. “The Chinese native dogs live in rural villages, helping humans to guard homes,” Dr. Zhang explained in an e-mail.”

More at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/16/science/dogs-from-fearsome-predator-to-mans-best-friend.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0

2 Replies to “Why dogs are stupid, yet lovable”

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