I believe we can all agree a Great dane and a Chihuahua don’t exactly look alike, right? Yet, these two are in the same specie: Dog (Canis lupus familiaris). How are two very different looking dogs of the same specie?
There are so many stories and theories on dog selection, it’s not even funny. Some theories suggest Shih Tzu dogs came to be because people would keep their ancestors in cages. This would caused stunted growth or malformations contorting the body. Smaller dogs resulting from this horrendous practice were used to breed the next generations and so on. Eventually, a smaller breed of dog was created.
But not every theory suggests such heinous practices. Most of your current breeds came from selective breeding practices. Breeders saw a physical or behavioral trait they much appreciated and would try to find creative ways to display that trait in the next generation. A good working example of this in current use are your synthetic breeds like the Labradoodle.
Sometimes blending two species to create a new one can actually be beneficial. Far too often, homogeneity occurs within a particular breed because the same genes are used to breed the next generation. This is where your hip dysplasia on German shepherds or Labrador retrievers comes from.
Even so, let’s get back to some of these dog breeds. I think, rather than focusing on what makes one dog different from the next, let’s look at what makes them similar.
Dogs are similar in that they are genetically identical and have the same anatomical features.