Missing your dog

Lost Dog: 9 Best Tips To Find A Missing Dog Fast

A lost dog scenario is nearly every dog parent’s worst nightmare. With so many potential reasons why dogs run away, it’s no wonder about one third of all dogs go missing at some point in their life1. If your dog is missing right now, trust us, we’ve been there. It’s understandable if you feel panicky, anxious or scared. Our advice? Pause, take a few deep breaths and try to stay calm. A positive mindset is one of your greatest tools on the search for your dog.

Table of contents
  • What are the chances of finding a lost dog?
  • How to find a lost dog
    • 1. Check at home first
    • 2. Call and verify your lost dog’s microchip contact information
      • How to find a lost dog with a microchip?
    • 3. Determine your search radius
    • 4. Search the area where the dog was lost
    • 5. Report your dog missing and contact local shelters
  • Always know where your dog is
    • 6. Use Facebook and other social media networks
    • 7. Make and distribute lost dog posters
      • Do ‘lost dog’ posters really help people find their pets?
    • 8. Consider other options to find a lost dog
    • 9. Don’t give up!
  • How to find a lost dog at night
  • How to find a lost dog with a Tractive GPS Dog Tracker
  • What to do if you find a lost dog
    • Beware of dog theft scams
  • How to ensure that your dog is never lost again:
  • The best case scenario for lost dogs

Below, you’ll find out how to find a lost dog. But first, here are some encouraging lost dog facts to reassure you:

What are the chances of finding a lost dog?
  • 93% of lost dogs (in a survey by the ASPCA) were eventually recovered2
  • 90% is the likelihood of finding a lost dog within the first 12 hours
  • 49% of dog parents found their canine friend by searching the neighborhood
  • 16% of lost dogs manage to find their way back home
  • 15% of dog parents found their dogs thanks to a microchip or ID tag
  • 6% of dog parents found their dogs at animal shelters
  • A lost dog can potentially survive months or even years on their own
  • A GPS dog tracker is the #1 way to prevent or find a lost dog

So if you have a lost dog, start your search right away to boost your chances of finding them. Your dog might even return on their own, using scent to guide their way. Even the most domesticated dogs can travel long distances and survive by scavenging for food and water until they are home again. Fear not. You have very good chances of being reunited with your dog again. And to avoid the stress and worry, you can rely on a GPS dog tracker that can always show you where your dog is.

For peace of mind, follow your dog’s every step. The Tractive GPS Dog Tracker (pictured above) uses GPS tech 🛰️ to help you pinpoint📍 the location of your dog 🐕 anywhere in the world. 🌎

Here’s some feedback Rachel shared with us about finding her dog Lola with Tractive GPS:

I lost Lola in Delamere forest. I started looking for her in the opposite direction; however, on the app I could see her coming towards me. Then, 30 seconds later I could see her in the distance on the horizon. I was so relieved! Tractive gives me peace of mind!

Track My Dog with Tractive GPS

How to find a lost dog

1. Check at home first

If your dog is missing, first check your home and your immediate surroundings. Is your dog scared? They may be hiding nearby. Could they have gotten stuck somewhere? Check inside the:

  • closets
  • shed/garage
  • pool
  • cars
  • basement/attic
  • garden

and anywhere else your four-legged friend might be. Ask friends or family to help you search. Bring your dog’s favorite treats or toy with you to lure them out of hiding. Place your dirty clothes or your dog’s bedding outside to attract your dog using familiar scents.

2. Call and verify your lost dog’s microchip contact information

If your lost dog has been microchipped, call the microchip company to make sure your contact info is up to date. That way if someone finds your dog and brings them into a vet or shelter, the microchip ID can be scanned and they can look you up in the microchip database. If your contact info is correct and all goes well, you may receive a call in case your lost dog is found.

Tell the microchip company that your dog is missing so they can alert local animal shelters. If you know the microchip ID number but not the company, use the universal pet microchip lookup. You can also register your contact details in microchip databases such as:

  • Free Pet Chip Registry (911PetChip)
  • Pet Link
How to find a lost dog with a microchip?

Remember, only 15% of lost dog parents found their dog thanks to a microchip or ID tag. You can’t rely on a microchip alone to find your dog. Microchips do not contain any GPS or other technology that would help you track or locate your dog in real time. A microchip’s only job is to identify a missing dog’s details in case they are lost and found.

3. Determine your search radius

Next, before you expand your search for your lost dog, ask yourself these questions:

  • Did your dog go missing near home, or in an unfamiliar area?
  • Was your dog frightened away by something, or looking for an adventure?
  • Are there places or people nearby you know your dog may have gone to visit?
  • Are there dangers nearby, places where your pet could get stuck or in trouble?
  • How far do you realistically think your dog could have traveled in the amount of time they’ve been lost?
  • Is your dog active and fit and likely to have run further, or laid-back and less active?
  • How long has your dog been running?

The answers to these questions can help you narrow down your search radius and search smarter.

Caution: Be careful not to jump to conclusions that may cause you to give up your search. For example, don’t assume your dog was kidnapped or attacked. It could very well be they got distracted by a wild animal, or are stuck in a neighbor’s fence down the road.

4. Search the area where the dog was lost

If your dog has not returned to you yet, it’s time to take action to bring them home. Searching the immediate surroundings and larger radius of where your dog was lost will increase your chance of finding them. Here are some tips to help you on your search:

  • Call your dog’s name: Call your dog’s name clearly and calmly – you don’t want to frighten your dog further by making them think you’re angry.
  • Ask others to help you search: Ask family, friends, neighbors, or others nearby to assist you in the search. If a stranger finds your dog, ask them to call and inform you first before they approach the dog. An unknown person approaching a lost dog could make them even more afraid.
  • Bring clear photos of your dog: Show your dog’s picture to neighbors and other people you come across; leave them a copy of the photo with your phone number on the back.
  • Make sure one person stays home: While everyone is out searching, ensure that at least one person stays home to receive your dog should they come back on their own.
  • Keep your door open: If your dog was lost at home, or while staying at a friend’s house or holiday home, be sure to leave the house door and gate open, so that they can return home on their own.
  • Bring your dog’s favorite toy or treat: Dogs can follow scents for miles, so place their favorite blanket, bed, or chew-toy outside the front door of your house. Also bring toys and treats with you on your search.
  • Retrace your path: Revisit the areas you recently or frequently walk with the dog – you may find that they have returned to these familiar areas in their search for you.
  • Ask the locals if anyone has seen your dog: While you are searching the area where your dog was lost, ask people you come across if they have seen your dog recently. Leave your phone number with them in case they do find or see the dog.
  • Expand your search: If you still have not located your dog, expand your search to the wider area. Drive through the neighborhood to cover more ground if necessary.

5. Report your dog missing and contact local shelters

Call local animal shelters, pet rescue centers, dog wardens, animal control and any other similar organizations in your area to report your dog missing and to see if anyone has already turned your dog in to one of these facilities.

Use Petco Lost Love in the US or the National Pet Register in the UK to report your dog missing in the national database. There you can also search through found dog postings to see if anyone has spotted your furry friend.

Always know where your dog is

Follow every step in real-time with unlimited range. Get alerts if they wander too far. Keep them happy & healthy with Wellness Monitoring. And let others – like walkers or sitters – keep an eye on your dog too.

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Announce on your social media networks that your dog is missing, and include the following information in the post:

  • several photos of your dog
  • date and area your dog was last seen
  • information about your dog’s temperament – for example, are they friendly, or fearful?
  • your contact info, including phone number

Be sure to share the post in any relevant Facebook groups for lost/missing dogs/pets in your area.

7. Make and distribute lost dog posters

Make and print paper lost dog flyers with your dog’s information that you can post around your neighborhood and/or the area where your dog was lost. Use large, bright, neon paper if possible so the flyer will be more visible. A good lost pet sign includes:

  • Description of the dog, including any special or recognizable features
  • A photo of the dog
  • Collar tag details
  • Last known location
  • Microchip ID number
  • Your contact details
  • Reward details

Tip: To help, we’ve created a free lost dog poster template to download and use immediately! Download here: Free Lost Dog Poster Template

Plaster the lost dog posters all over telephone poles in the area and make a large sign to place in your front yard or on your front door.

Hang the lost dog flyer on bulletin boards, at local coffee shops and stores, vet practices, pet stores, animal shelters and animal hospitals.

If you want to take this one step further, try car tagging as a means to help inform the community of your lost pet.

Tip: PawBoost is a service that helps you report your lost dog, post to local lost & found pet Facebook pages, alert local community members, print a lost dog flyer and more.

Do ‘lost dog’ posters really help people find their pets?

Yes! There are many stories you can read online about how printed lost dog posters really helped reunite dog parents with their four legged friend. Even in the age of social media, paper flyers are effective. So use both digital and physical lost log posters for best results.

8. Consider other options to find a lost dog

If you still haven’t found your missing dog, it’s time to get creative. These ideas may help you to bring your canine buddy home:

  • Pay to put out a missing dog notice in your local newspaper or radio.
  • Hire a pet detective or missing animal response specialist.
  • Offer a reward, and be (relatively) generous.
  • Call or visit animal shelters each day.
  • Use other lost dog websites and apps, such as Fido Finder or Pet Amber Alert.
  • Hire a sniffer dog to help you find your lost dog.
  • Contact animal control to find out if they’ve seen your dog.
  • Hang up lost dog posters at the vet in case your dog has been injured and brought in by a kind stranger.

9. Don’t give up!

It can be easy to get discouraged if your dog goes missing for any significant amount of time. But many worried dog parents like yourself have been in your shoes and were eventually successfully reunited with their beloved dogs again. No matter if it takes hours, days, weeks, or months, do not lose hope that you can and will find your dog someday.

Watch the video below for some inspiring stories of lost dogs who were reunited with their families 🐕🏠❤️

How to find a lost dog at night

Looking for a lost dog at night? Here are some tips to help:

  1. Determine your search radius by considering things like your dog’s fitness level, attitude, personality, favorite places and people, or what might have caused them to run off. Get a map and mark off your targeted search area to make your search more efficient.
  2. Make sure you’ve already completed the steps above, such as making flyers, alerting nearby vets and shelters, posting on lost pet websites and social media and reporting your pet lost.
  3. Gather a few close friends and family and others who know your dog to help you on your search. Split up so you can each cover a different area.
  4. Bring a flashlight or headlamp to help you search in the dark.
  5. Call your dog by their name.
  6. Leave your dog’s favorite items like water, food, toys or treats in the spot where your dog ran off. Continue checking that spot, in case your dog returns.
  7. Don’t chase them – this would only make them more anxious or stressed. Let them come back to you.

How to find a lost dog with a Tractive GPS Dog Tracker

If your missing dog is equipped with a Tractive GPS Dog Tracker, great! Here’s how to locate and bring your dog home safe:

  1. Turn on LIVE Mode (if it’s not already on) to get rapid, real-time location updates.
  2. Check where your dog has been in the past few hours using Location History – they might still be they’re still in the area.
  3. Tell friends, family and neighbors to track together with you.
  4. Remember that you can share location with anyone (for example, the police) who can help retrieve your dog.
  5. Use Find Mode to pinpoint your dog’s location – really useful if they’re showing as nearby but you can’t see them.

What to do if you find a lost dog

What if you are the one who finds a lost dog? Here are some tips in case you find yourself in that scenario:

  • If the dog won’t come near you: take a photo of the dog and post it to social media with a description and location of the dog. Share it in lost & found dog groups on Facebook.
  • Using calm body language, encourage the dog to come to you. Turning sideways and moving slowly can help the dog to feel less intimidated by you. Offering a treat can help.
  • Do not chase or run after the dog.
  • Try opening your car door and inviting the dog to go on a car ride in an excited voice. The dog may jump happily into the back of your vehicle.
  • If the dog is aggressive or otherwise difficult to catch, contact animal control for assistance.
  • Once you have the dog, keep them safely contained until you find their caretaker. A leash, fenced area, or room in your home are helpful here.
  • Make sure they have access to plenty of fresh water, fresh air and ventilation, and a comfortable temperature. Beware of heat stroke in dogs.
  • Keep the dog separated from any other pets in your home (for the safety of all animals involved).
  • In case the dog is injured or sick, take them to a nearby animal hospital or vet for treatment. The vet can also scan for a microchip to identify the family of the dog. Note that you might have to cover any related costs.
  • Check the dog’s collar tags for a phone number, microchip ID, or any other information. Use this info to look up and contact the dog’s parents.
  • In case you can’t reach the dog’s guardian, contact nearby animal shelters, animal control, and vet clinics to let them know you’ve found a lost dog.
  • Create ‘found dog’ posters and post them around your neighborhood or wherever the dog was found. Make digital found dog posts and distribute them across your social media platforms.
  • Register the found dog on a service like Petco Love Lost.

Beware of dog theft scams

If you’ve found a lost dog, be aware that dog thieves may try to contact you, pretending the dog is theirs, in order to kidnap the dog and sell them. This is especially possible in case the dog belongs to a rare breed. So when posting on websites like craigslist.org, post a brief description of the dog and ask the person to give you specific information about the dog in order to prove their relationship to the dog.

Hint: If someone is claiming a dog is theirs, let them prove it by using their real name. If you know the dog’s name, do not give that information upfront to anyone who seems suspicious. A dog kidnapper will most likely not know the dog’s name.

How to ensure that your dog is never lost again:

You would probably like to avoid this situation and prevent your dog from ever getting lost again. Makes 100% sense. So be sure to do the following, to prevent your dog from getting lost (again):

  1. Ensure your dog is always wearing a high quality collar with a dog tag that contains your phone number and address.
  2. Microchip your dog and equip them with a GPS tracker.
  3. Take frequent walks with your dog so that they get enough exercise and satisfy their curiosity and love for adventure.
  4. Keep your dog safe in a special dog seat or container during car rides.
  5. Check your gate or fence regularly for weak spots where they could possibly escape.
  6. Take photos of your dog so that you have them in case they go missing.

The best case scenario for lost dogs

Ideally, your dog would always be wearing a GPS dog tracker, which would let you to locate them within seconds. With a Tractive GPS tracker and the Tractive GPS app, you can keep your dog safe and sound with all these features:

  • LIVE Mode – get real-time location updates every 2-3 seconds.
  • Unlimited Range – follow your dog no matter how far they go, across the whole world
  • Virtual Fence – be alerted in case your dog leaves a safe space, like your yard
  • Location History – see where your dog has been in the past 365 days, and discover where they hang out a lot
  • Family Sharing – let friends, family, dog-sitters and walkers track together with you
  • Light & Sound – make it easier to spot your dog when it’s dark out

Get Tractive GPS

Get a Tractive GPS tracker to get peace of mind knowing you’ll be able to follow your dog’s every step. And sign up for the Tractive newsletter for more helpful information, plus special offers. And in case you’re actively looking for your dog, we’ve got our fingers crossed for you.

Now you know how to find a lost dog. Share this article with a friend:

Pet Death: Why Missing Your Dog Is Normal

Dogs hold a special place in our hearts and families. We celebrate their birthdays, take extra effort in keeping them happy and healthy, and even lean on them for emotional support when life gets tough.

As much as we love our dogs, we know that, at some point, we will inevitably experience the pain and grief of a beloved dog’s death. Make no mistake about it—grief over a pet’s death is real and no different than grief over the loss of another loved one.

Grief is a powerful and individualized emotion with no timetable. Understanding the grieving process and learning healthy coping strategies can help you manage your own grief over your dog’s death.

The Grieving Process

The grieving process is not necessarily a straight line. It can twist and turn and go in cycles. How we grieve a dog’s death depends on many factors, like our own personalities and the circumstances of the death. Therefore, your grief may look different from someone else’s.

Although everyone experiences grief differently, there are some common emotions associated with grief. Denial, for example, is a common initial emotion soon after a dog’s death. Once reality sets in, profound sadness and grief can bring on many other emotions, including guilt, loneliness, depression and even self-criticism. Grief can also manifest itself through appetite loss, insomnia and obsessive thoughts of the pet. If the death was traumatic, grief may cause nightmares and panic.

Whatever emotions you feel after your dog’s death, remember that they are normal and nothing to be ashamed of. Also, realize that your grief’s intensity will likely decrease over time.

Coping Strategies

As you grieve, you may ask yourself, “How do I fill this empty feeling? Should I even try to?” Grief’s personal nature means there are no “one size fits all” answers to these questions, or even a timetable for answering them.

Even if there are no clear-cut answers, here are a few healthy coping strategies to consider:

  • Set aside time to grieve.

  • Write down how you’re feeling.

  • Volunteer at a local animal shelter.

  • Spend quality time with your loved ones.

  • Contact pet loss hotlines or support groups.

  • Make a scrapbook of happy times with your dog.

  • Seek professional counseling to process your grief.

  • Take care of yourself with a healthy diet, exercise, and sleep.

If you have other pets, maintain a normal routine for them, and give them lots of love. If you have children, talk honestly about your dog’s death, keeping the conversation at their comprehension level. Allow them to see you grieve so they know that it’s okay to feel sad or cry.

The question about getting another pet is a common one. Whether you decide to get another dog, and when the time is right to do so, is a personal decision. If you do decide to get another dog, realize that you are not being disloyal to your previous dog. You are simply allowing yourself to love another pet.

Grieving your dog’s death is normal and natural. As you grieve, seek out positive ways to move forward in your life while keeping a special space in your heart for your dog.

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10 Facts About Dog Psychology You Didn't Know

Science and education

Over the past 10 years, we have learned more about dogs than in the previous century - but much of what has long been known to scientists is still a secret for ordinary dog ​​owners. Practicing dog psychologists Tatiana Vishnyakova, founder of the Strawberry Fields Kind School of Canine Language, and Maria Mizernitskaya, author of the If dog could talk dog blog, have collected 10 of the most interesting facts about the thinking of our four-legged friends, supported by the results of scientific observations and research. nine0006

1. Dogs do not feel guilty

Everyone is familiar with the situation: after a dog has done something “bad” and noticed that the owner is dissatisfied with this act, he begins to show with all his appearance that he is “ashamed” - presses his ears and tail, turns his head away, looks away and looks embarrassed. If a person behaves in this way, we unambiguously consider it as a manifestation of guilt and awareness of the wrongness of their actions. It is tempting to interpret the behavior of a dog in the same way, but in its language it means “Let's not quarrel!”, “Look how small and defenseless I am!”. With her behavior, she tries to calm the angry owner and prevent the development of the conflict, the pets use the same tactics when faced with the aggression of other animals. Dogs do not feel guilty because their understanding of what is "good" and what is "bad" is different from ours. In order for the dog to learn to understand what is acceptable and correct for the owner, it must be taught this, and not shamed and punished. nine0003

2. Dogs need impressions

In order for a dog's life to be full and harmonious, it needs many impressions: olfactory, visual, gustatory, tactile and mental. This is necessary for all dogs, regardless of age, breed and size. Thanks to the balance of mental and physical stress, calm and joyful interaction with the owner, a rich but not overloaded environment, the puppy will develop correctly, and the behavior of an adult dog will be pleasant and predictable - he will not start looking for new experiences, running away on a walk, picking up edible and inedible on the street and destroy the house. Responsible breeders of purebred dogs always work with puppies as soon as they become interested in the outside world, gradually, even before moving into the family, introducing new smells, objects and surfaces into their lives. This helps the animal to adapt faster and feel more confident, which will affect his entire future life. nine0003

3. Dogs know how to make friends

An important factor influencing the quality of life of a dog is the opportunity to contact with relatives. Between animals can be different relationships - from "stay away from me" and "hello-bye" to a real strong friendship. The parameters by which they choose their friends remains a mystery to us, this is not affected by size, age and breed. Dogs living together will not always feel comfortable together - living in the same family does not guarantee a good relationship. Friendship between dogs implies that they enjoy spending time together, look out for each other on walks (sometimes they even have meeting places, and, having learned the walk schedule, they do not want to leave it until they wait for a friend), trust, share toys and join in conflict situations. nine0003

4. Dogs are superstitious

Dogs are simply obsessed with signs: they are able to establish a connection between events and their consequences and memorize whole chains of symbols preceding some action (for example, a walk or the return of the owner). Causal relationships are built differently for them - for example, it has been experimentally proven that they do not understand how gravity or other hidden forces that are obvious to humans work. But they are able to achieve their goal, fixing the slightest correlations that may be of interest to them (or vice versa, they are fraught with danger), and use the trial and error method. Often, owners attribute fantastic properties to their pets: the ability to read minds, feel the owner's return home, or the ability to count. But in fact, dogs are very good at observing, remembering and, based on this, predicting. Therefore, the best thing that can be done for their well-being and psychological comfort is to try to create the most predictable world, including a constant daily routine, the same host reactions to certain events and daily small rituals. nine0003

5. Dogs are not capable of revenge

The fact that people attribute vindictiveness to dogs is one of the biggest problems in dealing with them. Of course, the credibility of a being who, without any hesitation, lovingly rips a chosen new wallpaper from the wall, can be undermined. A person experiences disappointment, resentment and annoyance when a beloved pet spoils things, and begins to see malicious intent in this - it seems that the dog planned everything on purpose, in order, for example, to avenge the refusal to play. In fact, the reality is more prosaic: bad behavior is often attributed to boredom, fear of being alone, and the fact that the animal does not recognize the value of wallpaper. For him, your sneakers or headphones are an interesting educational game that the world has to offer. You can solve this problem without a complex psychological confrontation: by hiding things that are dear to you, and by offering your pet a legal activity so that it can occupy its mind while you are busy or absent. In the case of defecation at home, the problem often lies in health, young age, or too infrequent walks. nine0003

6. Dogs can handle anxiety on their own

Dogs have a wonderful built-in ability to calm themselves and others in times of crisis or arousal. To relax and collect their thoughts, they need something to nibble, chew or tear. During the work of the jaws, the endings of the vagus nerve are stimulated, which, when activated, releases a chemical that is a natural sedative. If the dog sees that someone from his environment is anxious or a conflict is brewing, he may begin to yawn or try to separate the overexcited parties with his body, sticking himself between them. Often the owners take this behavior for jealousy, but in fact, the dog can take any rapprochement for a quarrel. Even if someone is just trying to hug, it is his duty to prevent it. nine0003

7. It is important for dogs to feel safe

The need for safety is one of the basic needs for a dog. Her dissatisfaction leads to behavior problems: the pet becomes aggressive, as he has to defend himself, anxious, withdrawn, lack of initiative, his cognitive abilities decrease. A study of the pulse of dogs in different situations showed that they become anxious, even if they are approached in a straight line at a quick pace (it is considered polite for them to approach in a large arc) - what to say about more serious stress. A trusting relationship with the most significant social partner (the owner and his family) plays a crucial role in creating a sense of security. nine0003

8. Dogs are empathic

Dogs are able not only to build complex relationships, but also to share the feelings of others, to show empathy. Dogs are especially sensitive to the pain or fear of their relatives - when others are rudely treated, pulled or punished in their presence, they can run away. Among all animals, dogs are the absolute champions in understanding not only body language, but also the emotions of people. Everyone is familiar with the phrase “dogs feel fear”: in fact, their sensitive nose is able to capture the adrenaline that the human body produces. nine0003

9. If dogs growl, it's not bad

In addition to the language of movement, dogs use various sounds during communication: bark, whine, howl, honk, puff, snort and growl. If we can interpret other sounds more or less correctly, then difficulties arise with the latter. Growling scares people, many react aggressively to this method of communication, scold and punish the pet, thinking that this is how they show who is in charge here. But 20 years ago, scientists around the world came to the conclusion that the relationship between a dog and a person is not a hierarchical ladder, where everyone tries to take a higher place. nine0003

When a dog growls, he is communicating that the situation is unpleasant for him, not showing rudeness. He asks to increase the distance or not to encroach on his toys or place. Also, these sounds can indicate that the pet has problems: perhaps he feels vulnerable, insecure, or in pain.

10. Dogs and I are similar, but at the same time very different

We are physiologically similar in many ways (dogs also feel the taste of food, pain, heat and cold), we perceive the world around us in a similar way, but at the same time we differ greatly on the issue of values. You need to remember this and be sympathetic to the behavior typical of their species. To avoid misinterpretations and blunders, it is necessary to study dogs, observe them with an open mind, and try to understand their needs and intentions. It is the responsibility of the owner to carefully and carefully build relationships, provide protection and respect the boundaries of the dog. nine0003

Instructions: how to adopt a pet from a shelter

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Morozova Xenia,

A dog is not just a friend of man.

Scientists have determined that she is man's oldest friend
  • Paul Rincon
  • BBC

Sign up for our "Context" newsletter: it will help you understand the events. nine0003

Image copyright Getty Images

Humans domesticated the dog just after the end of the last ice age, before any other animal. This is evidenced by the results of a study by the Laboratory of Ancient Genomics at the Francis Crick Institute in London.

Data published in the journal Science sheds light on the blind spots in the history of man's longtime companion.

11 thousand years ago, dogs already lived next to people in many places of the Northern Hemisphere, and even then they were divided into five varieties. nine0003

Despite the widespread settlement of European dogs during the colonial era, the descendants of ancient local breeds have survived in North and South America, Asia, Africa and Oceania.

"When you think about it, it's amazing: the people of that time, hunters and gatherers, first tamed a wild predator. Wolves are still feared in many parts of the world. So why did people do this? How did this happen? What is special about a dog? which we wanted an answer," says research team leader Dr. Pontus Skoglund. nine0003

An international team of scientists examined the genomes (complete sets of DNA in the nuclei of cells) taken from the remains of 27 ancient dogs found in different archaeological cultures and compared them with each other and with the genes of modern dogs.

In part, the genetic evolution of dogs repeats the human one, since people moved along with their four-legged companions. But there are also important differences.

Image caption,

The ancestors of the Rhodesian Ridgeback lived in Africa

For example, in the early era in Europe there were numerous varieties of dogs that genetically descended from two main breeds that lived in the Middle East and Siberia. nine0003

And then at some point, presumably with the onset of the Bronze Age, they were all supplanted by one genetic line that had common ancestors and spread widely throughout the continent. Moreover, this did not correlate with the migration of people.

"If we look back 4-5 thousand years ago, we will see that in Europe there was a wide variety in terms of dog breeds. However, all the numerous and even more dissimilar modern breeds originate from one small group of animals" , says study participant Anders Bergström. nine0003

Analysis of the genomes of Rhodesian Ridgebacks from southern Africa and Chihuahuas and Xoloitzcuintles from Mexico confirmed their local origin.

Image copyright, SPL

Image caption,

The New Guinea Singing Dog is named for its melodic howl that begins with a high note

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What was that?

We quickly, simply and clearly explain what happened, why it's important and what's next. nine0003


End of Story Podcast

East Asian dogs have a more complex pedigree. Chinese breeds arose as a result of crossing between the ancestors of the Australian dingoes and New Guinean singing dogs with breeds from Europe and the Russian steppes.

The singing dog is so named for the melodic howl that begins with a high note.

"Dogs are our closest and longest partners in the animal kingdom. Studying the DNA of ancient dogs reveals how far back our common history goes and where it began," says study co-author Gregor Larson of the University of Oxford. nine0003

It is generally accepted that dogs are descended from wolves that accidentally wandered into human camps, most likely in search of food. After taming, they began to serve people as hunting assistants and watchmen.

The current study shows that all dogs are descended from one or more closely related now extinct wolf populations.

Learn more