There are many different kinds of dog breeds out there, some unusual, some common, and some incredibly rare. There are also some dogs who, despite having a rather common or popular breed, are still massively unusual from the rest of their kind. This can be due to a rare form of genetic combination, like being a tawny with blue eyes, or it could simply be something like vitiligo on a puppy. Ever think about that? I sure didn’t.
Let’s get one thing out of the way first and foremost. All puppies are good puppies, and all dogs are good dogs. These puppies are also good puppies. Some of these might not be something you’ve ever seen before, like Prague, the Pitbull who, with a jet black coat, is often compared to a panther. Do you know how muscular pitbulls can be? I was taken aback but it was certainly something worth looking at. Without further ado, here are some unusual puppies who deserve all of our affection.
#1 This is a Husky-Pitbull mix. A Husbull.
The Sciencemag did some extensive research into dog breeds!
American Kennel Club descriptions of dog breeds can read like online dating profiles: The border collie is a workaholic; the German shepherd will put its life on the line for loved ones. Now, in the most comprehensive study of its kind to date, scientists have shown that such distinct breed traits are actually rooted in a dog’s genes. The findings may shed light on human behaviors as well.
#2 Getting the eyeliner done
#3 His spots look like freckles.
They continued on to say;
“It’s a huge advance,” says Elaine Ostrander, a mammalian geneticist at the National Human Genome Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, who was not involved with the work. “It’s a finite number of genes, and a lot of them do make sense.”
When the dog genome was sequenced in 2005, scientists thought they would quickly be able to pin down the genes that give every breed its hallmark personality. But they found so much variation even within a breed that they could never study enough dogs to get meaningful results.
#4 This is Zuko, for obvious reasons.
#5 This is Bloomin, a tawny with blue eyes.
The research is incredible!
Evan MacLean, a comparative psychologist at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Noah Snyder-Mackler at the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues began by looking at behavioral data for about 14,000 dogs from 101 breeds. The analyses come from the Canine Behavioral Assessment & Research Questionnaire (C-BARQ), a sort of pet personality quiz developed by James Serpell, an ethologist at the University of Pennsylvania. C-BARQ asks questions like, “What does your dog do when a stranger comes to the door?” to allow owners to objectively characterize 14 aspects of their pet’s personalities, including trainability, attachment, and aggression. Since the survey was developed in 2003, more than 50,000 owners have participated.
#6 This is Brick, an 11-year-old rottweiler with vitiligo
#7 Charlie the Dalmatian likes giving people heart eyes.
#8 This good boy was clearly supposed to be Zoro’s puppy
#9 The puppy printer ran out of ink halfway through
They further explain their methods.
The team matched up these behavioral data for each breed with genetic data about breeds from different sets of dogs. They didn’t look at genetic and behavioral data for individual dogs, but rather averages across a specific breed. In all, the team identified 131 places in a dog’s DNA that may help shape 14 key personality traits. Together, these DNA regions explain about 15% of a dog breed’s personality, with each exerting only a small effect. Trainability, chasing, and a tendency to be aggressive toward strangers were the most highly heritable traits, the scientists report in a paper posted this month on the preprint server bioRxiv.
#10 Her paws are two different colours.
#11 An American Bulldog
#12 Ekko has vitiligo too
And their results are eye-opening.
Because the genetic and behavioral data come from different sets of dogs, the work cannot link a breed’s specific behavioral tendencies to any one gene. “This paper doesn’t call out any particular breed for its behavior. It relies on behaviors that are found in many breeds,” says Heidi Parker, a genome scientist at the National Human Genome Research Institute who, with Ostrander, pioneered some of the early work on dog genomes.
#13 This french bulldog has piercing eyes
#14 This is a rare type of dog breed called the Bergamasco Shepherd.
#15 Prague, the black panther.
#16 These are two different puppies in one.
#17 This is a Bernese Mountain dog
#18 A Mudi, known for their wavy fur.
They finally concluded;
Until more of those connections are made, “I am not sure how widely accepted the results will be,” says Robert Wayne, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. He and dog genetics expert Elinor Karlsson from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester point out that this study finds a much bigger role for genetics in shaping behavior than previous studies and so think more work needs to be done to verify the findings.
#19 Just an average Tibetan Mastiff.
#20 A Xoloitzcuintli is a Mexican hairless dog.
What about you? Would you adopt any of these good boys? Tell us down in the comments!