New study traces origins of dogs to Central Asia

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New Study Traces Origins Of Dogs To Central Asia

Dogs are now ubiquitous, but there is still much debate about where they came from in the first place.

A new study shows strong evidence the animals originated 15,000 years ago in Central Asia.

Previous research has suggested that "dogs' origins can be traced to Europe, the Near East, Siberia and South China," according to the New York Times. However, researchers performing the latest study included a group often overlooked in past inquiries – street dogs.

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While purebreds do account for a significant percentage of the canines existing today, their history goes back only a couple of hundred years, and they are, by design, representative of relatively small gene pools. Dogs roaming the wild, however, have a much longer history and genetic diversity.

By including both sorts, the team was able to identify and analyze nearly 186,000 genetic markers present among the just under 5,400 dogs sampled. Of the 38 countries represented, Nepal and Mongolia showed the greatest variety.

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New study traces origins of dogs to Central Asia

Golden Retriever puppies 

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Puppies on Park Bench

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Seven week old Siberian Husky puppy sleeping.

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Close up of a cute golden retriever puppy

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Wheaten Terrier Puppies Playing 

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I wanna play ... this 8-week-young Beagle puppy said with a waggy tail.

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Four puppies in a row

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A happy and energetic Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppy runs on vibrant green grass.

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English Bulldog puppy 

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Boxer dog balancing treat on its nose.

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Two dogs (Siberian Husky and Pomeranian) cuddling.

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Howling Eurasier puppy

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The image is of a Boston Terrier puppy and a toddler boy approximately 2-5 years of age with blonde hair. The puppy and the boy are staring at each other. 

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Cute Puggle Looking at Camera.

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Spaniel puppies in a basket.

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Beagle puppy lying in a tiny suitcase

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Beagle with ears spread wide 

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Dalmatian puppy standing in a field 

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Cute dachshund puppy 

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American Staffordshire puppy

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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy naps on her blanket.

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White Chihuahua puppy wearing heart shaped sunglasses.

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Chocolate Lab puppy looking out of a basket.

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Puppy taking a break (it is tough to be such a young model!)

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Red puppy with wrinkles, blue eyes, Shar Pei & pit bull type

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Sleeping Chihuahua puppy

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Basset Hound puppy with visor

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Mongrel Dog With a Toy Bone 

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Tiny boston terrier puppy chewing on toys

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A Beagle puppy of 12 weeks running on yellow sand with only 2 feet on the ground

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puppy, red and white, pitbull, amstaff, american staffordshire terrier, cute, inquisitive, poker face

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Boxer puppy with doghouse

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Basset Hound puppy

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Yorkshire Terrier puppy sits by owners feet, on green lawn.

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A young black labrador retriever puppy carries a freshly picked carrot in his mouth.

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German shepherd puppy running through field

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American Staffordshire terrier puppy yawns sitting on wooden boards

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Golden Retreiver puppy girl running in the front yard through the spring green grass on location for adventure playtime and imagination with sunlight and green trees in the background

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Close-up Of Puppy

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A serious black puppy (Pit Bull mix) stares intently at the camera while light from the sun shines behind him.

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Cute puppy with a green bandage

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Ten week old female Golden retriever puppy lying on grass.

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Black and white pit bull puppy.

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Puggle puppy looking at the camera with adorable eyes.

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Shih Tzu puppy running on the sand.

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Akita sleeping on the floor

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French bulldog puppy sleeping with teddy bear

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Spoiled Yorkiepoo Puppy Sitting in Bed of Toys

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Howling eurasier puppy

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Italia, Piedmont, Tortona, Portrait of puppy looking at camera

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Lazy Dog

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From there, diversity lessened in relation to proximity with other central Asian locales showing much greater range and those further afield exhibiting less.

The study's leader doesn't claim their results are definitive, but does note the importance of including less studied dogs in origin analyses.

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