Dogs Decoded

The film showed what I really love about the subject of genetics. It demonstrated how vast and malleable it is, and how its study could benefit us greatly in the long run. I had never heard about the Russian’s Sullimov dog that they developed to have an amazing sense of smell and I would love to learn more about them. It’s remarkable how they were able to breed wild jackals with various dog breeds to create an entirely new breed that suited their needs. I also liked learning about the hog hunters and how they carefully picked certain traits from different breeds in order to make a dog that could not only hunt hogs without fear, but remained a loyal and gentle pet at home.

 I am glad they discussed the fact that all of the cross breeding and strict controlling of genetic has led to health problems among dog breeds, especially pure- breeds. I had no idea that the AKC condoned practices like killing physically different puppies in order to keep the traits that they wanted in a certain breed. That could lead to the development of serious health problems for that breed if their genetics weren’t varied. But unfortunately these problems already arise and then they need to find solutions to these defects and diseases that they themselves have caused. On the bright side this may lead to future developments as far as cures for humans are concerned. If we could help find out how and why these illnesses affect the dogs then we would in turn be able to help ourselves.

 The genetics of dogs also showed how mutations morphed and changed over time, changing the creatures they developed in. It gives us a small glimpse into how we could have mutated over hundreds and thousands of years. It just goes to show how much we need to look into every possible subject to better understand why things work, whether it be the genetic differences from short or tall legs on a dog to how cancer cells affect our genetic code.

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