When you sit down and think about it dogs are simply amazing. It almost seems like they can be bred to be the best at anything. This is because of the repeating sequences in their DNA. The dog is quite like putty in that few changes in this repetition can make a very big difference. If a dog can do something then there is probably a way to mix different dog breeds and create a dog that is even better at whatever the dog was doing in the first place. For example the Dogo was bred to hunt in a very specific way. The mix of different breeds that went into making the Dogo makes it perfect for tracking and dealing with hogs. You wouldn’t see a poodle take down a hog, but for the Dogo it’s not a problem in the least. This is the same with the Sulimov, a bomb-sniffing dog. The dog was mixed with a jackal so as to have the perfect nose and with some friendly dogs so that they could be trained. The dog is so accurate that if you brushed your teeth with a chemical used in the production of a bomb, it would know.
Humans in a sense are creating the perfect dog for the job. Whether that job is simply an aesthetic beauty, or a practical use like hunting, we are shaping dogs to be whatever we want them to be. This idea made me wonder what would the world look like if we as humans had the same kind of repeating DNA? Would the world be filled with people that have been specifically bred for one thing or another? We already have something like this without even realizing it. You wouldn’t see someone who is abnormally short playing basketball in the NBA, but then again you might see him or her in a horse race. These differences are almost nothing compared to the drastic variety in the dog though. If humans had the variation dogs have one can only imagine what the world would look like.
Image by Matthieu Delahaie