In their February issue, National Geographic (NatGeo? Not a fan of the new name) published an article about how we came to have so many different dog breeds and what we can learn from their genetics. Included in the article is this chart that generated quite a buzz in the Shiba Inu community. The reason? The chart states that the Shiba Inu breed is genetically closest to the wolf. Chow Chow and Akita came in second and third, Malamute 4th.
The descriptions for each of the 4 categories are a bit vague, with the description for the Wolflike category as follows:
“With roots in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, these breeds are genetically closest to wolves, suggesting they are the oldest domesticated breeds.”
I would not misinterpret this as Shiba Inu having the most wolf-like mentality (pack order, alpha… etc), to me this conveys that the Shiba Inu breed did not have as much genetic tinkering and stayed relatively true to how nature intended. At least that’s how I read it. What do you think?