The dog of the future

The annual statistics in stud books can be used to identify current breed trends and try to extrapolate the typical profile of the dog of the future. Registered births by breed indicate a trend away from the best-known breeds in favour of more original breeds.

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Exaggerated types


This quest for originality and extreme types is a selection technique developed primarily in the United States and the United Kingdom. The result is the creation of exaggerated types, such as some Bulldogs, which have faces so squashed they must be born by caesarean section and can breathe only with their mouths open. Labradors are clearly predisposed to obesity, Dachshunds are getting longer, Shar-Peis have more wrinkles and German shepherds have increasingly sloped croups. Small breeds are getting smaller and are now referred to as Toys and Miniatures, while large breeds are turning into giants, seemingly only leaving mongrels in the medium-size category. There is a tendency to favour the extremes at the expense of the middle ground.

Influencing genes to create a made-to-order dog


Morphing is a computer technique that takes account of this trend, changes to our lifestyle and genetic advancements. Lifestyle changes follow urban development. A reduction in the number of farm dogs can be anticipated with a corresponding increase in the number of companion dogs as more people work from home and connectivity improves. However, the profile of companion dogs is very changeable, due to the fluctuations of fashion.

If current trends continue, we can expect greater breed diversity. The dog of the future will be anything but average. The genetics of coat colour and texture is advancing fast and ‘genetically coloured’ dogs will one day become a reality. Following the sequencing of the canine genome and the appearance of new genetic tests it will certainly be within our power to eradicate hereditary defects, reduce chance and meet demand for increasingly original breeds.


With the continued development of artificial insemination techniques using refrigerated or frozen sperm it will no longer be necessary for dogs to cover large distances, cross national borders and submit to quarantine regulations to mate. Partners will be paired online and even the semen of long dead studs will be available at a price. Things will never go as far as they have in cattle breeding, however, given the low concentration of sperm in dog ejaculate.

The first cloned dog, Snuppy, born in 2005 through the efforts of the University of Seoul, may be the start of a new way of buying a companion dog or getting a carbon copy of a family favourite after its demise.


The first cloned dog, Snuppy, born in 2005 through the efforts of the University of Seoul.


Perhaps fewer dogs will be abandoned in the future, but these made-to-order dogs will look less and less like wild dogs - so different in fact that their undomesticated cousins may no longer even be able to recognise them.

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