Russian geneticist repeats dog domestication with foxes in just fifty years

September 16, 2016 by Bob Yirka report
Red Fox. Credit: Jonn Leffmann/Wikipedia/CC BY 3.0

(Phys.org)—A Russian geneticist, the BBC is reporting, replicated the process that led to the domestication of the dog, with foxes, over the course of just fifty years. Curious about the means by which dogs became domesticated, Dmitry Belyaev began a breeding program in the late 1950's aimed at replicating the process using foxes.

Foxes cannot be tamed, the conventional thinking goes—you can raise them in your house, feed them like babies and try to cuddle with them, but their wild nature will eventually win out—they will become unruly and eventually unwelcome pets. But what if the wildness was bred out of them? That is what Belyaev wondered, so he set to work on a very long term project—one that was very simple. He and his intern, Lyudmila Trut, wandered around Russia searching for foxes to start their experiment. Foxes were chosen based on their behavior in the presence of humans. Those that showed slightly more tolerance of humans were brought back to their Novosibirsk lab to serve as the start group. From there, the foxes were mated, and once again, those cubs that showed the most tolerance for humans were kept as part of the experiment while the others went on to become fur coats.

This process was repeated for a half-century—the research pair found that within just a few generations, the foxes had begun to lose their wildness and mistrust of humans. The fourth generation, they reported, showed traits that we see in modern dogs, such as tail wagging, seeking human contact and licking people. Over the course of 50 years, the foxes became friendly, their behavior nearly indistinguishable from domestic dogs. They changed physically, too; their ears drooped and their legs and snouts became shorter and their heads got wider. And it was not all on the outside—their adrenal glands became more active, resulting in higher levels of serotonin in their brains, which is known to mute aggressive behavior.

Today, the are still being bred, but they are also being sold as pets to help pay for the cost of the research center. Belyaev died back in 1985, but the program is still overseen by Trut, and by most standards, the long-term experiment has been a resounding success—most researchers who visit the lab have found that theories regarding how dog domestication came about were consistent with what has been observed in the novel experiment in Russia.

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KBK
2.3 / 5 (7) Sep 16, 2016
Ergo.... over a few thousand years, humans are also capable of being bred into a specific state.

The question is, if it has been done via various methodology - just slightly out of our sight.

Not just self edited, as is noted as an obvious reality, but..are there long term overt but dark players in such areas?

The potential, circumstantial and evidential is there, in the humans....and the rewards of such, for Empire.. are.... incalculable.

Ergo....
TheGhostofOtto1923
5 / 5 (6) Sep 16, 2016
Ergo.... over a few thousand years, humans are also capable of being bred into a specific state
We ARE domesticated. The domesticated ape. The only way to explain our unique form and function is to assume that we are domesticated.

We can do tricks, willingly surrender our repro rights, kill and die on command, and forego our reason and our senses in favor of irrational nonsense and self-deception.

We have been selected over 1000s of gens for our affinity for the tribe.

We can even bark with great fluency. Can these little fox dogs bark?
CubanCigars
5 / 5 (4) Sep 16, 2016
Please fix this error in your article, it makes it very confusing to read. The first dogs should be foxes.

ORIGINAL:

Over the course of 50 years, the dogs became friendly, their behavior nearly indistinguishable from domestic dogs.

EDITED:

Over the course of 50 years, the FOXES became friendly, their behavior nearly indistinguishable from domestic dogs.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (4) Sep 16, 2016
@cc
I think they were trying to make the point that they were not foxes any more the same way normal dogs aren't wolves any more.

Obvious?
El_Nose
4.5 / 5 (4) Sep 16, 2016
@KBK

Humans have done this experiment. I am a Black male living in America. With a 200-300 years of selection due to slavery, buying and evaluating the perfection of the human based on physical conditioning, stamina, teeth ... has lead to interesting issues in the black community.

Blacks in america suffer from hyper-tension at an alarming rate. Not only that Blacks in America - tend to - respond better to calcium channel blockers for hyper-tension treatment than other demographic groups.

Now other sub-groups of people have similiar tendencies to have specific issues or chemistries that slightly different than other humans. google "Asian flush reaction"

People in eastern Kentucky have been studies because the level of inbreeding approaches the level of royal families and they tend to have similiar disease patterns.
leetennant
4.2 / 5 (5) Sep 17, 2016
@KBK

Humans have done this experiment


Which is why we should be actively marrying between groups and racism should be dead as a dodo. The human race would be much healthier and happier if we shared genes across the entire population rather than inbreeding in our local region. One of the best ways to ensure this is to have open migration.

Ergo.... over a few thousand years, humans are also capable of being bred into a specific state. ..are there long term overt but dark players in such areas?


Ergo... I blame our Reptoid overlords and their pet unicorns. Tribal cooperation is NOT domestication and is the only reason we've thrived as well as we have as a species. The problem is expanding our definition of tribe to include all humans and our territory to include the entire planet.

Putting 'ergo' before some batshit non-sequitur does not make the non-sequitur less batshit.
Gigel
not rated yet Sep 17, 2016

Which is why we should be actively marrying between groups and racism should be dead as a dodo. The human race would be much healthier and happier if we shared genes across the entire population rather than inbreeding in our local region. One of the best ways to ensure this is to have open migration.

Wouldn't that reduce general variability and local fitness into the human populations? I assume there is a good reason why people living in warm areas are black while those living where sunlight is weak are white. Also, you are forgetting the cultural aspect. I don't think that humans will readily get happier by mixing up cultures.
TheGhostofOtto1923
5 / 5 (2) Sep 17, 2016
Which is why we should be actively marrying between groups and racism should be dead as a dodo
Ever since proto-humans became able to hunt the predators which were keeping their numbers in check, overpopulation became an endemic condition.

Humans congealed into tribes for protection. Those tribes with a stronger tribal dynamic - internal altruism in conjunction with external animosity - prevailed in conflict. Conquering tribes killed their male adversaries and incorporated the females.

This is the reason the human race is as homogenous as it is.

But speciation is the urge to diverge. Humans who are adapted to local conditions resist incursion. Temperates resist tropical interlopers even as these interlopers seek to gain adapted genes for their offspring. And vice versa.

The People who designed western culture have been busy reamalgamating us because They are fully aware of the dangers this Urge to Diverge presents.

Haven't you noticed this?
TheGhostofOtto1923
5 / 5 (1) Sep 17, 2016
human race would be much healthier and happier if we shared genes across the entire population rather than inbreeding in our local region
At times the population of Rome was 80% slave. These people held positions vacated by Romans who went to live in the provinces. Slaves could earn their freedom, become citizens, and intermarry just as the expats were doing in the provinces.

The Americas were populated by waves of refugees fleeing wars and revolutions Designed to drive emigration. Those who left were the most pragmatic, the most ambitious, and the most talented.

They were also the people most able to leave their obsolete cultural traditions behind and adopt those created in the west.

It was never easy to emigrate. It always took a great deal of courage and resourcefulness. But the Process would include people from all subsets. Those who had no way of getting here on their own were brought in as slaves, exactly as it had been done in rome.

An old Strategy.
TheGhostofOtto1923
5 / 5 (1) Sep 17, 2016
People in the west all eat the same food, watch the same movies, listen to canned music, wear the same clothes.

They spend their youth in artifical stasis which the west calls adolescence, where they avoid reproducing while receiving a thorough indoctrination into the Culture.

They continue avoiding reproduction while they are removed from their communities to receive specialized educations and establish careers which cause them to relocate every few years and travel extensively.

They mingle with people from all over, and those who do manage to mate bear relatively few children. And they only bear as many as they know they can support.

None of this is natural. It is distinctly UNnatural. And further it is against both nature AND the tribe, which is how we can know that it is evidence of engineering at the highest levels.

The people were always the enemies of the people who led them. And so Leaders became a Tribe unto themselves and began Managing the flock.
AlbertPierrepointOBE
not rated yet Sep 18, 2016
I agree with the points about human domestication and overpopulation, but I think the mammoth in the room is agriculture. Most aboriginal tribes understand that human-nature population balance is critical for survival. Few if any think it's a good idea to make people more subservient. But agriculture was the event that fundamentally changed our relationship to nature and how we perceive human society.

Yeah, the weak point is that we domesticated dogs before crops, but that could've been done in a largely unaware way. Agriculture was very conscious, and I don't think it was very long before the organization that it required created city states and rulers to coordinate planning and priests to divine the temporal parameters around agriculture, that some brilliant priest-king decided that it was a good way to deal with the population, not just the crops. That's why religion can ignore all manner of humanitarian crises, but never takes its eyes off of what happens in your bedroom.
Moebius
not rated yet Sep 18, 2016
Don't show a pic of this 'Fox' instead of a normal fox, we might see what the article is talking about.
TheGhostofOtto1923
5 / 5 (1) Sep 18, 2016
I agree with the points about human domestication and overpopulation, but I think the mammoth in the room is agriculture. Most aboriginal tribes understand that human-nature population balance is critical for survival
"10,000-year-old massacre suggests hunter-gatherers went to war - By Lizzie WadeJan. 20, 2016"

-You need to discard anything you have learned about the peaceful aboriginal and the spiritual amerind living in harmony with nature. It's all late 20th century propaganda along with tabula rasa, bonobo hippies and the rest, designed to change people's behavior rather than to explain it.

Tribal warfare over territory and resources preceded the human race. Apes engage in warfare as documented by Goodall and others. With every victory over environmental restraints, human conflict increased because their repro rate did not change.
https://www.jstor...contents
https://en.wikipe...dhunting

optical
Sep 18, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
ECOnservative
1 / 5 (1) Sep 18, 2016
My ancestors fled Europe between the great wars as Jews were increasingly marginalized. I've wondered if this has led to a predominance of paranoia combined with intelligence among American Jews. "Only the Paranoid Survive" as Andy Grove titled his famous book - Grove, a Jew, escaped Hungary after the horrors of the war to America. Maybe there's more the title than meets the eye.
cortezz
not rated yet Sep 19, 2016
The Americas were populated by waves of refugees fleeing wars and revolutions Designed to drive emigration. Those who left were the most pragmatic, the most ambitious, and the most talented.

They were also the people most able to leave their obsolete cultural traditions behind and adopt those created in the west.
Not quite so. At least they thought us here in Finland that most of the refugee Fins were poor people without jobs or land, criminals on run, and men trying to get away from their debt. Ofc there was "good" people as well.

Maybe the americans should not have so high thoughts about their heritage.
jlevyellow
not rated yet Sep 19, 2016
Re: ECOnserative No one will comment on your post here because it strikes at the differential treatment accorded the Jews in Israel. The attempt to force assimilation on the Jewish remnant is a means of acquiring their genes. It is with some humor that I recall the great interest of the Italian community of Brooklyn trying against all reason to acquire Jewish mates. Apparently, the cultural meme was that if you wanted your children's father to remain around for the long term, you should marry a Jew. As with all these generalizations, it was only relatively true, since some Jewish fathers and mothers did indeed abandon their offspring as they abandon their cultural ties to the community (or tribe).
EnricM
not rated yet Sep 19, 2016
Please fix this error in your article, it makes it very confusing to read. The first dogs should be foxes.

ORIGINAL:



don't be so cruel for a little mistake, it took me 5 years to teach my labradoodle to write!
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Sep 19, 2016
Maybe these foxes already had dogs genes
-And maybe the wolves we first domesticated already had some dog genes in them?

I think you are missing the point.
don't be so cruel for a little mistake, it took me 5 years to teach my labradoodle to write!
My wolfdog just ate your little labradoodle. Problem solved.
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Sep 19, 2016
My ancestors fled Europe between the great wars as Jews were increasingly marginalized. I've wondered if this has led to a predominance of paranoia combined with intelligence among American Jews. "Only the Paranoid Survive"
For paranoid substitute pragmatic. How many jews refused to leave because they believed their god would protect them?

Forced immigration is an old demographic mechanism designed to separate the practical, the ambitious, and the courageous, who are most able to abandon their obsolete cultures, from those who arent.

Wave after wave have fled strife throughout the centuries. Germans during the 30 years war. Irish during the potato famine. Russians and Chinese fleeing communism. Syrians and North Africans at present.

Sociopolitics is an applied science.
EnricM
not rated yet Sep 19, 2016
google "Asian flush reaction"

.


"Asian flush reaction" ? You mean the typical reaction tourists have when confronting a Japanese toilet? Like making a video with your phone while pressing all the buttons and whatsapp it straight to friends and familiy?

Yes, I had that.

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