In their February issue, National Geographic (NatGeo? Not a fan of the new name) published a story about how we came to have so many different dog breeds and what we can learn from their genetics. Among the great story is this chart on the right that generated quite a buzz in the Shiba Inu community. The reason? Shiba Inu is the dog breed that is genetically closest to the wolves. Chow Chow and Akita came in second and third, Malamute 4th. You can click on the chart thumbnail to see the complete chart.
The descriptions for each of the 4 categories are a bit vague, with the description for the Wolflike category as follow:
"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), for me this conveys that Shiba Inu did not have as much human tinkering along the way and stayed relatively true to how nature intended. At least that's how I read it. What do you think?