The Wonder Of Dogs

Confirmed for BBC Two on 19 September at 8.00pm to 9.00pm

Ep 1/3

Thursday 19 September



In the first episode of The Wonder Of Dogs, Kate Humble, Steve Leonard and a team of canine experts will reveal the innermost secrets of man's best friend, by contrasting the anatomy of different breeds from their vastly different body sizes, to the hairiness of their coats and the shape of their paws.

How can a single species come in so many surprising shapes and sizes? This is the wonder of dogs. They reveal the origins of some of the most iconic breeds and how much dogs have become such an integral part of our lives.

Over the centuries dogs have been cross bred to perform specialist tasks, from burrowing into dens to retrieving game.

Historian Ruth Goodman travels to the Guisachan Estate in the Scottish Highlands to meet hundreds of Golden Retrievers and their owners, at the ancestral home of this popular dog. Ruth discovers how far some dog lovers are prepared to go for some very well-groomed breeds such as the pampered Poodle and the Komondor with its dreadlocks.

The series is set in a typical English village and the team investigate the pedigrees of some of the village dogs using DNA science. Is the Cockerpoo what it claims to be? The team looks at the extraordinary genetics that allows dogs to come in so many different shapes, and how selective breeding is being used to change the features of the great British Bulldog.

The Wonder Of Dogs was produced in partnership with the Open University.