Episode 1

Image for Episode 1Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 1 hour

From huge dogs to tiny dogs, working dogs to lap dogs, hairy dogs to hairless dogs - the team investigates why this single species comes in so many shapes and sizes. Set in a typical English village, the team uses DNA science to reveal the sometimes surprising family trees of some of the village dogs. The team also find out how the extraordinary genetics of modern dogs underlies the extreme differences we see between breeds.

Historian Ruth Goodman uncovers the surprising origins of the poodle's famous haircut; finds out what makes greyhounds the fastest dogs on the planet; and travels to the Guisachan Estate in the Scottish Highlands to meet hundreds of golden retrievers at the ancestral home of this popular breed.

Steve meets the hairiest dog breed of all and reveals how its dreadlocked coat once acted as lightweight armour. Kate investigates the remarkable story of dogs - from their ancient ancestor the grey wolf, through thousands of years as our working companions, to the Victorian creation of the dog breeds we know today.

More episodes

See all episodes from The Wonder of Dogs

Music Played

27 items

Credits

Presenter
Kate Humble
Presenter
Steve Leonard
Executive Producer
Leesa Rumley
Series Producer
Jamie Lochead
Director
Jamie Lochead
Presenter
Ruth Goodman

Broadcasts

Discover more with OpenLearn

The Wonder of Dogs

Discover more about genetics and the changing roles of dogs in our everyday lives

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss