Letter to the Editor

The evolution of dogs and grains

The Jan. 24 front-page article “Wolf-to-dog evolution went with the grain” in fact went against the grain of what science tells us about plant distribution.

The article stated: “On their way from pack-hunting carnivore to fireside companion, dogs learned to desire — or at least live on — wheat, rice, barley, corn and potatoes.” As written, that’s highly unlikely.

Corn (in the American sense of the word) and potatoes (in the sense of the precursors of Burbank russets, Yukon Golds, et al.) were unknown in the Old World until about 500 years ago. By that time, dogs were an accomplished fact and had been campside, if not fireside, companions of humans for thousands of years. Corn on the cob and french fries had nothing to do with the transition from wolves to dogs.

And true to her heritage, our Shih Tzu Biscuit won’t touch either corn or potatoes.

James A. McKenney, Rockville

 
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