Research on the genetic mutations of the Icelandic sheepdog are underway, reports the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, RÚV.
Of the 6,000 registered dogs in Iceland only 550 are Icelandic sheepdogs. According to RÚV, in the middle of last century the breed almost became extinct, but native dogs can now be found in greater numbers abroad for example in Northern Europe.
Dr. Gudbjorg Ásta Ólafsdóttir of the Biology Institute in Iceland will lead the research, working with the biotech firm Prokaria. As part of the research, 150 Icelandic dogs will be compared to 40 dogs of other mutations.
The results of the genomic studies will be linked to genealogical records and information about the medical history of the dogs made available by the Icelandic Dog Breeding Society.
The project is funded by the Genomics Committee of the Icelandic Ministry of Agriculture.