No other land mammal displays such dazzling diversity as man’s best friend. It’s hard to believe that a Great Dane and a Chihuahua belong to the same species, yet they do. In The Wonder of Dogs we celebrate and interrogate the dog in all its spectacularly different and unlikely forms.
From ancient predator to household pet, the evolution of dogs is arguably the greatest success story in the animal kingdom. We chart the remarkable journey of the domestic dog from one common ancestor to over 200 breeds we see in Britain today, and discover that hidden in their DNA are reflections of our own human history.
This series takes a snapshot of the dog population of a typical English village – Brightwell in Oxfordshire, and examines the huge range of breeds in one single place. Presenters Kate Humble and Steve Leonard, together with leading experts, put the village dogs through a range of tests and explore why there’s so much variety within a single species. And historian Ruth Goodman unearths the extraordinary stories behind some of the world’s most iconic breeds.