The study found that the Pharaoh Hound and Ibizan Hound were not as old as believed but had been recreated from combinations of other breeds, and that the Norwegian Elkhound grouped with the other European dogs despite reports of direct Scandinavian origins dating back 5,000 years.The study found distinct genetic clusters within modern dogs that largely corresponded to phenotype or function.At death, the heads of the dogs had been carefully separated from their bodies by humans, probably for ceremonial reasons.
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In 2004, a study looked at the microsatellites of 414 purebred dogs representing 85 breeds.
The study found that dog breeds were so genetically distinct that 99% of individual dogs could be correctly assigned to their breed based on their genotype, indicating that breeding barriers (pure-bred breeding) has led to distinct genetic units.
Dog breeds proliferated in Europe during the Middle Ages 700 years ago.
These breeds were referred to as "ancient breeds", as opposed to modern breeds because historically it was believed that they had origins dating back over 500 years.