How Many Chromosomes Do Dogs Have

Chromosomes can be thought of as twisted arrangements encompassing DNA; each living organism has a constant number of chromosomes. However, it is impossible to recognize species based on the chromosome count, but the information about it can help you learn about the organism.

The study of genetics has shown that the family that includes coyotes, dingoes, and jackals along with the wolf species have equal chromosome count as dogs. Theoretically, this means that all of the above-mentioned classes are capable of interbreeding. There are up to 400 genetically diverse strains of dogs which makes the domestic dog one of the most assorted species concerning its physical appearance.

We examine some more details about the genetic diversity of dogs below. Along with some additional information regarding the genetic count the key part played by the DNA. This will increase your knowledge regarding the Chromosome count of your dogs. Additionally, what you need to be aware of if you intend on breeding your canine.

DNA and its Significance

DNA is an abbreviation for deoxyribonucleic acid, which is a common element in all recognized living organisms. The DNA performs similar to an arrangement of biological instructions that makes every breed of dog distinctive. DNA can be located in almost every particular cell within the body of a dog; however red blood cells do not contain these. The DNA articulates a dog’s body regarding growth, development, exertion, and reproduction.

Chromosome Count in Dogs

We know that the chromosome count in dogs remains constant. There are up to 38 sets of autosomes; these are chromosomes of non-sex characteristics. All 76 chromosomes and two sex chromosomes (XX or XY) are located in the nucleus. During conception, a canine inherits one copy of every chromosome from both of its parents.

Some Facts About Chromosomes In Dogs

The amount of chromosomes in a living creature, whether it is an animal, plant, or microbes, operates as the foundation of its hybridization, as the chromosome count remains almost the same in species, therefore; this point becomes an aspect of particular significance regarding the breeding of organisms.

Dogs fall in the category of Canis lupus familiars. They are widely known to have 78 chromosomes (2n). This includes diploid genes that are present in forms of 38 couples along with two sex chromosomes. 

Apart from being man’s best friends, dogs function as classical organisms for scientific research. This is due to their genetic diversity which serves as a model for scientists researching genetics.

Since inbreeding is a known exercise among dogs, they are greatly vulnerable to genetic illnesses and disorders.  Some of the most common diseases and abnormalities that have arisen in dogs over the past few years include the likes of blindness, deafness, cancer and some types of autoimmune syndromes.

Arrangement Of Chromosomes In Dogs

As we saw above there are 38 sets of autosomes in dogs along with 2 sex chromosomes (X and Y) which takes the total count up to 78 chromosomes. This chromosome count is present in both masculine and feminine dogs. Female dogs have two X sex chromosomes while males have an X and a Y sex chromosome. 

Though the evidence regarding the characteristics of the arms of a chromosome remains indistinguishable, Japanese research has discovered that we can consider the biggest chromosome couple in the dogs as the biggest amongst autosomes. The X chromosome of canines is one of the biggest, while its counterpart is seen as one of the smallest chromosomes.

The Significance of the Chromosome Count in Dogs

The information regarding the chromosome count of a dog becomes increasingly important when you intend to successfully cross them. It serves as the foundation for hybridization between similar species. This is quite often done in dogs to create and develop a ‘’pure breed’’ or if you intend on creating a ‘’hybrid’’.

However, you should keep in mind that you can’t use the sole chromosome number to decide such ability; you will need much more information than that if you intend on successfully creating a hybrid or developing a specific pure breed. Moreover, some additional factors are also extremely important when talking about such a matter. This includes the shape and size of chromosomes along with the existence of harmful genes. This is also a vital component that you should consider. You have to make sure that when you intend on breeding your dog. The chances of inherited disease and disability should reduce to minimal.

Genetic diseases

One thing that should be kept in mind when studying chromosomes is the major impact that diseases play in it. As discussed earlier dogs are capable of inbreeding which means that they are vulnerable to diseases and disabilities.

If you intend on breeding your dog with the purposes of either maintaining a specific pure breed or you wish to create a hybrid breed by the mixture of two breeds. Then you have to make sure that you don’t inbreed your dogs as inbreeding results in deaf and dull offspring.  Research conducted over time has discovered that 360 disorders are genetic in dogs. One of the most common inherited diseases is cancer which is also life-threatening. Some other genetic disabilities that are common among dogs are deafness and blindness.

Wrapping Up

Needless to say, understanding how the chromosomes work and how important they are to the continuation of PreK.


Hello, I'm Shelly! I write about all things dogs. I'm a proud mother of 3. So I guess my official title is fulltime mother, part-time dog blogger. Look around and if you have any questions reach out to me