Breeding Dogs Artificial Selection Lab Activity Background Information:
We know that all animals have adaptations that help them survive in their specific environment. In the case of Charles Darwin’s research on the finches in Galapagos, these birds have evolved different beaks to be able to obtain available food. Other species adapt to survive in the wild. This is called natural selection.
However, throughout history, humans have domesticated both plants and animals, using crossbreeding to select for desirable traits, like bigger fruit, more milk production, or in the case of dogs, maybe just better companionship.
There is only one species of dog, but over 400 different breeds. Since all dogs are in that single species, the breeds can be crossbred to produce puppies with different traits. The process for this is to decide what traits are desired, find dogs with those traits, and then mating them for a few generations until puppies with those traits. In this case, a new breed has been developed by artificial selection or selective breeding.
Here are the Files Downloadable Files for the Breeding Dogs Lab Activity
- 6-3 Lab Activity Student Edition - Artificial Selection (Docx)
- 6-3 Lab Activity Student Edition - Artificial Selection (PDF)
- 6-3 Lab Activity Teacher Edition - Artificial Selection (Docx Member Only)
- 6-3 Lab Activity Teacher Edition - Artificial Selection (PDF Member Only)
Artificial Selection Lab Activity Materials:
Each student will need one Penny (or any other coin to flip)
Artificial Selection Lab Activity Pre-lab Questions:
1. Discuss with your partner what you know about the dog breeds. List for each other as many as you can. Did you list 400?
2. Of the breeds you know, what traits can you think of? Can you think of how those traits might be considered helpful or desirable to humans?
Breeding Dogs by Artificial Selection Lab Activity Procedure:
Follow the directions below.
Breeders’ names: ________________________________________ Date: ________________
Assignment: You are a dog breeder. You have been contacted by a scientist working in the arctic. The scientist wants a dog that will be able to hear a polar bear approaching and alert him with a loud bark. This could also help to scare the polar bear away.
Part I: Desired features of the new breed
For each feature below, circle the desired form you ideally want your dogs to have. For features that you do not think will affect your breed’s ability to perform the given task, circle “any.”
For each feature that you selected, explain WHY that trait would be helpful to the arctic scientist.
Here are the choices of dog breeds you may select from.
Remember that no one breed has all the traits you are looking for, so you need to select two breeds. While you look at the breeds, put a check by each desirable trait the breed possesses. This could help you select the breeds you wish to work with.
Part II: Dog breeds chosen to mate: _____________ X __________________ Reason:
- Which two traits do you think are most important for your new breed to inherit?
Part III: Now you will “breed” the male and female dogs.
- Remember our study of genetics and how the offspring receives one gene from each parent randomly.
- We will use a penny flip to select whether a puppy will have the trait from the mother or from the father dog. There will be three puppies, so we will repeat the “breeding” three times.
- On the column “trait from mother” and “trait from father”, write the trait of the breed you selected to mate.
- For each trait, flip a coin. If the coin falls on “heads”, the puppy will inherit the mother’s traits. If the coin falls on “tails”, the puppy will inherit the father’s traits. Write that trait in the column “Puppy #1”. Continue flipping the coin to select the traits for Puppy #1.
- Repeat the process for Puppy #2 and Puppy #3.
- Do any of these puppies have all the traits you originally wanted for the task in the Arctic?
- Are any of them closer to the goal than either of the parents?
In selective breeding, you may not get the exact traits in one generation. Breeders will then mate them again to acquire those traits. When the “perfect” dog is born, that dog should be bred with its own kind.
Part IV: Draw the puppy that has the closest traits for your goal. What would be the next step for the arctic scientist?
Here is your Free Content on Artificial Selection
Artificial Selection - PDFs
- 6-3 Assignment SE - Artificial Selection (FREE)
- 6-3 Assignment TE - Artificial Selection ( Members Only )
- 6-3 Bell Work SE - Artificial Selection (FREE)
- 6-3 Bell Work TE - Artificial Selection ( Members Only )
- 6-3 Exit Quiz SE - Artificial Selection (FREE)
- 6-3 Exit Quiz TE - Artificial Selection ( Members Only )
- 6-3 Guided Notes SE - Artificial Selection (FREE)
- 6-3 Guided Notes TE - Artificial Selection ( Members Only )
- 6-3 Lesson Plan - Artificial Selection ( Members Only )
- 6-3 Online Activities - Artificial Selection ( Members Only )
- 6-3 Slide Show - Artificial Selection (FREE)
- 6-3 Vocabulary Worksheet SE - Artificial Selection (FREE)
- 6-3 Vocabulary Worksheet TE - Artificial Selection ( Members Only )
Artificial Selection Worksheets - Word Docs & PowerPoints
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Unit 6 - Evidence of Evolution
- 6-1 What is Evolution
- 6-2 Natural Selection
- 6-3 Artificial Selection
- 6-4 Genetic Variation
- 6-5 Fossil Record as Evidence of Evolution
- 6-6 Comparative Anatomy
- 6-7 Genetic Information and Evolution