Researchers studying a single mutated gene in Collies have discovered that breed's family tree includes not only several herding dogs (as Collies are), but a couple of sight hounds as well. (Sight hounds are those dogs who hunt by sight.) The family tree can be traced back now to a single animal that must have lived in England prior to the 1870s.
The research began when it was found that Collies can suffer a potentially fatal reaction to 20 commonly used drugs ranging from antibiotics and steroids to cancer drugs and heart medication.
This was all due to a mutated gene that is known as MDRI, which was then found in several other breeds as well. These included Longhaired Whippets, Australian Shepherds (the miniature breed as well), English and Old English Sheepdogs, Shetland Sheepdogs, McNabs, and Silken Windhounds. (Sounds kinky!)
Wasn't McNab one of Archie Bunker's neighbors?
Anyway, the researchers think the gene may have crossed over from the herders to the sight hounds [like the Whippets and the Windhounds] due to cross-breeding between Collies owned by Queen Victoria and Borzois which were a gift from her cousin Czar Nicholas II of Russia.
What's that, girl? Tele-Toby has fallen into a well of irrelevance?
I know. It's not really a Toobworld story. But it does mean that somewhere back in the Victorian Age, 'Lassie' shared a common ancestor with Ladadog, the sheepdog who was owned by the Nash family of Ridgemont, NY, ('Please Don't Eat The Daisies') and his cousin Waldo, owned by the Everett children of the Los Angeles suburbs ('Nanny And The Professor').
And just to show how much my mind (what's left of it) has been affected by my revitalized fanaticism for 'Doctor Who', perhaps the introduction of this mutated gene back in the 1870s was an alien plot. The reason for it is unclear, as would be which alien race responsible, but such a project might have been an investment towards some long-planned invasion of the Earth in the future.
It may have been to create races of super-intelligent canines. But the Toobworld position on any such dogs we have met - especially those who can talk which are found in many TV commercials - is that they are transmogrified souls of departed humans. The precedent for this theory was established with the unsold [yet broadcast] pilot for 'Poochinsky'.
If I'm going to blame any alien race, I'd think it would have to be the Parenthians of the Sirius Dog Star system. ('Bewitched', 'The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy', and 'Star Trek: The Next Generation')