Yesterday we embarked on a brief exploration of recent advances in studies of the dog genome. Today, BBC News reports succinctly on a study appearing in the journal BioMed Central which traces a gene common to all small breeds (IGF1) to its possible origin in Middle Eastern wolves. See Small Dog Middle East Gene Link.
On a related topic, the Journal of Biology includes an intriguing 6-page article commenting on the Middle Eastern taming of wolves in Top Dogs: Wolf Domestication and Wealth.
Update: Also see Lapdogs are Middle Eastern in New Scientist.