The American Alsatian dog currently maintains 6 distinct haplotypes.

By Jennifer Stoeckl, MAT, Nov. 19, 2020

Genetic diversity is essential to maintain a small population such as the dogs bred within the Dire Wolf Project. With the aid of genetic analysis, we strive to retain as much genetic diversity as we can while still working toward breed uniformity.

Genetic diversity can be measured by DNA, as well as seen in the outward appearance of the dogs themselves. Working with Embark Veterinary genetics labs, the American Alsatian dog bred by the Dire Wolf Project currently maintains 6 different and distinct haplotypes. Haplotypes are whole snippets of gene code that are inherited without modification and can be traced back through ancestry tens of thousands of years to the original wolves that became the first domesticated dogs. 319 haplotypes have been discovered in dogs housed on 6 haplogroups. Along with the 6 different haplotypes, the American Alsatian dog breed currently represents 3 of those 6 haplogroups in our work: A, C, & D.


Jennifer Stoeckl is the co-founder of the Dire Wolf Project, founder of the DireWolf Guardians American Alsatian Dog Training Program, and owner/operator of DireWolf Dogs of Vallecito. She lives in the beautiful inland northwest among the Ponderosa pine forests with her pack of American Alsatian dogs.