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Prepare to rethink amazing dogs, says presenter of new Sky 1 series

Be prepared to see dogs as never before in a three-part natural history series coming to Sky 1 next week.

Biologist Patrick Aryee will be presenting the series which takes a globe-trotting insight into the ancestry and evolution of human's four-legged companion.

The series will start next Thursday with a visit to Mongolia. It's here in Asia where the first bonds between people and canines are believed to have begun with wild wolves and humans learning to live together.

Presenter Patrick Aryee with a jackal pup. Offspring Films

Patrick says, "The canine family is made up of 36 extraordinary species – all of which share traits with the dogs in our homes.  Viewers, I think, are going to be amazed by the family’s variety and history and I advise: prepare to rethink everything you think you know about dogs!"

Patrick will travel to the Arabian desert, the snow-belt of North America and Montana's ranch-lands, to explore the changes which saw dogs turn into protectors, hunters, livestock herders and finally, treasured saviours and pets. Along the way he meets adorable Bankhar puppies on the steppes of Asia; discovers the astonishing speed and eyesight of a Bedouin's prized Saluki hound and gets a face full of snow while learning to master a dog-powered sled.

Offspring Films

Offspring Films

Throughout the series Patrick will also introduce us to wild members of the canine clan including Arctic and red foxes, African hunting dogs, raccoon dogs, jackals, and the grey wolf.

Offspring Films

There's also a surprise starring role for UK pets who were exercising on Studland Beach, Dorset, during filming.

Director Lara Bickerton explains, "We were filming in the winter when dogs are allowed off their leads on the beach.  We had the shoot all planned out for 16 different invited dogs, including an elegant Afghan, a tiny Pomeranian and a gorgeous Great Dane called Gracey.

"But within an hour of starting, local owners and dogs turned up for their usual morning exercise and, of course, our ’star’ dogs found the new arrivals much more interesting than what we were encouraging them to do! So, In the end, we just went with it - and some of the best shots we got were of the ‘star’ dogs and their new friends jumping around in the water together.  They were having so much fun!"

Dogs: An amazing animal family will air at 9pm every Thursday from July 13 to 27 on Sky 1.