Martin Clunes sets off on a world wide adventure to discover how close the domestic dog is to its ancestor the wild wolf in a fascinating two-part documentary. The Doc Martin star takes a wry and witty look at why we are prepared to share our homes with dogs who are genetically still 99.8 per cent like wolves.
"You are sharing your home with a wolf..." Watch our exclusive chat with Martin and discover more about his encounters with the world's scariest canine
From wolf to dog
Follow our canine timeline as we chart the evolution of the dominant prehistoric wolf to today's plethora of pedigree breeds, mongrels and working dogs
Martin Clunes: A Man And His Dogs
Martin Clunes sets off on a worldwide adventure to discover why the relationship between humans and dogs has lasted so long, and how this is changing in the 21st century, in a fascinating two part documentary - Martin Clunes: A Man and His Dogs.
He takes a wry and witty look why we are prepared to take the risk of sharing our homes with dogs who are genetically still 99.8 per cent like wolves.
Martin says: When I look into the eyes of my own dogs I always find myself wondering the same thing: Where did you come from?
These two films gave me the chance to embark on a fascinating journey of discovery to trace their ancestry.
This epic, dramatic and sometimes surreal journey takes Martin to Africa, Australia and America to find the surviving wild ancestors of pampered pets like his own beloved dogs, Mary, Tina and Arthur.
He trails the dog's ancient canine cousin, the endangered African Painted Dog in Tanzania, watches wild dingoes frolicking in the surf on Fraser Island, and observes wolves gorging on a kill in a winter-gripped Yellowstone.
The film follows Martins attempts to bring his wilful Labrador, Arthur, to heel in a puppy training class; shows him accompanying a singing dingo on the piano; being hauled out of a sub zero snow hole by trained rescue dogs; and getting dragged through a blizzard by a team of rampant huskies.
A life-long dog lover, Martin is seeking answers to questions about where dogs come from, and how todays 400 so-called pure breeds can trace their ancestry back to the wolves which came in from the cold 15,000 years ago.
Martin invites the camera crew to meet his own dogs at his home in Dorset to work out whether the 99.8 per cent of their DNA which is bona fide wolf should give him cause for concern.
Martins quest begins with Britains oldest dog breeds and will follow his travels as he meets the latest designer pooches and scoops a prize at Scruffts with his dog Arthur.
Hell be investigating working dogs: including the Jack Russells who go ratting, sheepdogs rounding up flocks in the Lake District, and the Boston police dogs that catch criminals.
Martin will also look at the controversial issue of whether the journey from wolf to pedigree perfection is creating a time bomb, with increasing inbreeding causing terrible illnesses.
The producer/director is Ian Leese. The executive producers are Bill Jones and Philippa Braithwaite.
ITV Director of Factual and Daytime programmes, Alison Sharman says: "Whether you love or hate dogs, this is a wonderful must-watch series - packed with extraordinary and compelling sequences which get to the roots of our special relationship with dogs. And it is brought to life by the brilliant Martin Clunes whose wit and humour brings out the very best in man and dog alike."
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