The oldest known domesticated dog remains are over 14,000 years old. The dog died young and is unlikely to have been much use to humans. Nevertheless, it was buried in an elaborate grave alongside two humans.

Origin of the domestic dog

The dog diverged from a now-extinct population of wolves 27,000-40,000 years ago immediately before the Last Glacial Maximum, when much of the mammoth steppe was cold and dry.

The origin of the domestic dog includes the dog’s genetic divergence from the wolf, its domestication, and its development into dog types and dog breeds. Genetic studies show that all ancient and modern dogs share a common ancestry and descended from an ancient, now-extinct wolf population – or closely related wolf populations – which was distinct from the modern wolf lineage. The dog’s similarity to the extant grey wolf is the result of substantial dog-into-wolf gene flow, with the modern grey wolf being the dog’s nearest living relative. An extinct Late Pleistoc… Continue Reading (52 minute read)

5 thoughts on “The oldest known domesticated dog remains are over 14,000 years old. The dog died young and is unlikely to have been much use to humans. Nevertheless, it was buried in an elaborate grave alongside two humans.”

  1. highoncraze

    >unlikely to have been much use to humans

    Companionship alone is extremely underrated, even if the dog only lived about half a year. The people still loved it enough to give it a respectful send off.

  2. IceNein

    Dogs are useful just by existing. I don’t train my dog to be aggressive to anybody under any circumstances, but she sure does love to bark at any noise she isn’t sure of.

    She probably wouldn’t attack anybody who broke into our house, but they don’t know that, and a 55 lb dog is big enough that it’s not worth the risk.

    So even if they’re “just” companion animals, they’re still providing you with a useful service.

  3. pippercorn

    “The dog could not have survived during this period without intensive human care. During this period the dog was of no utilitarian use to humans”
    It’s not just that the dog wasn’t “useful” but that these humans were willing to put in extra effort to care for the dog which really seems to imply a companion type relationship.

  4. blankpanthur

    Is that 14k dog years?

  5. Numerous-Spend

    “The dog died young and is unlikely to have been much use to humans”

    That’s heresy, Son. P

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