Europeans Wiped Out America’s First Dogs
The genetic material of America’s first dogs revealed that these animals came from Siberian ancestors, who arrived on the continent 11,000 years ago.
This study also revealed that they suddenly disappeared in the 15th century. It seems that the origin of the domestic dog has been rewritten again and again, but it still brings us an exciting story each time.
Where are America’s first dogs?
North America’s first dogs spread across the continent while sharing the land thousands of years ago with Native Americans. That is, until the European conquerors arrived in the 15th century.
Domestic animals are affected by human history and, just as settlers suffered from the arrival of European invaders, these also affected domestic animals.
On the other hand, it may have happened that local communities simply no longer wanted to have dogs, which led to their disappearance.
What is clear is that currently there are almost no remains of these animals, and all American breeds are descended from 15th century European breeds.
The Origin of America’s First Dogs
The origin of these early American dogs was a mystery. But the Oxford University team studied the genetic material from archaeological remains and found that ancient American dogs do not appear to descend from wolves, but rather from a common Siberian ancestor, dating back 11,000 years.
It is a very common genital cancer in dogs that currently occurs worldwide. This made this cancer, which spreads like a virus, the only remnant of the ancestors of these early North American dogs.
This leads many to think about the role of the dog in early human migrations across the Bering Strait and whether we owe this animal our current expansion across the planet.
Some believe that there could be other traces of these early American dogs, like the hairless dogs, for example.
South American dogs, same origin?
However, there are many who argue that American races are older than these studies claim. For example, there are traces in the Aztec civilization of dogs similar to Chihuahuas, a Mexican breed that may have originated before the invasion of the American continent.
Andean breeds or the famous hairless dogs are other breeds that the countries of South and Central America claim to be prior to the European invasion. However, it seems that breeds like Labrador would have emerged in Europe.
One of the first breeds to reach the American continent during the conquest of America was the Spanish Alano, a breed of extreme strength that was even used to slaughter bulls in bullfights.