Before Europeans began to colonize the Americas about 500 years ago, the land, north and south, was populated with people who had been here for thousands of years. And their dogs.
The devastation visited on the native human inhabitants of North and South America is well known. Whether their dogs survived in some form, perhaps only as a portion of the DNA of some modern dogs, has been a matter of dispute. The available evidence indicated that only traces were present in current breeds and mixed breed dogs, but questions remained.
Greger Larson at the University of Oxford, an author of the paper, and the leader of an international effort to investigate the evolution and domestication of dogs, said the study emphasizes how inseparable are the fates of humans and their animals.