A new study has revealed that dogs arrived in the American continent after several years of human settlement. Humans first arrived in the continent about 15,000 years ago and the new research regarding the mitochondrial DNA of dogs unveiled that the dogs joined them around 10,000 years ago. Led by researcher Kelsey Witt from the University of Illinois, the study analyzed mitochondrial DNA of the dog species having mitochondrial data only inherited from the mother. The analysis allowed the researchers to figure out the time when the dogs started becoming the inhabitants of the American continent.
Large amounts of significant genetic information were found by the researchers while examining several dog remains and these were possibly passed down by American wolf population. This indicates that American dog breeds were interbred with wolves. It can, however, also imply that these wolves were domesticated by early American settlers and were bred for more dog-like traits.
Studies regarding the arrival of dogs have been conducted in the past too and it was previously suggested that dog populations became prominent in Alaska about 40,000 to 20,000 years ago. However, recent studies on the genetic diversity of dog species in both North and South America confirm that they arrived only 10,000 years ago.