Dog Names - Part 2

This week, let us start off with a bit of history regarding our furry friends. The earliest remains generally accepted to be those of a domesticated dog were discovered in Bonn-Oberkassel, Germany. Evidence shows that this dog was not a local wolf. The dog was dated to 14,223 years ago and was found buried along with a man and a woman, all three having been sprayed with red hematite powder and buried under large, thick basalt blocks. Earlier remains dating back to 30,000 years ago have been described as Palaeolithic dogs but their status as dogs or wolves remains debated, because considerable morphological diversity existed among wolves during the Late Pleistocene era.

This timing indicates that the dog was the first species to be domesticated in the time of hunter–gatherers, which predates agriculture. DNA sequences show that all ancient and modern dogs share a common ancestry and descended from an ancient, extinct wolf population which was distinct from the modern wolf lineage. Most dogs form a sister group to the remains of a Late Pleistocene wolf found in the Kessleroch cave near Thayngen in the canton of Schaffhausen, Switzerland, which dates to 14,500 years ago. The most recent common ancestor of both is estimated to be from 32,100 years ago. This indicates that an extinct Late Pleistocene wolf may have been the ancestor of the dog, with the modern wolf being the dog's nearest living relative.

The questions of when and where dogs were first domesticated have taxed geneticists and archaeologists for decades.Genetic studies suggest a domestication process commencing over 25,000 years ago, in one or several wolf populations in either Europe, the high Arctic, or eastern Asia.

A companion that has been by our side for such a long time deservers the best name. Last week we created a visual of the changes in female dog names over the past 10 years. One fun thing to see in that visual was, that the top names did not change much over said time period. This week we are taking a closer look at the male dog names - of course over the same time period. Notice anything? There are way more changes in the names! The data is once again provided by  Tasso.