From Bruce Bower at ScienceNews:
A trio of dogs buried at two ancient human sites in Illinois lived around 10,000 years ago, making them the oldest known domesticated canines in the Americas.
Radiocarbon dating of the dogs’ bones shows they were 1,500 years older than thought, zooarchaeologist Angela Perri said April 13 at the annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
An absence of stone tool incisions on the three ancient dogs’ skeletons indicates that they were not killed by people, but died of natural causes before being buried, Perri said. More.
Burial of dogs who died from natural causes implies, of course, a level of affection and esteem.
See also: A top anthropology finding of year show humans cognitively closer to dogs than chimps
Dogs can pass the smell test, not the mirror test, of self-recognition