Domesticated dogs

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Domesticated dogs

These dog skulls were found during excavations in Trichay Street, now underneath the Guildhall Shopping Centre. They were found in a rubbish pit which was used from the late 14th century to the very early 17th century.

The smallest skull is probably a pet lapdog. The small, domed skull indicates an animal with a poor level of jaw strength and a vulnerable cranium. This would have made it unsuitable as a working dog. The two larger specimens can be classified as the ‘plain dog’ type. It is possible they were pets but they were most likely working dogs, perhaps guard dogs if they had a fierce temperament.