Was the use of hunting dogs an adaptation to the post-glacial deciduous
forest environment in the northern temperate zone? Dog burials in Jōmon
Japan appear closely associated with a specific environment and with a
related subsistence economy involving the hunting of forest ungulates such
as sika deer and wild boar. Dogs were valued as important hunting
technology, able to track and retrieve wounded animals in difficult,
forested environments, or holding them until the hunter made the final kill.
Greater numbers of dog burials during the later Jōmon phases may reflect a
growing dependence on hunting dogs to extract ungulate prey from forests in
an increasingly resource-strained seasonal environment.