The dog was found in the Candelaria Cave in the Lagunero area that stretches across parts of Coahuila and Durango states. Anthropologists say a hunter-gatherer group may have domesticated it.
Early estimates are that the mummified dog is 1,000 years old.
The contents of Candelaria Cave were actually discovered in 1953. The cave contained some 200 bodies and 2,500 relics, including funerary vessels, bows and arrows, knives, textiles, baskets, wooden figures and jewelry. The relics and the mummy of the dog were just returned by a regional museum to the Institute.
Anthropologists quoted in an Institute press release say they hope to learn if placing dogs as companions in human burial grounds was a tradition among the ancient peoples, or if it shows general domestication of dogs.
Anthropologists will measure the mummified dog carefully, X-ray it and conduct Carbon 14 testing to determine its exact age, the institute said.
Then they may discover its breed. Any bets on whether it's a precursor of a Chihuahua? Or a Coahuila Collie? Or a Lagunero Labrador? Then again, maybe it’s just an ancient mutt.