The goal of this paper is to demonstrate the development and the variability of the morphology and size of dogs from the early Neolithic until the Roman period. During the Bronze Age, in addition to a strong variablity observed for the limbs, the selection of particular characters on the skull suggests the existence of true races. During the Iron Age, this morphological variation is less obvious because of the lack of information. However, the increase in size is obvious. Some races have proper characteristics only at the Roman period. Beside the use for hunting, dog was, at times, eaten between the Neolithic and the Iron Age. For all the periods considered, we have evidence of ritual and funeral uses of the dog.
Dog, Italy, osteometry, ritual, butchery.