Studies of dog remains focused on the Iron Age southern Levant generally highlight their unique nature in the archaeological context, specifically in relation to their post-mortem exploitation. Here we review the published archaeological and textual data to evaluate the current understanding of dogs’ roles in their Iron Age settings. The analysis reveals that dogs are relatively common in the archaeological record, having been reported at 66% of sites. This study further contextualizes this presence in light of their co-occurrence with caprine and wild taxa. The significant number of dog remains indicates that they were part of the social matrix of a village. While dogs have been viewed as ‘unclean’ or pariah, based on certain textual references in the Hebrew Bible, we assert, on the basis of the archaeological record, that they were part of the life of the village, functioning as herders, guards and occasionally hunters.