10 Dog Breeds with Most Interesting Histories

10 Dog Breeds with Most Unexpected Histories

What if your dog was born in a different era?  Would they be out there hunting, guarding, or herding like they do now? 

How much do you know about your dog’s history? 

In today’s article, we’re taking a deep dive into 10 Dog Breeds with the Most Interesting Histories.  

So, read the article till the end cause you might just learn more about your furry friend’s incredible past. 


10 – Bulldog  

Modern Bulldogs may seem scary, but they were bred to be gentler and more companionable from their ferocious ancestors that were once used in Bullbaiting 

This cruel sport involved pitting a bull against multiple dogs, with the winner being the canine that could pin the bull down.  

Bulldogs were a popular choice due to their stocky build, massive head, and savage temperament.  

However, the sport was eventually outlawed in 1835 , leaving Bulldogs without a purpose.  

Luckily, fanciers stepped in and transformed the breed into the gentle and loyal companions that we know and love today. 


9 – Cane Corso 

The Cane Corso is often perceived as an aggressive and dangerous breed, and much like the Boxer, they too have a fascinating history that matches their fierce reputation.  

Corsi belong to the Mastiff group, which traces its ancestry back to the Greek Molossus 

The Roman legions brought some of these Molossers to Italy and bred them with native Italian breeds, giving rise to the Cane Corso.  

Originally bred for battle, these dogs were massive and fearless, charging into enemy lines with flaming oil strapped to their backs. 

After the Western Roman Empire ended, people started using these dogs as hunters and to protect farms. This caused the dogs to become smaller and nicer in temperament than they used to be.  

Even though they’ve changed, Cane Corso dogs are still very strong and loyal, just like the City of Rome. 


8 – Saint Bernard 

While the Cane Corso guarded Rome with its might, the Saint Bernard dog brought comfort to pilgrims traveling to Rome through the treacherous Great Saint Bernard Pass 

This alpine pass was known to be inhospitable due to bad weather and thieves, but Archdeacon Bernard de Menthon founded a hospice there in 962 AD, which provided refuge to travelers.  

The hospice monks kept Mastiff-type dogs around to guard the grounds and help in search and rescue missions.  

These canines were credited with saving over 2000 travelers, with one dog named Barry becoming a legend for Saving over 40 people  on his own.  

In honor of Barry, the dogs were often referred to as Barryhunden until they were officially recognized as the Saint Bernard breed in 1880 


7 – Dalmatian 

The Dalmatian is a breed of dog named after its origin in Dalmatia or Present-day Croatia, famous for its unique spotted appearance.  

Dalmatians are known not only for their unique coat, but also for their historical role as “coach dogs.”  

They were used to clear the way for horse-drawn carriages and to alert people if there were any dangerous horses nearby.  

Because they were so helpful, Dalmatians became very popular as carriage dogs and were even used by fire departments to help protect people from fires. 

Firefighters found out that Dalmatians were very good with horses and had a calming effect on them.  

This led to a long association between Dalmatians and the Fire department 

Even though they no longer have the job of clearing the way for horse-drawn carriages, Dalmatians are still loved by many firefighters as companions. 


6 – Greyhound  

Greyhounds aren’t just speedy, they also have a rich and impressive history that secures their spot on the list of legendary dogs.  

These ancient canines have been around for 8000 years and were admired by every culture they encountered for their exceptional hunting skills, strength, and agility 

They were mentioned by the Greeks, depicted in Egyptian art, praised by the Romans, and even Mentioned in the Bible. 

Their hunting prowess was so remarkable that in Europe, owning a Greyhound was outlawed within 10 miles of the king’s forests.  

Additionally, their noble appearance was so highly valued that until 1700, only nobility were permitted to own Greyhounds.  

If you’re looking for a dog with a regal and distinguished air, then the Greyhound, with its history and skills, is the perfect choice. 


5 – Bichon Frise 

Like Greyhounds, Bichon Frises were also a favorite of nobility.  

These pups were created in France by Crossbreeding Barbichon-type dogs, resulting in a gentle lapdog. Royalty in France, Italy, and Spain adored them, and they spent their days as precious lap warmers.  

However, when the French Revolution erupted, many nobles were imprisoned or executed, and the Bichon‘s life as a pampered pet ended. 

They had to fend for themselves on the streets, where they learned tricks and performed for coins.  

As a result, they became famous Circus performers with their white coats and adorable looks.  

Despite this, the circus environment with bright lights and loud noises can be stressful for these sensitive dogs, leading to anxiety and health problems.  

Many also experienced harsh training methods and long hours of performance, leaving them exhausted and sometimes injured. 

Thankfully, most circuses today have ceased using animals in their shows. We can honor Bichon Frises and all dogs by respecting their natural abilities and treating them with kindness. 


4 – Pembroke Welsh Corgi 

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a small dog breed that is famous for more than just their meme-worthy appearance.  

Originally bred in Wales for herding, Corgis were prized for their short stature, which allowed them to nip at the heels of cattle without getting kicked.  

According to legend though, Corgis were once war horses for fairies before they were gifted to children.  

This is why the rough line of fur on their back is called the fairy saddle.  

The breed’s most famous accomplishment, however, is how they captivated their most famous fan, Queen Elizabeth II. 

She owned over 30 Royal Corgis during her reign and even personally oversaw a breeding program at Windsor Castle. 


3 – Pomeranian 

Similar to the Corgi, Pomeranians, also known as Poms, are a small and adorable breed of dogs that have gained fame for their cute appearance.  

However, the Pomeranian was not always a lap dog.  

Can you imagine? Originally, Pomeranians were larger and were used as working dogs to herd livestock and pull sleds.  

It was Queen Victoria’s Pom, Marco, who won at the 1891  Crufts dog show that sparked a breeding trend.  

Breeders, including Queen Victoria herself, began selectively breeding smaller Pomeranians. During her lifetime, the dogs’ size is said to have Decreased by 50%. 

Today’s Pomeranians owe their petite size and widespread popularity to Queen Victoria’s fondness for the breed.  


2 – Chihuahua 

The Chihuahua is another small breed with an interesting history.  

The breed’s ancestor, the Techichi, was depicted in Toltec carvings from the 9th century with similar characteristics to the Chihuahua. However, their exact role in Toltec society remains unknown.  

The Techichi was later absorbed into Aztec culture, where they were believed to have mystical powers. 

Unfortunately, this led to the custom of sacrificing and cremating red Techichis with the deceased.  

After the Spanish Conquest in the 1500s, the breed became obscure until modern Chihuahuas were discovered in the Mexican state of Chihuahua in the 1850s  

Since then, the breed has become one of the most popular dogs worldwide. 


1 – Lhasa Apso 

The Lhasa Apso is one of Tibet’s most treasured breeds thanks to their long-standing history of being used as temple and monastery watchdogs.  

Considered sacred animals, they were believed to bring good fortune and ward off evil spirits in ancient Tibet.  

The dogs were so revered that they were not even allowed to leave Tibet, except as gifts from the Dalai Lama.  

In fact, the first Lhasas to enter the US were Gifted by the 13th Dalai Lama to C.S. Cutting, a noted world traveler, in 1933.  

The Cuttings then helped establish the breed in the US by importing more dogs. 


So, folks, that wraps up our list of 10 dog breeds with the most interesting histories. 

Let us know in the comments what you think about these fascinating dog breeds and their histories. 

Check out our other articles for all things dog-related.

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