Dogs were domesticated some 15,000 years ago and during all those years, they evolved from scary-looking wolf-like creatures to become our fluffy pals. Sure, some dog breeds still do resemble wolves, e.g. German Shepherd or Husky. But, some breeds look nothing like their ancestors. Just think of Chihuahuas or Pekingese dogs.
Actually, dogs are the most diverse species in the world, with over 300 different breeds. Such a variety wasn’t achieved without human intervention, though. On the contrary, humans deliberately bred most of the dog breeds. You may wonder why they did it. Was it just to play God or were there some particular reasons why humans bred certain dog breeds?
You will find the answer here. Take a look at 10 most popular dog breeds and learn why they were bred!
10. Great Dane – Boar Hunting
In the 16th century Germany boar-hunting was a favorite pastime of noblemen. But, their hobby was anything but safe. If you watched Game of Thrones, you know that wild bores can be pretty fierce. One of them killed King Robert Baratheon, after all.
Let’s get back to reality – real noblemen from Germany needed a big and strong dog that would protect them against frenzied boars. They decided to cross English Mastiffs and Irish Wolfhounds, creating the largest dog breed ever.
With over 30 inches height and about 1180 lbs. weight, Great Danes are still among the largest dog breeds on the planet. In fact, a Great Dane called Zeus holds the record for the tallest dog in history with 44 inches from paw to shoulders.
9. German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP) – Bird Hunting
As the name of the breed suggests, German Shorthaired Pointer was bred in Germany with the intention of creating a breed of dogs perfect for hunting. It seems that Germans did a really good job, because GSPs are among the best hunting dogs in the world.
They’re smart, fast, and tough, all of which are future a hunting dog should have. Another thing that makes GSPs great for this purpose is that they’re great swimmers. These dogs have webbed feet, which makes them very fast and very agile in water.
8. German Shepherd – Sheep Guarding
Often used as police dogs, German Shepherds were originally bred to guard sheep. The reason behind both of these uses is that these dogs are extremely intelligent. Actually, various studies have confirmed that German Shepherds are among the top 3 dog breeds when it comes to how fast they can learn new commands. The average person in the modern era will prefer the German Shepherd because of its ability to protect humans in certain dangerous situations. If you wish to learn how to train your German Shepherd, this book from Dog Product Picker is perfect.”
.7. Doberman Pinscher – Debt Collecting
This breed was named in honor of its creator, a guy called Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann. He lived in Germany in the 19th century and worked as a tax collector. Obviously, such job was far from easy back then, so Doberman needed a sidekick. He created a breed of dogs that are strong, fast, and agile, while also very smart and obedient.
6.St. Bernard – Alpine Rescues
Back in the 17th century, Italian monks who ran the St. Bernard hospice in the Alps, decided they needed help with saving people trapped in avalanches. The solution came in the form of the St. Bernard, a dog breed famous for a thick coat, large size, and enormous strength, all of which are the traits you want your alpine rescuer to have.
5. Bulldog – Bull Baiting
When you think of modern-day bulldogs, you probably imagine small chubby dogs who seems as if they hate doing anything else but lying around all day. Well, they weren’t like that in the past. Actually, the breed has evolved a lot since the 1500s when it was created.
Back then, these dogs were used for bull baiting, a practice in which bulls are pitted against other animals. Because of their short legs and heavy built, it wasn’t easy for the bulls to pick them up with their horns and throw them in the air.
Of course, as soon as this bloodsport got banned, there was no need for that type of dog anymore. But, rather than dying out, bulldogs evolved, becoming cuddly house pets.
4. Pit Bull – Dog fighting
Strictly speaking, Pit Bull is not a dog breed. The term refers to several breeds that were used for bull baiting and dogfighting. Some of those breeds include the Bull Terrier, the American Pit Bull Terrier, and the Boxer.
The practices for which Pitt Bulls were bred are no longer legal, but unlike Bulldogs, these dogs didn’t let themselves go. They’re still very strong, fast, and agile. And they still have an extremely strong bite, which is why these breeds are banned in some countries.
3. Pomeranian – Sled Dogs
Pomeranians sometimes behave pretty badly. They can be aggressive towards other dogs, even if those dogs are several times their size. You may wonder where does their courage come from? The answer is from their genes. A few centuries ago, Pomeranians were large and strong. And such, they were used primarily as sled dogs.
2. Chihuahua – Bred for Food
Chihuahuas are now thought of as simply pets, but in the past they were a food source. Mesoamerican civilizations, including Aztecs and Mayans, used to breed them for food, as well as for ceremonial purposes, e.g. sometimes they were buried together with their owners. And in some instances, Mesoamericans treated Chihuahuas as toy dogs, basically in the same manner they’re treated today.
1. Labradoodle – Hypoallergenic Alternative to Labradors & Poodles
Labrador Retrievers are often used as guide dogs. The problem is that some people allergic to dogs that belong to this breed. In fact, it’s estimated that about 3% of people in the world have a dog allergy, so for them, a Labrador is not a suitable choice as a guide dog.
Poodles on the other hand have a low-shedding coat, which makes them almost completely hypoallergenic. Knowing all this, Australian breeder Wally Conron came to an idea to create a crossbreed that would have the trainability of a Labrador and a coat of a Poodle. And that’s how the Labradoodle breed was born!