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Dog breeds names : How these  dog breeds got their original names :There is always a motivation behind the names that we choose for our animals, objects, and even our close ones. While every dog owner can give a reason why they call their dog a given name, very few can explain the story behind their dog’s breed name. The following are some of the common dog breeds and the story behind their monikers.


dog breeds
With the mention of the word poodle, many people of the modern world think of a snooty and fancy dog. However, as a gun dog, poodles had their fair share of rough and tumble origins. The name ‘poodle’ reflects the dog’s early work as retrievers. Notably, the dogs would swim in water pools after any fallen waterfowls. The term ‘poodle’ was derived from the German word ‘Pudeln’ which means ‘to splash.’ Therefore, poodle’s name was obtained from the evolution of the German name ‘Pudelhund’ which meant ‘water dogs.’

Cocker Spaniel

dog breeds names
The Cocker Spaniel dog breed can trace its roots as early as the 14th century. Starting as gun dogs, the Spaniel became a popular pet for many times. Notably, English hunters praised the dog breed for its skilled tracking of woodcocks hence its name ‘Cocker Spaniel.’

Cairn TerrierHow these 12 dog breeds got their original names 15

Originating from the Scottish highlands, the Cairn Terrier make yet another dog breed who was well known for their hunting skills and ability. However, unlike other breeds, the dog was well known for hunting rats and small animals such as rabbits and other rodents. Following the dogs showing their prowess in hunting in the manmade stones piles that dotted the region, or rather cairns, they got their moniker ‘Cairn Terrier.’


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Coming from an unexpected ferocious origin, the Dachshund is yet another dog breed with a captivating story behind its dog breed name. With the breed first produced in the early 17th century, hunters were motivated by the need for a fearless and elongated dog that had the ability to dig up its way in a badger’s hole. This was to help it battle with the tenacious little mammals that lived in the soil, hence creating the dog breed’s name out its early purpose.


Beagle image
With a mysterious origin is the Beagle dog breed. Anyone who has spent adequate tie with the dog can concur with the story behind the dog breed’s name. Back in the 16th century, the American Kennel Club invented this dog’s breed moniker having it associated with the French word ‘becguele’ which literally means ‘a noisy person.’ Expect the beagle to offer a din of howls during hunts.

Lhasa Apso

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The Lhasa Apso breed has quite a funny name, however, with a rich history. Originally bred as a watchdog, this dog breed was mainly found in Tibetan monasteries and palaces. The dog was known for its alertness having no intruder sneak or get past these yipping pooches.Their name is motivated by their origin and appearance. The name ‘Lhasa’ is obtained from Tibet’s long time capital while the name ‘Apso’ refers to a Tibetan word meaning ‘bearded.
Therefore, this dog breed name simply defines the dog as a longhaired dog whose origin is Tibet.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

"Two dogs with long ears sit on a wooden platform overlooking the sea. They are mostly white, but have black ears and black and brown markings on their faces. Their fur is ruffled by the breeze."
If you thought dogs are just for commoners, well this breed will prove you wrong. Going beyond the love of a king to obtaining a name motivated by royalty, this Spaniel takes its name from Britain’s King Charles II. Notably, the king was often depicted in tapestries and paintings in the company of this dog breed, and rarely was he spotted without his dog hence motivating the dog breed’s name.

Bouvier des Flandres

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Dogs come with diverse abilities and thanks to this French dog whose specialty is quite a
motivation to its breed name. Having the dog originate from Flanders’ France, French farmers praised the dog for its working spirit. Notably, the name given to dog breed directly translates to ‘the cow herder of Flanders.’

Basset Hound

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Most of us have definitely met this big-eared hound. Rather than the common presumption that this dog breed got its moniker from a person names ‘Basset,’ the breed’s name comes from the French words ‘low’ having it refer to the Basset Hound’s low-slung statures.


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Just around since the 19th century, the Weimaraner dog breed is a beautiful grey dog known for its expressive eyes. The Grand Duke Karl August of Weimer has a part to play in what this dog breed is known for to date. He selectively bred hunting dogs to obtain a smart fast dog with strong noses and one that would rarely back down from large games such as wildcats and wolves.

The Duke breed became fashionable amongst his noblemen in Weimer hence the dog’s breed name. Notably, the Weimaraner is well known for its bird-hunting prowess.


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Coming with beautiful spots, this dog breed has its name motivated by its origin, Dalmatia,
Croatia. The dogs have been for a long time been used as guard dogs and sentinel. Painting and writings depict that this dog breed was present in various European regions. However, with the dog becoming popular in the Dalmatia region since the 18th century, its moniker was born.

Jack Russell Terrier

"Three mostly white terriers with different markings stand up over a log"
No one would think that a dog would get its moniker not only from a person’s name. Born in Dartmouth, in 1795, Jack Russell was known as a hunting enthusiast. While conducting his clergyman studies at Oxford, Russell met a milkman who had a white terrier named Trump.

Believing Trump was a perfect dog for hunting, Russell convinced the milkman to sell him the dog. Russell would later try breeding the dog to develop a terrier with the stamina to hunt foxes with the courage to chase them even in the holes. Jack Russell Terrier was named after the inventor of the breed.



While some of the dog breeds are known for their industrious traits and origin, others are known for the special skills they possess. It all doesn’t end there having other monikers motivated by the people who bred the dog breeds and others from people they were associated with during some past years. Seek to find out the motivation behind your dog breed name to add on how much you know your dog.