In case you were having a “ruff” week, we decided to share a lot post in honor of National Dog Day (August 26th)! Today is a celebration of all dogs, no matter the breed. It is not exactly known when dogs went from wild animals to man (or woman)’s best friend, but in honor of this day, we wanted to spotlight some furry four-legged friends from around the world. Here are seven dog breeds from different parts of the globe!
Beagle (England, United Kingdom)
Many famous cartoon dogs are based beagles: Snoopy (Charlie Brown), Odie (Garfield), Underdog, Gromit (Wallace and Gromit), Mr. Peabody (Rock & Bullwinkle), and the Beagle Boys (Disney’s DuckTales). But did you know that Beagle breed was developed in Great Britain in the 1830s? They have 220 million scent receptors in their noses (humans have 5 million) which is why they are trained to sniff out luggage at airports to find contraband products!
Disney canine adventure film 101 Dalmatians brought this breed much fame. These spotted dogs came from the Dalmatia region of Croatia. Dalmatians are often present at firehouses. Why? This dates back to the mid 18th century when firefighters used horse drawn carriages with steam pumper machines and hoses to fight fires. Firefighters were too busy tending to the flames, so they were unable to control the horses. Dalmatians were used to keep the horses in order and people away from the flames.
German Shepherd (Germany)
German Shepherds are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States, but the name makes it pretty obvious – they originated in Germany. There are two German Shepherds with stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – Strongheart (star of six movies) and Rin-Tin-Tin, a World War I rescue who went on to star in many movies. German Shepherd Dogs (GSDs for short) are used as police K-9s, military dogs, search and rescue dogs, and service dogs.
Labrador Retriever (Canada)
Labrador Retrievers are the favorite dog breed in the United States – ranked #1 by the American Kennel Club for the past 24 years. You can find all colors of the labs in one litter – black, chocolate and yellow. This is due to a variable genetic trait. Labrador Retrievers are not from Labrador (Canada) but Newfoundland where they were known as St. John’s dogs. The name Labrador came from England and the second Earl of Malmesbury.
Before Doug the Pug became an Internet and pop culture sensation, the pug was bred as a companion for ruling families in China. This trend continued as pugs were imported into European courts from England to the Netherlands to Spain to Italy. Percy the Pug is a character in Disney’s Pocahontas; he comes to the “New World” with the British governor.
Shiba Inu (Japan)
The Shiba Inu is another dog that has become an internet sensation. The Doge meme originated in 2013. Many people see the Shiba Inu and ask “Is that a fox?” Shiba Inus are, in fact, a breed of dog that originated in Japan. They were almost extinct during World War II! The breed was brought back to life using three just bloodlines in Japan. Shiba Inus came to the United States in the 1950s via an armed services family. They have become a popular breed in American households, according to the American Kennel Club.
St. Bernard (Switzerland)
The St. Bernard got its name from the St. Bernard pass in the Alps (between Italy and Switzerland). The tall muscular dogs were used to rescue people in this area from the snow. St. Bernard’s are very large dogs that way between 140 – 160 lbs on average. One might remember the Beethoven franchise of movies in the 1990s starting a large, lovable St. Bernard. St. Bernard’s were famous long before this, however. St. Bernard’s are always depicted with barrels around their necks. In the 1800s, a kid named Edwin Landeer painted a work called Alpine Mastiffs Reanimating a Distressed Traveler. One of the dogs was wearing a barrel of alcohol strapped around its neck to revive a traveler. This image has endured.
American Kennel Club (http://www.akc.org)