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Origin Stories: The Evolution of the World's 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds

Origin Stories: The Evolution of the World's 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds


Researchers analyzing the DNA of prehistoric dogs discovered in 2017 that all present dog breeds have the same geographic origin and can be traced back to a single occurrence of domestication about 40,000 years ago. As a result, they are the first creatures to be domesticated by humans. Dogs offered protection and security, and people reciprocated with food and shelter. Both of them found loyal companionship in that mutually beneficial partnership.


Modern dogs are thought to have descended from gray wolves. Domesticated wolves were selectively bred by prehistoric people to become superior hunting companions or protectors. Humans carried them with them as they traveled to different parts of the globe. Different climates and lifestyles lead to the selective breeding of even additional features over time. This is how the more than 400 dog breeds we know and love today came to be.


In this article, we'll look at how 10 different kinds of man's best friends have changed over time.

The English cocker spaniel (England)

The English cocker spaniel (England)

When Victorian England authorized numerous spaniel breeds to assist in hunting in the 19th century, the English cocker spaniel was born. They are a wonderful, acceptable domestic friend in addition to being dependable hunting partners.


Water dog from Portugal (Portugal)

Water dog from Portugal

The Portuguese water dog used to be found all along the coast of Portugal. Their non-shedding, waterproof coats were great for herding fish into nets in freezing ocean conditions. Their tough, powerful body was also essential for water rescue.


Saint Bernard (Switzerland)

Saint Bernard (Switzerland)

Little is known about the St. Bernard's mastiff progenitors, but they were most likely imported from Rome in the 1700s. During the monks' winter isolation at the Great Saint Bernard Hospice and Monastery, St. Bernards were sent on patrols, rescue missions, and to direct travelers after snowstorms.


Akita is a Japanese breed of dog (Japan)

Akita is a Japanese breed of dog

Akitas were developed in the 17th century in the Akita prefecture of Japan as a result of selective breeding for hunting dogs. For a time, they were only allowed to be owned by the imperial family, but the country fell in love with the faithful breed and began adopting them. Hachiko, an Akita from the 1920s, is a world-famous dog and one of Japan's most popular emblems today.


Collie is a breed of dog (Great Britain)

Collie is a breed of dog (Great Britain)

Collies are more commonly identified with the United Kingdom. After collies were showcased at a dog show in Birmingham in 1860, this sheepdog breed gained popularity south of Scotland. The first collie arrived in the United States in 1879. Surprisingly, Lassie, a renowned character from books, movies, and television, is possibly the world's most famous collie.


Maltese (Malta)

Maltese (Malta)

The origins of these pip-squeak dogs are shrouded in mystery. They are thought to be descended from a Swedish Spitz-type dog, according to some. Some people believe they are Tibetan terriers from Asia. Malta, a Mediterranean island, was the first place where the breed was legally recognized. By the 1300s, the Maltese had become one of the most popular pets among kings and queens in Britain.


Mexico's Chihuahua (México)

Mexico's Chihuahua (México)

Chihuahuas originated in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. According to historians, they descended from a little companion dog found in ancient Central American civilizations or Native American cultures. American travelers began taking the dogs back to the United States in the 1800s. Many people today link the Chihuahua with the Taco Bell mascot Dinky, who appears in many advertising throughout the world.


Pug is a dog breed (China)

Pug is a dog breed (China)

The history of the pug may be traced back over 2,000 years when they were the preferred pets of Chinese emperors. Dutch traders brought them to Europe in the 16th century. The term pugnus comes from the Latin word for fist, which refers to their flat, pinched faces. The pug was popularized in Disney's "Pocahontas," where it symbolized the companionship that this dog breed provides to people all around the world.


 Pomeranian (Germany/Poland)

Pomeranian (Germany/Poland)

Pomeranians are a blend of a smaller Spitz-type breed and local dogs from Pomerania, which is split between Poland and West Germany. They are recognized for their diminutive stature, but their forefathers were enormous Scandinavian sled dogs. Queen Victoria is claimed to have fallen in love with poms when touring Italy and is credited with breeding them down to their current size.


Great Dane is a breed of dog (Germany)

Great Dane is a breed of dog (Germany)

Although the name includes the word "dane," Great Danes are not a Danish breed. They were bred for 400 years by German aristocracy to hunt wild boar, and later used to guard homes and act as fiercely devoted friends. Marmaduke and Scooby-Doo, two of today's most renowned cartoon canines, are both Great Danes.