Posts in Canine Breeds
Canine Breed Spotlight: Rottweiler

The Rottweiler is thought to be one of the oldest herding breeds. They may be descendants of ancient Roman drover dogs (a mastiff-type dog) that traveled to Germany with the Romans as guard and herding dogs of the cattle that the Romans traveled with. One of the towns where the Romans set up a colony was named das Rote Wil when it was discovered. It is thought that this is where the name Rottweiler originated. Once rail transport replaced cattle drives, the Rottweiler almost become extinct. The need for police dogs surged near the beginning of World War I and this lead to the revival of the breed. The popularity of this breed continued to grow from then on, reaching the peak of its popularity in the mid-1990s.

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Canine Breed Spotlight: Chow Chow

The Chow Chow is one of the few ancient dog breeds still in existence today. They are believed to have originated in Mongolia and Northern China. The breed slowly made its way south with the nomadic tribes of Mongolia. In Mongolia the Chow Chow is referred to as Songshi Quan which means “puffy-lion dog”.  They were used as working and sporting dogs in China for many centuries. They were used for herding, pulling, protection and as scenting and pointing dogs for hunting.

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Canine Breed Spotlight: Miniature Schnauzer

The Miniature Schnauzer is known in Germany as the Zwergschnauzer– “zwerg” means dwarf and “schnauzer” comes from the German word for beard or whiskered muzzle in reference to the dog’s beard. Miniature Schnauzers were bred with the intent to create a smaller version of the Standard Schnauzer. They were developed in Germany by crossing breeding the standard size Schnauzer with smaller dogs, such as the Miniature Pinscher, Affernpinscher and possibly the Miniature Poodle or Pomeranian.  Originally these dogs were bred and used as ratters. While they still retain that ability, the Miniature Schnauzer is mostly a companion dog today.

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Canine Breed Spotlight: Wire Fox Terrier

The Wire Fox Terrier was developed for fox hunting in England. They are believed to be descended from a breed of working terriers from Wales, Derbyshire and Durham. Their purpose was to flush foxes from their dens so that hunters could hunt them over open country. Their short, docked tails worked as a handle and aided hunters in pulling them out of the dens. The modern day Wire Fox Terrier is not used for hunting anymore, but has become a very successful show dog.

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Canine Breed Spotlight: Basset Hound

The word basset means “low” when referring to the height of a dog. The French developed this “unconventionally attractive” Basset breed of hunting dog;  however the modern day breeding took place mostly in England in the late 1800s.  Bassets probably descended from the St. Hubert Hound, where a genetic mutation produced a short-legged or dwarfed hound. The “short” dogs were kept and bred when it was shown that they had skills to track rabbits and hare under brush in thick forests. They gained popularity as a hunting dog for small game hunting on foot.

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Canine Breed Spotlight: Boxer

The history and creation of the Boxer is well documented. They were developed in Germany by crossing the now extinct Bullenbeisser dog (a type of mastiff) with Bulldogs. The Bullenbeisser was used for hunting for many years, but the use of a smaller dog with similar traits became popular. The aim was to was to create a dog that had all the traits needed to be a good hunting dog, but in a smaller package. Once the breed became established, people discovered they weren’t just good at hunting, but also made good guard and military dogs as well. At the end of WWII Boxers became companion dogs as well; soldiers took them home as family pets.

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