Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

Water dogs have been important to Canadian fishermen since the 1600s. Dogs were used for everything from retrieving nets to towing boats. Short-haired dogs were preferred, as their coats did not collect ice, but few other specifications were viewed as important. Depending on where they were from, Canadian dogs were referred to as Newfoundlands, Labradors, or St. John’s Dogs. Because the Canadian water dogs also … Continue reading Labrador Retriever

Kuvasz

Kuvasz

The Kuvasz is an ancient flock guardian breed hailing from Hungary. Experts have long debated how this dog originated. One common theory in past was that the Kuvasz was a close relative of the Komondor, which in turn was thought to have been introduced by the Magyars. But two pieces of archaeological evidence refute this opinion: Ancient remains of the Komondor connects it with the … Continue reading Kuvasz

Komondor

Komondor

The history of the Komondor has been enshrouded in myth and legend for countless years. One popular story goes that the breed descended from a litter of wolves raised to guard sheep by Serbian shepherds sometime in the 10th century. Another tale is that the invading Magyars brought Russian Ovtcharka dogs to guard livestock on their conquest, and these became the ancestors of the modern … Continue reading Komondor

Irish Setter

Irish Setter

The Irish Setter has a knack for making itself the subject of controversy. A brief examination of its history brings us immediately to the first dispute—the origin of the breed. Something more or less like an Irish Setter has existed in Ireland since the 1700s, albeit in a piebald color. How it came to be there is uncertain. Most setter breeds involved a cross between … Continue reading Irish Setter

Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees

The Great Pyrenees, or Pyrenean Mountain Dog as it is called in Europe, has guarded sheep in the mountains of France and Spain as long as history records. Its lineage has been entirely lost in time, but it is probably related to the other ancient flock guardian breeds. Its ancestors may have been giant Asian dogs, perhaps the white dogs of Asia Minor or the … Continue reading Great Pyrenees

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

All British retrievers trace back to the same source—the Canadian water dogs imported in large numbers in the early 1800s, variously called Newfoundland or St. John’s dogs. The shorthaired version of this cold-hardy, water-loving working breed evolved into the modern Labrador Retriever. However, a furrier type was also known and imported. This was called the Wavy-Coated Retriever, now known as the Flat-Coated Retriever. Retrievers under … Continue reading Golden Retriever

German Shepherd Dog

German Shepherd Dog

Germany was once the home of a wide range of farm dogs, sheepdogs, and livestock guardians, every place and every purpose having its own unique type of dog. No one questioned this policy for many years—it was just how things were done among the rural peasantry. All this changed when the Industrial Revolution hit Germany. Beginning as early as the 1830s, Germany made frequent attempts … Continue reading German Shepherd Dog

English Shepherd

English Shepherd

Like many herding dogs of the British Isles, the English Shepherd traces back to the herding mastiffs of Julius Caesar’s Roman army. As these dogs were abandoned by the departing soldiers, they crossed over time with various local dogs and perhaps with the herding spitzes of invading Vikings. In different parts of the United Kingdom, the dogs took on different forms to suit varying climates … Continue reading English Shepherd