Shetland Sheepdog

The Shetland Sheepdog dates back to the Viking invasions of the 9th and 10th centuries. The fierce invaders who colonized the Shetland Islands brought with them small herding spitzes to tend their livestock. These dogs were ideally suited to the harsh climate of the islands, being quite hardy. In the 1470s, however, the Shetland Islands…

Rottweiler

As invading Roman armies traveled, they tended to leave a trail of abandoned dogs in their wake, no matter where they went. The dogs were large and mastiff-like, but they were kept to herd sheep and cattle to feed the soldiers. As the livestock was eaten up, surplus dogs were left behind. One area that…

Redbone Coonhound

Foxhounds had a long tradition in Virginia, earning a place on large plantations well before the American Revolution. However, after the war, Americans began moving westward, taking their dogs with them. In the backwoods of the South, they started to run into difficulties—foxhounds were bred to chase foxes across the land to their burrows. Many…

Pointer

Sometime after 1650, a new kind of dog came into being all across Europe. This dog was the result of mixing various breeds of foxhound, bloodhound, greyhound, and setting spaniel types. Its original purpose was to partner with greyhounds in chasing down hares. The new dog went ahead of the hunters to sniff out the…

Old English Sheepdog

The Old English Sheepdog, contrary to its name, is not terribly old. A 1771 portrait of the third Duke of Buccleuch by Gainsborough is commonly asserted to contain the first known likeness of the sheepdog. However, the dog in the portrait appears to be of a small breed, leaving us at a loss for a…

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,…

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…

Brave the Wild Trail

There is nothing Josh Bramlett wants more than a dog. And his father Eben has just the plan to make this dream come true! Scrub cattle run wild across Florida, just waiting to be rounded up and driven to market—a market hungry for beef in the days just after the Civil War. If you love…

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…