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

Collie

Collie

The Collie shares the same heritage as the rest of the sheepdogs of the British Isles. It traces back to the herding mastiffs of the invading Roman armies under Julius Caesar, perhaps with a touch of Viking spitz added later on. For centuries, the Collie, or Scotch Collie, more or less resembled the modern Border Collie. These all-purpose farm dogs came in different varieties suited … Continue reading Collie

Border Collie

Border Collie

Most of the herding dogs of the British Isles trace back to a common ancestor—the big, black-and-tan mastiffs brought by Julius Caesar around 55 BC to guard and drive livestock to feed the Roman army. Of course, British and Scottish sheepdogs do not look much like mastiffs. This is owing to the influence of small herding spitzes brought by the Vikings after the collapse of … Continue reading Border Collie

Beagle

Beagle

The Beagle is a breed old enough to have its origins shrouded in mystery. We know for certain that, when the Romans arrived in the British Isles soon after the birth of Christ, they found small hounds already employed in hunting. About a thousand years later, William the Conqueror and his Norman soldiers brought along hounds of their own that probably influenced the Beagle. Thus, … Continue reading Beagle

Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd

It may surprise you, but the Australian Shepherd is actually an American breed, developed in the West in the 19th century. There is an Australian connection, however. Some of the breed’s most influential ancestors were various Basque herding dogs from both Spain and France, including the Pyrenean Shepherd. Basque dogs were originally brought to America by shepherds, some arriving directly on our shores, others coming … Continue reading Australian Shepherd

Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog

When Australia was first settled, its system of ranching was very small-scale by modern standards. Cattle farms were clustered around present-day Sidney, close to market. Taking a small herd to town was a simple affair, since the animals were quite used to attention from people and their dogs. The traditional dog used in this role was called the Smithfield, believed to be something like an … Continue reading Australian Cattle Dog

Anatolian Shepherd

Anatolian Shepherd

As far as we can tell, the Anatolian Shepherd was a fixture on the landscape of rural Turkey from the most ancient times. Its ancestors are not known for certain. It can undoubtedly be traced to various dogs of Mesopotamia, possibly including both sighthounds and mastiff-like hunting dogs. It may also have ancestors among the Tibetan Mastiffs and the Roman dogs of war. Whatever its … Continue reading Anatolian Shepherd

American Pit Bull Terrier

American Pit Bull Terrier

Arguably one of the most influential canine types in history was the molossus, the mastiff of the ancient Greeks and Romans. This dog was both versatile and useful, guarding property and herding livestock. Unfortunately, it also found a place in the Roman arena, satisfying the populace’s thirst for blood sports. Many modern dog breeds trace back to the molossus, including the old-fashioned bulldog (not the … Continue reading American Pit Bull Terrier