Your Guide to Famous Dog Breeds

Famous Dog Breed Guide
Whether well-known or rare, dog breeds are as varied as people, with different personalities, temperaments, and needs. Yet, all dogs require many of the same things: attention, shelter, food and water, activity, and respect. Regardless of their differences in looks or jobs, dogs are bond to the people who care for them.

Famous or not so famous?
DogsThere is no denying that many dog breeds are more famous than others. Spaniels, for example, are known around the world. Many varieties exist, including the Cocker spaniel, the Springer spaniel, and the Brittany spaniel. Most were developed in Europe and used as hunting dogs, an activity still pursued today. The Lurcher, however, is a hunting dog breed that is not as well known. Developed during the 1600s in Ireland, this fast-moving dog breed is famous for its ability to hunt hare and other game. Hunting was reserved for the nobility during those days, those who owned land and dogs, but the common people also needed to feed their families, so they bred various dog breeds to create the Lurcher, which now serves primarily as a family pet.

One of the most famous dog breeds is the Collie. Anyone who watched the television program Lassie understands the special tug of heart that can occur when beholding the long, lavish coat of the collie. The beauty of this breed and the unique connection to the television show, which displayed the Collie’s gentle, loving yet protective and strong nature, continues to make this dog an endearing breed. Collies originated in Scotland as herding and farm dogs.

Similar to the Collie in coloring and work ethic, the Sheltie also traces its heritage to the farmlands of Scotland. Although smaller in stature than Collies, Shelties (more properly known as Shetland Sheepdogs) make excellent agility competitors as well as fine family pets. This famous dog breed has been listed among the top 25 most popular dog breeds (as noted by the American Kennel Club – AKC) during the past 10 years.

Famous German dog breeds
The Dachshund is another very popular dog breed, ranking in the top 10 listing of AKC registration statistics during the past 10 years. However, this famous dog breed has dropped slowly in popularity during this time, going from fifth place in 2002 to tenth place in 2012. The “wiener dog” as it’s often called, is famous for its short legs and long body and feisty yet friendly disposition.  Dachshunds originated in Germany.

So did the Doberman.  Often used for guard and police work, this sturdy dog breed has also been used as a pet therapy dog and in search and rescue operations. Some cities restrict the ownership of Dobermans, considering the breed aggressive.

Great Danes can also be intimidating dogs. Often standing 2 ½ feet (76 cm) tall at the shoulder, their size may be daunting, but the spirit of these large dogs is that of a gentle giant.  One of the most famous Great Danes is Giant George, who stands 3 ½ feet (106 cm) tall and weighs 245 pounds (111 kg). George has been featured on several television programs and is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Other famous large breeds
Another famous large dog breed is the Wolfhound. In fact, the Irish Wolfhound is the largest dog breed in the world, standing approximately three feet (91 cm) tall and weighing more than 100 pounds (45 kg)! It’s cousin, the Scottish Deerhound (once called the Scottish Wolfhound) is also a very large dog, weighing an average of 80 but up to 100 pounds (36 to 45 kg) and standing about 2 ½ feet (76 cm) tall. Another wolfhound, the Borzoi (once called the Russian Wolfhound) is the smaller of the famous wolfhound breeds, yet is just as agile and swift.

No matter what country in which they originated, Wolfhounds were used for hunting game and for protecting property and people. Some of these dogs protected their charges from predators as large as wolves and bears, therefore, the need for the enormous size of this famous dog breed.

Rarer breeds
Some of the less famous dog breeds are the Anatolian Shepherd Dog and the Kangal, both of which originated in Turkey, and the Saluki, a native of Egypt. The Blue Lacey, which originated in Texas during the mid-1800s, is a very rare breed and is not recognized by the AKC.

Whether rare or common, these and many other famous dog breeds are energetic and faithful companions!

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