Some Fascinating Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Dogs
Today, most dog breeds are thought of as loving family pets. However, this hasn’t always been the case. Most dogs were originally bred for a purpose and to carry out a specific job for their masters, many of which we would have been lost without. Here are a few strange facts about dogs that might come as a surprise to you…
The Deadly Dachshund
It’s difficult to believe that these cute little ‘sausage dogs’ were originally bred in Germany to hunt badgers, hence their name translating literally as “badger dog”. These fearless little dogs were also trained to chase and kill other forest animals such as foxes, rabbits, weasels and hares, with packs of Dachshund even known to trail wild boars.
Their long bodies which are low to the ground due to their short, powerful legs, along with their strong, stretchy skin made them ideal for burrowing into narrow tunnels without getting stuck. In addition, their long, sturdy tails acted as a handle to allow their masters to tug them from the burrows.
Their persistent nature and endless energy is also what made them perfect candidates for the job. Nowadays they are a very popular family pet, however there are some places in Europe, such as France, that still consider them hunting dogs.
The Pond Loving Poodle
Although Poodle’s are known today for being rather prestige and high maintenance, their actual purpose was quite the opposite. They were originally bred to dive into muddy lakes, ponds and bogs to retrieve game that their masters had shot. Their trademark shaving patterns also came from this era.
They were shaved for practical reasons, because their fur became too heavy in the dirty water, yet some areas such as around their vital organs were kept long to keep the dogs warm. The ribbons that you might see owner’s placing in their Poodle’s fur today also date back to this time, as their masters would each use a different coloured ribbon so that they could identify their dog.
Look Out For the Lhasa Apso
Lhasa Apsos originally come from the Himalayan Mountains of Tibet. Their name comes from the capital city of Tibet, which is “Lhasa”, and the word apso means “bearded” in Tibetan – the name literally translates as “long haired Lhasa dog”.
Their job was to guard palaces and Buddhist temples, alerting the monks to any intruders with their sharp bark. They were a very rare breed, difficult to get hold of an only bred by holy men in Tibet. These days it’s hard to believe that these fluffy lap dogs, with their long, high maintenance coats, were actually bred to be guard dogs and considered as sacred. However, it does explain their territorial nature to some extent.
The Daring Dalmatian
Although some people believe Dalmatians originated in ‘Dalmatia’ in Croatia, their actual origin is unknown. These dogs were used to aid firefighters in the U.S during the 19th century. At this time fire trucks were led by horses, so Dalmatians were used (due to their innate fondness of horses) to run alongside them in emergencies. They helped to clear people from the pathways with their loud barks, and find a route to the fire. They were also used to guard the horses while they weren’t working.
The Yappy Yorkshire Terrier
Although these tiny pampered lap dogs appear to be sweet and innocent, any owner would tell you that they can be ferocious little beasts when they want to be. Originating in the area of England which their name suggests, Yorkshire terriers were originally bred for use as ‘Ratters’.
Coal miners and other workers sent them down into mines or into factories to clear out and control the numbers of rats. They needed a brave and nippy dog to hunt and kill all of the vermin before they got to work, and the Yorkshire Terrier did not disappoint.
Due to their success, their popularity grew and they were eventually transferred from the mines and factories into people’s homes, and are today one of the most common toy breeds in many countries.
The Dangerous Dobermann Pinscher
This breed is named after the man who created it in the late 19th century; ‘Louis Dobermann’ from Germany. He was a tax collector, who in those days collected the cash in person, going door to door on foot. This brought many challenges for Louis Dobermann, who was often faced with very unhappy, aggressive citizens.
He decided he needed a dog that would be able to protect him during his duties, and so the Dobermann was created. The Dobermann traits of being loyal, fierce, powerful and strong made them the perfect accomplice to prevent attacks. Over time, they have been used as war and police dogs due to their intelligent and protective nature. Nowadays, they are devoted and adventurous companions in many family homes.
Have you been looking for some top toys for your dog? Here you will find a great range of dog toys with a review accompanying each one so you can make an informed decision about which one is most suitable for your dog. Enjoy!