How Evolution Has Changed Popular Dog Breeds Over The Last 100 Years

As with evolution, popular dog breeds have also evolved over the years. Where once dangerous breeds like bulldogs and bull terriers were kept only as watch dogs, these have now grown popular due to their mellowed avatars today. Let’s take a look at the most popular breeds from the past and as they are seen in their present today.

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1 Bulldog

Referred to as the English Bulldog, the breed traces back to the 15th and 16th century when they were used as bull bait and kept in bullpens, hence the name bull dog. Earlier bulldogs were prone to illness but intensive care and breeding has changed their physiology adapting to positive features. Today the American Kennel club confirms this is one of the most sought after breeds in the USA.

Bulldog

Bulldog

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2 Bull Terrier

As a cross breed between a bull dog and a bull terrier, these little dogs were extremely ferocious and know for their courage and herculean strength. Conceived during the 1800, they are among the common loved dog breeds in the world. If you notice from the image, there is a definite change in the shape of the snout.

 Bull Terrier

Bull Terrier

3 Dachshund

Dachshunds are loving and affectionate breeds which appeared almost 400 years ago. However their physiology has vastly improved where earlier they were prone to intervertebral disc disease that could even paralyze them. The image shows a thicker body and shorter legs.

Dachshund

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4 German Shepherd

The German shepherd originated in Germany in 1899, it is also known as the Alsatian. They were primarily bred to herd sheep and displayed great intelligence. Today the German Shepherd is the second most popular dog breed in the USA and has evolved its body to feature a thicker abdomen and a sharp poised stance.

German Shepherd

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5 Saint Bernard

We all love and remember the cute movie ‘Beethoven’ don’t we? Saint Bernards are one of the most affectionate and faithful dogs on earth and that’s what they were actually bred for in cold climates. To save people lost in blizzards and heavy snowfall. Even today they make great rescue dogs. They date as far back as Roman times when they even served in the Roman army.

Today Saint Bernards have broad angular skulls and are different from what they were since their inception.

Saint Bernard

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6 Pug

This cute fellow was conceived in the 15 century and made popular when European traders would bring them back from their country of origin and that’s China. Believed to have descended from Chinese happa dogs, their looks have evolved for the better. Pugs are now one of the most popular dog breeds in the world.

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Pugs have a metabolism that features low oxygenation levels, high blood pressure and heart problems. If you have a pug, you need to take care of him well and keep him cool as they tend to overheat a lot.

Pug

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7Boxer

The boxer is a successor of the bullenbraisers which are now extinct. This was a cross between a bulldog and mastiff. They were developed in 19th century Germany and were designed to be bull baiters and as butcher’s helpers to help control cattle. Earlier the boxer had a long face and tail that pointed downwards but today’s boxer has a short face with a longer mouth pointing up. Because of this, it is prone to problems and due to its inability to cool itself in summer, it is also prone to cancer.

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Boxer

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8Basset Hound

The basset hound is characterized by short legs due to an extra gene that reduces growth. Previous to human interference in breeds, the basset hound had shorter ears and droopy face, today its bellies are even more lowered and the rear legs are also lowered with excessive skin and large floppy ears.

The Basset hound was developed in the 7th century by a hunter named Abbot Hubert who created them to have powerful sensing abilities that developed into bloodhounds of today but another line was produced that became the short-legged hound that moved slow and was used by hunters of small game.

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Basset Hound

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9Doberman Pinscher

Dobermans were less massive than their counterparts today. The head today is smoother but forelegs shorter. They are also reduced in aggression compared to earlier breeds.

Doberman Pinscher

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10Irish Setter

Irish setters haven’t changed all that much in 150 years. They always seem to be suffering from mental and physical problems. The setter today is much lighter, thinner and the fur coat is long and thick. It wasn’t so a hundred years ago.

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Irish Setter

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11Rottweiler

In 100 years the Rottweiler has lost the docked tail and now has a longer one. Rottweilers are usually back bit now the feature a mix of black and light brown or reddish brown spots on various parts of their body mainly face and legs.

Rottweiler

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12Saluki

The saluki or Persian Greyhound has become longer and thinner compared to its counterpart a hundred years ago. Except for ears and legs, nothing much else has changed. The legs are long and thin and ears much longer than before.

Saluki

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13West Highland White Terrier

Not much has changed in the looks of the West Highland white terrier but the fur is much longer and thicker and the breed itself has seemed to have gone a bit smaller.

West Highland White Terrier

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14Airdale Terrier

The breed hasn’t changed although there is a marked difference in the coat that has become bushier and prominent. Its snout has gone longer and ears shorter.

Airdale Terrier

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15Labradors

As you can see the main difference is the body tone and structure where Labradors weren’t so bulkier and slimmer before. Today’s Labradors tend to be fatter and prone to obesity and weight gain.

Labradors

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