With origins that date back to the 1500s when bred to flush out badgers, today this long dog (celebrated with National Dachshund Day on, appropriately enough, the longest day of the year) is seen in standard and miniature sizes. Three coat types–smooth, wirehaired and longhaired–are seen.
We have a special love for Dachshunds; my childhood dog Peanut was a standard Doxie and the subject of the first major magazine sale I made (to Reader’s Digest) about “The Dog and The Duck.”
If there’s one breed that non-dog lovers can identify, it’s probably the Dalmatian! With its distinctive spotted coat, the Dalmatian is named for Dalmatia, Croatia. Through the centuries, this regal dog has served not only as a fire dog but also as a hunting dog, carriage dog, war dog and more–although today he is best known for his favorite role: family pet.
Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Does the name James Davidson ring a bell with you? Probably not, but if you flip through the pages of Sir Walter Scott’s novel “Guy Mannering” you will no doubt recognize the name of the character who was inspired by this man: Dandie Dinmont.
A farmer and fox hunter in the dawn of the 19th century, James Davidson, by maintaining records of his dogs’ breeding, became known as the father of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier we know today.
In a nod to Davidson’s past dogs, who were all known simply as ‘Mustard” or “Pepper” according to the color of their coat, the hue of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier’s fur is still categorized either as mustard (which covers all coloring from a rust to fawn) or pepper (which ranges from blue/black to light gray).
Although known by a number of names, including the Greenland Spitz, the Samoyed Spitz, the White Spitz and the Wolf Spitz, perhaps the moniker that best describes this kind-hearted breed is the nanny dog. This nickname was lovingly given in tribute to the dogs’ primary occupation in the early 1900s as caretakers of farmers’ children.
While thought to be amongst the oldest of all dog breeds, with evidence indicating that the dogs’ ancestors once lived alongside Vikings, the Danish Spitz has yet to be officially recognized by the largest canine organization in the world, the FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale).
Although this hard-working canine was a fixture in rural Scandinavia for many years, it was not until 1987 that the Danish-Swedish Farmdog was officially recognized as a breed by the two countries of its origin.
Once known as the Danish Pinscher, over the years this sweet-tempered dog has been a Jack of all trades, helping farmers as a ratter, a herder, a protector of property, and as a trusted family friend.
Don’t let this breed’s name fool you. Although it would seem as though this hunting dog´s moniker mentions a Northern European country, ̈”Denmark” is actually a portmanteau, merging the first names of the two men who introduced the breed to the world: Dennis Willis and Mark Slade.
It was the Slade family who, in the early 1900s, swapped animal hides and a wagon wheel for the first dog of its kind, who would go on to produce litters that excelled in hunting squirrels and feral pigs.
The origin of the Doberman breed is the stuff of movies. In the 19th century, a tax collector in Thuringen, German named Louis Dobermann spent his days walking house to house asking for overdue taxes. As you might guess, Dobermann was not always welcomed at those houses–and soon he decided he needed a guard dog.
No one knows exactly what mix Dobermann used to breed his guard dog but dog historians frequently mention the old German Shepherd and the German Pinscher, with later crosses possibly including the Greyhound, Rottweiler, Weimaraner and the Black & Tan Manchester Terrier.
Today’s Doberman (often called Dobies by family) has a finer bone structure and more pointed head than its ancestors. Used as a police, guard and military dog, the Doberman now is a popular family pet.
Originating in 1928, through its DNA Argentina’s sole native dog breed keeps the memory of the now-extinct Cordoba Fighting Dog alive. This muscular mammoth is also related to many other breeds, among them the Great Dane, the Old English Bulldog, the Pyrenean Mastiff and the Dogue de Bordeaux.
Known as a hunting dog, the Dogo Argentino is banned in several countries, such as Australia, the Cayman Islands, Denmark, Fiji, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore and Turkey.
Bearing the proud distinctions of being the national dog of Guatemala and the only native dog of the country, this breed was born in the tail end of the 19th century.
Originally known as the Bullterrier Guatemateco, over the years the Dogo Guatemalteco has also been called the Guatemalan Bull Terrier and the Guatemalan Dogo.
Developed on the Italian island of Sardinia, excavated sculptures of the muscular molosser-type dog serve as proof of their existence 3,000 years ago.
Primarily employed as a protector of flocks and herds, this breed has been known by a bevy of names over the centuries, including Beltigadu, Cani Trinu, Dogo Sardo, Pertogatzu and the Sardinian Mastiff.
In 1978 a Boxer/Bull Terrier dubbed Tigressa became the inspiration for this mastiff-type breed. Originally called the Bull Boxer, the dogs were bred for their even temper, the ability to bond with, and willingness to protect, their human family, their strength and longevity.
Although not considered a breed by any of the most prominent kennel clubs, aficionados of the Dogue Brazilian can celebrate these working dogs through The Brazilian Bull Boxer Club, which was founded by the dogs’ first breeder, Pedro Pessoa Ribiero Dantas.
Dogue de Bordeaux
A breed that gained modern day fame (and a new lease on life after a decline in popularity) thanks to the big screen comedy “Turner & Hooch”, these colossal French canines first stepped on to the world stage in the 14th century.
While generations of film fans may identify the breed with the canine character who helped to solve a crime in the 1989 Tom Hanks hit, in real life the Dogue de Bordeaux (who was named in honor of the French city which once claimed a large number of the breed) have utilized their skills over the centuries for work as hunters, guard dogs for French aristocrats, and drovers.
Also known as the Dutch Partridge Dog, this hunting dog has been a fixture in The Netherlands since the 16th century.
Originally employed by members of the Dutch working class as an aide when stalking small game, the breed is still a popular gun dog amongst hunters in The Netherlands.
Known as the favorite four-legged friend of Swedish dog lovers, this scenthound– which was created to be adept at hunting game of various sizes– is a larger variation of the Westphalian Dachsbracke from Germany.
Although also referred to as the Swedish Dachsbracke, the breed gained further distinction from the Westphalian Dachsbracke in 1947, when a newspaper contest determined that the breed would be known as the Drever, its name an homage to the Swedish word for a hunting technique used by the dogs.
Named in recognition of the breed’s originator (Wilhelm Dunker), this Norwegian dog shares DNA with the Russian Harlequin Hound as well as several other Norwegian scent hounds.
Stepping on to the world stage in the 19th century, outside of the country where the dogs derived the Dunker (which is also referred to as the Norwegian Rabbit Hound) is a rare sight.
One possible reason for the dogs’ lack of popularity with the general public is the breed’s propensity for deafness, with an estimated three-fourths of all Dunkers suffering from at least partial hearing impairment.
A native of The Netherlands, a clue to this rare breed’s original occupation lies in its name. Once primarily employed by farmers to herd and guard flocks of sheep, the arrival of contemporary farming methods in the early 1900s made the dogs’ expendable as herders, and along with the start of the second World War in the 1940s, brought the breed to the brink of extinction.
In recent years the Dutch Shepherd has found a new sense of purpose as police dogs, guide dogs for the visually impaired, and as search and tracking dogs.
A native of the Netherlands, this rare breed is seldom seen beyond the borders of its home country. Also known as the Dutch Ratter, the name explains this small dogs’ original occupation, which was to exterminate vermin inside stables.
Due to the happy-go-lucky temperament of the “Dutchie,” the breed became companions for the elite in the 1800s. Although the breed faced extinction during the second World War, the Dutch Smoushond has rebounded thanks to the efforts of breeders.
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