East Siberian Laika
The progeny of Aboriginal dogs, this Spitz type breed originated in Russia. Adept at hunting prey of any proportion, from squirrels to mountain lions, the multi-skilled East Siberian Laika has also been employed to pull sleds.
The breed’s name includes the word “laika,” which is Russian for “barker.”
East European Shepherd
A Ukrainian breed that made its debut on the world stage in the 1920s, this descendant of the German Shepherd is markedly larger than its progenitor– an intentional attribute to assure that the dogs can bear the brutal climate.
Other breeds which played a role in the creation of the East European Shepherd are the East Siberian Laika, the Caucasian Shepherd and the Central Asian Shepherd.
For many years the East European Shepherd, which is also known as the Vostochno Evropeiskaya Ovcharka or VEO, acted as guard dogs in the KGB, which would only accept members of the breed with solid black coats.
Ecuadorian Hairless Dog
One of 10 hairless dog types, the rare Ecuadorian Hairless Dog shares DNA with the Peru Hairless Dog and the Xoloitzuintli.
Sporting only sparse facial hair, this dog is also missing premolar teeth.
English Cocker Spaniel
More commonly referred to simply as the Cocker Spaniel, this breed is closely associated with the Springer Spaniel, with whom they were classified until the 20th century, when it was determined that size would separate the gun dogs into two distinct breeds.
Pet parents of an English Cocker Spaniel share their love for the breed with The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, whose dog Lupo was immortalized in the pages of a series of children’s books including Lupo and the Curse at Buckingham Palace, Lupo and the Secret of Windsor Castle, Lupo and the Labyrinth of the Lost Palace, and Lupo and the Thief at The Tower of London, all penned by author Aby King. Although Lupo crossed Rainbow Bridge in November 2020, Prince William and Kate Middleton’s admiration of the breed has continued with the addition of an English Cocker Spaniel who was gifted to the couple by Kate Middleton’s brother.
Another English Cocker Spaniel enthusiast was Elizabeth Barrett Browning, whose dog Flush was her constant companion. Flush not only inspired the poet to pen ‘To Flush, My Dog,’ the pup was also a muse to author Virginia Woolf, who wrote a biography of Flush.
The English Cocker Spaniel has also enjoyed moments in the spotlight on the silver screen, with a Cocker Spaniel portraying Jasper in the Hitchcock masterpiece Rebecca, and an animated Cocker Spaniel starring as Lady in the Disney classic Lady and the Tramp.
Related to the American Foxhound, this scent hound originated in the 1600s for the purpose of fox hunting and became a fixture among the British aristocracy. Members of this breed are seldom family pets.
Head and shoulders above other dogs (with an average height of 30 inches and weight between 160 and 230 pounds), the English Mastiff is the largest dog breed in the world!
An ancient dog, the English Mastiff hunted large game and took part in the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. As was the case with so many breeds, the second World War took a toll on the English Mastiff population, but the breed rebounded thanks in part from aid from US breeders.
Sharing DNA with the Spanish Pointer, the Springer Spaniel and the Water Spaniel, the English Setter made its debut 400 – 500 years ago.
Created to “set” at the sight of game birds, this gun dog (which is also known as the Lawerack, the Laverack, the Llewellin Setter and the Old Hemlock Setter) won the attention of the dog world in 1938 when an English Setter dubbed Daro of Maridor was deemed Best in Show at the Westminster Dog Show.
Originating in the United States, this herding dog is related to the Australian Shepherd, the Border Collie and the Scotch Collie.
As the breed’s other names (Farm Collie, Old Farm Collie and American Farm Shepherd) imply, the English Shepherd was primarily employed as a four-legged farm hand, with tasks that included protecting and herding livestock and exterminating rats.
Over the passage of time, however, the English Shepherd– which is now a rare breed– has become a companion animal.
English Springer Spaniel
Although the Spaniel was first mentioned in a book published in 1576, the English Springer Spaniel was not officially recognized until the dawn of the 20th century.
Closely linked to the Welsh Springer Spaniel and the English Cocker Spaniel, the Springer Spaniel was later distinguished by its size, which is larger than that of the Cocker Spaniel.
There are even differences among English Springer Spaniels, with the bench style of spaniel used to represent the breed in competitions, and the field English Springer Spaniel used as a hunting companion.
Pet parents of an English Springer Spaniel share a love of the breed with such notables as former Presidents and First Ladies George H.W. and Barbara Bush, whose dog Millie was immortalized in Millie’s Book, and George W. Bush and Laura Bush, whose dog Spot Fetcher (the son of Millie) also promenaded along passages at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan)
A relative of both the Old English Black and Tan Terrier and the Manchester Terrier, this toy dog’s beginning is rooted in the blood sport of rat baiting, with one member of the breed named Tiny the Wonder gaining fame in the 1800s as a champion ratter who could kill 200 rodents in an hour as betting spectators looked on.
Once a rat exterminator in the ring, today this toy dog (which dates back to 16th century England) is facing extinction, with Toy Manchester Terriers helping to repopulate the breed.
Entlebucher Mountain Dog
Named after the Swiss region of its origin, this breed’s original job consisted of herding cattle from mountainous areas to valleys and back again. One of four Swiss Mountain Dogs (the others being the Appenzeller Mountain Dog, the Bernese Mountain Dog and the Greater Swiss Mountain dog) the Entlebucher is the smallest, standing at 19 – 20 inches.
This breed is also known as the Entlebuch Mountain Dog, the Entlebucher Cattle Dog and the Entlebucher Sennenhund.
The American Kennel Club states that the dog is also called by the sweet sobriquet “The Laughing Dog” due to the breed’s happy demeanor.
Named in honor of the country of its origin, this scent hound has the distinction of being Estonia’s official national dog…and the only dog to have ever been developed in the country.
Estrela Mountain Dog
A native of Portugal, the early history of this ancient breed is a mystery, as was the dog itself to the rest of the world until the early 1900s.
Even after the discovery of the Estrela Mountain Dog, the breed never left its home country until the 1970s. Even today the Estrela Mountain Dog (which is also referred to as the Portuguese Shepherd) still works as a protector of livestock and defender of their human’s homes.
This Spitz type, German-born dog made its debut in the world in 1960. Sharing DNA with the Chow Chow, the Keeshond, and later the Samoyed, the dog’s European and Asian backgrounds were honored when selecting a name for the breed.
Once known as the Wolf-Chow, this family-friendly dog is also known as the Eurasian dog.
Explore More Dog Breeds Starting with:
Photo Credits: Canva.com unless otherwise credited