Dogs have been domesticated by humans since the early stone age and since then they have proven to be one of the most loyal and useful animals to humans. From being aids at hunting in ancient times, to being guard dogs and trophy pets in today’s times, dogs have proven their worth always. But the hundreds of breeds that exist today did not look they way they look today, a century ago. Evolution, adaptation, and human interference have all come together to create a new picture of the breed, not only changing their appearance but also their biology and their traits. History Pictures brings to you 8 comparative images of breeds and how they looked a hundred years ago.
The bulldog is one of the most aggressive looking dogs on the planet. Popularized on television by the cartoon character Spike, the bulldog was established as a fierce fighting machine with strong legs and a heavy stout. The only problem was that it wasn’t tall enough and that is what kept it behind in the race to become the best. The bulldog as you can see was leaner and shorter a hundred years ago, but time and nature have given the bulldog that little extra height and have also given them extra bulk and muscle. But according to a lot of experts, the bulldogs of today have become more complacent than their ancestors, especially since people have been raising them as trophy pets. Today, it is more common to spot a bulldog at Beverly Hills rather than at a US Army Camp, which a huge contradiction to what the breeds were trained to do back in the day. Another factor that has reduced the use of the bulldog as compared to back in the day is the development of breeds like huskies and doberman pinscher to be trained to use in the army.
2. German Shepherd
One of the most popular breeds in the world, the German Shepherd was bred initially in the Bavarian region of Germany and soon the world realized the versatility of the breed and it started being bred in different parts of the world. The German Shepherd can bow be seen in almost all parts of the word, hot, cold, humid, or dry. They idea of the German Shepherd floated around in the year 1899 when the people needed a breed that was fast and strong and could easily ward of animals that hunted domestic animals like sheep and cow. Also known as the Alsatian in Britain and Ireland, this breed of dog has proven its worth by being one of the most strong, diligent, trainable, and obedient breeds of dogs in the world. One can see how nature has transformed the German Shepherd into giving it a bulkier appearance and a lot of hair to combat the change in climate that has occurred over the century.
We all remember this dog from the famous cartoon series Oswald the Octopus, where his dog Winnie, shaped like a hot dog, would wiggle around with him. We did not known at that time, that Winnie was the adaptation of a real breed of dogs, the Dachshund. Famous for their extremely short height, and their long length, the dachshund is one of the most peculiar breeds of dogs in the world. Initially, the dachshund was a bred this way to easily enter small entrances and holes, especially burrows, and thus help in hunting badgers, rabbits, and hares. They were also sometimes used to retrieve a dead animal from a burrow, but they were not strong enough to make the kill themselves. Their hind legs are powerful enough for them to increase and decrease acceleration at will which is not possible for bigger breeds. The dachshund is therefore very capable of hunting prairie dogs and other such animals. One can see in the image how the dog has developed by loosing weight and gaining muscle in the hind part of the body.
4. Doberman Pinscher
Developed in the year 1890 by Karl Friedrich Louis Doberman in Germany, the Doberman has been used since its inception as a guard dog and a breed that is known to be fast and aggressive. Karl Doberman realized that he need a breed that was not only strong and aggressive but also immensely fast, and that gave birth to the Doberman Pinscher. The lean body and light footed stance of the dog, allows it to burst into a sprint in seconds. It is intelligent and smart, and has a very strong sense of smell and location. Used by a number of narcotics departments in the world, the doberman can be trained to identify peculiar smells and also chase the smell for log distances. The stamina of the breed allows it to run for long distances. They come in two variations, the black and the blue doberman. It takes special skill and care to own and train a doberman and hence people who just want a domestic pet, usually don’t opt for the doberman.
One of the most elegant and beautiful dogs on the planet, the saluki is a breed that has come right out of the Arabian Nights tales. First bred in Arabia and the Fertile Crescent, the saluki was trained to be a sighthound. They are deep-chested and have long slender legs that enable the dog to reach great speeds. Nature has given the dog an aerodynamic body that cuts air resistance when it runs. The minimal hair on the body gave it an edge in the desert and the barren lands where nomadic tribes used it to hunt animals such as jackals, deer, etc. Once the dog attained a royal status by being at the side of sultans and kings in the Orient, the west began petting the dog as a trophy pet. Celebrities wanted to have a saluki as a pet, as it banked upon their star like status. One of the oldest breeds in the world, the saluki has changed a lot over the century, becoming slimmer and taller than before.
Another canine greats, the boxer is as popular as the German Shepherd, but the only thing that pushed it back in the race was its appearance. Boxers are considered not very good looking dogs. The boxer is also a gift from Germany to the world, but now it has become more synonymous with Britain rather than with Germany. The royals of Britain have patronized the breed into one of their own, thus making it look like an elite English breed. The boxer was initially conceived from the Old English Bulldog and the Bullenbeisser. The whole idea was to eliminate the excessive white color of the original species and to create a bigger and better species. You can see in the image how nature has worked upon the anatomy of the boxer making it leaner, stronger, and more muscular than before. It is taller than its century old friend as well.
Last but not the least, we talk about the breed that has been working alongside protection forces to protect us all the time. Descendants of the Roman Rover dogs, Rottweilers have been guard dogs and police dogs since they have been introduced to the modern world. They were also known as Butcher dogs as they used to pull carts of meat and dead animals around. The World War I gave the rottweiler the needed popularity and made it one of the most desired breed by police and army personnel around the world. They were not only used by police personnel but were also used as messenger, ambulance, and draught, dogs. You can see in the image how time and science have modified the structure of the rottweiler into creating a stronger, faster, and more intelligent breed than what was seen a century ago. The snout looks shorter, the built looks muscular, and the coat is more smoother than the hairy one noticed in the old photograph.