Scientists tell us that humans’ relationship with dogs goes back 18,000 years, give or take a few centuries. They work with us, comfort us, and provide some indescribable psychological support.
Based on a listing of the most popular breeds, courtesy of FindTheBest.com
, here are 10 images of our best-loved canine companions.
1. Labrador Retriever
Independent, intelligent, loyal, and only aggressive when they need be, the Labrador retriever is a sporting breed whose dense, short, water-repellent fur coat helps in the hunt for birds and other small game. There are two types: the laid-back, stocky English Lab and the tall and lanky American Lab. They can be very sociable and active — they need daily exercise, such as their favorite activity, swimming — and are considered good around children. Above we see a black and yellow lab — they also come in chocolate brown.
2. German Shepherd
Classified as both a herding and working dog, the iconic German shepherd is alert, intelligent, loyal, and great at catching Frisbees.
The most wildly popular movie star of the 1920s was a German shepherd allegedly found as a puppy by American pilot Lee Duncan during World War I in a bombed-out kennel in occupied France. Named Rin Tin Tin, his first film in a starring role, "Where the North Begins" (1923), saved Warner Bros. studio from bankruptcy and rocketed screenwriter Darryl F. Zanuck to a career as a major film producer. Embarrassed that a dog had received the most votes for Best Actor at the first Academy Award competition in 1929, the Academy removed Rin Tin Tin from competition and instead awarded the Oscar to German actor Emil Jannings.
3. Golden Retriever
A sporting breed that’s alert, intelligent, and relatively quiet, the golden retriever is a favorite among hunters who leverage the dog’s love of water to send them out and retrieve shot waterfowl and upland game birds without damaging them.
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Classified as a hound — indeed, many people who think they own beagles actually own Virginia foxhounds — beagles are alert, very intelligent, curious, social, and “cheerful” to the point of having a puppy-like disposition for much of their lives.
Top photo: A “non-sporting” dog, the bulldog is alert, loyal, cheerful, courageous, relatively quiet, and social. A short, muscular, heavy dog with a wrinkled face and pushed-in nose, it got its name from its use in the sport of bull baiting, a feat impossible for the modern, more genteel breed of bulldog. Considered symbolic of Winston Churchill’s defiance of Germany, the bulldog is the official mascot of 39 American universities as well as the United States Marine Corps.
Bottom photo: USMC Major General Smedley Butler, at the time the most decorated Marine in U.S. history, is seen with the bulldog Marine Mascot at the opening of Baltimore Stadium on Dec. 2, 1922. Marines played the Army and won 13-12.
6. Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire terriers, nicknamed "Yorkies," are members of the toy group of terrier breeds, but are unusually brave for their size, having originally been bred for the control of foxes, rats, and rabbits. They were introduced as pets to the celebrity world by actress Audrey Hepburn, whose own dog “Mr. Famous” appeared with her in a scene in the 1957 movie "Funny Face." Britney Spears, Natalie Portman, Gisele Bundchen, and Donald Trump have all owned Yorkies.
The boxer is classified as a working dog. Thus, in addition to being a high-spirited, playful, and energetic pet, this alert, intelligent, and loyal dog can be trained for service as a guard dog, therapy dog, or in military and police work. Actors Hugh Jackman, Jessica Biel, Cameron Diaz, and Jennifer Love Hewitt have owned them, as did the late Humphrey Bogart, Charlton Heston, Arthur Koestler, and Pablo Picasso.
The poodle comes is various sizes: miniature poodles are 10 to 15 inches at the shoulders and the larger standard poodle is taller than 15 inches at the highest point of the shoulders. They are water retrievers as well as companion-type dogs, and for allergy sufferers, their hypoallergenic coat makes them a popular breed.
The stocky, robust and strong Rottweiler is a courageous working dog that was originally used to herd livestock and pull carts filled with butchered meat to market. They are historically a versatile dog, having been used as guard dogs, messengers, and ambulance dogs (during wartime), and police dogs. And of course they are popular as pets, though they can be a bit headstrong and stubborn.
Publisher William Randolph Hearst owned a number of Dachshunds (the name means “badger dog” in German). Although relatively small, they are categorized as hound dogs. Their remarkable sense of smell gives them an edge in tracking down a hunter’s target. They are bred in three different coat types (smooth, wirehaired, or longhaired) and can be miniature or standard size. They tend to bark quite a bit and can be aggressive but are considered good companions and can be a good watchdog.
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