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Dog breeds come and go

Saluki
SalukiAmerican Kennel Club

Many experts believe that cavemen domesticated dogs by drawing them in with extra pieces of food, gaining their trust and getting them to stay and keep them safe from predators or other cavemen. Other experts believe that the first case of domestication took place some 10,000 years ago.

When dogs began to be bred it was simply because there was a need for a specific type of dog. If they became extinct, it is believed that the reason is because the breed lost its purpose or because of illnesses that killed out the breed.

The oldest known dog breed is the Saluki which is still in existence today. The Saluki was discovered amongst Middle Eastern artifacts that date back to 7000 B.C. This is a long time for one dog breed to exist

Mastiffs date back to 1500 B.C. and were known as Egyptian hunting dogs while the fluffy Maltese dates back to 500 B.C. – also from ancient Egypt. The Chihuahua is thought to be bred by the Aztecs and used as hand warmers for royalty.

While each of these breeds fulfilled their purpose, there are other notable dog breeds that are since extinct. One has to wonder why some dog breeds remain while others putter out. Perhaps it was the fact that the dogs were no longer needed for that particular purpose or maybe they just didn’t fit the bill. As times changed, it seemed as though some breeds changed to. Most likely a lot has to do with illnesses and overall health of the species.

Debbie Swanson recently posted about 10 notable extinct dog breeds. They are listed below:

1. African Hairless Dog (Abyssinian Sand Terrier) was bred to be used as a hot compress for any aches and pains the owner suffered – or as a bed warmer; also thought to have magical healing powers.

2. Blue Paul Terrier was thought to be linked to the sailor John Paul Jones and was used for dog fighting. It is thought that it became extinct somewhere between 1850 and 1900 after being crossed with the American Pit Bull Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

3. Cordoba Fighting Dog was bred to be a fighter, hunter and guard dog for people in the Cordoba, Argentina region. The dog became extinct by the mid 20th Century.

4. Kuri was bred to be a companion dog, a source of fur and for meat for settlers in New Zealand in the 13th Century and became extinct by the 1860s due to its inability to survive interbreeding with European dogs.

5. Paisley Terrier which resembles the Yorkshire Terrier of today was originally bred in Paisley, Scotland to be a show dog and a devoted companion dog. However, if the dog was left to its own accord for too long it became severely depressed. The breed began to decline around the late 1800s.

6. St. John’s Water Dog was the glory dog of the 16th Century in Newfoundland and bred to haul lines and retrieve ptarmigan and seals. The trouble was that the government imposed a tax on any dogs bred that were not associated with the production of sheep, so this breed began its decline. Only two males were acknowledged being alive in the 1970s so extinction was inevitable.

7. Southern Hound is a slow scent breed and dates back to the 1400s in Southern England and Wales. It was developed to hunt deer but as fox hunting became more popular, faster tracking canines were developed so the Southern Hound had ended its usefulness, thus it became extinct.

8. Turnspit dog was bred to rotate a spit in the fireplace so that the cook was able to prepare the meat so it was done evenly. This “working dog” began to fade away in the 1800’s when the mechanical spit turner was developed.

9. Tweed Water Spaniel was bred to be an intelligent bird and waterfowl hunter. It was also an adept, water-resistant swimmer. The fishermen in the region of Berwick-upon-Tweed, in Northern England, felt the dog invaluable but it nonetheless became extinct by the end of the 19th Century.

10. White English Terrier was developed as a show dog. Dog fanciers in the 1860s to 1870s wanted a prick-eared version of a small working Terrier. They were disappointed when litters had both prick-ears and drop-ears. Besides that, the poor dog was beleaguered with health issues and deafness so the breed eventually died out in the early 20th Century.

So, as you see, dog breeds come and go. We are in the midst of watching the Poodle be bred with different breeds today for many reasons and the results seem to be fantastic. Only time will tell though!