We traveled all over when I was growing up, which made having a dog of any size something my father was not willing to deal with, much to my disappointment. Friends’ dogs were my exposure to the world of canines. Everywhere we went, there were always people we knew who traveled and moved with their families, too. That was the norm for all of us; we were expat nomads who made each new place home. This group of people became “family” to us. A few of the adults became loved aunts and uncles. One of our closest set of family friends, the Camerons, had a Beagle dog named Mity. Later in Germany, they added another Beagle named Schroeder to the family.
Mity’s full name was Mity Mite. He was a registered miniature Beagle with championship lines. Mity was a Beagle of determined personality. Although small, he made his presence known. He was a bit of a food hoarder, and often got into mischief trying to get food he wasn’t supposed to have.
He would steal and try to eat anything that was not nailed down, including two small pet turtles that were kept in a bowl with a miniature plastic palm tree. They disappeared one day and were found later under a couch, alive, one with a punctured shell but otherwise fine. That didn’t match the time Mity ate two whole loaves of sliced bread and swelled up like a balloon until he looked like he would pop, or the time in Paris he stole a whole pot roast off the kitchen table and hid with it behind an antique Victorian couch in their apartment living room. Little Mity had a royal appetite that fit his lineage.
Deciding on the perfect name for a new puppy or dog isn’t always easy to do. You want to pick one that fits his personality and is easy to learn. Now imagine coming up with a name for a new dog breed. The history of dog breeds is an interesting story. The history behind naming some of our popular dog breeds is also an intriguing tale.
Spaniels date back to the 14th century; they evolved over the years with some working on land and others working as water retrievers. These dogs were highly prized by English hunters for their outstanding ability to flush out and retrieve a large, short legged and bulky wading bird called a woodcock. This nocturnal bird spends most of the day hiding in dense cover. People started calling the dog “cocker,” and the name caught on.
Newfoundland is the land of the Labrador Retriever, not Labrador. Fishermen around the Canadian province used a small water dog that was bred with Newfoundland dogs to produce a first-class swimmer called the St. John’s Water Dog, the ancestor of the Labrador. The breed had webbed feet and was used to retrieve fishermen’s nets from the icy waters and bring them back to shore. In the early 1800s, the Earl of Malmesbury saw one of the dogs in action and imported it to England. He trained his dogs to retrieve ducks and called them “Labrador dogs.” Even though the Earl was confused about which province his dogs came from, the name stuck as the dog became more popular.
This little dog was developed on the Isle of Skye, in Scotland. Farmers wanted a small, feisty dog with lots of courage, determination, intelligence and the ability to go to ground when necessary after prey. The Cairn Terrier was bred to hunt badger, otter, fox, rabbit and other vermin. They were especially good at digging prey out from under cairns, which are mounds of man-made piles of stone used in the Scottish Highlands as grave site memorials and boundary markers. People started calling the dogs Cairn, and that’s where the breed name came from.
Dogs have been selectively bred with specific characteristics and temperaments that help them perform certain jobs for us. Some breeds, however, are known to be more affectionate than others. I wrote an article recently on why dogs like to lean on us. All of my current dogs are leaners, but my Huskies never were. Priscilla, Eva the Sheltie‘s mom, wondered if there’s a difference between dog breeds and if that’s why some dogs lean on their owner more than others. It’s a good question, and I decided to do some research on the most affectionate dog breeds. Is your dog a leaner, regardless of his/her breed? It could be leaning is more of an individual preference all dog breeds do.
The Golden Retriever was developed by Lord Tweedmouth. He wanted to create a solid retriever that could stand up to the Scottish Highlands weather, terrain and game found in the countryside. In the late 1800s, the Golden Retriever was used mostly for hunting. Lord Tweedmouth used his Yellow Retriever, which was the original breed, with the now extinct Tweed Water Spaniel. The Irish Setter and Bloodhound were also used to produce today’s Golden Retriever. This devoted, patient, affectionate, easygoing, energetic and loving dog is great with kids, and friendly with other pets and people.
The Labrador Retriever originated in Newfoundland. The dog’s job was to help fishermen catch fish that escaped from fishing lines, and swim in the freezing waters to help pull in nets. English sailors brought them to England in the 1800s from Labrador. Easy to train, these dogs were crossed with setters, spaniels and some other types of retrievers. Labs have a very reliable temperament, are friendly, devoted to their family, good natured, eager to please, and great with kids.
I have a Beagle/Terrier mix named Alex. Since she is a mixed breed, she shows characteristics from both breeds, but it’s her Beagle side that’s more dominant. She has a stubborn streak a mile wide, would do a triple back flip for a TidNips treat, loves to bark just for the sheer joy of barking, and she’s very affectionate, especially when she wants something.
The Beagle is one of the most loving dogs you can bring into your family. They want to be with you wherever you are and enjoy sitting as close to you as they can get so they can cuddle. However, they are also an active dog that loves to play and run. This breed is sociable, easy to get along with and willing to do what is asked of them, if the price is right. Beagles can be stubborn, but are easily enticed with food. What gets a Beagle’s attention is their CANIDAE food and treats, because eating is one of their favorite activities!
The breed dates back to the 1500’s where the English elite took packs of Beagles on hunts to find rabbit, pheasant, quail and fox. Their distinctive baying directed hunters following behind a pack of dogs. They are still used today in hunting, but not as much as they once were. The Beagle’s nose is second only to the Bloodhound, and some people argue their nose is more sophisticated than the Bloodhound’s. The Beagle can pick up a scent on the ground and find their prey faster than any other dog breed. They are so smart they can tell the difference between scents, and remember them the next time they run across them. That ability is what makes the Beagle perfect at detecting termites and rooting out illegal fruits and vegetables people try to smuggle past customs. They are even being used to sniff out bed bugs.
Because of their smaller size, the Beagle makes an excellent search and rescue dog that can go into areas larger breeds can’t get into. Law enforcement agencies have discovered this little dog has a knack for finding people who have wandered off a trail or gotten lost in remote areas. Because they are smaller, the Beagle is easier to transport to search areas and carry across rough terrain if it’s necessary.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, firm, corporation or brand names, in this blog is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. All opinions in this blog are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company.