We get dog breed names from all over. A lot of breeds are named after places and others are named after people or words. Here are a few interesting dog breed name origins:
The word “collie” has been around since at least the 1650s. Sources aren’t sure where it came from, but one of the prevailing theories is that the breed was named after a color, Coal Black.
Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Dandie Dinmont was a farmer character in the 1850 novel Guy Mannering by Sir Walter Scott.
No other dog breed around today is named for a fictional character.
The Lhasa Apso breed is named after Lhasa, the provincial capital of Tibet. There’s less certainty about the Apso part. It might have come from a Tibetan word that means “goat-like” or “bearded”, which is a reference to their hair.
Bulldogs came from the British Isles. Around the 15th century, they were one breed of dog used for bull-baiting, an appalling activity that involved a dog pulling on the nose of a bull until the dog won or the bull killed it. Thankfully it was outlawed in 1835, but that was how the bulldog got its name.
“Schnauzer” derives from a German word meaning “growler”. That German word is related to our word “snout”.
“Poodle” also comes from a German word meaning “splash”. It’s related to our word “puddle”. In Germany, a poodle was known as a Pudelhund, which was basically like calling it a “water dog”.
Shih Tzu means “lion dog”. We get the name from a Chinese term.
Cairn Terriers got their name from the Cairns, which are stacked up piles of rocks. Often, they’re man-made landmarks, but they can happen naturally as well. Rodents love to climb in them and Cairn Terrier was trained to go in and hunt those small animals.
Pugs were named after their animal kingdom twin, Marmosets. The monkeys used to be pets known as “pugs‘’ in the 18th century. People saw a similarity in appearance between the two and the dogs got that name as well.
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