This Popular Dog Breeds Haven’t Always Looked The Way They Do Today

Are you a dog lover? Do you smile every time you see a dog walk past you? This particular animal has been friendly with mankind for thousands of years. They are known for being man’s best friend. But did you know that there are around 900 million dogs across the world? As it’s evident, they don’t all look exactly the same, there are countless breeds that have their own distinctive physical characteristics and special personality traits.

Selective breeding has been done by man to perpetuate these bloodlines and therefore preserve the different breeds. We can appreciate how much a specific breed has changed over the years. From their size to their built, to their head shape and hair type, dog breeds have dramatically transformed over the years. Take a look at these 30 dog breeds and learn how much they changed along the way.

Airedale Terrier

Back when the black-and-white picture was taken, the hair of Airedale terrier dogs was widely recognized as “hard and wiry”. While the color of this dog breed hasn’t changed too much over time, the fur type certainly has transformed.

Their beautiful deep tan colored hair went from hard and wiry to ragged and fluffy. These british originated dogs are incredibly popular with families across the world due to their fun and affectionate temperament.

St. Bernard

You may know St. Bernards from famous movies like Beethoven and Peter Pan, but these gentle giants have a long history with man.These dogs have been bred for generations in the Alps, popular for their size and strength.

ADVERTISEMENT

They would be used as rescue dogs for people who got lost in the mountains. Since then, the St. Bernard dog breed has become domestic. Because of these changes, they now have smaller features.

Neopolitan Mastiff

The Neapolitan mastiff originates from Italy surrounding the city of Naples, thus the name. These large dogs have been historically utilized by their owners as guard dogs . They fiercely protected their families and territory from any impending dangers or threats.

ADVERTISEMENT

At home, with their family, they were friendly and loving like no other. By the 1900s, they stopped being used to bait other animals and started to become a popular family dog breed.

ADVERTISEMENT

Pekingese

Have you ever been to China? If you have, then you probably have seen Pekingese dogs running around everywhere! This is due to it being a national bread dog breed and it has become a famous staple of China worldwide.

ADVERTISEMENT

Did you know that their unique appearance has gone through transformations during the years? The selective breeding has created a new version of Pekingese dogs. They now sport a flatter face and more hair.

ADVERTISEMENT

Dachshund

Dachshunds have earned the cutest nicknames due to their unique body shape. We call them sausage or wiener dogs because of their long thin bodies and short legs.

ADVERTISEMENT

Back in the day, they were bred to hunt smaller animals like badgers and rabbits, their slim frame made it possible for them to crawl into burrow tunnels to catch them. Today, dachshunds are a very popular option amongst families that wish to get a dog.

ADVERTISEMENT

Bedlington Terrier

This type of terriers are notoriously known for their unusual resemblance to sheep. They have fluffy curly hair and are relatively small, the shape of their head can be confused for that of a sheep. However, Bedlington Terriers didn’t always look like this.

ADVERTISEMENT

They have changed significantly during the years. Not only were they shorter than what we can appreciate from the picture, but also their hair was more wiry and less bouncy.

ADVERTISEMENT

Schnauzer

There are many varieties of Schnauzer breeds around the world. They’re known for their cute facial hair that looks like they have a beard and a moustache, and their silver-gray long hair.

ADVERTISEMENT

This particular breed has been around for hundreds of years; the photograph on the left can be traced back to 1915. The Schnauzer dog hasn’t experienced too many changes over the years, other than longer hair and ears, and shorter legs.

ADVERTISEMENT

Bull Terrier

You have probably seen one of these cute football-shaped head dogs in parks and movies. Bull Terriers have an unusual oval shaped face, pointy ears and stocky bodies. But, did you know they didn’t use to look like this?

ADVERTISEMENT

This breed was celebrated for being extremely agile and graceful. They used to be leaner back in the day and because of being bred to maintain their head shape, they have developed extra teeth.

ADVERTISEMENT

Shetland Sheepdog

These are known herding dogs originally from Scotland. This picture is one of the oldest photos kept from a Sheltie, and as you can clearly see, they don’t look that much different from the ones we know and love today.

ADVERTISEMENT

The only noticeable difference between these two dogs is that modern Shetland Sheepdogs are much larger in size. They are about 10 pounds heavier than before and also their fur is much longer.

ADVERTISEMENT

English Bulldog

In the 19th century, people realized that these strong and stocky dogs could be used to be bull-baiters. But when bull-baiting became illegal back in 1835, this english breed was rebranded to appeal to families.

ADVERTISEMENT

Due to selective breeding, they have changed to having a much thicker body that is nearer to the ground, and their wrinkles are a lot more pronounced. Unfortunately, this has left English Bulldogs with many congenital health issues.

ADVERTISEMENT

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Although Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has been bred around the globe, it has special ties to the United Kingdom. This is because they were King Charles II’s favorite breed and you can actually find them in old portraits of the ruler.

ADVERTISEMENT

With the years, they have bred them to be more adorable looking. The eyes are now larger, the snout has become shorter and the forehead is much smaller than before.

ADVERTISEMENT

Shar-Pei

This is another breed that hails from China, but the continuous breeding has made them look very different as you can see in the picture below. Back in the old days, Shar-Peis were bred and trained to be perfect guard dogs.

ADVERTISEMENT

They were loyal and fierce protectors of anyone coming near their homes. Even though they’re still used as guard dogs in some places, today people mostly get them for how adorable they are.

ADVERTISEMENT

Saluki

This fine dog specimen has been bred for its incredible sight and stamina. These sighthounds have near perfect vision, and along with the acute smell, make great hunters. Owners would send these dogs into the night to fetch game animals.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Saluki became associated with royalty due to their slender and sophisticated poise. This is the reason why they look so different today, rather than strong and stocky their features are thinner and elongated.

ADVERTISEMENT

Old English Sheepdog

Old English Sheepdogs are best known for their extremely long hair and big size, but most people don’t know that they used to look quite different back in the day. They were bred from rather small sheepdogs with a much shorter coat.

ADVERTISEMENT

Their heads were also a bit longer. Now, their hair is so long that it covers their entire face and is wanted for their cuddly nature rather than for sheep herding.

ADVERTISEMENT

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are famous for their companionship and deep loyalty, that is why they have been used as police dogs for generations. Back in the day, the breed was much smaller but had incredibly strong legs.

ADVERTISEMENT

Their personality is what made them very useful for humans. This breed now weighs over 40 pounds more than it used to, however this has caused them to suffer from hip dysplasia when they start growing older.

ADVERTISEMENT

Poodle

Poodles are one of the most popular dog breeds in the entire world. They have been bred with other dogs to produce new poodle variations. Their iconic curly hair comes in all colors and thicknesses, but they didn’t always look like this.

ADVERTISEMENT

In the illustration above, it was recorded that poodles had longer and rather wavy hair. Selective breeding over time has tightened the curls up and made them look like a walking fluffy cloud.

ADVERTISEMENT

Basset Hound

Like everyone in the hound family, Basset Hounds have an acute sense of smell, and this made them very useful for hunters in the past. Their elongated bodies made it possible for them to chase smaller animals into tunnels underground.

ADVERTISEMENT

Their short stocky legs and low-center-of-gravity body has become more noticeable in the past years. The droopy face and long ears are the staple of cuteness that make them desired by dog lovers.

ADVERTISEMENT

Pug

Pugs are one of the hottest dog breeds today due to their adorable body rolls and cute squashed faces. But as we can admire in this painting from 1745, today’s pugs are miles away from how they used to look like.

ADVERTISEMENT

The muzzle wasn’t as flat at all and the body was rather thin. Selective breeding has changed them into what we know today, but it has caused them to have many breathing difficulties.

ADVERTISEMENT

Bloodhound

Bloodhounds are recognizable due to their massive size and adorable pensive faces, but in the past this hasn’t always been the case. As we can see in the picture on the left, Bloodhounds weren’t quite as big in stature and the ears were much shorter.

ADVERTISEMENT

Nowadays, this breed has become very popular for its unusually long ears! These gentle giants are often chosen for their cute appearance as well as for their sweet nature.

ADVERTISEMENT

Scottish Terrier

Scottish Terriers are famous for having short legs, long dark hair and a long face. Can you believe that these 2 very different pictures represent the same breed? These terriers have gone through a complete transformation over the long years of selective breeding.

ADVERTISEMENT

In the past, these dogs had a more rounder head and longer legs. But apparently their temperament hasn’t changed much, since they have been forever known as playful and loving.

ADVERTISEMENT

Boxer

This adorable breed of dogs is very popular among families. The image on the left is the first ever recorded registry of a Boxer dog, who was named “Flocky”.

ADVERTISEMENT

Can you see how different Flocky is from his contemporaries? Boxers had a slimmer body, a softer jawline and short pointy ears. Today, they are stockier and a bit shorter.

ADVERTISEMENT

West Highland White Terrier

Westies were bred in Scotland to function as hunting dogs. Back in the day, they were extremely appreciated for being skillful hunters of foxes or badgers.

ADVERTISEMENT

The picture on the left shows what these terriers looked like back in 1899, that is, much smaller and scruffier. Also, modern Westies are stockier and have a longer coat.

ADVERTISEMENT

Doberman Pinscher

These dogs are known for being territorial and their incredible poise. In the first image from the early 1900s, we can highlight that the Doberman had shorter ears and snout.

ADVERTISEMENT

Time and selective breeding have changed their appearance to a more elongated body. Unfortunately nowadays, owners still modify their bodies even more by tail docking and ear cropping.

ADVERTISEMENT

Chow Chow

Legend has it that Chow Chow dogs have been around in China for thousands of years, but they rose to international popularity in the 19th century. Even Queen Victoria of England had a Chow Chow in Buckingham Palace!

ADVERTISEMENT

They haven’t changed much through selective breeding as we can see from the pictures, they remain adorable cuddly teddy bears.

ADVERTISEMENT

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain dogs haven’t changed as much as other dog breeds in the past years. The painting on the left was by Benno Rafael Adam and is from 1862, where he depicts a speckled dog with a round head.

ADVERTISEMENT

Today, the colors and markings have slightly changed, but aside from that detail they remain relatively the same.

ADVERTISEMENT

Rottweiler

This breed is highly misunderstood because of its reputation of fierce guard dogs. They are incredibly strong dogs that are fiercely loyal and protective of their owners. Apparently they can be traced back to the Roman Empire.

ADVERTISEMENT

As we can see, the shape of the head seems to have changed slightly, but other than that they look the same.

ADVERTISEMENT

Irish Setter

Irish Setters are popular among dog lovers for their beautiful reddish hair and their calm temperament. But did you know they didn’t always have the iconic red coat?

ADVERTISEMENT

They can be traced back to the 1500s, they came in a variety of colors including speckles of white. Also, their ears have become a bit longer over the years.

ADVERTISEMENT

Wire Hair Fox Terrier

This terrier breed has gone through significant changes over the past years as you can admire from the pictures. In the past, they had more of a wiry hair type and a fairly shorter head shape.

ADVERTISEMENT

And today, this fox terrier’s hair is a lot longer and softer and their heads have a more elongated snout.

ADVERTISEMENT

English Setter

Back in the day, English Setters were not as big as they are today. They now have longer and taller bodies like in the picture.

ADVERTISEMENT

The neck and muzzle of this setter type has been elongated through the process of selective breeding. These dogs look sophisticated as well as beautiful and they are incredibly loyal to their owners.

ADVERTISEMENT

Bearded Collie

Beardies are originally from Scotland and they were used as herding dogs. This breed used to be much smaller than it is today, they had a slimmer frame and were a lot less hairy.

ADVERTISEMENT

In the present, these dogs are much bigger and have so much hair that they have long straight bangs that entirely cover their eyes.