The relationship between humans and dogs reaches deep into histories and cultures around the world. There are many different dog breeds, but the popularity of most of these breeds is dependent upon the region. Countries around the world have different beliefs, cultures, histories, and lifestyles, and this plays heavily into what breeds may be popular.
Here are some of the most popular dogs, based on countries from around the world:
The Pug has deep roots in Chinese history and royalty. These dogs were treasured by the Emperors of China and were even guarded on occasion. Spreading from China, pugs became popular in royal houses across the world. The Pugs we know today are most likely descendants from the dogs imported to Europe from China in the 16th century.
France: French Bulldog
Surprisingly, the French Bulldog has roots in England, rather than France. When immigrants moved to France for better work, they brought their bulldogs along with them, thus popularizing the breed in France. After winning the hearts of the French, and most of Europe, they quickly spread to the United States.
United States: Labrador
Although the exact origin of the Labrador Retriever is unknown, this breed was also brought to the United States via popularization in England. Starting out in the early 1900’s, there were only 23 registered in the AKC by 1927. After the war labs took off in popularity in the United States, and by 1991 was the most popular dog registered by the AKC.
Russia: Caucasian Shepherd Dog
Native to Georgia, the Caucasian Shepherd Dog is an ancient breed from the Caucasus Mountains. In the 1900’s the USSR took interest in turning this breed into a show dog, which helped popularize the breed in Russia. These dogs are great in colder weather, and make a great family companion.
Australia & New Zealand: Border Collie
The Border collie became a massively popular dog breed in the British Islands, and because of the breeds hard working nature and smart wits, naturally it became popular all around the world. Border Collies were first introduced in New Zealand in the 1800’s and the breed took off in popularity because of their keen ability to help herd livestock in the Australian Outback.
Japan: Shiba Inu
Belonging to the Japanese culture for centuries, the Shiba Inu is the oldest breed in Japan. The Shiba nearly became extinct after the Second World War but was bred by 3 surviving bloodlines. The Shiba Inu breed is a compact, fox-like breed making them ideal for smaller living proximities.
England: English Bulldog
Bulldogs gained popularity in the early 1800’s by bull baiting, although due to the cruel nature of this ‘sport’, it was outlawed in 1835. After the law was passed, the breed popularity was cut down until they were used once again to help seize and capture bulls. As time passed, the Bulldog quickly became a sort of ‘icon’ in British culture. This was aided by Winston Churchill’s defiance of Nazi Germany with the breed as a poster child.
Germany: German Shepherd
During the 1800’s Germany was facing a breed standardization problem. While shepherd dogs were popular within Germany before this time, there were no breed specifications or standards. During this time, many different areas of Germany were selectively breeding shepherds to how they believed a dog should be. This is how the first German Shepherd was born. Discovered by Max von Stephanitz at a dog show, he helped found the Society for the German Shepherd Dog and build the breeds popularity.
About the Author: Matt of Dog Dojo is passionate about the welfare of dogs and all animals. When he's not working on the Dog Dojo, you can find him exploring the outdoors with his 3 dogs.