Dogs, much like humans, have different places of origin. Everywhere you go there’s a specific or different dog breeds that are more common in that area compared to other places.
Thinking about how many types of different dog breeds there are is both overwhelming and fascinating. How many breeds do you think there are? If you guessed more than a hundred, then you are correct! There are around 390-400 dog breeds recognized by the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale). That’s a lot of breeds! But, we’re not here to talk about all of them just yet.
Europe has been widely popular for the modernization of domesticated dog breeds. While dog historians have concluded that most “ancient” dog breeds came from Asia, Europe was credited as the forerunners of the most popular dog breeds seen in North America today. A majority of the first recorded pawrents in Europe came from France, the United Kingdom, and Germany. They primarily used canines for tracking and hunting, since these activities were closely connected to their cultures and traditions. Some well-known hunting breeds include the Golden Retriever, Poodle, and the Bavarian Mountain Hound.
Dog ownership in Europe nowadays is extremely common. According to Statista, the percentage of dog owners in Europe rose from 70% in 2010 to an astounding 88% in 2020. Here are the most common breeds found in the European region:
Rottweilers rank as one of the most ancient breeds. These lovely canines accompanied the Romans through Germany, driving their cattle and guarding outposts. Many were left behind and, in the town of Rottweil in southern Germany, they eventually became the breed we know today.
Rottweilers are fairly easy to keep for such a large dog, considering that they were bred to be guards and protectors. They were working dogs from the start, driving cattle to market, pulling carts, guarding the homestead, and even carrying money to and from the market in money belts tied around their necks.
The modern Rottweiler continues to be a good boi that warms the house with its generally calm, kind, and loving behavior. While Rottweilers are typically distant towards strangers, a well-trained Rotty never exhibits fear or timidness. If they see their family or home environment in danger, a Rottweiler can act as a ferocious protector that will do anything to keep its loved ones safe. Today, Rottweilers are utilized mostly in security and herding!
With that being said, a Rottweiler pup is not necessarily for owners with minimal experience. The Rotty requires advanced parents who will be patient and dedicated enough to discipline them at a young age. There are also some people who prejudge Rotties as “aggressive” and “dominant”, so dog parents have to know how to deal with these very intricate situations.
2. French Bulldog
An even-tempered house dog that thrives on attention and that is meant for city life. Historically, they were brought to England by lace workers from Normandy to be kept on the farms as companions and to chase away the rats. But soon after that, the elites and royals took a liking to this breed and saw them as “fashionable” companions. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the French bulldog was considered a dog of high society; the breed still attracts people who appreciate the finer things in life.
Albeit having a small structure, The French Bulldog that we know today boasts a solid, muscular build. Frenchies are also known for being smart canines, so training them shouldn’t be too difficult! As long as each training exercise is fun, your Frenchie will learn essential commands in no time!
Frenchies are also quite the cuddly type, so prepare your lots of kisses and hugs at home! They thrive on human contact and can be quite possessive in the presence of other dogs. In general, French Bulldogs make for the best companions at home.
3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Spaniels are known for their looks – regal and sophisticated, yet charmingly cute. The face of the cavalier is distinctive for its sweet, gentle expression that owes much to its large, round, dark brown eyes, set well apart.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is among the largest toy breeds in the dog world, and one of its most distinct characteristics is that it wags its tail more than other canines! The descendant of a small toy spaniel is depicted in many 16th, 17th, and 18th Century paintings of northern Europe. This dog was originally bred to warm laps in drafty castles and on chilly carriage rides. During Tudor times, toy spaniels were common as ladies’ pets and, under the Stuarts, they were given the royal title of King Charles spaniel. Until today, royals are still enamored by our furry friends, with some dog breeds more favored by royals than others.
If you happen to own a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in 2021, you would know that it will always follow in your footsteps and go with you wherever you go. While its large, round eyes are enough to warm your heart at home, this dog breed typically clings on to its owner and enjoys the company of family at home. As such, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will never thrive in an outdoor environment, especially when it is left to play in a backyard!
Poodles are good family dogs and are notorious in the dog community for their intelligence and ease of training. While commonly associated with France, the poodle actually is of German origin, possibly descending from the barbet. The breed became “set” in type in the 1800s, although earlier examples of poodle-like dogs are known. The word poodle comes from the German “pudel” meaning puddle or splash.
They started as hunting dogs, especially good at water retrieving. With their quick intelligence and desire to please, they branched out into performing dogs with traveling troupes and circuses. The aristocrats, particularly in France, took a liking to this breed and became a companion to them. They enjoyed dressing up and styling the coat of which could be shaped in countless ways.
5. Doberman Pinscher
Initially bred and still used worldwide as guard dogs, Doberman pinschers also have been police and military dogs, rescue dogs, and therapy dogs. They are considered to be people-oriented dogs and can be great for families if socialized and trained properly.
There is no certain record in history, but Doberman is thought to have crossed many breeds to get the Doberman pinscher. Some of the breeds thought to be involved include the rottweiler, German pinscher, Great Dane, German shepherd dog, Manchester terrier, and English greyhound shorthaired shepherd.
Our dog companions at home come with such a rich history, and are truly a fascinating thing to read about. These are just five of the many different dog breeds common in Europe!
Have you encountered any of these breeds? Or are there different dog breeds that you know about but were not mentioned above? Check our other Dogs Around The World articles: Asia, Africa, and Australia.