How Did Dog Breeds Get Their Names?
The breeds of dogs usually get their names because of some special trait or characteristic. The schnauzer dog that originated in Germany is so named because schnauzer is the German word for “growler.” The terriers got their name from the Latin word “terra,” meaning “earth.” Mastiff comes from the French mastin, from Latin mansuetus meaning “tame.”
They were bred to hunt rabbits and other game by digging into their burrows. Spaniels originated in Spain, as their name suggests. The name “poodle” comes from the German word “pudal,” for “puddle,” because this dog was used by hunters to retrieve ducks from the water.
Many breeds are named after the people that bred them, whilst other breeds, such as the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier, are named in honor of people. The Jack Russell Terrier and the Parson Russell Terrier, are both named after Reverend John Russell, who bought and then bred from a small terrier early in the Nineteenth Century.
One of the most common and popular methods of naming a breed seems to have been honoring its place of origin. Labrador is the Atlantic coastal region of Canada where the popular breed was originally bred. It is separated by from the region of Newfoundland by the Straight of Belle Isle.
Newfoundland is possibly the most self explanatory place name to be given to a dog, ever. Newfoundland is pronounced with the stress on found which is sometimes deceptive as it is not entirely obvious that it is written as it is, but the correction pronunciation of the place name requires the stress to be on the final syllable.
The origin of dog breed names provides a fascinating insight into local and cultural history all over the world, telling us much about the people of those countries.
Germans have demonstrated their famous efficiency in naming many of their breeds simply for the role they perform whilst the fading English eccentricities of old come to the fore with unusual methods of naming dogs. The Canadians and Americans demonstrated their famous patriotism when naming dogs after their place of origin.