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There are tons of wonderful dogs from all over the world. But what better day than the 4th of July to celebrate the AMERICAN dog breeds – that is those originating in the United States.
Here are some of our favorite American dog breeds:
The Mutt. The mixed breed dog is the most common “breed” in the United States. Although not formally a breed, the mixed breed dog makes up about 40% of the dogs in the United States while about 60% of dogs are purebred dogs. The loveable mutt can be any combination of breeds and come in just about any shape or size. Click on the link above to learn more about our favorite good old American favorite.
The Boston Terrier. The Boston terrier is one of the few truly American breeds. Developed in Boston, Mass., the Boston terrier has steadily increased in popularity since the late 1800s.
The Boston terrier was originally developed as a cross between the English bulldog and English terrier and called “round heads” or “bull terriers.” Around 1870, one of the progeny of this cross, named “Judge,” was imported into Boston. With hard work and strict breeding programs, the Boston as we know it today was developed.
The American Eskimo. The American Eskimo dog is a small to medium Nordic-type dog. A loving family member and companion, the Eskie is a beautiful white dog that, in spite of the name, was bred for the indoors and not as a sled dog. The true history of the American Eskimo dog is not known. By the 19th century small Spitz type dogs were commonly found in communities of German immigrants in the United States, often working as trick-dog acts in traveling circuses. These dogs were considered a member of the Spitz family of dogs, descending from the European spitz, white keeshond, white Pomeranian and the Volpine Italiano (white Italian spitz). No one can agree upon the reason behind the name American Eskimo.
The American Water Spaniel. The American water spaniel is an American made dog developed to retrieve duck in swampy areas. The state dog of Wisconsin, this spaniel was more popular among Midwestern hunters in the 1920s and 1930s and now has a small but loyal following.
The American Staffordshire Terrier. Around the time of the Civil War, dogs were imported from England for the expressed purpose of dogfighting. Some of the imported breeds include the English bulldog, bull terrier, English terrier, Staffordshire terrier and various other terriers. It is from these dogs that the American Staffordshire terrier, affectionately called the “Amstaff” was descended. These are stocky powerful dogs. In fact, World War II posters used the American Staffordshire terrier as a symbol of courage and bravery. The Amstaff of today is a loyal and protective dog that is not routinely aggressive.
The American Cocker Spaniel. The cocker spaniel is a very popular pet, available in two distinct versions, one of which is the American cocker. It is typically known as a companion pet and is a little smaller than the English cocker and have been faithful hunting companions for centuries.
The American Bulldog. Athletic, intimidating, and beautiful describe the American Bulldog’s appearance. Happy, protective, and energetic describe this awe-inspiring dog’s personality. Bulldogs in the 17th and 18th Century were used in catching livestock, guarding homes, and the “sport” of bull-baiting. Settlers brought the bulldogs to the United States for use as working dogs and in gambling. In 1835, bull-baiting was made illegal in the United Kingdom. Bulldogs in the UK then became more popular as family pets and were bred into today’s English Bulldog, while the American Bulldog experienced less change. During World War II, the American Bulldog became less popular and came close to extinction. Two dog enthusiasts, John Johnson and Alan Scott, worked hard to breed the remaining bulldogs and preserve the breed.
The American Foxhound. The American foxhound is a descendant of English hounds brought to the new world in the mid 1600s to trail foxes. The breed was initially developed in Virginia, Maryland and Kentucky. French and Irish hounds were also used to refine the breed and the modern American foxhound was created.
Alaskan Malamute. The Alaskan malamute is one of the oldest of the Arctic sled dogs, powerfully built and originally bred to pull heavy weight over long distance in harsh conditions. The exact origin of the Alaskan malamute is uncertain, as is the origin of the people who came to inhabit the land now called Alaska (the Inuits). Written accounts exist of an Inuit tribe called the Mahlemut, who settled along the shores in the upper western part of Alaska, and are believed to have bred these dogs to pull sleds and as pack animals. The dogs are named for the tribe. Over time, the name changed to malamute.
Australian Shepherd. Despite his name, the Australian shepherd that we know today was developed in the United States. In the 1800s, Basque sheepherders came to the United States from Australia with their herds. With them, they brought their herding dogs. During this time, American farmers were looking for an intelligent, versatile dog to manage their flocks. They bred the Australian herding dogs with American herding dogs to create a well-rounded working dog.
Black and tan Coonhound. The black and tan coonhound is an excellent hunter that barks when his quarry is in a tree. Their beautiful black and tan coat gives them their name.The black and tan coonhound is an old breed developed in the American south by crossing foxhounds and bloodhounds based on their colors. It is likely that the Virginia foxhound, a black and tan dog, was also involved. In addition to breeding for color, these dogs were also bred for their ability to track and tree raccoons and opossums. They have also been used to hunt bear, deer and mountain lion. The breed will track his quarry based on scent and will then bark when the animal is in a tree.
Chesapeake Bay Retriever. The Chesapeake Bay retriever, also known as the Chessie, has been around since the early 1800s. To fully understand the Chessie, one must understand the environment in which this breed was developed.The Chesapeake Bay is on the East Coast of the United States. This region has exceptionally harsh and unforgiving winters. The icy conditions make it difficult for many breeds to work in this area. This region also boasts thousand of migratory game birds, making it a hunter’s paradise. Chessies were bred to withstand these harsh conditions. They are very well equipped for this environment with a thick, warm, waterproof coat. They have deep chests for endurance and webbed feet for swimming.
Plott Hound. The Plott hound originated in the southern United States by the Plott family. In the mid 18th century, the Jonathan Plott family of North Carolina began developing the breed by mixing bloodhounds and other breeds. The breed was used to hunt bear, wild boar, coyotes and wolves and is very persistent and courageous – known for not backing down. In 1989, the Plott hound was adopted as the state dog of North Carolina.
Toy Fox Terrier. The toy fox terrier was developed in the early 1900s in the United States. It was developed through careful breeding of the smooth fox terrier with Chihuahuas, Italian greyhounds and English toy terriers. Originally, the toy fox terrier was intended to be used to as a ratter. Eventually, he became a beloved family companion. In 2003, the American Kennel Club accepted the toy fox terrier.