Did 100 Years Of Breeding Evolve These Dogs For Better Or Worse?

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Purebred dogs have always been in high demand.  Often times, the distinguishing characteristics of dogs make them desirable, the size of Great Danes, the intelligence of Border Collies, the stocky physique of Pitbulls. And people pay top dollar for these. As a result, breeders have taken the time to selectively raise dogs for this purpose only. Often manipulating and accentuating certain aspects like demeanor, size and fur texture.

Just know that no matter what breed a dog might be, they all have individual personalities and quirks. And designing breeds to make them more appealing can have negative side effects on the dog’s health.

While reviewing ‘Breeds of All Nations’ by W.E. Mason, published in 1915, we can clearly see how different dog breeds have visibly changed over the past century. Unfortunately, selective breeding is partly to blame – according to experts, the changes aren’t limited to looks alone, some breeds have grown unhealthy and weaker due to intensive overbreeding.


Dachshunds, aka Weiner Dog


Dachshunds were first seen in Germany over 400 years ago. They had necks that were well proportioned with their size. Now, after extensive breeding, Dachshunds have slightly longer necks and often have back, neck and leg problems.

German Shepherds


The German Shepherds you see today do not herd sheep anymore.  Maybe that is why they are bulkier. This breed made an appearance in the 1850s and had thinner abdomens and a sharper stance.



The pugs were bred from Chinese ‘happa’ dogs by the Portuguese in the 15th century. This breed is extremely popular and breeders have continuously exaggerated their features which resulted in high blood pressure, heart problems and other health issues.

Bull Terriers


The Bull Terrier is a combination of the Old English Terrier and the Bulldog. They were first created around the early 1800s. Modern Bull Terriers suffered from severe dental problems.

Saint Bernards


The Roman army used the original Saint Bernard dogs in their army. Now they have thicker fur and flatter faces. They are injured easily and suffer various problems from joints and internal organs.

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