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Fascinating images reveal how dog breeds have changed over the years

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Dogs have long been considered man’s best friend, but the puppies around today look very different from a century ago. Most dog breeds were developed through selective breeding over the past few centuries, thousands of years after they were first domesticated. Selective breeding, also known as artificial selection, is the process by which people develop certain traits by choosing which male and female dogs will mate and produce offspring together. Incredible images show how different dog breeds have evolved over the past century, from basset hound ears that got longer to pugs that got flatter noses.

With the number of different breeds now in existence, it's easy to forget that dogs are actually all members of the same species, especially when you consider that a Dachshund is nothing like an Old English Sheepdog.  Pictured: a Basset Hound in 1867.

With the number of different breeds now in existence, it’s easy to forget that dogs are actually all members of the same species, especially when you consider that a Dachshund is nothing like an Old English Sheepdog. Pictured: a Basset Hound in 1867.

Basset Hounds' ears have gotten longer over the years while their hind legs are now shorter.  They also have more skin folds than before.

Basset Hounds’ ears have gotten longer over the years while their hind legs are now shorter. They also have more skin folds than before.

Many popular dog breeds also look surprisingly different from 100 years ago due to advances in selective breeding in the 20th century.  Pictured: a Newfoundland in 1867.

Many popular dog breeds also look surprisingly different from 100 years ago due to advances in selective breeding in the 20th century. Pictured: a Newfoundland in 1867.

Newfoundlands seem to have gotten bigger over the years.  Newfoundland males can weigh 150 pounds, about 50 pounds more than 100 years ago.

Newfoundlands seem to have gotten bigger over the years. Newfoundland males can weigh 150 pounds, about 50 pounds more than 100 years ago.

Pictured: An Irish Setter as it was over a century ago.

Pictured: An Irish Setter as it was over a century ago.

Irish Setters may have gotten thinner over the past century, but their coats have grown both longer and thicker.

Irish Setters may have gotten thinner over the past century, but their coats have grown both longer and thicker.

Pictured: A Scottish Terrier in 1867.

Pictured: A Scottish Terrier in 1867.

Scottish Terriers had coarse, wiry coats a century ago.  Their fur is now longer and softer than before.

Scottish Terriers had coarse, wiry coats a century ago. Their fur is now longer and softer than before.

Pictured: A German Shepherd in 1867.

Pictured: A German Shepherd in 1867.

Today, German Shepherds are slimmer with smaller chests than they were 100 years ago.  Now they have been bred to be taller with coats that are longer and thicker.

German Shepherds were slimmer with smaller crates 100 years ago. Now they have been bred to be taller with coats that are longer and thicker.

Pictured: A Doberman over a century ago.

Pictured: A Doberman over a century ago.

Today, Dobermanns are thinner and less aggressive than 100 years ago.

Today, Dobermanns are thinner and less aggressive than 100 years ago.

Pictured: A Shetland Sheepdog in 1867.

Pictured: A Shetland Sheepdog in 1867.

Shetland Sheepdogs are now larger than before and have longer, fluffier coats.

Shetland Sheepdogs are now larger than before and have longer, fluffier coats.

More than a century ago, an Old English Sheepdog is seen here.

More than a century ago, an Old English Sheepdog is seen here.

The appearance of Old English Sheepdogs has remained consistent over the years, although their coat was more shaggy than it is today.

The appearance of Old English Sheepdogs has remained consistent over the years, although their coat was more shaggy than it is today.

Pictured: a Rottweiler in 1867.

Pictured: a Rottweiler in 1867.

Rottweilers now have coarser coats and they no longer have short, docked tails.

Rottweilers now have coarser coats and they no longer have short, docked tails.

A Great Dane is pictured here in 1867.

A Great Dane is pictured here in 1867.

Great Danes are now heavier and have longer ears than they were a century ago.

Great Danes are now heavier and have longer ears than they were a century ago.

Pictured: A Dachshund over a century ago.

Pictured: A Dachshund over a century ago.

Dachshunds now have longer bodies than they used to, and their legs have gotten even shorter over the last century.

Dachshunds now have longer bodies than they used to, and their legs have gotten even shorter over the last century.

A pug is pictured here in 1867.

A pug is pictured here in 1867.

Pugs have been bred over the years to have larger eyes and flatter noses, although they are still about the same size they were a century ago.

Pugs have been bred over the years to have larger eyes and flatter noses, although they are still about the same size they were a century ago.

Pictured: A West Highland White Terrier as he looked over a century ago.

Pictured: A West Highland White Terrier as he looked over a century ago.

West Highland White Terriers are more motley than before, but their appearance has remained relatively the same.

West Highland White Terriers are more motley than before, but their appearance has remained relatively the same.

An Airdale Terrier is pictured here in 1867.

An Airdale Terrier is pictured here in 1867.

Over the past century, Airedale Terriers have developed longer faces and a longer, shaggy coat.

Over the past century, Airedale Terriers have developed longer faces and a longer, shaggy coat.

Pictured: This is what a Bull Terrier looked like in 1867.

Pictured: This is what a Bull Terrier looked like in 1867.

Bull terriers have thicker, more muscular frames than they used to.  While their faces have become shorter, the bridge of their noses is now larger.

Bull terriers have thicker, more muscular frames than they used to. While their faces have become shorter, the bridge of their noses is now larger.

Pictured: A Chow Chow as it looked over a century ago.

Pictured: A Chow Chow as it looked over a century ago.

Chow Chows are even more wrinkled than they used to be, and they are also heavier.

Chow Chows are even more wrinkled than they used to be, and they are also heavier.

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