Pampered pooches have kept us humans company for thousands of years, but man’s best friends haven’t always looked like they do today.
Many well-known breeds have changed a lot since the early 1900s. But the unnatural development of certain breeds isn’t some Darwinian survival tactic, reports This Is Insider.
Actually, humans have purposefully bred Very Good Boys and Girls with ‘desirable characteristics’ – such as size, coat colour and personality – together to ‘create’ at least 167 breeds.
Sadly this interference is directly to blame for a host of problems for certain breeds.
To show just how much we humans have altered the course of dog-kind The Science Of Dogs blog has compiled some side-by-side comparisons of dogs today with dogs from 1915, as photographed by Walter Esplin Mason in his book Dogs Of All Nations.
Bull Terriers today are instantly recognisable, with their football-shaped heads, and squat little bodies.
But the breed we know and love now is a far cry from the Bull Terriers of 1915.
They had long, lean bodies and a well-proportioned head, rather than the little cute egg-shaped head the breed sports nowadays.
The English Bulldog has undergone one of the most drastic, man-made changes in the dog world.
The dogs were bred for the disgusting sport of bull-baiting, until 1835 when it was made illegal. By 1915, the Bulldog had developed many traits we see in the pups now, like saggy jowls and squat bodies.
However, now breeders strive to give the dogs wrinkled faces, to fit in with the fashions of today. As a consequence, bulldogs tend to suffer poor health, such as overheating and respiratory issues.
German Shepherds used to be medium-sized dogs, weighing in at just 55 pounds on average.
They also sported long straight backs.
Now the breed is manufactured to be 20 pounds heavier and have a sloping, stronger back.
Many German Shepherds suffer hip displacia as a consequence of bred bone structure.
Where Airdales now are known for their long, ragged pale fur, and their playful characters to boot, the pups weren’t always this preened to shaggy perfection.
The dogs used to have much darker hair and were much more groomed, with a shorter and less wiry coat.
Over the century, the Shetland Sheepdog has been bred to be doubled in size.
Modern Shetlands also have much longer fur and a lengthened body, whereas Shetlands from 1915 were less elongated.
While these photographs might be both interesting and adorable, let them be a reminder that animals are not lesser creatures with which humans have a right to play God.
We should love our pups just the way they were made.