Monday, April 27, 2015

Popular Dog Breeds 1900 to 1945

Since the early 1900s, the American Kennel Club has published lists of the most popular breeds.  But dogs that weren’t purebred, or that were not registered won’t show up on that roster.  
Four all-American dogs, the Rat Terrier, American Bull Terrier, Boston Terrier, and American Cocker Spaniel were commonly seen on porches of new suburban bungalows built with yards and gardens to accommodated a family dog, something of a new concept.  
Typical small working/companion dog,
the ubiquitous Rat Terrier
The Rat Terrier:  Until about 1900, any small dog that killed vermin for its keep was by default known as a rat terrier.  The loyal little dog, snubbed by UK Victorian era fanciers as nothing more than a "vermin killer of little consequence" was an American favorite.  

Boston Terriers looked a lot tougher in 1920
Collection: Library of Congress
The Boston Terrier was the first breed actually developed in America to be recognized by the AKC. The Boston Terrier was the most popular dog beginning1905 although he'd moved to second place by 1935.

The American Bull Terrier was a popular pooch at the turn of the last century, prized by the rich and famous, poor and not so poor alike. 

It’s ancestral stock was brought to the US in the 19th century by UK immigrants.  It was bred from terriers and bulldogs.  There are many dogs that are similar today. They’re informally grouped together and called bully breeds.  

Three guys just having a good time

Nationalism leading up to World War I made the breed a favorite. The American Bull Terrier represented the USA, and patriotic sentiment intensified our attachment to the breed.  
The American Cocker Spaniel took over first place in 1936 leading the way as the most popular dog from 1936 through 1952.

The American Cocker was perhaps the
first working dog eventually bred
solely for companionship.


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