The Etymological Origins of Dog Breed Names

Patrick Foote of Name Explain looked into the etymological origins of dog breed names, noting how many of the names come from the breed’s geological origin.

Let’s dive into the world of dog breed names and before we begin properly there’s some really obvious ones you may think I may be forgetting about but that’s not the case at all that’s because many dog breeds are named after the location they came from such as Labradors, Dalmatians and even Rottweilers.

Other words for breeds describe the their characteristics. For example, terrier came from the word “terra” because of the breed’s fondness for burrowing, the bulldog was so named for the breed’s unwilling participation in the old English sport of bull-baiting, the word dachshund means badger dog in German. The word for poodle also comes from German, indicating the breed’s love for water.

Dog Breed Names

Foote also looked into history’s oldest dog names.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.