Dogs That Originated in The United States of America
The United States of America spends more money on pets than any other nation in the world. In fact, it’s estimated to go over a $60 Billion spend mark in 2017. And while the sheer number of fish in the U.S. far outnumbers cats and dogs, there are more households that own dogs over any other pet. This is because when Americans do own fish and cats, they tend to own more than one of that same pet compared to dogs. (Live Science)
For many years, Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers have been the most popular breeds in the States. (AKC) Some might even consider them to be an iconic American dog! However, not a single one of those breeds originated in U.S. So we thought it would be fun to take some time to learn about (and celebrate) the dogs that were "Made in America."
Note: The following list contains dogs classified as breeds by “Americans” since around or after the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. There are actually many dogs that originate from the land that is now the United States of America including the Alaskan Malamute and The Carolina Dog, but the dogs in our list are meant to reflect a history of the U.S.A. more than the historical geographic region.
DOG BREEDS ORIGINATING IN THE U.S.A.
There are many theories about how the American Bulldog originated, but it generally dates back to the 1800s for various purposes including protecting farms, hunting and fighting sports. Some experts say that the American Bulldog that we see today better resembles the English Bulldog that you would have seen in the 1800s.
Bred for hunting, the American Foxhound was one of the first (and possibly THE first) dog breeds originating in America. Fun Fact - America’s first president, George Washington, owned 36 Foxhounds!
American Pit Bull Terrier
The APBT that we see today is not technically recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC), however it was in the early 1900s. Confused? We’ll explain. Some say the AKC didn’t like the name “Pit" so it was named 'American Staffordshire Terrier' instead. However, since the 1930s, the American Staffordshire Terrier and American Pit Bull Terriers have developed different looks and standards, thus making them different “breeds." The dogs were bred for sport fighting. However, contrary to popular belief, these dogs were never bred to have aggression towards humans and were more popularly kept as companion animals.
American Staffordshire Terrier
With a similar history to the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier was originally bred for fighting sports but is a very popular companion animal in the U.S. Dog fighting sports are also now illegal in the United States. These dogs have unfortunately had a bad reputation in the 1900s and early 2000s, however, thanks to social media, many say that this reputation is starting to take a positive turn.
American Water Spaniel
Even though it was recognized as a breed by the AKC in 1940 and is the state dog of Wisconsin, the dog is considered rare. The American Water Spaniel was bred for hunting purposes near water. They are great swimmers and are nimble and quick!
This one is tricky! Australian Shepherds originated from shepherds coming from Australia to the U.S. in the 1800s, but the "Australian Shepherd" that we know of today was bred by Americans!
Blue Tick Coonhound
The Blue Tick Coonhound is a relatively new breed recognized in the 1990s. Originating from the southern states, or more specifically known to be from Louisiana, this dog was bred to hunt smaller animals like raccoons.
Nicknamed “The American Gentleman” and bred as a companion animal, the dog is a cross between the English Bulldog and the White English Terrier. To this day, it’s a common companion animal that is rapidly growing in popularity. The breed was recognized in the 1880s.
Catahoulas go by many names including Catahoula Leopard Dog because of it’s spots and Catalouha Hog Dog because of its original purpose for hunting wild boar. Originating from Louisiana, it was named the LA state dog in 1979.
Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Nicknamed the Chessie! In 1807, it is said that a crew and cargo were rescued from a sinking ship by nearby ship - and that cargo included two Newfoundland puppies that were later bred with various retrievers and hounds.
This Husky, St. Bernard and Mastiff mix was bred for the sled in the early 1900s in New Hampshire. It is said to be part of the first pack of dogs to successfully sled up Mount Washington.
With six recognized “Coon Hound” breeds, the Plott Hound is the only one that doesn’t have English ancestry. The breed was raised and created in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina by the Plott Family and was selectively bred with few other types of dogs in the area over many years since the 1700s. Bred for hunting, this dog is the state dog of North Carolina.
Although a rare dog, these little terriers were bred to be companions on farms and to capture rats and other small vermin in the 1920s and 1930s.
Another dog bred for hunting, this breed originated from Red Foxhounds brought by Scottish immigrants in the late 18th century. The goal was to create a faster dog for capturing small game.
Toy Fox Terrier
Originating from the Smooth Fox Terrier and bred with smaller toy breeds, the purpose of breeding this dog was for various tasks such as ratting on farms, hunting small game, and even performing tricks at circuses! Today, they are mostly used as companion animals.
Overall, there many, many different types of dogs around the world. Even if a dog is "formally" classified as a breed by one organization, they may not be recognized by other established organizations. But this list is meant to shed light on breeds recognized by Americans in some shape, form or fashion and celebrate the dogs that originated from The United States of America. We wonder which dog will be recognized as the next American dog breed...