To find out what dog breeds once looked like, you have to go back to 1873, when the Kennel Club, the British breeders’ club, which first standardized dog breeds’ morphology, first appeared. But one can also find ancient works of art in which the dogs of the time are presented.
In this article, 20 Dog breeds, we will show you 20 dog breeds from before and now. In this way, you will be able to see the evolution of the dog!
Here we go!
- 1 1. Pug
- 2 2. Scottish Terrier
- 3 3. Bernese mountain dog
- 4 4. Bobtail
- 5 5. Bedlington terrier
- 6 6. Bloodhound
- 7 7. English Bull Terrier
- 8 8. Poodle
- 9 9. Doberman pinscher
- 10 10. Boxer
- 11 11. Wire-haired Fox Terrier
- 12 German Shepherd
- 13 Pekingese
- 14 English Bulldog
- 15 Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- 16 Saint-Bernard
- 17 Shar-pei
- 18 Schnauzer
- 19 West Highland white terrier
- 20 English Setter
- 21 Why do all these breeds suffer from so many health problems?
In the photo on the left, you can see Trump, a Pug owned by William Hogarth in 1745. At that time, the breed was not standardized, but it was well known and viral. We do not see the typically flattened muzzle, and its legs are much longer. It is even estimated that it is much larger than the current Pug.
Pugs currently suffer from several health problems related to body types such as elongated palate, entropion and dislocation of the kneecap, and epilepsy and Legg-Calve Pethers disease lead to the loss. The muscle in the upper thigh and pain that limits the dog’s movement. He is sensitive to heatstroke and suffocates regularly.
20 Dogs breeds, before and after – pictures of the dog’s evolution – 1. Pug or Pug
2. Scottish Terrier
The Scottish Terrier has undoubtedly undergone one of the most radical changes in terms of morphology. We can see the shape of the head much more elongated and a drastic shortening in the legs. The pre-photograph is from 1859.
They often suffer from different types of cancer (bladder, bowel, stomach, skin, and breast) and are susceptible to von Willebrand disease, which causes abnormal bleeding and haemorrhaging. They also often suffer from spinal problems.
20 Dogs breeds, before and after – photos of the dog’s development – 2. Scottish Terrie
3. Bernese mountain dog
In the image, you can see a Bernese Mountain Dog from 1862 painted by Benno Raphael Adam, a great animal painter of the 19th century. In this painting, it is possible to see a herdsman whose cranial area is much less marked and rounded.
He tends to suffer from diseases like dysplasia (elbow or hip), histiocytosis, osteochondritis dissecans. It is also susceptible to gastric torsion.
20 Dogs breeds, before and after – photos of the dog’s development – 3. Bernese Mountain Dog
The attributes of the Bobtail have changed dramatically between the 1915 photograph and the current standard. It is mainly noted that his long hair has been encouraged, as has the shape of the ears and his cranial area.
His fur was undoubtedly one factor that influenced his health, as he is sensitive to ear infections and allergies. He is also affected by hip dysplasia and other diseases related to joints and mobility.
20 Dogs breeds, before and after – photos of the dog’s evolution – 4. Bobtail
5. Bedlington terrier
The morphology of the Bedlington terrier is undoubtedly one of the ones that have changed the most. The trainers made sure to make it look like a sheep, which resulted in an abnormal skull shape. The photo shows a specimen from 1881 (left) which has nothing to do with the current sample.
He can suffer from many diseases, such as heart murmur, epiphora, retinal dysplasia, cataracts and a high incidence of kidney and liver problems.
20 Dogs breeds, before and after – pictures of the dog’s evolution – 5. Bedlington terrier
It’s crazy to see the official Bloodhound standard described 100 years ago. As can be seen, the folds were encouraged and are now a hallmark of the breed. Likewise, the ears also seem much longer today.
This breed has very high gastrointestinal disturbances and problems with the skin, eyes and ears. They are also susceptible to heatstroke. Finally, the life expectancy of this dog is between 8 and 12 years.
7. English Bull Terrier
The Bull Terrier is undoubtedly one of the most popular breeds today, whether it is the standard or the miniature. The morphology of these dogs has changed radically since the time of photography in 1915. We can see a significant deformation of the skull as well as a more robust and muscular body.
The bull terrier has a great tendency to suffer from skin problems and heart, kidney, deafness, and patellar luxation problems. The slight wind also develops eye problems.
The Poodle has arguably been one of the most popular breeds in beauty pageants. Changes in body shape have been supported to create multiple sizes and develop a lovely, kind and intelligent character.
This dog can suffer from epilepsy, gastric torsion, Addison’s disease, cataracts and dysplasia (especially in “giant” sized specimens).
9. Doberman pinscher
In the 1915 image, we can see a Doberman Pinscher larger than the current one and with a much shorter muzzle. The current standard is much more stylized, but, unfortunately, the amputation of its extremities is still accepted by cynological foundations.
This dog is prone to spine problems, gastric torsion, hip dysplasia, or heart problems. She is also likely to suffer from Wobbler’s syndrome, which causes neurological deficits and disabilities, which is more common in females than in males.
20 Dogs breeds, before and after – pictures of the dog’s development – 9. Doberman pinscher
The Boxer is one of the most popular dogs worldwide, but it is also a dog whose evolution is mind-blowing. In this photo, we can see Flocky, the first Boxer listed. Although the photograph does not reveal it, the jaw’s shape has been dramatically altered, and the lower lips are much more drooping now.
The Boxer is susceptible to suffering from any cancer, as well as heart problems. They also tend gastric twisting, and because of their flat muzzle, they often experience dizziness with excessive heat and respiratory issues. They also suffer from allergies.
20 Dogs breeds, before and after – photos of the dog’s evolution – 10. Boxer
11. Wire-haired Fox Terrier
Isn’t it strange to see this portrait of a wire-haired fox terrier from 1886? Unlike the current one, it has much less curly hair, a less elongated muzzle, and a completely different body position.
Although the incidence of health problems is not as high as that of the Boxer, it does have joint issues such as epilepsy, deafness, thyroid problems, and digestive dysfunctions.
The German Shepherd is, by far, one of the breeds that have been the most battered by beauty pageants. So much so that there are currently two types of German Shepherd, the beautiful one and the working one, the first being the most damaged, the second still looking like the 1909 specimen we see in the photo.
Today his main health problem is hip dysplasia, but he can also suffer from elbow dysplasia, digestive and eye problems. The photo we show you are the one that won a beauty contest in 2016, a dog who, probably, in a few years, will not be able to walk because of the deformation of his spine. Despite this, the “current standard” requires that German Shepherds exhibit this curvature, totally abnormal.
20 Dogs breeds, before and after – pictures of the dog’s evolution – 12. German Shepher
The Pekingese is one of the most popular dogs in China because it was considered a sacred animal at some point in history. As is the case with previous breeds, it is possible to see in the Pekingese significant morphological changes, its muzzle being more flattened, it’s head more rounded, and its nostrils being wider.
Although he does not seem to have changed as much as other dogs (as is the case with the German Shepherd), the Pekingese suffers enormously from health problems. Such as respiratory problems (stenotic nostrils or a soft, elongated palate), various eye problems (trichiasis, cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy). And mobility dysfunctions, mainly due to dislocation of the kneecap or degeneration of the intervertebral discs.
20 Dogs breeds, before and after – photos of the dog’s evolution – 13. Pekingese
The English Bulldog has undergone a drastic morphological change, perhaps even more marked than that seen in the other breeds we have named in this list. For example, it is easy to see how much his skull structure has been deformed between 1790 and the present day. Also, his body was selected, looking for the creation of a round profile and muscular.
It is, probably, one of the breeds with the most hereditary problems. He often suffers from hip dysplasia, skin problems, difficulty breathing, a predisposition to gastric torsion, and eye problems.
20 Dogs breeds, before and after – photos of the dog’s evolution – 14. English Bulldog
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is, without a doubt, one of the UK’s most popular dogs. Part of young King Charles II’s body can be seen in the left’s photo, posing with his favourite dog. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was an exclusive dog of the nobility, and the ladies put him in their skirts in winter to protect themselves from the cold. This dog was one of the first to start selecting specimens to achieve a specific and desired morphology based on the “beauty” of the dog.
William Youatt, a veterinarian, specializing in diseases, was one of the first to criticize: “The King Charles breed is currently significantly altered for the worse. The muzzle is very short, and the forehead is ugly and prominent, like that of the Bulldog. The eye is twice as big as it was initially and shows an expression of stupidity to which the dog’s character exactly matches. “
Dr William was not wrong in his analysis. Nowadays, this breed is prone to many diseases, including syringomyelia, a severe hereditary disease. They are also likely to suffer from mitral valve prolapse, heart failure, retinal dysplasia, and cataracts. Indeed, 50% of dogs of this breed die of heart problems and the ultimate cause of death is old age.
Saint Bernard is one of the most famous Cattle Dogs, perhaps due to its appearance in Beethoven’s favourite movie. We can see a thinner dog in the left’s photo, with a smaller head and less notable features.
Genetic selection made him a dog prone to dilated cardiomyopathy as well as obesity and dysplasia. He is also sensitive to heatstroke and stomach twists, so it is not recommended to do active exercises.
The Shar-Pei is one of the most popular breeds these days, but like the Bull Terrier, breeding based on exaggerating its attributes means that it is prone to many health issues. The well-known folds that it presents have given it a unique appearance, but they also bring various inconveniences and ailments.
This breed is prone to all kinds of skin and eye problems, which are also caused by its numerous folds. He also suffers from a specific illness, shar-pei fever, and usually has food allergies.
The Schnauzer is one of the most popular and beloved breeds today. There are three types: miniature, standard and giant. It is also possible to see this dog’s evolution with the naked eye if we compare the photo taken in 1915 and today. The body is more compact, its muzzle is more elongated, and the characteristics of its fur, such as the beard, are much more accentuated.
He is susceptible to Comedonous Schnauzer Syndrome, a type of dermatitis that often affects the animal’s digestion and causes allergies. They may also have pulmonary stenosis and vision problems, sometimes related to their eyebrows’ thick fur.
20 Dogs breeds, before and after – Photos of dog development – 18. Schnauzer
West Highland white terrier
The West Highland white terrier, also known as the “Westy”, is originally from Scotland and, although it was once a fox and badger hound, it is today one of the hounds. Most loved and appreciated companies around the world.
In the photograph from 1899, it is possible to see two specimens very different from the current standard because they do not have a coat as dense as the one we know, and even their morphological structure is quite different.
They usually suffer from craniomandibular osteopathy, abnormal growth of the jaw, as well as leukodystrophy, Legg-Calve-Pethes disease, toxicosis or dislocation of the patella.
20 Dogs breeds, before and after – Photos of dog development – 19. West Highland white terrier
In the English Setter, one can observe how the breed’s characteristic attributes from 1902 to today have been exaggerated. The lengthening of the muzzle and the length of the neck have been reinforced and the presence of hair on the chest, legs, abdomen, and tail.
Like all of the breeds mentioned above, the English Setter is susceptible to various illnesses such as allergy, elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and other types of allergies. Her life expectancy is around 11 and 12 years.
20 Dogs breeds, before and after – pictures of the dog’s development – 20. English Setter
Why do all these breeds suffer from so many health problems?
Purebred dogs, especially dogs with a pedigree, have been crossed for generations between siblings, parents and children, and even grandparents and grandchildren. Currently, this is no longer a common or desirable practice, but even some respected breeders crossbreed between grandparents and granddaughters. The reason is very simple: the goal is to improve the breed’s attributes and not lose the lineage in future puppies.
Information from the BBC documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed was used.
The consequences of inbreeding are apparent. The clearest proof can be found in the excellent rejection that society feels towards those who practice it. In ancient Egypt, specifically during Dynasty XVIII, it was shown that royalty members who practised it were more likely to perpetuate hereditary diseases, aggravate already existing genetic conditions, experience early mortality and, finally, be infertile.
As we said, not all breeders practice these practices, but they are common in some cases. This is why it is strongly recommended to inform yourself properly before taking a dog home, especially if you are not going through a breeder to obtain a Pedigree.