When you see an Old English Sheepdog next to, say, a Chinese Crested, it can be hard to wrap one’s head around the fact that, at the heart of it, they’re both members of the same canine family.
Though some dog breeds that are related share obvious visual traits (like massive bodies or soft, fluffy fur), some look dissimilar enough that we think you might be surprised to see who shares a close family tie. This slideshow isn’t an exhaustive look into canine genealogy, but it will give you an idea of which dogs share a branch of the family tree with some of your favorite breeds!
Dogue de Bordeaux, Mastiff, Bullmastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Tibetan Mastiff
The Tibetan Terrier is not, in fact, an actual Terrier, and is most closely related to the Lhasa Apso. How close are they? They were once considered the same breed but eventually were separated by height, with the taller breed becoming the Tibetan Terrier.
Havanese, Bichon Frise, Maltese, Coton de Tulear, Bolognese
Miniature Schnauzer, Standard Schnauzer, Affenpinscher, Black Poodle
Ever wonder which came first, the
Miniature or Standard
Schnauzer? The larger version came first, with the Miniature
Schnauzer coming into existence when Germans wanted the perfect
farm dog in a smaller (and, therefore, less costly to feed) package. The Standard
Schnauzer was bred with the Affenpinscher and
black Poodles to create an excellent ratter in a smaller package.
Komondor and Caucasian Ovcharka
With his distinctive corded coat,
you might expect the Komondor to
be related to the Puli,
but it's thought that the breed's actually related to the Caucasian Ovcharka. Though they don't share terribly similar looks at first glance, both have long and
impressive histories as flock-guarding dogs.
Leonberger, Saint Bernard, Newfoundland, Great Pyrenees
The Leonberger, a German giant
breed dog, became popular in the mid-19th century when creator Heinrich Essig of Leonberg marketed the breed to celebrities and
wealthy people of the era. Essig's records are not very detailed, but it's believed that the breed came from longhaired Saint Bernards, a black-and-white (Landseer) Newfoundland and
a white Pyrenean Mountain Dog.
You know the funny face of the Brussels Griffon has
to have a story, and we've got the scoop. This smart and sensitive
breed was created in Belgium about 200 years ago from a blend of the English Toy
Spaniel, Pug and
a small German Terrier.
Cesky Terrier, Scottish Terrier, Sealyham Terrier
Though it's fair to say that many
members of the Terrier group share bloodlines, some can be traced quite
clearly, as is the case with the Cesky Terrier, a breed
created in 1949 in the former Czech Republic by breeding the Scottish Terrier and Sealyham Terrier.