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How Dog Breeds Have Changed Over the Last 100 Years

Dogs have lived side by side with humans for thousands of years. Although we can only guess how our pets looked in the very beginning, we can easily compare them with dogs that lived a century ago. In quite a short time, some breeds have changed beyond recognition because of human influence.

Some pets became better, and some…not so much! But we at Bright Side think that dogs are still cuties anyway!

English Bulldog

This dog has become more massive and stockier. The chest has become wider, the legs have become shorter, and the face is more flattened now. The Bulldog also has more skin hanging on its body. Unfortunately, modern Bulldogs suffer from a number of health issues, and the average life span of the breed is six and a quarter years.

Basset Hound

The body of the Basset Hound has become lower, the hind legs are shorter, and the ears are a lot longer now. The face, as the legs, has become shorter, and the skin has more folds now.


The Boxers have shorter and upturned faces now. The proportions of the body have slightly changed too.

Bull Terrier

Today these dogs have a very differently shaped skull — the face has become shorter, and the jaws have become larger. The bodies are lower and stockier now, in general.

West Highland White Terrier

Spot the seven differences! The fur might have become a bit longer and thicker.

Doberman Pinscher

These dogs have become a little less massive, and their head is more smooth now. By the way, they are not as aggressive as they used to be years ago.

Irish Setter

This breed hasn’t changed much in over 150 years (the black-and-white picture was taken in 1879). Irish Setters have only become a bit thinner and lighter, and they have longer and thicker fur now.

German Shepherd

The German Shepherds have become larger, and their fur has become longer and thicker. The skeleton has changed as well: now the сroup is lower, and the chest is wider.


Modern Rottweilers are black in color with well-defined reddish-brown spots on the face, cheeks, under the eyes, on the lower part of the chest, and on the legs. The fur is coarser now, and they don’t have their tails docked anymore.

Saluki (Persian Greyhound)

The Salukis have become a lot taller and thinner. Now they have long and very thin legs, as well as longer ears.


Today these dogs have a longer face and body, a slightly wider chest, and much shorter hind legs.

Airedale Terrier

This breed almost hasn’t changed except for becoming ‘shaggier’ and longer in the face.


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