Throughout their history, they’ve served as companion dogs to Chinese nobility (one Tang Dynasty emperor was said to have 5,000 Chows), haulers and hunters.
While commonly associated with France, the breed originated in the Canary Islands of Spain, where they were used as sailing dogs.
The Chihuahua is among the oldest breeds in the Americas, dating back to pre-Columbian times – you can spot similar dogs on artifacts from lost civilizations.
"Dachshund" means "badger dog" in German, and the breed was originally developed to dig into badger dens some 600 years ago.
While the bulldog has long been a symbol of England, it’s also a popular mascot in the U.S. Handsome Dan at Yale is believed to be the first animal mascot in sports.
The Boston Terrier, nicknamed the "American Gentleman," originated in the 1870s as a cross between a bulldog and a white English Terrier.
These massive, sweet-tempered working dogs come from the Canadian province of Newfoundland, where they were companions for fishermen, specializing in water rescues (they have partially webbed feet).
The compact and cute pug dates back some 2,000 years to ancient China, where emperors took a liking to small flat-faced dogs.
These gentle giants of the Swiss and Italian Alps were bred by hospice monks founded by Bernard of Menthon to help rescue travelers en route to Rome who’d gotten buried in snow drifts and avalanches.
The thick, white coat of the Samoyed makes them impervious to cold, including the minus-60 degree temperatures of their homeland in the Siberian town of Oymyakon.
It was a pack of Siberian Huskies that made the 658-mile journey to Nome that would inspire the Iditarod.