Here's What Popular Dog Breeds Looked Like Before And After 100 Years Of Breeding

English Bulldogs weren't always this stocky. Tammy Lo/Flickr Creative Commons

But today's German shepherds are bred to be considerably larger — 75 to 95 pounds — with a more sloping back. The AKC describes the ideal specimen as "a strong, agile, well muscled animal, alert and full of life."

But they are also prone to health problems, such as hip dysplasia, where the leg bones don't fit properly into the hip socket, and bloat, a condition in which the stomach can expand with air and twist, which can sometimes be fatal.

Airedale terrier then

Dogs of all nations

Though you can't tell from this photo, "Dogs of All Nations" described the coloring of the Airedale's head and ears as a rich tan, as well as the legs up to the thighs and elbows. And the dog's coat was "hard and wiry," but not long enough to be "ragged."

Airedale terrier now


Today, the color appears not to have changed much, but the fur of modern Airedales definitely looks longer and more "ragged" than it was in 1915 — though why breeders value that now, we can't say. Airedales are considered the largest of all terriers, and are sporting and playful.

Shetland sheepdog then

Dogs of all nations

The Shetland sheepdog, or Sheltie, wasn't recognized by the American Kennel Club until 1911, just four years before the book this image is from was published. At that time, the book reported that it weighed just 7 to 10 pounds and appeared to have medium-length fur.

Shetland sheepdog now

Krysta/Flickr Creative Commons

Today, the dogs have been bred to be larger, weighing at least 20 pounds, though still slight. And their fur has become unmistakably longer than in 1915. The AKC now describes them as "small, alert, rough-coated, long-haired working" dogs. They are also very intelligent, and good at herding.

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