Dogs have a special place in the hearts of all humans. According to historians, evidence points towards puppies being the first domesticated animal. In the past, those with wealth and free time acquired dogs as companions. 12 thousand years ago, archeologists discovered dog and human remains that were buried together. Since dogs have shaped our history and culture, we take a look at the past to reminisce about the most famous pups in pop culture and history.
It’s hard to forget such a terrifying Saint Bernard, attempting to break the car windows to eat a mother and son duo. Stephen King brought this terrifying vision alive in movie form in 1983, and it has lived in our subconscious ever since.
However, the movie used 5 Saint Bernards, and they all were absolute sweet-hearts on set. Because of the great temperament of the dogs, the production crew needed to swap out a man in a dog’s costume for some of the scenes.
Another fascinating fact is that both dogs for Cujo and Beethoven were trained by the same man, Karl Miller. Saint Bernards are usually calm, so it took a lot to get them to act untrained! Now, his daughter, Teresa, is also a dog trainer, so it runs in the family!
Despite how vicious Cujo looked, remember that Saint Bernards are just like any other dog and with proper training, they are loyal companions!
2. Ancient Egyptians Dogs and Anubis
The Egyptians were known to value dogs in their society, and it served as further proof when researchers searched Cairo and discovered 8 million dog corpses.
Even the most cherished god of the Egyptians, Anubis, was a canine god created to protect the people of Egypt from wild canine attacks. Often described as the “King of the dead,” Anubis stands as an imposing figure with a black dog head meant to symbolize the decomposition of a body.
Ancient Egyptians sacrificed dogs in hopes of reuniting with Anubis. One of the most popular dogs during this time was the Tesem that became the Basenji in our modern world. These dogs are energetic and share a strong prey drive, so they fit an active owner. However, if you need to adopt a dog from the past, the Basenji will suffice with its regal ancient appearance.
Of course, one cannot make a pop culture dog list without mentioning Snoopy. Snoopy has been around since the 1950s, hanging out with Charlie Brown and the Peanuts. His companion, Woodstock, the yellow bird, followed Snoopy around for many of his adventures.
Snoopy is a Beagle, and you can tell from his floppy ears. Despite Snoopy almost getting married in the series, his bride ran off with a Golden Retriever and Snoopy has lived the bachelor life since then.
Beagles are lovable, smaller dogs, and they make for excellent hunting companions. So, if you want your own Snoopy, you should consider adopting a wonderful Beagle!
If you have been following politics these past few years, you may recall a meeting between Vladamir Putin and Angela Merkel in 2007 where Putin invited his dog Koni to greet Merkel. Since Merkel is afraid of dogs because of a biting incident, some political correspondents wrote pages of articles dedicated to analyzing the strategic intent behind letting the dog inside the meeting.
Whether it was intentional or not, Koni was a famous and spectacular black Labrador. Koni was trained as a search and rescue dog before belonging to Putin and was given as a gift. Putin has stated that he consulted with his dog for political advice. Sadly, Koni passed away in 2014. Whether you love or hate Putin, we must admit that his dogs are all adorable!
Labradors are friendly dogs, so if you are looking for a family pet, they are the right choice!
If you have not heard of Balto, it is a tremendous story of dog bravery. During the year of 1925 in Alaska in the city of Nome, a disease named Diphtheria spread across the population. This disease is created by a bacteria that goes by the name of orynebacterium diphtheriae. This creates toxins that can be spread from person to person. Before the invention of a vaccine, disease was one of the major factors in childhood death.
Since Nome is a city on the outskirts of Alaska, during the winter season, only teams of drivers and dog sleds can access the city. To bring serum to the people of Nome, a dog team led by Balto traveled 674 miles.
Despite Balto being a hero, misfortune fell on him after his life-saving feat. He was toured in a vaudeville circus before George Kimbell, a man from Cleveland, raised money to buy the legendary dog. The city gathered together to raise enough money to buy the dog and after Balto passed away, his body was put on display at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
Balto, being a Siberian Husky, was created for the harsh winter conditions of the Alaskan wilderness. If you want a “Balto” of your own, you need to be aware that Siberian Huskies love to run and pull sleds, so you may need to invest in some pulling harnesses to train your pup for their favorite activity, or they might just destroy your house.
6. Rin Tin Tin
Rin Tin Tin is such a popular pup that he is both a history and pop culture phenomenon. Lee Duncan, Rin Tin Tin’s owner, discovered him while fighting in World War I. While fighting in the armed forces, he saw a destroyed dog kennel on the field and a German Shepherd remained inside with a pair of puppies.
Since Duncan was also an orphan, he understood the dismay of being abandoned, so he decided to rescue the mom and her pups. He gave away the mom and the pups to friends and family, but he kept two of the pups. The male pup he named Rin Tin Tin.
Duncan was determined to get his dog on the big screen and after Warner Brothers fell under, Duncan proposed that Rin Tin Tin should star in a movie. The Man from Hell’s River became a big success and Rin Tin Tin began his trajectory to Hollywood stardom.
Duncan loved Rin Tin Tin so much that his wife tried to divorce him because she believed he was more loyal to the dog than her.
However, Rin Tin Tin’s legacy lives on to this day, and he is the most famous German Shepherd in history. While many people love German Shepherds, they are intelligent working dogs, so they require a lot of activity!
A Walk Through History
We hope you enjoyed learning about the cherished dogs in our history. If you want your own excellent pup, read our blog on how to pick the right pup.