Dog breeds are mere Victorian confections, neither pure nor ancient

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Modern dog breeds were created in Victorian Britain. The evolution of the domestic dog goes back tens of thousands of years – however, the multiple forms we see today are just 150 years old. Before the Victorian era, there were different types of dog, but there were not that many, and they were largely defined by their function. They were like the colours of a rainbow: variations within each type, shading into each other at the margins. And many terms were used for the different dogs: breed, kind, race, sort, strain, type and variety.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationAeon
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2019


  • dog breeds
  • Victorian Britian
  • Irish wolfhound


Dive into the research topics of 'Dog breeds are mere Victorian confections, neither pure nor ancient'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this