I read a great article on CNN.com about some interesting dog breeds and how they got their names. Some names come from the regional dialect they were bred in, some from their skills or talents and some from their physical attributes.
I found a few additional breeds whose names have interesting origins:
Great Dane – This breed’s origins are debated as some believe it originated in Germany while others believe it was from Denmark. In 1749 the name “le Grand Danois” was used, which roughly translated meant Great Dane.
Chow Chow – This is one of the oldest dog breeds that still exists today. It was referred to as Songshi Quan which means “puffy-lion dog”. In the early 1800’s when these dogs were shipped from China to England, they were kept in an area of the ship called the chow chow.
Border Collie – While the word collie was not coined until the end of the 19th century, it is thought that “border” refers its (speculated) place of origin along the Scottish- English borders.
Papillon – A very established toy breed that orginated in France. The word papillon means “butterfly” in French. It is thought that the papillon’s large and wispy ears resemble butterflies, contributing to its name.