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It’s all in the name!

27 January 2016

There are many dog breeds registered with the Kennel Club, but have you ever wondered where these breed names originate? Here is a guide to a few of the more popular breed names. We will update you with more fun name facts over the coming weeks, so keep following and don’t forget to post a photo of your dog on our Facebook page in the comments, let’s celebrate all our wonderful canine friends out there!


Jack Russell Terrier 

Jack Russell Terrier

As you may have suspected, Jack Russell was a real person.

John Russell (Jack is a nickname for John that dates back to Norman times) was born in Devon in 1795, and while he was studying to become a clergyman at Oxford, he purchased a white terrier bitch named Trump from a milkman. Trump seemed to be the perfect dog for fox hunting – a big passion of the Reverend. Russell began breeding Trump to develop a line of terriers with the necessary drive and stamina to hunt foxes all day and the courage and aggressiveness to chase out foxes that had gone to ground.


Labrador Retriever 

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers originated in the region of Canada that's now the province of Newfoundland. Fishermen called them the St. John's water dog or the Lesser Newfoundland, as they were excellent swimmers who would jump into the icy water to ‘retrieve’ fishing nets back to shore.

In the early 19th century, the first Earl of Malmesbury brought these hard-working dogs to his English estate and trained them to retrieve the ducks he hunted. He referred to them as his ‘Labrador dogs’ in reference (incorrectly) to their home region, and the name stuck.


Cocker Spaniel 

Cocker Spaniel

Spaniel type dogs date back almost 500 years, however the different types of Spaniel breeds that exist today were not identified until the mid 19th century.

Prized by English hunters, Cocker Spaniels showed great skill and expertise at tracking woodcocks, hence the dogs became known as ‘cockers.’