Jeannette Barnes DVM

Yorkshire Terrier

When Scottish workers despaired of finding work at home, they moved to Yorkshire with their terriers to kill rats plaguing the mills where they worked. Early ancestors were named “Old Crab” and “Kitty", though much of their specific breeding history has been lost, and was likely never recorded. The most famous Yorkshire Terrier, Huddersfield Ben, defined the breed for dog enthusiasts in the late 1860s.

Well-trained Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies, display an almost regal carriage, much like the English ladies who took them on as companions. Yorkies are highly adaptable and trainable, making them ideal traveling partners. They can be quite vocal; a Yorkie in the house almost guarantees no night prowler will go unnoticed.

French Bulldog

The ancestors of the French Bulldog originated in England as miniature bulldogs. English lacemakers, displaced by the Industrial Revolution, settled in Normandy with their miniature bulldogs. The bulldogs were then bred with ratting dogs from France, and the French Bulldog was born. The French Bulldog became increasingly popular among ladies from every social class.

A popular breed for families, the French Bulldog makes a great companion. Like other companion breeds, these social dogs require close contact with humans, and don't like being left alone for more than a few hours at a time. They require a low level of exercise, and don't bark often, making them a great option for apartment dwellers.

St Bernard

The St Bernard gets its iconic name and history from the long string of rescues this breed performed in the Great St Bernard Pass in Switzerland. For hundreds of years, these hearty canines would seek out and rescue travelers by heavy snowfalls. Between 1816 and 1818, severe winters killed a large number of the rescue dogs. Monks began to crossbreed remaining St Bernards with Newfoundlands in an attempt to preserve the breed. The new lineage inherited long, dense fur, which made them unsuitable as search and rescue dogs, as their fur would trap ice and weigh them down. 

These sizable dogs are patient and warm, but like all large breeds must be well socialized to prevent fearfulness and territoriality. While modern St Bernards aren't good for icy search and rescue missions, they have retained their strong work ethic, and can make great sniffer dogs with proper training.