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› Dog Breed Nicknames

Clever Dog Breed Nicknames

Even dog breeds have nicknames and some of them are rather clever. 

Where do they come from?

The answers may surprise you and some have had these “special” names tagging along with them for generations. 

Dog breed nicknames arise because of some trait the dog possess, either looks or actions. Consider the “Monkey” dog, also known as the Affenpinscher because his face resembles that of a monkey.


Sometimes people start calling a dog a specific name based on where they came from and the extra name sticks. 


If location is not enough, then people might add a feature to come up with a different dog nickname. 


Which breed is the Cuban Silk Dog?  The Havanese because it has silky hair and the breed originated from Cuba.




When people can’t remember the breed name, they may come up with a new name just for convenience.  Few people would not recognize the Lassie Dog as the Rough Coated Collie. 


Some nicknames fit more than one breed so you can’t depend on it to steer you to your favorite breed.  Which breed is the Velcro Dog?  Last time we checked, any dog that follows his person around can be called the Velcro dog.  That includes quite a few breeds.


Some breed names are only shortened versions of the real name.  Maybe we just get lazy?


Tzus, Doxies, Dobies, and Rotties – Let’s face it some of those dog breeds are just a bit too long for today’s racing world. 


No one would blame someone from shortening the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier down to the Weaten. 


Anything to simplify your life, Right?


And then, some breed fanciers would prefer to do away with names altogether and just use the acronyms,   OES, GSD, or APBT, GSMD!

OES  Old English Sheepdog

GSD German Shepherd Dog

APBT  American Pitbull Terrier

GSMD  Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

Some breeds have some great nicknames.  Here are a few of our favorites.

Whippet ~ The Poor Man's Race HorseWhippet

Whippet ~
The Poor Man's Race Horse


The Whippet was once bred to hunt rabbits but was later used in Northern England as a racing horse.



Airedale Terrier ~
The King of Terriers


The Airedale demonstrates all of the qualities that make a terrier a terrier. The Airedale is a very versatile dog, which does well in agility, search and rescue, obedience, protection and military work.   



Petite Basset Griffon VendeenPetite Basset Griffon Vendeen

Petite Basset Griffon Vendeen ~
The Happy Breed


The nickname says it all. The PBGV always has a smile on his face and wag in his tail. See that smile?



Pug ~ Multum in parvoPug

Pug ~
Multum in parvo


Latin for "A Lot of Dog in a Small Space" or "A Lot in a Little."  This dog is full of personality and gusto.



Bullmastiff ~
Game Keepers Night Dog


The Bullmastiff was originally produced from the Mastiff and the Bulldog to guard against poachers on the large English estates and stayed by his owner at night guarding the property.



Keeshond ~ The Dutch Barge DogKeeshond

Keeshond ~
The Dutch Barge Dog


The Keeshond was originally bred by the Dutch to guard their barges and to be companions to workers on the barge.



Welsh Springer Spaniel ~ The StarterWelsh Springer Spaniel

Welsh Springer Spaniel ~
The Starter


Developed in Wales, the Welsh Springer Spaniel was originally known as "the Starter," which it is still known as today.



Saluki ~ The Royal Dog of EgyptSaluki

Saluki ~
The Royal Dog of Egypt


The Saluki was the dog of Egyptian nobility. Although the Muslim religion declares dogs to be unclean, Salukis were declared to be 'sacred,' and thus the prey they brought down could be eaten.



Manchester Terrier ~
The Gentleman's Terrier


A very alert and sharp-looking dog, the Manchester Terrier was developed as a ratter and for rabbit coursing. It was in Victorian times that he was first given the title of "the Gentleman's Terrier."



Chinese Shar-Pei ~
The Sharkskin Dog


The Shar-Pei's other nicknames are the "Chinese Fighting Dog," and the "Chinese Bulldog." The Shar-Pei has a rough, sandpaper-like feel to it, which gave it this nickname.



Dalmatian ~
The Plum Pudding Dog


The name was used to describe the spots.  But other names were used too including the  Carriage Dog, English Coach Dog, and the Firehouse Dog.



Bull Terrier ~
The White Cavalier


The name began with the pure white strain of terriers bred by James Hicks.  The colors have changed over the years, but the name still sticks.



Great Dane ~
The Apollo of Dogs


The name means most beautiful of Greek Gods.



Papillon ~
The Butterfly Dog


The breeds large erect ears resemble the wings of a butterfly.



Shih Tzu ~
The Chrysanthemum Dog


When the hair starts to grow out on the face of a puppy, it goes in all directions and resembles the pedals of the Chrysanthemum flower.



Weimaraner ~ The Grey GhostWeimaraner

Weimaraner ~
The Grey Ghost


They may not be the only grey breed, but their silvery grey color give a ghostly appearance.



Boston Terrier ~
The American Gentlemen of Dogs


They may not be the only dog bred in the U.S., but their bold black and white coloration that resembled a gentlemen formal suit.



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