In 19th century Germany there was a man who was both the local tax collector and caretaker of the dog pound. Since tax collecting was a dangerous job, he used the pound to make a new breed a dog that would protect him while collecting. His name, Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann.
The Moscow Water Dog is a now-extinct breed of dog that was developed in the Soviet Union after WWII. They were bred to be water rescue dogs, but since they preferred biting drowning people to saving them, the breed was allowed to go extinct.
Gander, a World War 2 Newfoundland service dog, saved a Canadian unit of soldiers from a live grenade during the battle of Hong Kong. The dog picked up the grenade and rushed towards the Japanese enemies, dying in the explosion.
In 2001 an Australian Blue Heeler saved his elderly owner from an alligator attack in the dark. The woman had fallen in her yard at night. She heard the gator coming towards her before the dog ambushed it, fighting the reptile until it fled in defeat.
When confronted by police, a man took his pit bull off the leash, pointed at the cops and yelled “Kill’em boy, kill’em.” The dog responded by biting him in the butt and chasing him into a nearby apartment where the officers promptly arrested him.
A dog in Milan regularly catches the No. 54 bus by himself, to visit his favorite spot in the city. He will only get on if it’s the driver that he likes, and once he has reached his destination (a park) he leaps off and wanders around for a few hours before catching the same bus home again.
In 2015, residents of a Serbian city erected a statue to honor a small dachshund named Leo, who saved a 10-year-old child from a vicious dog attack. According to the Associated Press, the child was walking home from a friend’s house when a raging bull-mastiff cross-breed grabbed her and pinned her to the ground. Normally afraid of dogs larger than him, Leo, the neighbor’s pint-sized companion, leapt into action. He jumped on the larger dog, who released the young girl and turned on Leo instead. Leo died of his injuries, but the community remembered him fondly for his brave act. Leo was officially honored with the country’s first dog statue. The inscription on the statue reads, “To all the small dogs with big hearts.”
The Canine Genome project revealed that the Pekingese, Shiba Inu, Shih Tzu & Basengi are among the ancient breeds least genetically diverged from Gray Wolves.
On 1910, the Mayor of Istanbul exiled 80,000 stray dogs to a small island for them to die. Soon later, a 7.3 magnitude earthquake occurred, which people perceived as a punishment from God for the dogs’ exile, and the surviving dogs were brought back.
There is a dog eating festival in China where 10,000 – 15,000 dogs are eaten over a 10 day period.