15 Delightful Dog Breeds’ Original Jobs

ThinkStock
ThinkStock

By Stacy Conradt

1. Dachshund

The typical doxie traits of being persistent, long, and low to the ground made the little German dogs perfect for diving into narrow burrows to roust out badgers. Being fearless is another reason wiener dogs were perfect for the task: Can you imagine coming up against an angry badger or fox in a confined area with no immediate means of escape?

2. Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise has been around since before the 14th century, when they were frequently found on ships, serving the dual purpose of keeping sailors company on long journeys and being used for bartering once the destination was reached. In the late 1800s, the smart little dogs were known as circus pooches or organ grinder dogs for their ability to perform tricks.

3. Poodle

We might think of poodles as somewhat prissy dogs, but they were first bred to get down and dirty by jumping into ponds and bogs to retrieve birds shot by their masters. That’s where the distinctive poodle cut comes from—because their coats became heavy and cumbersome when soaking wet, they were shaved, except for strategic areas left unshorn for warmth. 

4. Bullmastiff

Back in the day when it was common to own large estates (and a large staff to go with it), landowners hired private groundskeepers to stop people from illegally hunting game on their property. In order to patrol acres and acres of ground, these groundskeepers needed dogs that were brave enough to track down poachers and powerful enough to keep them detained until the criminal could be brought to law enforcement. A crossbreed of the bulldog and the mastiff was determined to be the perfect fit.

5. Affenpinscher

With origins in 17th-century Germany, this “monkey dog” (so-called because of their facial structure) was originally used to hunt small vermin, as Yorkies were. Because of their small size and mischievous personalities, the Affenpinscher eventually ended up being used mostly as a companion dog—better suited to the laps of their owners than hunting through city sewers. 

6. Bloodhound

Bloodhounds, thought to be the oldest (and arguably best) scent trackers out there, originated in an 8th-century Belgian monastery. With almost supernatural tracking abilities, the droopy-faced hound has always been popular with hunters and was a favorite of French kings. 

7. Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell terriers were, in fact, bred by a man named John (Jack) Russell, a 19th century English clergyman. The breed’s stamina and high energy were intended to help them hunt foxes. Now you know why yours can’t sit still! These days, by the way, the proper name is “Parson Russell Terrier.” 

8. Lhasa Apso

Though these small dogs were said to have been used as guard dogs for Chinese temples and palaces, they were mostly bred for their distinctive, goat-like looks.

9. Dobermann Pinscher

In the late 19th century, Louis Dobermann of Apolda, Germany, decided he needed some extra protection due to his multiple duties as the town dogcatcher, policeman, and tax collector. It’s thought that he bred German pinschers, rottweilers, black and tan terriers and greyhounds to come up with the Dobermann, which was posthumously named after him.

10. Dalmatian

Dalmatians are an ancient breed, so much so that similar-looking dogs decorate the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs dating from 2000 BCE. They were later stationed on the coaches of kings, queens, and other public figures—which may be how they eventually came to ride on fire trucks in the U.S. They’re not just pretty faces, though—firemen also valued their loud barks because they helped clear bystanders out of the way.

11. Saint Bernard

The stories are true: In the 17th century, monks from the Hospice of Saint Bernard used the colossal canines to guard their compound—but also to find travelers lost in the Swiss Alps. They were bred to be large enough to tromp through deep snow, of course, but were also bred to have an exceptional sense of smell to locate wayward souls.

12. Airedale Terrier

Developed only a little over 100 years ago, the Airedale was bred to have the persistence and toughness of a dog meant to go after everything from rats to otters to mountain lions. That’s a far cry from how they’re often used today, as therapy dogs at hospitals and nursing homes. 

13. Collie

For centuries, the collie has been used as a working dog, keeping sheep and other livestock within the appropriate boundaries. These days, their gentle temperament and natural instinct to look out for small creatures make them great family dogs.

14. Yorkshire Terrier (“Yorkie”)

Anyone who has ever owned a Yorkie will attest to what fierce little creatures this breed can be—and with good reason. Scottish weavers and miners were sick of rats invading their workspaces and set out to create a small but feisty breed of dog that could take the rodents on.

15. Corgi

Long before they became the darlings of Internet memes, these long, low pooches were prized for their herding abilities. They could handle cattle, sheep, and perhaps most adorably, even ducks and geese! 

7 Historic European Castles Virtually Rebuilt Before Your Very Eyes

A reconstruction of Spiš Castle in eastern Slovakia.
A reconstruction of Spiš Castle in eastern Slovakia.
Budget Direct

While some centuries-old castles are still standing tall, others haven’t withstood the ravages of time, war, or natural disaster quite as well. To give you an idea of what once was, Australia-based insurance company Budget Direct has digitally reconstructed seven of them for its blog, Simply Savvy.

Watch below as ruins across Europe transform back into the formidable forts and turreted castles they used to be, courtesy of a little modern-day magic we call GIF technology.

1. Samobor Castle // Samobor, Croatia

samobor castle
Samobor Castle in Samobor, Croatia
Budget Direct

The only remaining piece of the 13th-century castle built by Bohemia’s King Ottokar II is the base of the guard tower—the rest of the ruins are from an expansion that happened about 300 years later. It’s just a 10-minute walk from the Croatian city of Samobor, which bought the property in 1902.

2. Château Gaillard // Les Andelys, France

Château Gaillard in Les Andelys, France
Château Gaillard in Les Andelys, France
Budget Direct

King Richard I of England built Château Gaillard in just two years during the late 12th century as a fortress to protect the Duchy of Normandy, which belonged to England at the time, from French invasion. It didn’t last very long—France’s King Philip II captured it six years later.

3. Dunnottar Castle // Stonehaven, Scotland

Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven, Scotland
Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven, Scotland
Budget Direct

Dunnottar Castle overlooks the North Sea and is perhaps best known as the fortress that William Wallace (portrayed by Mel Gibson in 1995’s Braveheart) and Scottish forces won back from English occupation in 1297. Later, it became the place where the Scottish monarchy stored their crown jewels, which were smuggled to safety when Oliver Cromwell invaded during the 17th century.

4. Menlo Castle // Galway City, Ireland

Menlo Castle in Galway City, Ireland
Menlo Castle in Galway City, Ireland
Budget Direct

This ivy-covered Irish castle was built during the 16th century and all but destroyed in a fire in 1910. For those few centuries, it was home to the Blake family, English nobles who owned property all over the region.

5. Olsztyn Castle // Olsztyn, Poland

Olsztyn Castle in Olsztyn, Poland
Olsztyn Castle in Olsztyn, Poland
Budget Direct

The earliest known mention of Olsztyn Castle was in 1306, so we know it was constructed some time before then and expanded later that century by King Casimir III of Poland. It was severely damaged during wars with Sweden in the 17th and 18th centuries, but its highest tower—once a prison—still stands.

6. Spiš Castle // Spišské Podhradie, Slovakia

Spiš Castle in Spišské Podhradie, Slovakia
Spiš Castle in Spišské Podhradie, Slovakia
Budget Direct

Slovakia’s massive Spiš Castle was built in the 12th century to mark the boundary of the Hungarian kingdom and fell to ruin after a fire in 1780. However, 20th-century restoration efforts helped fortify the remaining rooms, and it was even used as a filming location for parts of 1996’s DragonHeart.

7. Poenari Castle // Valachia, Romania

Poenari Castle in Valachia, Romania
Poenari Castle in Valachia, Romania
Budget Direct

This 13th-century Romanian castle boasts one previous resident of some celebrity: Vlad the Impaler, or Vlad Dracula, who may have been an early influence for Bram Stoker’s vampire, Dracula. It also boasts a staggering 1480 stone steps, which you can still climb today.

[h/t Simply Savvy]

America’s 10 Most Hated Easter Candies

Peeps are all out of cluck when it comes to confectionery popularity contests.
Peeps are all out of cluck when it comes to confectionery popularity contests.
William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

Whether you celebrate Easter as a religious holiday or not, it’s an opportune time to welcome the sunny, flora-filled season of spring with a basket or two of your favorite candy. And when it comes to deciding which Easter-themed confections belong in that basket, people have pretty strong opinions.

This year, CandyStore.com surveyed more than 19,000 customers to find out which sugary treats are widely considered the worst. If you’re a traditionalist, this may come as a shock: Cadbury Creme Eggs, Peeps, and solid chocolate bunnies are the top three on the list, and generic jelly beans landed in the ninth spot. While Peeps have long been polarizing, it’s a little surprising that the other three classics have so few supporters. Based on some comments left by participants, it seems like people are just really particular about the distinctions between certain types of candy.

Generic jelly beans, for example, were deemed old and bland, but people adore gourmet jelly beans, which were the fifth most popular Easter candy. Similarly, people thought Cadbury Creme Eggs were messy and low-quality, while Cadbury Mini Eggs—which topped the list of best candies—were considered inexplicably delicious and even “addictive.” And many candy lovers prefer hollow chocolate bunnies to solid ones, which people explained were simply “too much.” One participant even likened solid bunnies to bricks.

candystore.com's worst easter candies
The pretty pastel shades of bunny corn don't seem to be fooling the large contingent of candy corn haters.
CandyStore.com

If there’s one undeniable takeaway from the list of worst candies, it’s that a large portion of the population isn’t keen on chewy marshmallow treats in general. The eighth spot went to Hot Tamales Peeps, and Brach’s Marshmallow Chicks & Rabbits—which one person christened “the zombie bunny catacomb statue candy”—sits at number six.

Take a look at the full list below, and read more enlightening (and entertaining) survey comments here.

  1. Cadbury Creme Eggs
  1. Peeps
  1. Solid chocolate bunnies
  1. Bunny Corn
  1. Marshmallow Chicks & Rabbits
  1. Chocolate crosses
  1. Twix Eggs
  1. Hot Tamales Peeps
  1. Generic jelly beans
  1. Fluffy Stuff Cotton Tails

[h/t CandyStore.com]

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