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! 

14 Retro Gifts for Millennials

Ravi Palwe, Unsplash
Ravi Palwe, Unsplash

Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996, which means the pop culture they grew up with is officially retro. No matter what generation you belong to, consider these gifts when shopping for the Millennials in your life this holiday season.

1. Reptar Funko Pop!; $29

Amazon

This vinyl Reptar figurine from Funko is as cool as anything you’d find in the rugrats’ toy box. The monster dinosaur has been redesigned in classic Pop! style, making it a perfect desk or shelf accessory for the grown-up Nickelodeon fan. It also glows in the dark, which should appeal to anyone’s inner child.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Dragon Ball Z Slippers; $20

Hot Topic

You don’t need to change out of your pajamas to feel like a Super Saiyan. These slippers are emblazoned with the same kanji Goku wears on his gi in Dragon Ball Z: one for training under King Kai and one for training with Master Roshi. And with a soft sherpa lining, the footwear feels as good as it looks.

Buy it: Hot Topic

3. The Pokémon Cookbook; $15

Hop Topic

What do you eat after a long day of training and catching Pokémon? Any dish in The Pokémon Cookbook is a great option. This book features more than 35 recipes inspired by creatures from the Pokémon franchise, including Poké Ball sushi rolls and mashed Meowth potatoes.

Buy it: Hot Topic

4. Lisa Frank Activity Book; $5

Urban Outfitters

Millennials will never be too old for Lisa Frank, especially when the artist’s playful designs come in a relaxing activity book. Watercolor brings the rainbow characters in this collection to life. Just gather some painting supplies and put on a podcast for a relaxing, nostalgia-fueled afternoon.

Buy it: Urban Outfitters

5. Shoebox Tape Recorder with USB; $28

Amazon

The days of recording mix tapes don’t have to be over. This device looks and functions just like tape recorders from the pre-smartphone era. And with a USB port as well as a line-in jack and built-in mic, users can easily import their digital music collection onto retro cassette tapes.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Days of the Week Scrunchie Set; $12

Urban Outfitters

Millennials can be upset that a trend from their youth is old enough to be cool again, or they can embrace it. This scrunchie set is for anyone happy to see the return of the hair accessory. The soft knit ponytail holders come in a set of five—one for each day of the school (or work) week.

Buy it: Urban Outfitters

7. D&D Graphic T-shirt; $38-$48

80s Tees

The perfect gift for the Dungeon Master in your life, this graphic tee is modeled after the cover of the classic Dungeons & Dragons rule book. It’s available in sizes small through 3XL.

Buy it: 80s Tees

8. Chuck E. Cheese T-shirt; $36-$58

80s Tees

Few Millennials survived childhood without experiencing at least one birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. This retro T-shirt sports the brand’s original name: Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theatre. It may be the next-best gift for a Chuck E. Cheese fan behind a decommissioned animatronic.

Buy it: 80s Tees

9. The Nightmare Before Christmas Picnic Blanket Bag; $40

Shop Disney

Fans of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas will recognize the iconic scene on the front of this messenger bag. Unfold it and the bag becomes a blanket fit for a moonlit picnic among the pumpkins. The bottom side is waterproof and the top layer is made of soft fleece.

Buy it: Shop Disney

10. Toy Story Alien Socks; $15

Shop Disney

You don’t need to be skilled at the claw machine to take home a pair of these socks. Decorated with the aliens from Toy Story, they’re made from soft-knit fabric and are big enough to fit adult feet.

Buy it: Shop Disney

11. Goosebumps Board Game; $24

Amazon

Fans that read every book in R.L. Stine’s series growing up can now play the Goosebumps board game. In this game, based on the Goosebumps movie, players take on the role of their favorite monster from the series and race to the typewriter at the end of the trail of manuscripts.

Buy it: Amazon

12. Tamagotchi Mini; $19

Amazon

If you know someone who killed their Tamagotchi in the '90s, give them another chance to show off their digital pet-care skills. This Tamagotchi is a smaller, simplified version of the original game. It doubles as a keychain, so owners have no excuse to forget to feed their pet.

Buy it: Amazon

13. SNES Classic; $275

Amazon

The SNES Classic is much easier to find now than when it first came out, and it's still just as entertaining for retro video game fans. This mini console comes preloaded with 21 Nintendo games, including Super Mario Kart and Street Fighter II.

Buy it: Amazon

14. Planters Cheez Balls; $24

Amazon

Planters revived its Cheez Balls in 2018 after pulling them from shelves nearly a decade earlier. To Millennials unaware of that fact, this gift could be their dream come true. The throwback snack even comes in the classic canister fans remember.

Buy it: Amazon

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10 Great Gifts for Teens

Fjallraven/Polaroid
Fjallraven/Polaroid

If it’s been a few years since you were a teenager, you might be feeling at a loss when it comes to finding the perfect gift for the teen in your life. But you don’t have to worry—we’ve culled the internet to figure out what’s cool these days, and we found 10 items to suit any teen (and any price point).

1. Fjällräven Kånken Mini Classic Backpack for Everyday; $70

Fjällräven/Amazon

Fjällräven’s Kånken backpack was originally introduced in 1978 as an affordable and comfortable bag for Swedish schoolchildren, but it recently took off as a trend among American high schoolers and college students. With 43 different color options, chances are you’ll be able to find the perfect trendy backpack for the teen in your life.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Hydro Flask Standard-Mouth Water Bottle; $30–$35

Hydro Flask/Amazon

Hydro Flasks aren’t only trendy, they’re sturdy and environmentally friendly. Plus, they keep hot drinks warm and icy drinks cool for an absurdly long amount of time. The standard-mouth water bottle is currently available on Amazon in 17 different colors, but the brand also offers tumbler cups and coffee mugs depending on your niece/nephew/cousin/friend/child’s preference.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Polaroid Originals OneStep+ Bluetooth-Connected Instant Film Camera; $140

Polaroid Originals/Amazon

Teens can kick it back old school with this Polaroid camera that hides some surprisingly contemporary features. Using a special app, users can fine-tune their camera settings to suit their personal tastes. Plus, this camera makes it possible to capture two scenes in a single frame, so it's that much easier to create uniquely artsy Polaroid pics.

Buy it: Amazon

4. 4th-Generation Echo Dot with Clock; $60

Amazon

Tech-wise, the fourth-generation Echo Dot is almost identical to its third-generation predecessor. But the updated spherical design seems poised to make the Echo Dot a worthy contender for traditional alarm clocks—the speaker face shows the time and it even includes a tap-to-snooze function for drowsy sleepers.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Bubble Tea Kit; $38

Uncommon Goods

Part of the reason bubble tea is so popular is that it’s customizable—and what could be more customizable than making it yourself? This kit, made by an Atlanta-based couple, comes with two reusable straws and enough supplies to make up to eight servings.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

6. Mixtape Card Game; $20

Uncommon Goods

This party game challenges players to find the perfect songs to suit specific prompts. Some cards might prompt players to use Spotify or Youtube to search for the songs with the best guitar solos, while other cards call for participants to play their “favorite slow dance love jam from junior high.” This game is sure to be a hit at any high school sleepover or house party—or, in true 2020 style, at any digital hangout or Zoom meeting.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

7. Giant Flour Tortilla Throw Blanket; $18-$35

Mermaker/Amazon

This goofy double-sided blanket turns any human into a giant-size burrito, and it comes in four different sizes to suit any height. One reviewer even went so far as to say that “once you wrap yourself in it, you will be convinced that you are a burrito.”

Buy it: Amazon

8. The Cup of Destiny; $22

Shelter Harbor Press/Amazon

Here’s a prediction: Your hunt for the perfect gift is almost over. This kit is ideal for the teenager who is fascinated by the supernatural and loves exploring new ideas. Included, you’ll find a 96-page illustrated instruction book along with a cup and a saucer marked with patterns and symbols.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Wreck This Journal: Now in Color; $9

Penguin Books/Amazon

This journal is not intended to be pretty. It’s made for messiness and exploration and a little bit of chaos. Artistic-minded teens will love filling out pages that prompt them to catalog various stains or poke holes through the paper. Reviewers say it’s not only a source of creative inspiration, though—it’s also a stress reliever. And considering that the middle-school and high-school years aren’t exactly known for being relaxing, this journal could be a welcome reprieve from the daily pressure of managing homework and a social life.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Therapy Dough; $15

Uncommon Goods

Some teens focus better and relax more easily when they have something to fidget with. If the teen in your life fits that description, this therapy dough may be the perfect gift for them. Each 4.5-ounce container is infused with essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, orange, or pine, making relaxation smell delicious (and all natural!).

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

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