National Purebred Dog Day is celebrated on May 1. It honors the diversity and history of purebred dogs. Every breed in existence has its purpose. Some are bred for hunting game and guarding homes, others for companionship, herding cattle, and emergency rescue. It’s hard to imagine what the world would look like without our adorable four-legged friends. There are over 900 million dogs around the world today. They are service dogs, K9 officers, military working dogs, and pets. On National Purebred Dog Day we celebrate purpose-bred pooches and the unique role they’ve played in helping humans throughout history.
History of National Purebred Dog Day
Humans have kept domesticated dogs as pets for over 30,000 years. During the hunter-gatherer age, dogs helped humans hunt wild animals and also protect them from predators. The Rhodesian Ridgeback, a descendant of hunting dogs used by Khoisan bushmen, was often employed to hunt lions. Purebred dogs were used to fulfill various roles across different societies. In Ancient Egypt, dogs were a status symbol kept by wealthy royals. The Romans bred their dogs for war. In the 13th century, Kublai Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan, owned 5,000 Tibetan Mastiffs that he used for hunting and fighting. This is the greatest number of dogs ever owned by one man.
In 2013, writer Susi Szeremy came up with the idea for National Purebred Dog Day, to promote responsible dog ownership and give purebred dog owners a voice in the pet community. Szeremy believed that purpose-bred dogs should be adored and preserved. One of the best ways to achieve this was through education and awareness. There are more than 400 dog breeds today, but many could vanish forever in our lifetime if we don’t take steps to safeguard their future.
On National Purebred Dog Day, people get to learn about different breeds. We explore their characteristics, as well as new information and current purebred dog events related to the holiday. Above all this holiday appreciates purebred dogs, without whom the world would surely be a duller place.
National Purebred Dog Day timeline
A pet dog in China, at the Jiahu site in Henan Province, is the earliest confirmed domesticated dog.
Burial sites with dog remains in European Mesolithic sites prove that canine pets were part of early hunter-gatherer societies.
Saluki dogs are kept as pets by royals and are so revered that they are mummified after death.
On September 17, 1884, the American Kennel Club holds its first meeting.
National Purebred Dog Day FAQs
What Is the purest breed of dog?
Some of the purest dog breeds are Afghan Hounds, Alaskan Malamutes, Basenjis, and Chow Chows.
What Is the number one dog breed in the world?
The Labrador Retriever has held the top spot since 1991.
What Is the cleverest dog?
The Border Collie is the smartest dog breed known to man.
National Purebred Dog Day Activities
Spoil your pooch
Give them their favorite treats. Take them to a groomer. Buy them a new toy. Take them for that leisurely walk instead of the usual race against time.
Adopt a pet
If you don’t already have one, then get a dog of your own. There are so many breeds to choose from, each with its characteristics and temperament.
Donate to a purebred rescue organization
Donations to purebred rescue organizations help pay for food, medicine, and fund treatment. They also help these organizations find homes for purebred dogs.
5 Delightful Facts About Dogs
Every dog’s nose Is unique
A dog’s nose is a lot like a human fingerprint, each one is unique to its owner.
Americans love their dogs
There are more than 75 million pet dogs in the U.S., the highest number of all the countries.
Dogs are not color-blind
Dogs can see the colors blue and yellow.
They like to share the bed
45% of U.S. dogs sleep in their owners' beds.
Dogs have dreams
Dogs display rapid eye movement and experience dreams just like we do.
Why We Love National Purebred Dog Day
Dogs light up our lives
Like humans, dogs release oxytocin, the love hormone. This explains our strong bonds with each other. Dogs also lower our levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, and help us relieve depression or anxiety.
Dogs are important to humans
Dogs help guide blind persons, serve in the military and police, and can even sniff out diseases in humans. They protect homes and livestock too. Dogs are more than companions and pets, they’re essential to our way of life.
Dogs make us healthier
Dog owners are more likely to exercise and improve their cardiovascular health. They also have lower blood pressure. Dog owners over the age of 65 make 30% fewer visits to their doctors. Having a dog makes you a healthier person.
National Purebred Dog Day dates