Dobermans originate from the town of Apolda in Germany where they were bred by a local magistrate named Louis Doberman. Amongst his other responsibilities, he was the keeper of the local dog pound. Using the stock he had at his disposal (its ancestors are thought to be the pinscher, Rottweiler, Weimeraner and Manchester terrier), he […]


The mastiff is one of the oldest recognized breeds, and was originally bred as a gamekeeper’s dog to help them catch poachers. Its large, flattened face and mouth enabled it to grab a poacher and hold him in its powerful jaws until the gamekeeper arrived. The mastiff’s dark mask and sober expression can make it […]


Rottweiler originally came from Germany. At one point they were known as ‘butcher dogs’, because they were used to drive the cattle to market and then to guard the farmer’s money once the cattle had been sold. The farmers were also known to place a money pouch containing the day’s takings around the dog’s neck, […]

Rhodesian ridgebacks

The Rhodesian ridgeback hails from Africa, where it was bred to fight and hunt lions. A dog of immense strength, it has very powerful jaws and is afraid of nothing; after all, a dog that was used to hunt lions needed to be fearless. The ridgeback is a large, reddish-brown dog with a distinctive ridge […]

Staffordshire bull terriers

The Staffordshire bull terrier — affectionately known as a starry — is becoming increasingly popular as a family pet, and has a reputation for being particularly good with children. Descended From the bulldog and various breeds of terrier, it was originally bred to fight other dogs — a task the staffy excelled at because, like […]

German shepherds

The German shepherd is, essentially, a sheepdog, though it was bred to guard sheep and prevent them straying from a particular area rather than to herd them. Unlike clogs that were specifically bred to herd cattle, sheep-clogs have no need to be forceful or overly aggressive. They mostly bark and snap to get the sheep […]

English bull terriers

The English bull terrier was originally bred to herd bulls, in an effort to find a dog that was faster and more agile than the bulldog. Its ancestry includes the British bulldog, the fox terrier and the Dalmatian. Because of its tenacity, fearlessness and powerful jaws, the bull terrier was later used as a fighting […]

American pit bull terriers

American pit bull terriers are often accused of serious attacks on people. Once they have the victim in their jaws, they shake them From side to side, and do not let go. There are comparatively few pit bulls in Australia, yet they have been responsible for several fatal attacks. However, because they are perceived to […]