Basset Hound: “Little Low Dog”iStock/chillin
These stout, low-slung dogs are of French origin. They were used for hunting—especially badgers and rabbits—in France since medieval times. The name, which goes back to the early 1600s, was a direct reference to the dog’s low-slung appearance: bas means “low” in French, and the et suffix is simply a diminutive, so basset basically means “little low dog.”
Rottweiler: German Guard DogiStock/jean frooms
Ancient Romans traveled throughout Europe with large, powerful cattle-herding dogs. Centuries later, during the Middle Ages, butchers in the city of Rottweil (in what is now southern Germany) used descendants of those dogs as guard dogs, and they became known as Rottweiler Metzgerhunds—or “Rottweil butcher dogs.” That was later shortened to just “rottweiler.” Don’t miss these astounding secrets all dogs know about their owners.