Top 10 Dog Breeds that Need Better Names

These are English-speaking names used by the American Kennel Club or AKC. Some are incorrect. Some are adequate but need to be more accurate. Some names are used for a breed family and should not be used for a single breed (mastiff, bulldog, greyhound, pointer, and so on). Some would be better if translated into English, then they would be better understood. This list is for purebreds only.
The Top Ten
1 Great Dane The Great Dane is a large German breed of domestic dog known for its giant size. The German name of the breed is Deutsche Dogge, or German Mastiff.

This breed is German, not Danish. Better name: German Mastiff, translation of the German 'Deutsche Dogge'. There is a real Danish mastiff, the Broholmer.

Dane would imply that it is a Danish animal, when in reality it's german.

2 Australian Shepherd

This breed is not Australian. It's an American breed from the Southwest, particularly California. It has British ancestry; possibly some Australian, Spanish, or Basque ancestry. Better names: California Shepherd. American Shepherd, in keeping with the Miniature American Shepherd (AKC name for Miniature Australian Shepherd).

It's not even Australian.

3 Pharaoh Hound

These resemble ancient Egyptian dogs, but DNA shows that they are not ancient. They belong to the family of podencos or warren hounds, rabbit hunters from a number of Mediterranean countries. The Pharoah Hound is the podenco of Malta and Gozo. Better names: Kelb tal-Fenek. Malta Rabbit Dog or Malta Rabbit Hound.

4 Tibetan Terrier The Tibetan Terrier is a medium-size breed of dog that originated in Tibet. Despite its name, it is not a member of the terrier group.
5 Tibetan Spaniel The Tibetan Spaniel is a breed of assertive, small, intelligent dogs originating over 2,500 years ago in the Himalayan mountains of Tibet.

That Tibetan spaniel is adorable!

6 Belgian Sheepdog

Belgian Shepherds come in 4 kinds: Groenendael, Tervuren, Malinois, and Laekenois. Some registries class them as separate breeds, others as 1 breed. AKC used the name Belgian Sheepdog as 1 breed, then split them into separate breeds. The Groenendael kept the name Belgian Sheepdog. The others are called Belgian Tervuren, Belgian Malinois, and Belgian Laekenois. Calling the 1 breed 'Belgian Sheepdog" while the others have their specific names is embarassing. It's the Belgian Groenendael.

7 American Eskimo Dog The American Eskimo Dog is a breed of companion dog originating in Germany. The American Eskimo is a member of the Spitz family.

This breed is descended from the white German Spitz, Keeshond, Pomeranian, and probably the Italian Volpino and Japanese Spitz, in the United States. Perhaps named for a kennel, it is not an Inuit breed. Better name: American Spitz.

8 American Staffordshire Terrier The American Staffordshire Terrier, also known as Amstaff or simply Stafford, is a medium-sized, short-coated American dog breed.

American Pit Bull Terriers were recognized by AKC, but AKC didn't want "pit" fighting in their name. They were called Staffordshire Terrier, from their English ancestry. This was changed to American Staffordshire Terrier when AKC recognized the Staffordshire Bull Terrier of England. The 'Am Staff' is not itself from Staffordshire, England, and is more bulldog than terrier. Some consider it the same breed as the American Pit Bull Terrier, or a show strain, or separate breed. A good name would be American Bull Terrier.

9 Shetland Sheepdog The Shetland Sheepdog, also known as the Sheltie, is a breed of herding dog. The original name of this breed was Shetland Collie, but this caused controversy among the Rough Collie breeders at the time, so the breed's name was formally changed to Shetland Sheepdog.

Nicknamed the Sheltie, this breed belongs to the collie family, but was prevented from using the word 'Collie' by Rough Collie fanciers in the past. Later, the Bearded Collie and Border Collie used the name. The Sheltie is a sheepdog, but the name should be Shetland Collie, in keeping with the rest of the family.

10 Boston Terrier The Boston Terrier is a breed of dog originating in the United States. This "American Gentleman" was accepted in 1893 by the American Kennel Club as a non-sporting breed.

A bulldog-terrier, more bulldog than terrier. Better names: Boston Bulldog, Boston Bullterrier.

The Contenders
11 Brittany

Originally, Brittany Spaniel. The 'Spaniel' was dropped, but should have been replaced by another term, perhaps Brittany Setter. American and French Brittanys have differences ; the United Kennel Club or UKC registers them as separate breeds. The Griffon Fauve de Bretagne and Basset Fauve de Bretagne are also from Brittany, so plain 'Brittany' is a poor name.

12 Russell Terrier

The classification of this breed varies. In kennel clubs, the long-legged Parson Jack Russell Terrier was originally AKC-registered as Jack Russell Terrier. This changed to Parson Russell Terrier in accordance with other registries. AKC calls the short-legged form Russell Terrier. It should be Jack Russell Terrier in accordance with other kennel clubs. Short Jack Russell Terrier is good as well.

13 Irish Setter

There is also the Irish Red and White Setter, so this should be Irish Red Setter.

14 Cocker Spaniel Cocker Spaniels are dogs belonging to two breeds of the spaniel dog type: the American Cocker Spaniel and the English Cocker Spaniel, both of which are commonly called simply Cocker Spaniel in their countries of origin.

Cocker Spaniels were split into 2 breeds, English and American. Great Britain calls them 'Cocker Spaniel' and 'American Cocker Spaniel' respectively ; AKC calls them 'English Cocker Spaniel' and 'Cocker Spaniel' respectively. Ridiculous. Everyone should use English Cocker Spaniel and American Cocker Spaniel.

15 Bulldog
16 Vizsla

There is also the Wire-Haired Vizsla, so this should be Short-Haired Vizsla or Smooth-Haired Vizsla.

17 Russian Toy

Though called Russian Toy Terrier before, the 'Terrier' was dropped. Russian Toy what? It should be Russian Toy Dog.

18 Nederlandse Kooikerhondje

In English-speaking registries, Kooikerhondje is sufficient. The other name is unnecessarily lengthy.

19 Collie

Generic. When the Smooth Collie and Rough Collie are separate breeds, those names are fine. But AKC considers them varieties of one breed, called Collie. Better name, if one breed, perhaps Scottish Collie.

20 Mastiff
21 Pointer
22 Greyhound The Greyhound is a breed of dog, a sighthound which has been bred for coursing game and Greyhound racing.
23 Norwegian Elkhound The Norwegian Elkhound is one of the ancient Northern Spitz-type breed of dog and is the National Dog of Norway.

Elkhound, translated from 'elghund', may be translated in various ways. This dog is a hunting spitz rather than a member of the scent-hound or sight-hound families. Americans use 'moose' for what Norwegians call 'elg', and 'elk' for wapiti. This breed could be Norwegian Elk Dog or Norwegian Moose Dog. Also, this is the Gray Norwegian Elkhound ; there is the Black Norwegian Elkhound as well.

24 Doberman Pinscher The Doberman Pinscher, or Dobermann, or Doberman, is a medium-large breed of domestic dog originally developed around 1890 by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, a tax collector from Germany.

Louis Dobermann created this breed. It is a member of the pinscher family. AKC's 'Doberman Pinscher' and Europe's plain 'Dobermann' are inferior names to 'Dobermann Pinscher'.

25 Bull Terrier The Bull Terrier is a breed of dog in the terrier family. There is also a miniature version of this breed which is officially known as the Miniature Bull Terrier.
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