While many people think of their pups as little princes or princesses, there have actually been certain breeds of dogs kept mainly or even exclusively by royalty for many centuries. While some breeds have been allowed to be kept by both royals and common folk, others have been restricted to royals and aristocrats. Let’s take a look at some of these historically aristocratic breeds.
Originating from China, Shih Tzus (or “Lion Dogs”) have been found in art and documents from the Tang Dynasty (618-907 C.E.), but they were possibly around before that period. Shih Tzus went on to become imperial for centuries as they were the favorite pet of the royals during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 C.E.). Shih Tzus eventually made their way to England in the 20th century, and they are one of the breeds that Queen Elizabeth II has owned.
Welsh Pembroke Corgi
Speaking of Queen Elizabeth II, this queen has made the Welsh Pembroke Corgi a prominent member of the British royal family. After receiving her first corgi Susan on her 18th birthday, Queen Elizabeth has had over 30 Welsh Pembroke Corgis in her lifetime. All of her corgis have been descended from Susan. In fact, she was so close to Susan that she brought her along to her honeymoon!
The queen’s corgis have certainly adapted to royal life over the years. They get to roam around the palace, attend royal events, and even ride on private jets! Talk about a nice life for a pup.
Greyhounds have been around for a looong time. They have lived around the world including with Egyptian pharaohs about 5000 years ago. While pharaohs had them trained to chase and hunt, the common folk of Egypt saw them as god-like for their beauty.
Along with Egypt, other countries have had greyhounds as members of their royal families. Some Russian Czars have owned these dogs along with England’s King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I.
The Pekingese was owned by Chinese emperors and their courtiers for hundreds of years, starting with the Tang Dynasty in the 8th century C.E. It’s likely that they were bred by royalty to be smaller than their larger ancestors. There was actually a time when they could only be owned by royalty. In fact, the penalty of stealing one of these dogs was death.
Although they are called the “Japanese Chin”, they most likely originated in China with the intention to be bred as lap dogs for the Imperial Palace. While it is unclear when exactly they made their way to Japan, they eventually became companions to Japanese royals. Living solely in comfort and not made to work, these dogs have truly lived luxurious lives.
While these are only some examples of breeds owned by royalty, they have certainly had their places in history. If you own one of these dogs, maybe now you can look at them and marvel at their royal lineage.
Sources: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/shih-tzu/ https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/the-queens-royal-corgis/ https://www.insider.com/queen-elizabeth-corgis-dogs-2018-8#but-they-seem-to-love-her-too-24 https://www.vogue.com/article/queen-elizabeth-90th-birthday-cecil-beaton-portraits?mbid=social_onsite_pinterest https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/greyhound/ https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/pekingese/ https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/japanese-chin/ https://petcentral.chewy.com/behavior-breeds-8-royal-dog-breeds/