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Dog breeds

Discussion in 'World Building' started by valiant12, May 22, 2020.

  1. valiant12

    valiant12 Sage

    How do you describe dog breeds in your world? I want to use real world dog breds in my world, but it feels awkward.
    Most dog breeds have names derived from a real world location/other real world reference.
    For example Labradors were named after the Canadian region of Labrador, newfoundlands were named after the island of Newfoundland, dalamtions were named after a region in Croatia, great danes are named after Denmark, even thou they didn't originated there.
    One of my characters have a king charles spaniel, the problem is that I don't know how to refer to the breed. I don't want references to real world history in a fictional world which don't have any conection to Earth, but I don't want a made up a word.
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  2. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

    I've not dealt that much with actual dogs in my books, but as a rule, I try to avoid any names that reference real world locations like countries.

    If dog breeds are important to your story, you're probably best off coming up with your own naming conventions. If they're not, try just describing the dog.

    All that said, I did reference a poodle at some point, but I don't think that's named after a location - but I could be wrong.
    valiant12 and S.T. Ockenner like this.
  3. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

    Name them after their most prominent features. You've got a pug? Well that's a little stump-snout right there. A Cocker Spaniel? A curly long-ears. The reader will have an immediate visual, the names are easy to remember and they make sense.
  4. Miles Lacey

    Miles Lacey Inkling

    Not all dog breeds are named after places. Many breeds are named after the occupations they were bred to do (e.g. Old English Sheepdog) or a particular feature of the breed (e.g. dachshund, which translates as badger dog). So if you are having problems about naming dog breeds think of what their function originally was when it was bred or a distinguishing feature. An example could be snow hound for dogs used to hunt in snowy conditions and red belly terriers to describe a small dog with a distinctive red belly.
    valiant12 and S.T. Ockenner like this.

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