The 5 Most Famous Dogs Ever
Obviously, this list is very subjective and far from complete. But here’s a tribute to some of the most famous K9s ever!
One of the most revealing studies in behavioral psychology was carried out by Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936) in a series of experiments today referred to as 'Pavlov's Dogs'.
His research would become renowned for demonstrating the way in classical conditioning (also referred to as Pavlovian conditioning) could be used to cultivate a particular association between the occurrence of one event in the anticipation of another. He won a Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1904 for his classical experiments on “conditioned reflex” — specifically, on the digestive glands of dogs.
In 2011, a BBC production called The Brain: A Secret History detailed that Pavlov and his associates also conducted similar experiments on children.
Hachiko was an Akita dog who lived near the city of Odete, in the Akita prefecture of Japan. He was owned by Hidesaburo Ueno, a professor at the University of Tokyo. At the end of each day, Hachiko would greet his owner at nearby Shibuya Station. This daily routine was followed until one day in May of 1925, when the professor did not return home from work. He had died of a cerebral hemorrhage.
Every day for over nine years, Hachiko would appear at the station looking for his master’s return. Once the dog’s legend spread, other commuters started bringing him food and treats. After Hachiko’s death in 1935, a statue was erected at the station in honor of him and his great loyalty.
If you cry easily, don’t watch the movie.
Laika was a stray dog from the streets of Moscow, trained along with two other dogs for the Soviet space program in 1957. Eventually, she was selected as the sole occupant of the Sputnik 2, becoming the first animal to orbit earth.
At the time, the technology didn’t exist to de-orbit the spacecraft and return it to Earth safely, so Soviet officials said that Laika was euthanized prior to oxygen depletion on the sixth day of orbit. It was revealed in 2002 that the dog actually died within hours of launch, due to overheating. In 2008, Soviet officials erected a small monument to Laika, near the military research facility where she was trained.
Maybe, it went a little bit like this.
Though Lassie is really a fictional character, she’s arguably the most famous dog ever. The original Lassie character was played by a Rough Collie named Pal. 10 generations of Pal’s direct descendants have portrayed Lassie in film and on television, starting in 1943 and most recently in 2007.
Fun Fact: Although Lassie the character has always been female, she has always been portrayed by male Collies, who retain a thicker coat in summer and look more Collie-ish on television. Also, male Collies are larger, and human child actors could play alongside them for longer before outgrowing them.
The ongoing saga of the Martin family and their beloved collie, Lassie, has been on television for 20 years.
In 2012, ABC News reported that a German shepherd named Capitán had returned to its owners’ grave every day for six years. After Manuel Guzman died in 2006, his family returned home from the funeral to find that the dog had run away. A few days later, while visiting Mr. Guzman’s grave, they found Capitán grieving at the gravesite. The dog goes home for a short time every day to visit his family, but then returns to the grave by evening, the cemetery director told reporters.
Fittingly, Capitan died next to Mr Guzman’s body in the Municipal Cemetery of Villa Carlos Paz, at the age of 15.