Searchin’ For the 50’s: Dogs in the 1950’s


Retro Dee writes about music, fashion and other trends of the 1950s on this site.  Check out her blog, Retro Dee’s Guide to the Best Era Ever here, and her column here every week.

Welcome to “Searchin’ For The 50’s!”

I was inspired to do this segment when I was reviewing some of the things people were searching for that sent them to my blog. While some of the search terms sent them to a post with the exact information they were seeking, I realized that not every search term gave a direct answer to what people were looking for.

So for this section, I’ll be answering questions that were asked via search string.

Today’s string, just in time for National Love your Pet Day is “dogs in the 1950s”

So, I’m assuming this person was looking for the breed of dog that was most popular in the 50’s. Unless they meant dogs on TV… Well, let’s see what we can come up with.

In the 1950’s, one popular breed was clearly the Poodle, not just on skirts, but as a family pet as well. The poodle was certainly a dog that folks wanted in their home. Poodles were seen on patterns, as figurines and as stuffed toys. French influence was a big part of the fashion in the 1950’s and you can’t have great French Fashion without a posh poodle!

Kodak Chrome slide of a lady and her poodle ca. 1955

Another popular canine of the day was the Boxer. Boxers were a trendy breed much like French Bulldogs are today.

Adorable little girl with her boxer puppy ca. 1950s

In addition to Boxers, classic popular breeds were often kept as pets such as Cocker Spaniels, Beagles, Basset Hounds, Great Danes, German Shepherds and Labradors… Elvis made the Hound Dog popular when he sang to one on The Steve Allen show in 1956.

Elvis and Hound Dog on Steve Allen Show in 1956

Then there was Lassie, the famous Collie who had her own TV series beginning in 1954:

Lassie ca. 1950’s

I think she was actually a boy, but I don’t know. I never watched that show, even in reruns.

Finally, for dogs in the 50’s, I’d like to note that Disney’s animated classic, Lady And The Tramp came out in 1955 and featured all kinds of dog breeds: Lady, a Cocker Spaniel, Tramp, a mutt, Jock, a Scottish Terrier, Trusty, a Bloodhound, and Peg, a Tibetan Spaniel voiced by Peggy Lee.

Famous scene from Lady And The Tramp, 1955

Well, that’s it for this edition of “Searchin’ For The 50’s!”

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