26 Vintage Dog Illustrations in the Public Domain

Wow, so who likes dogs? You know I do.

I just curated 26 full-color vintage dog illustrations from the 19th-century book, The Illustrated Book of the Dog, published in 1881.

You may have seen this book floating around. It’s a pretty popular book in the public domain. You can view and download it in its entirety from archive.org, the Biodiversity Heritage library, and more open libraries online.

Not only are these images great project material, but they’re a snapshot of what dog breeds looked like in the 19th-century. For example, you can tell how much the bull terrier (pictured above) has changed over the years. You may notice some extinct dog breeds in here too.

Alrighty, on with the show!

Small Breeds and ‘Toy Dogs’

There are quite a few small dog breeds in this book. Pictured above is a 19th-century Yorkshire Terrier, Italian Greyhound, and pug. Below, you’ll find Dachshunds, Pomeranians, English Terriers, Toy Spaniels, Bedlington Terriers, and Dandie Dinmont Terriers.

19th-Century Sheepdogs

Now for the best breed EVER – sheepdogs! Smart, loyal, etc. I could go on. Mine trained herself and mastered the Jedi Mind Trick (much to my detriment.)

Here’s a great snapshot of 19th-century sheep dogs. Some of these now defunct breeds, like the Cumberland Sheepdog, were eventually ‘absorbed’ by the border collie breed.

Labradors and Retrievers

Here, we have your classic Labrador retrievers. This book also features a unique curly black lab, pictured below.

Vintage Setter Dog Illustrations

Here are several vintage setter illustrations from the book. Pictured are an Irish Setter, Gordon Setter, and English Setter.

The Modern Setters you see today are a result of selective Spaniel breeding by Edward Laverack. Hence its original name, the Setting Spaniel.

English Setter Association

Vintage St. Bernard

Whenever I think of St. Bernard dogs, that 1992 movie, “Beethoven” immediately comes to mind.

Here are two really cool vintage St. Bernard illustrations. The one on the right is a short-haired St. Bernard.

Vintage Greyhound

Can’t forget the greyhound! Earlier, I showed a small Italian Greyhound breed. Pictured below is your more traditional mid to large sized Greyhound dog.

More Vintage Terriers

Earlier, you were introduced to some small breed Terriers. Pictured below are such mid-sized Terriers as the Fox Terrier, Irish Terrier, and Skye Terrier.

More Large Breed Dogs

Here are a few more large breed dogs. Earlier, I showed you Labrador retrievers and St. Bernards. Pictured below is a 19th-century Mastiff, Newfoundland, and Pointer.

Vintage Hounds

We’re getting toward the end of this post, so let’s quickly introduce the hounds! Pictured below is a Foxhound, Bloodhound, Deerhound, and a few 19th-century Basset Hounds.

Bloodhounds have 40 times more olfactory receptors than humans. That’s roughly 230 million olfactory cells!


Discover More!

Last but not least is the classic bull dog, pictured above. If you want even more vintage animal images, check out the free animal library and the nature library for free plants, flowers, insects, and scenery. You can also access every post at the archives.

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Thank you so much for stopping by! Come back soon for another batch of free vintage illustrations.

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