Wednesday, December 5, 2012


An 1856 painting by Edwin Henry Landseer (1802-1873) entitled "Saved" depicting a Landseer Newfoundland dog after saving a child:

The Newfoundland dog is typically recognized by a completely black coat color.  The Landseer variety has a white coat with black markings.   Edwin Landseer was both a painter and sculptor.  He was known for his paitings of dogs, horses, and stags.  However, his artistic fame is commonly associated with his lion sculptures in Trafalgar Square, London, England. 

The Landseer variety of Newfoundland dog is named after the painter/sculptor because of his realistic paintings of these dogs in the 1800's.  The following painting by Edwin Landseer is entitled "A Distinguished Member of the Humane Society" and was exhibited in the 1830's:

Coincidentally, a few days ago, I was going through a pile of U. S. mail on my desk.  I had received a mailing from the William Secord Gallery ( in New York City.  The card included an announcement of an acquisition of a retriever dog painting by Edwin Landseer. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

April 1878 - New York Times RE: The Westminster Dog Show

For the last few weeks I have been searching for photos and information about the "Canine Section" of the 1878 Paris Exposition.   To date, I have not found any photos or articles on the topic of the dog show from the exposition.  The 1878 Paris Exposition featured a canine section which was organized by Mr. Charles Crufts of England.  Also, this may have been the first time a formal exhibit of pet food was held at an international exposition.  Charles Crufts, who was stated to be a manager of a dog biscuit manufacturer in England, subsequently organized the famous Crufts Dog Show in England.  The first all-breed Crufts Dog Show was held in 1891.  Prior to 1891, a Crufts Dog Show had been organized in 1886 soley for Terrier dog breeds. 

Notably, the Statue of Liberty was being constucted in France during the 1878 Paris Exposition which featured an exhibit of the crown of the statue:

The New York Times newspaper archives referenced the Paris Exposition of 1878 a number of times.  The following is a "spiderbyte" of a New York Times article about the Westminster Dog Show for the same year and from the same list of references:

Many of the breeds of dogs that were popular in England during that time were also popular in the United States.  A historical summary of early dog shows in England is also provided by the Irish Wolfhound Kennel Club:

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hooch Hounds

Hooch Hounds entered into dogdom fame during the Prohibition Era, i. e., dogs trained to sniff-out liquor, booze, alcoholic beverages.  The following American "Hooch Hound" photo is from the Library of Congress photo archives:

I am not certain whether specific breeeds of dogs were recruited or whether any old dog was recruited for the job.  Click on the photo to view the Library of Congress archive listing and description. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

"Retrieved" a book by Charlotte Dumas

I found this beautiful book inadvertently while reviewing some listings of museum exhibitions.  Retrieved is a pictorial exposition of some of the rescue dogs who worked at the World Trade Towers site after 9/11.  Specifically, the author revisits with these aged, senior rescue dogs 10 years post 9/11. 


 for additional information about the book or for ordering the book directly. 

Currently, Dumas has an exhibition entitled "Anima" at the Corcoran Gallery in
Washington, D. C..  The exhibition runs through most of October 2012.  This exhibition
focuses on the U. S. Army Infantry horses who work at Arlington National Cemetery for
military funerals.  Here is some additional information about the "Anima" exhibition on Vimeo:

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Popularity of Dog Breeds in the United States (1880's-1920's) - A Macroscopic Viewpoint

(The popular Collie, representative for Uneeda Biscuits, circa 1910)

Dog fanciers of the fashionable, original American dog shows in the 1880's demonstrated that there were specific dog breed favorites among the "nouveau" on the American kennel club scene.  This era was part of the "Gilded Age" which was a term applied to the industrialization, wealth and power of east coast Americana.  

Companion dogs such as various types of toy dogs were extremely popular with Americans.  Perhaps the Collie was and remained the most popular American herding or working dog breed of the era between the 1880's and 1930's and was often found on average American farms and ranches.  Basically, my brain's first memories
as a 3 year old child were recorded as:  "me a 3 year old child playing with a Collie (Rough Coat) named Laddie in Detroit, Michigan, i. e.,  Laddie inadvertently knocked me into a rose bush in the backyard".  I did not get too scratched-up from the rose bush thorns and I made sure that no one reprimanded Laddie for knocking me over.  My own life as a dog person began with those initial amusing memories of playing with Laddie. 

The sporting or hunting dog breeds, selectively, became another popular group of dogs.  The popularity of sporting dogs in the 1880's coincided with the appearance of upland game bird hunting as an outdoor sport. 

To digress, during this time management of the American wilderness by the Federal government and the need for conservation of the undeveloped wilderness areas began to filter into the American public consciousness.  Yellowstone Park became the first National Park that was established in the 1880's as a consequence of this cognitive awakening.  By 1900 the populations of many species of  mammals which are indigenous to the United States, including birds, had been decimated.  Hunters who lived-off-the-land found that game species on which they subsisted had become increasingly scarce due to the increasing population of Americans moving into rural areas, precipitous decreases in wilderness/habitat areas, and hunting-in-excess by everyone within the hunting community.  There was a strange man-made dichotomy between the bounty system of paying for the killing of important first order predator mammals, such as big cats and wolves, and the implementation of Federal and State conservation laws for birds and fish.  Both bird hunting for sport and sport fishing had also become social hobbies for many types of Americans.  The devastation of the some bird species with extravagant plumage was also related to production and sales of items which utilized bird feathers (e.g., hats, dresses, etc.).   Theodore Roosevelt, an avid hunter, was instrumental in working toward a ban on the bird feather market which ultimately resulted in the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

In 1918 the Migratory Bird Treaty Act became a Federal statute between the United States and Canada. This statute regulated the numbers of migratory bird species that could hunted or killed within the United States and Canada. The dichotomy is highlighted when one considers the large bounties that continued to be paid to exterminate mountain lions, bobcats, lynx, wolves, and coyotes during these same timeframes (1800's-1900's). My perspective is that the development of recreational sports of bird hunting and fishing dictated to the Federal and State fish and game management polices through the 1930's. An important aspect of this dichotomy was the establishment of commercial wild bird farms and freshwater fish hatcheries in the United States dating to the 1880's and 1890's.

The magazine Forest and Stream was founded in 1873 and covered all aspects of outdoor recreation including bird hunting (see the note about Charles Hallock, the founder of Forest and Stream).  In every issue there were articles about pointers and setters and hunting dog training.  The excerpt about Hallock is from a book entitled:  Historical Dictionary of the Gilded Age.  Scrolling through the contents of an online issue of Forest and Stream Magazine from 1917,  the influential scope of sport hunting and fishing in the United States by the early 1900's is revealed.

Thus, sporting dogs were and still are some of the first important members of the American Kennel Club:  For dog show fans (including me) Sensation, the great Pointer and symbol of the Westminister Kennel Club in New York City, always will be the most famous American sporting dog celebrity. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Bain News Agency Photos

Bain News Agency was one of the first photographic news agencies in the United States.  This news group photographed celebrities, world leaders, dogs, and dog shows.  The agency was started by George Grantham Bain (1865-1944).  The extensive collection, which includes many photos of dogs, dog shows, early veterinary clinics, the Hartsdale, NY Dog Cemetery, and working dogs from the World War I era, is found in the Library of Congress archives.

Bain News Agency Collection (Dogs)

There is a photo of one of the inhumane ways of how stray dogs were euthanized in the 1800's and early 1900's.  I thought this was relevant since the issue of excessive dog breeding existed in the United States, as well as, other countries during the 1800's and early 1900's.  Unfortunately, backyard dog breeders existed at that time.  Also, there was an excess of dog breeding from kennels and many of the dogs, which appeared to be bred for profit, were either never sold or sold at very low prices because of the increasing population of domestic canines in the United States.  The same problem exists today, i. e., backyard dog breeders and kennels which breed dogs for profit.  Ultimately, the "for profit" dog breeders, including puppy mills, DO NOT produce any profit whether it is the 19th, 20th, or 21st Century and many of these animals end up in shelters or on the streets. 

In the Bain News Agency collection there are a number of photos from the 1908 Mineola, Long Island, New York dog show which is known by many dog show people as one of the oldest dog shows in the United States - The Ladies Kennel Association of America (Long Island).  The following   This photo is of the famous Champion Russian Wolfhound "Michael Strogoff" from the 1908 show: 

Some of the dogs in the show were owned by high profile New York City families, such as J. P. Morgan's family .  A family friend holds a Pekinese owned by the wife of J. P. Morgan, Jr. at the Mineola dog show:


and the Guggenheim family, were entrants at this dog show.  View one of the Bain News Agency photos of M. R. Guggenheim with his Eskimo Dogs at the show in Mineola, New York, 1908: 

M. R. Guggenheim is the nephew of Daniel Guggenheim.   Daniel Guggenheim was on the Titanic when the ship sunk in April, 1912.  He did not survive.  Captain Smith of the Titanic is shown with a Russian Wolfhound which was supposedly given to him by Daniel Guggenheim for his daughter.  The photo was taken prior to the departure of the Titanic from the British Isles, however, the dog was left with his daughter in England and was not on board the ship when it sank (Reference for additional information about the dogs that were aboard the Titanic.  The other dogs on the Titanic were owned by New York City (including John Jacob Astor, IV and his Airedale Kitty) and Philadelphia society members who were typically dog show people.  It was not uncommon for these travelers to bring their dogs along on trips to Europe and elsewhere) :        :

A photo of John Jacob Astor and his Airdale walking on Fifth Avenue in New York City.  Astor had been in the Middle East and Europe with his second wife and Kitty.  They were on the Titanic for the return trip to New York City: 

Friday, August 24, 2012

New England Bench Show poster from 1890 featuring popular dog breeds of the day:

A list of dog training books from a Dogdom Monthly issue from 1909::

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Great War - the front and trenches

As most people know, World War I was fought primarily from trenches and with horrible consequences to the soldiers and citizens.  Dogs and horses were principles in battle and casualties, as well.  Dogs were used to carry messages and locate injured soldiers.  The following is a photo of a French Sargent and his dog heading to the front both equipped with gas masks:

There is a brief blog note regarding the accounting for war dogs by the French military with 2 accompanying photos posted by Ptak Science books (Ptak Science Books is an appraiser and seller of anitquated books and maps.  Ptak was originally based in an office Washington D. C. in the Georgetown area:

A prominent war dog training book written in English by Lt. Colonel E. H. Richardson was published in 1921.  The book can be download from some of the following links:  

Richardson worked with various types of dogs, yet he is known for his corps of Airdales trained during World War I: 

Here in an undated photo the "Major Richardson" is pictured with some of his trained Red Cross Dogs:

Friday, August 10, 2012

Old Brittany photos (cont'd)

Photo of a Brittany on Raquette Lake, NY in the Adirondack Mountains from between 1905-1910 which was taken by William Henry Jackson, professional photographer.  This was either Jackson's own dog or a friend's dog.  The dog resembles a lineage of French Spaniels from French Canada:

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pierre Lorrillard IV and Brittanys

Found this photo of Pierre Lorrillard IV, the American tobacco magnate with a Brittany.  Lorrillard was know for his Rancocas Stables (Jobstown, NJ) and Kennels. His kennels in the latter 1880's consisted primarily of Black and Tan setters.

Lorrillard was based in the New York City area and had a home in Tuxedo Park, NY. See the link for the Tuxedo Club which he founded in Tuxedo Park, NY.

Originally, I had dated this photo from the 1920's due to the hat and furniture in the photo, however, this Lorrillard (the IV) passed away in New York City in 1901, thus the photo likely was taken in the 1890's or 1900.  Harris & Ewing Company, based in Washington D. C. took the photograph.  H & E was a well known photography company in the latter 1800's and early 1900's.  They photographed dignitaries, including U. S. Presidents, celebrities, as well as, noncelebrities.   In their archives are photos of Presidents T. Roosevelt, Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover with their pet dogs. There are also a number of photos in their archives of other people with their dogs and some dog show photography.  I found this photo in the Library of Congress archives in Washington D. C. and subsequently noticed copies of this photograph can be purchased on and elsewhere on the internet.  There was no copyright on this photo stored at the Library of Congress.

What is interesting about the Brittany in this photo is that this dog breed was not recognized by the American Kennel Club until the 1930's.   Although a Red and White setter dog breed can be found in the British Isles, there is an occasional reference in the early American field trial history to smaller (under 50 pounds) orange and white pointers.  Lorrillard held the position as President of the Eastern Field Trial Club. He was also a field trial judge.  This particular dog reminds me of my own Brittany, Montana, who died 3 weeks ago at the age of 15 years.

Pierre Lorrillard IV was also a thoroughbred race horse owner and had American and European champion horses.  Also, he coauthored a book about Mayan archeology in Mexico after funding an archeological expedition to that location. 

An excerpt from the website NewYorkSocialDiaries refers to the photo: "Pierre Lorillard with his dog. Mr. Lorillard traveled with his dogs and horses. His yacht towed an auxiliary two-story boat equipped with stables and kennels, thus arriving at Jekyll Island ready for the hunt." The reference is to the Gilded Age estates on Jekyll Island which is now owned by the State of Georgia.  Upland game bird hunting became very popular with club sportsmen in the latter 1800's.  

Also view:  Handmade Houseboats, see Chapter 1, Page 2, 1st paragraph re:  Pierre Lorrillard's houseboat "Caiman".  

Educated Dogs

Funny from 1875!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bearded Collies - Historical Website

Browsing through some herding dog websites I found the following which I thought had some interesting photos of the Bearded Collie from the early 1900's:

Although not an expert,  when I have attended all-breed dog shows in the United States, the Bearded Collie people are an interesting bunch.  Sitting in the background with my own dogs who are not Bearded Collies and somewhat removed from the show ring, I have had an opportunity to watch some of the different groups of dog people.  The Bearded Collie fanciers tend to casually congregate with their dogs and do not seem to notice the world around them.  They also do not seem to notice or care who else is in the nearby show rings. However, the Beardies themselves, not their owners, manifest an attentiveness to their surroundings which their owners do not appear to exhibit.  The persona of the Bearded Collie people is that of a jovial group which is a characteristic shared with their dog breed.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Kate Abbott Sanborn-American Author

Kate Sanborn (1839-1917) was a New Englander from New Hampshire.  She wrote a number of books beween 1869 and 1916.  Only one of those books was about dogs and that was her last book written in 1916:  Educated Dogs of To-Day.  The early 1900's was a time when very few books about dogs were written by women.  The subject matter covers primarily service dogs.  Although the book does not address training techniques directly, the various types of service dogs which were common in 1916  are discussed.  There are some sections that review hunting dogs and popular hunting venues for that era.  The book includes interesting quotes at the beginning of each chapter, as well as, old photos.  My guess is that Miss Sanborn found a temporary niche during war time to write and publish the book.  In general, dog books written by women did not begin to appear in the United States until the 1920's and remained scarce until years later.

She was known for other types of books such as The Wit of Women (1885) and Adopting an Abandoned Farm (1888).  Her career was teaching of English Literature and writing/editing in New Hampshire, St. Louis, MO, Massachussetts, and New York City.  She was a professor at Smith College in Massachussetts between 1880 and 1883.  Her papers and letters are archived at Smith College. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Vinton P. Breese - Painter


1879 (Newark, New Jersey)


1940 (Orange, New Jersey)

Painter specializing in dogs.

American Kennel Club

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Brittany History in the United States

Last year my brief introduction to the topic after review of some information in the public domain.
Around this time in 2011, I contacted the French Brittany Club in France to inquire about details of the introduction of the Brittany into the USA:

100 Year Anniversary - Brittany dog show video fom Rennes, France (1946?) taken by New Yorker Alan Stuyvesant:

(Posted on YouTube by BretonFan)

Both Alan Stuvesant and separately Louis Thebaud of New Jersey were key for the introduction of the Brittany into the United States and the American Kennel Club in the 1930's.

Prior to this in the 1919-1920 timeframe, Thebaud was principally responsible for introducing the Wire-Haired Pointing Griffon into the United States and developing an American breed standard:

He owned Pointing Griffon champion in 1920:  Marquis De Merlimont, AKC Registration;

Friday, June 29, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dr. William Bruette-The Complete Dog Book 1921

William Bruette is remembered for his position as the longtime editor of the magazine publication:  "Forest and Stream".   The magazine was the preminant outdoors magazine beginning in 1873.  Forest and Stream was published in New York City by Charles Haddock.  Bruette was preceded in the editor's role by the famous American naturalist and ornithologist, George Bird Grinnell.  The magazine covered topics about camping, canoeing, hunting, and fishing.  Theodore Roosevelt wrote some articles for the publication.  Forest and Stream was instrumental in the founding of the Audubon Society and in support for the 1918 US/Canadian Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Sporting dog training articles were a regular feature of Forest and Stream in conjunction with sporting dog breed historical information.  The magazine merged with "Field and Stream" in 1930.

Bruette published his book "The Complete Dog Book" in 1921.  A view of the Table of Contents (pages 9 and 10) reveal which dog breeds were popular in 1921:

He published a number of other dog books in the early 1900's including "Amateur's Dog Book" (1906) viewable in the following link:

Dogdom Monthly (cont'd)

The New York Public Library is a good source for Dogdom Monthly.  Some of the issues are accessible online.  Dogdom is a basket of information about dog breeds that were popular in the US during the years of publication, as well as, old-time dog show information:

Monday, June 25, 2012

Dogdom Monthly

One of the most interesting dog magazines that I have reviewed is the "Dogdom Monthly" which was an early 20th Century magazine for dog fanciers:

The cover painting of setters in the issue "link" above is by Percival Rousseau the famous French American painter of sporting dogs.  Rousseau was a member of the Old Lyme School of painters, Old Lyme, CT.

Dog Training Books-History

Late 1800’s to early 1900’s dog training books
(Prepared by Elaine M. George, Bridgeport, CT United States)
September 30, 2011

Historically, the books listed, to date, were published in the United States except for the book by Jaquet which was published in London, England. The list does not yet include all books published during this time period. The establishment of the American Kennel Club in the 1880’s and formal rules for dog shows and sporting dog field trials created an interest in humane training methods. Books will be added to this list including those in foreign languages and those books published in other countries.

Practical Dog Training or Training vs. Breaking, S. T. Hammond, Forest and Stream Publishing, 1894, New York.
Modern Training and Handling, Bernard Waters, J. Loring Thayer Publishing Company, 1894, Boston.
PRACTICAL DOG EDUCATION, Thomas C. Abbott, M. T Richardson Co., Princeton University Press, 1902, New York.
The Kennel Club: A History and Record of its Work, Edward William Jaquet, The Kennel Gazette, 1905, London.
The Gentleman’s Dog: His Rearing. Training, and Treatment, C. A. Bryce, A. M., M. D., Southern Clinic Print, Richmond, VA, 1909.
TRAINING THE DOG, Robert Stell Lemmon, Robert M. McBride & Company, Harvard College Press, 1921, New York.
Twentieth Century Training and Kennel Management, E. Myron Shelley, Becktold, Harvard University Press, 1921, St. Louis.

Forest and Stream Magazine, William Brunette, Editor, early to mid 1900’s, Sporting dog reference,