Dogstar Thursday – vol 21

Cute with floppy ears!

This week’s dog is a well-known breed that we see everywhere.  They are cute, loyal and loving: the Cocker Spaniel.  Cocker Spaniels are dogs belonging to two breeds of the spaniel dog type: the American Cocker Spaniel and the English Cocker Spaniel, both of which are commonly called simply Cocker Spaniel in their countries of origin. In the early 20th century, Cocker Spaniels also included small hunting Spaniels.

Cocker Spaniels were originally bred as hunting dogs in the United Kingdom, with the term cocker deriving from their use to hunt the Eurasian woodcock. When the breed was brought to the United States, it was bred to a different standard, which enabled it to specialize in hunting the American woodcock. Further physical changes were bred into the cocker in the United States during the early part of the 20th century.

Spaniels were first mentioned in the 14th century by Gaston III of Foix-Béarn in his work the Livre de Chasse. The “cocking” or “cocker spaniel” was a type of field or land spaniel in the 19th century. Prior to 1901, Cocker Spaniels were only separated from Field Spaniels and Springer Spaniels by weight. Two dogs are considered to be the foundation sires of both modern breeds, the English variety are descended from Ch. Obo, while the American breed descends from Obo’s son, Ch. Obo II. In the United States, the English Cocker was recognized as separate from the native breed in 1946; in the UK, the American type was recognized as a separate breed in 1970. In addition, there is a second strain of English Cocker Spaniel, a working strain which is not bred to a standard but to working ability. Both breeds share similar coat colors and health issues with a few exceptions.

CSRNE_P2P3406
Ears Flying!

Description

There are two modern breeds of cocker spaniel, the English Cocker Spaniel and the American Cocker Spaniel. They were bred as gun dogs; to use their sense of smell to cover low areas near the handler in order to flush birds into the air to be shot, and to use their eyes and nose to locate the bird once downed, and then to retrieve the bird with a soft mouth. The major differences between the English and American varieties is that the American is smaller with a shorter back, a domed head and a shorter muzzle, while the English variety is taller with a narrower head and chest.

Cocker spaniel coats come in a variety of colors including black, liver, red and golden in solids. There are also black and tan, and sometimes liver and tan, as well as a variety of color mixtures of those solid colors including roans, roan and tans, tricolors and those solid colors with additional white markings.

Rare colours can appear unexpectedly in certain lines, for instance while an all-white cocker is usually bred by selective breeding of very light golden strains, they can still appear very uncommonly to parents who are dark colored. A noted occurrence of this happened in 1943, when a grandson of My Own Brucie, Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 1940 and 1941, was born all-white.

In its native United States, the American Cocker Spaniel was ranked the 23rd most popular breed according to registration statistics of the AKC in 2009, a decrease in popularity since 1999 when it was ranked 13th. For twenty five years the American Cocker Spaniel was the most popular dog in America. It was ranked number one first in 1936 prior to the English Cocker Spaniel being recognized as a separate breed, and held onto the spot until 1952 when Beagles became the most popular dog. It regained the spot in 1983 and held on at number one until 1990. In the UK, the American Cocker Spaniel is far less popular than its English cousin with 322 registrations compared to the English Cocker’s 22,211 in 2009.

History

While their origins are unknown, “spaynels” are mentioned in 14th century writings. It is commonly assumed that they originated in Spain, and Edward of Norwich, 2nd Duke of York in his 15th century work The Master of Game introduces them as “Another kind of hound there is that be called hounds for the hawk and spaniels, for their kind cometh from Spain, notwithstanding that there are many in other countries.” The Master of Game was mostly an English translation of an earlier 14th century Old French work by Gaston III of Foix-Béarn entitled Livre de Chasse.

In 1801, Sydenham Edwards wrote in Cynographia Britannica that the “Land Spaniel” is divided into two types: the hawking, springing/springer and the cocking/cocker spaniel. The term cocker came from the dog’s use in hunting woodcocks. During the 19th century a “cocker spaniel” was a type of small Field Spaniel; at the time, this term referred to a number of different spaniel hunting breeds, including the Norfolk Spaniel, Sussex Spaniel, and Clumber Spaniel. While there were no Sussex Cockers or Clumber Cockers, there were dogs known as Welsh Cockers and Devonshire Cockers. The Welsh or Devonshire were considered cockers until 1903 when they were recognized by The Kennel Club as the Welsh Springer Spaniel.

Prior to the 1870s, the only requirement for a dog to be classed as a Cocker Spaniel was that it needed to weigh less than 25 pounds (11 kg), although breeders separated the cocker from the King Charles Spaniel which remains a smaller breed of spaniel. This maximum weight limit remained on the Cocker Spaniel until 1900, with larger dogs being classed as Springer Spaniels. The colors of the Devonshire and Welsh Cockers were described by John Henry Walsh under the pseudonym Stonehenge in his book The Dog in Health and Disease as being a deeper shade of liver than that of the Sussex Spaniel. Following the formation of The Kennel Club in the UK in 1873, efforts were made by breeders to record the pedigrees of cockers and springers. In 1892, English Cocker Spaniels and English Springer Spaniels were recognized as separate breeds by The Kennel Club.

There are two dogs which are thought to be the foundation sires of both modern breeds of cocker spaniels. Ch. Obo is considered by breed enthusiasts to be the father of the modern English Cocker Spaniel, while his son, Ch. Obo II, is considered to be the progenitor of the American Cocker Spaniel. Obo was born in 1879, at which point registration as a cocker was still only by size and not by ancestry. He was the son of a Sussex Spaniel and a Field Spaniel. Although Obo was an English dog, Obo II was born on American shores – his mother was shipped to the United States while pregnant. During his lifetime, it was claimed in advertisements that Obo II was the sire or grandsire of nearly every prize winning cocker in America.

Technical Details

This image was captured with a Canon EOS 1D Mk III using an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L lens and EF 1.4x extender.  Exposure settings were at 1/500 second, f/6.3 and 320 ISO.

Dogstar Thursday – vol 20

Speedy, agile and smart!

The featured dog this week is one of the ultimate performance breeds, as they are excellent at a variety of tasks ranging from herding to obedience and agility, which comes as no surprise, as the breed focuses on intelligence and obedience.  The Border Collie is a working and herding dog breed developed in the Anglo-Scottish border region for herding livestock, especially sheep.

Description

In general, Border Collies are medium-sized dogs with a moderate amount of coat, which is often thick and frequently sheds. They have a double coat which varies from smooth to rough, (and occasionally curled). Whilst black and white is most commonly seen colour pattern of the Border Collie, the breed appears in just about any colour and pattern known to occur in dogs. Some of these include black tricolour (black/tan/white), liver and white, and red tricolour (red/tan/white) have also been seen regularly, with other colours such as blue, lilac, red merle, blue merle, brindle, and Australian red (also known as ee red, blonde, recessive red, or gold) which is seen less frequently. Some Border Collies may also have single-colour coats.

Border-Collie-20100531_14E3192.jpg
Focus and control!

Eye colour varies from brown to blue, and occasionally eyes of differing color occur; this is usually seen with merles. The ears of the Border Collie are also variable — some have fully erect ears, some fully dropped ears, and others semi-erect ears (similar to those of the rough Collie or sighthounds). Although working Border Collie handlers sometimes have superstitions about the appearance of their dogs (handlers may avoid mostly white dogs due to the unfounded idea that sheep will not respect a white or almost all white dog), in general a dog’s appearance is considered by the American Border Collie Association to be irrelevant. It is considered much more useful to identify a working Border Collie by its attitude and ability than by its looks.

Dogs bred for showing are more homogeneous in appearance than working Border Collies, since to win in conformation showing they must conform closely to breed club standards that are specific on many points of the structure, coat, and colour. Kennel clubs specify, for example, that the Border Collie must have a “keen and intelligent” expression, and that the preferred eye colour is dark brown. In deference to the dog’s working origin, scars and broken teeth received in the line of duty are not to be counted against a Border Collie in the show ring. The males’ height from withers comes from 48 to 56 centimetres (19 to 22 in), females from 46 to 53 centimetres (18 to 21 in).

History

The Border Collie is descended from landrace collies, a type found widely in the British Isles. The name for the breed came from its probable place of origin along the Anglo-Scottish border.  Mention of the “Collie” or “Colley” type first appeared toward the end of the 19th century, although the word “collie” is older than this and has its origin in the Scots language. It is also thought that the word ‘collie’ comes from the old Celtic word for useful. Many of the best Border Collies today can be traced back to a dog known as Old Hemp.

In 1915, James Reid, Secretary of the International Sheep Dog Society (ISDS) in the United Kingdom first used the term “Border Collie” to distinguish those dogs registered by the ISDS from the Kennel Club’s Collie (or Scotch Collie, including the Rough Collie and Smooth Collie) which originally came from the same working stock but had developed a different, standardised appearance following introduction to the show ring in 1860 and mixture with different types breeds.

Old Hemp

Old Hemp, a tricolor dog, was born in Northumberland in September 1893 and died in May 1901. He was bred by Adam Telfer from Roy, a black and tan dog, and Meg, a black-coated, strong-eyed dog. Hemp was a quiet, powerful dog to which sheep responded easily. Many shepherds used him for stud and Hemp’s working style became the Border Collie style. All pure Border Collies alive today can trace an ancestral line back to Old Hemp.

Wiston Cap

Wiston Cap (b. 28 Sep. 1963) is the dog that the International Sheep Dog Society (ISDS) badge portrays in the characteristic Border Collie herding pose. He was a popular stud dog in the history of the breed, and his bloodline can be seen in most bloodlines of the modern day Collie. Bred by W. S. Hetherington and trained and handled by John Richardson, Cap was a biddable and good-natured dog. His bloodlines all trace back to the early registered dogs of the stud book, and to J. M. Wilson’s Cap, whose name occurs sixteen times within seven generations in his pedigree. Wiston Cap sired three Supreme Champions and is grand-sire of three others, one of whom was E. W. Edwards’ Bill, who won the championship twice.

Introduction to New Zealand and Australia

Collies were listed as imports to New Zealand as early as 1858, but the type was not specified.  In the late 1890s James Lilico (1861?–1945) of Christchurch, New Zealand, imported a number of working dogs from the United Kingdom. These included Hindhope Jed, a black, tan and white  born in Hindhope, Scotland in 1895, as well as Maudie, Moss of Ancrum, Ness and Old Bob.

It is unclear whether Hindhope Jed was a descendant of Old Hemp. Born two years after him, she is mentioned in a British Hunts and Huntsmen article concerning a Mr John Elliot of Jedburgh:

Mr Elliot himself is well known for his breed of Collies. His father supplied Noble to the late Queen Victoria and it was from our subject that the McLeod got Hindhope Jed, now the champion of New Zealand and Australia.

At the time of her departure to New Zealand, Hindhope Jed was already in pup to Captain, another of the then new “Border” strain. Hindhope Jed had won three trials in her native Scotland, and was considered to be the “best to cross the equator”.

In 1901 the King and Mcleod stud, created by Charles Beechworth King (b. 1855, Murrumbidgee, NSW), his brother and Alec McLeod at Canonbar, near Nyngan (north-west of Sydney), brought Hindhope Jed to Australia, where she enjoyed considerable success at sheep dog trials.

Technical Details

This image was captured with a Canon EOS 1D Mk III using an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L lens and EF 1.4x extender.  Exposure settings were at 1/640 second, f/6.3 and 200 ISO.

Dogstar Thursday – vol 19

Eskies rule!

This week, I’m featuring a breed that is not officially recognized around the globe.  The American Eskimo Dog, sometimes referred to as the Eskie, is a vigilant, but non-agressive  dog that loves to have fun.  Their white coat provides a striking appearance that is sure to be noticed.

The American Eskimo Dog is a breed of companion dog originating in Germany. The American Eskimo is a member of the Spitz family. The breed’s progenitors were German Spitz, but due to anti-German prejudice during the First World War, it was renamed “American Eskimo Dog”. Although modern American Eskimos have been exported as German Spitz Gross (or Mittel, depending on the dog’s height), the breeds have diverged and the standards are significantly different. In addition to serving as a watchdog and companion, the American Eskimo dog also achieved a high degree of popularity in the United States in the 1930s and 1940s as a circus performer.

There are three size varieties of the American Eskimo breed, the toy, miniature and the standard. They share a common resemblance with Japanese Spitz, Volpino Italiano, German Spitz and Samoyed dog.

IMG_0294_20120922_093726-American-Eskimo-Dog
Eskie Agility!

History

The American Eskimo Dog was originally bred to guard people and property and, therefore, is territorial by nature and a valiant watchdog. They are not considered an aggressive breed. But, due to the breed’s watchdog history, American Eskimos are generally quite vocal, barking at any stranger who comes in proximity to their owners’ territory.

In Northern Europe, smaller Spitz were eventually developed into the various German Spitz breeds. European immigrants brought their Spitz pets with them to the United States, especially New York, in the early 1900s, all of them descended from the larger German Spitz, the Keeshond, the white Pomeranian, and the Italian Spitz, the Volpino Italiano.

Although white was not always a recognized color in the various German Spitz breeds, it was generally the preferred color in the US. In a display of patriotism in the era around World War I, dog owners began referring to their pets as American Spitz rather than German Spitz.

After World War I, the small Spitz dogs came to the attention of the American public when the dogs became popular entertainers in the American circus. In 1917, the Cooper Brothers’ Railroad Circus featured the dogs. A dog named Stout’s Pal Pierre was famous for walking a tightrope with the Barnum and Bailey Circus in the 1930s, and also contributing to their popularity, they sold puppies after the show. Due to the popularity of the circus dogs, many of today’s American Eskimo Dogs can trace their lineage back to these circus dogs.

After World War II, the dogs continued to be popular pets. Postwar contact with Japan led to importation into the United States of the Japanese Spitz, which may have been crossed into the breed at this time. The breed was first officially recognized as the “American Eskimo” as early as 1919 by the American United Kennel Club (UKC), and the first written record and history of the breed was printed in 1958 by the UKC.

At that time there was no official breed club and no breed standard, and dogs were accepted for registration as single dogs, based on appearance. In 1970 the National American Eskimo Dog Association (NAEDA) was founded, and single dog registrations ceased. In 1985 the American Eskimo Dog Club of America (AEDCA) was formed by fanciers who wished to register the breed with the American Kennel Club (AKC). Following the AKC’s requirements for breed recognition, the AEDCA collected the pedigree information from 1,750 dogs that now form the basis of the AKC recognized breed, which is called the American Eskimo Dog. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1995. The stud book was opened from 2000 to 2003 in an attempt to register more of the original UKC registered lines, and today many American Eskimo Dogs are dual-registered with both American kennel clubs. The breed is also recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club as of 2006, but is not recognized elsewhere in the world.

The American Eskimo Dog is not entirely an internationally recognized breed, and since neither of the American kennel clubs are affiliated with the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, fanciers wishing to participate in certain international dog shows will register their American Eskimo Dogs as the very similar German Spitz. This is done only by individuals wishing to participate in dog sports in international shows, and does not mean that the American Eskimo Dog and the German Spitz are the same. Although the American Eskimo is known as the German Spitz in several countries outside of the United States, the two breeds have actually developed somewhat differently since the American Eskimo was relocated to North America, over a century ago. It is not uncommon for German Spitz breeders to incorporate imported American Eskimo bloodlines into their breeding program to broaden the gene pool, and vice versa.

Technical Details

This image was captured with a Canon EOS 1D Mk III using an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L lens and 1.4x Extender.  Exposure settings were at 1/640 second, f5.6 and 200 ISO.

Dogstar Thursday – vol 18

The mighty Pug!

In this week’s post, as a continuation of covering the various breeds that I have photographed over the years, I’d like to focus on the Pug.  Of course, one might think that by its very build the Pug is not well-suited for agility competition, but you’d be surprised how agile these lovable dogs are!

The Pug is a breed of dog with a wrinkly, short-muzzled face and curled tail. The breed has a fine, glossy coat that comes in a variety of colors, most often fawn or black, and a compact square body with well-developed muscles.

Pugs were brought from China to Europe in the sixteenth century and were popularized in Western Europe by the House of Orange of the Netherlands, and the House of Stuart. In the United Kingdom in the nineteenth century Queen Victoria developed a passion for Pugs which she passed on to other members of the Royal family.

Pugs are known for being sociable and gentle companion dogs. The breed remains popular into the twenty-first century, with some famous celebrity owners. A Pug was judged Best in Show at the World Dog Show in 2004

20101022-Agility_14E3864
The Mighty Pug

History

Chinese origins

In ancient times, Pugs were bred to be companions for ruling families in China. The pet Pugs were highly valued by Chinese Emperors, and the royal dogs were kept in luxury and guarded by soldiers. Pugs later spread to other parts of Asia. In Tibet, Buddhist monks kept Pugs as pets in their monasteries. The breed has retained its affectionate devotion to its owners since ancient times.

The early history of the Pug is not attested to in detail; it is accepted that modern Pugs are descended from dogs imported to Europe from China in the 16th century. Similar dogs were popular in the Imperial court during the Song Dynasty.

16th and 17th centuries

Pugs were popular at European courts, and reportedly become the official dog of the House of Orange in 1572 after a Pug named Pompey saved the life of the Prince of Orange by alerting him to the approach of assassins.

A Pug travelled with William III and Mary II when they left the Netherlands to accept the throne of England in 1688. During this period, the Pug may have been bred with the old type King Charles spaniel, giving the modern King Charles Spaniel its Pug characteristics.

The breed eventually became popular in other European countries as well. Pugs were painted by Goya in Spain, and in Italy they rode up front on private carriages, dressed in jackets and pantaloons that matched those of the coachman. They were used by the military to track animals and people, and were also employed as guard dogs

18th century to present day

The English painter William Hogarth was the devoted owner of a series of Pugs. His 1745 self-portrait, which is now in London’s Tate Gallery, includes his Pug, Trump.  The Pug was also well known in Italy. In 1789, a Mrs. Piozzi wrote in her journal, “The little Pug dog or Dutch mastiff has quitted London for Padua, I perceive. Every carriage I meet here has a Pug in it.”  The popularity of the Pug continued to spread in France during the eighteenth century. Before her marriage to Napoleon Bonaparte, Joséphine had her Pug Fortune carry concealed messages to her family while she was confined at Les Carmes prison, it having alone been given visiting rights.

In nineteenth century England, the breed flourished under the patronage of Queen Victoria. Her many Pugs, which she bred herself, included Olga, Pedro, Minka, Fatima and Venus.  Her involvement with dogs in general helped to establish the Kennel Club, which was formed in 1873.  Queen Victoria favored apricot and fawn colors. Queen Victoria’s passion for Pugs was passed on to many other members of the Royal family, including her grandson King George V and his son King Edward VIII. Many responded to the breed’s image of anti-functionalism and diminutive size during this period.

In paintings and engravings of the 18th and 19th centuries, Pugs usually appear with longer legs and noses than today, and sometimes with cropped ears. The modern Pug’s appearance probably changed after 1860 when a new wave of Pugs were imported directly from China. These Pugs had shorter legs and the modern-style Pug nose. The British aristocrat Lady Brassey is credited with making black Pugs fashionable after she brought some back from China in 1886. Ear cropping was made illegal in 1895.

Pugs arrived in the United States during the nineteenth century and were soon making their way into the family home and the show ring.  The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1885. The Pug Dog Club of America was founded in 1931 and was recognized by the American Kennel Club that same year. In 1981, the Pug Dhandys Favorite Woodchuck won the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in the United States, the only Pug to have won there since the show began in 1877.  The World Champion, or Best in Show at the 2004 World Dog Show held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was a Pug named Double D Cinoblu’s Masterpiece.

Technical Details

This image was captured with a Canon EOS 1D Mk III using an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L lens with 1.4x Extender.  Exposure settings were at 1/1000 second at f/6.3 and 320 ISO.

DogStar Thursday – vol. 17

From war and hunt to agility!

In this week’s post, as a continuation of covering the various breeds that I have photographed over the years, I’d like to focus on the Airedale Terrier.  This is a breed that used to be very popular during the first half of the 20th century, and is a great working dog.  In agility competitions, I have not seen a lot of Airedales, even though they are very successful when participating.

The Airedale Terrier (often shortened to “Airedale”), also called Bingley Terrier and Waterside Terrier, is a dog breed of the terrier type that originated in the valley (dale) of the River Aire, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England. It is traditionally called the “King of Terriers” because it is the largest of the terrier breeds.  In Britain this breed has also been used as a war dog, guide dog and police dog.

Airedale-20101022_14E3841
Flying Airedale Terrier

History

The breed started by crossing the English rough-coated Black and Tan Terrier with the Otterhound

Airedale, a valley (dale) in the West Riding of Yorkshire, named for the River Aire that runs through it, was the birthplace of the breed. In the mid-19th Century, working class people created the Airedale Terrier by crossing the old English rough-coated Black and Tan Terrier (now known as the Welsh Terrier) with the Otterhound. In 1886, the Kennel Club of England formally recognized the Airedale Terrier breed.

In 1864 they were exhibited for the first time at a championship dog show sponsored by the Airedale Agricultural Society. They were classified under different names, including Rough Coated, Bingley and Waterside Terrier. In 1879 breed fanciers decided to call the breed the Airedale Terrier, a name accepted by the Kennel Club (England) in 1886.

Well-to-do hunters of the era were typically accompanied by a pack of hounds and several terriers, often running them both together. The hounds would scent and pursue the quarry and the terriers would “go to ground” or enter into the quarry’s burrow and make the kill. Terriers were often the sporting dog of choice for the common man. Early sporting terriers needed to be big enough to tackle the quarry, but not so big as to prevent them from maneuvering through the quarry’s underground lair. As a result, these terriers had to have a very high degree of courage and pluck to face the foe in a tight, dark underground den without the help of human handlers.

During the middle of the nineteenth century, regular sporting events took place along the River Aire in which terriers pursued the large river rats that inhabited the area. A terrier was judged on its ability to locate a “live” hole in the riverbank and then, after the rat was driven from its hole by a ferret brought along for that purpose, the terrier would pursue the rat through water until it could make a kill. As these events became more popular, demand arose for a terrier that could excel in this activity.

One such terrier was developed through judicious crossings of the Black-and-Tan Terrier and Bull and Terrier dogs popular at the time with the Otter Hound. The result was a long-legged fellow that would soon develop into the dog we recognize today as the Airedale Terrier. This character was too big to “go to ground” in the manner of the smaller working terriers; however, it was good at everything else expected of a sporting terrier, and it was particularly adept at water work.

This big terrier had other talents in addition to its skill as a ratter. Because of its hound heritage it was well equipped to pick up the scent of game and due to its size, able to tackle larger animals. It became more of a multipurpose terrier that could pursue game by powerful scenting ability, be broken to gun, and taught to retrieve. Its size and temperament made it an able guardian of farm and home.

One of the colorful, but less-than legal, uses of the early Airedale Terrier was to assist its master in poaching game on the large estates that were off-limits to commoners. Rabbits, hare, and fowl were plentiful, and the Airedale could be taught to retrieve game killed by its master, or to pursue, kill, and bring it back itself.

The first imports of Airedale Terriers to North America were in the 1880s. The first Airedale to come to American shores was named Bruce. After his 1881 arrival, Bruce won the terrier class in a New York dog show.

The patriarch of the breed is considered to be CH Master Briar (1897–1906). Two of his sons, Crompton Marvel and Monarch, also made important contributions to the breed.

The first Canadian registrations are recorded in the Stud book of 1888–1889.

In 1910, the ATCA (Airedale Terrier Club of America) offered the Airedale Bowl as a perpetual trophy, which continues to this day. It is now mounted on a hardwood pedestal base, holding engraved plates with the names of the hundreds of dogs that have been awarded Best of Breed at the National Specialties.

The Airedale was extensively used in World War I to carry messages to soldiers behind enemy lines and transport mail. They were also used by the Red Cross to find wounded soldiers on the battlefield. There are numerous tales of Airedales delivering their messages despite terrible injury. An Airedale named ‘Jack’ ran through half a mile of enemy fire, with a message attached within his collar. He arrived at headquarters with his jaw broken and one leg badly splintered, and right after he delivered the message, he dropped dead in front of its recipient.

Lieutenant Colonel Edwin Hautenville Richardson was responsible for the development of messenger and guard dogs in the British Army. He, along with his wife, established the British War Dog School at Shoeburyness in Essex, England. In 1916, they provided two Airedales (Wolf & Prince) for use as message carriers. After both dogs proved themselves in battle, Airedales were given more duties, such as locating injured soldiers on the battlefield, an idea taken from the Red Cross.

Before the adoption of the German Shepherd as the dog of choice for law enforcement and search and rescue work, the Airedale terrier often filled this role.

In 1906, Richardson tried to interest the British Police in using dogs to accompany officers, for protection on patrol at night. Mr. Geddes, Chief Goods Manager for Hull Docks in Yorkshire, was convinced after he went and saw the impressive work of police dogs in Belgium. Geddes convinced Superintendent Dobie of the North Eastern Railway Police, to arrange a plan for policing the docks. Airedale Terriers were selected for duty as police dogs because of their intelligence, good scenting abilities and their hard, wiry coats that were easy to maintain and clean. They were trained in Hull to attack people not in uniform which could cause problems for their handlers when off duty. The first four dogs began patrols in Hull Docks in 1908, and the scheme was later extended to other docks policed by the North Eastern Railway Police.

At the beginning of the Russo-Japanese war in 1904, the Russian embassy in London contacted Lt. Colonel Richardson for help acquiring dogs for the Russian Army, trained to take the wounded away from the battlefields. He sent terriers, mostly Airedale Terriers, for communication and sanitary services. Although these original imports perished, Airedale Terriers were reintroduced to Russia in the early 1920s for use by the Red Army. Special service dog units were created in 1923, and Airedale Terriers were used as demolition dogs, guard dogs, police tracking dogs and casualty dogs.

Two Airedales were among the dogs lost with the sinking of the RMS Titanic. The Airedale “Kitty” belonged to Colonel John Jacob Astor IV, the real-estate mogul. The second Airedale belonged to William E. Carter of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Mr. Carter was the owner of the Renault automobile in which Jack and Rose trysted in the movie “Titanic”. Carter, his wife and two children survived the sinking.

During the 1930s, when airedales were farmed like livestock, American breeders developed the Oorang airedale.

Capt. Walter Lingo, of LaRue, Ohio, developed the Oorang Airedale strain. The name came from a line of bench champions, headed by King Oorang 11, a dog which was said to have been the finest utility dog. King could retrieve waterfowl and upland game, tree raccoons, drive cattle and sheep, and bay mountain lions, bears, and wolves.  He also trained in Red Cross work, and served the American Expeditionary Force at the front in France.

Lingo simply wasn’t satisfied with the average strain of Airedale, and after an incredible series of breedings, for which he brought in great Airedales from all over the world, he created the “King Oorang.” At the time, Field and Stream magazine called it, “the greatest utility dog in the history of the world.” The Oorang Kennel Company continued until Walter Lingo’s death in 1969. To help promote the King Oorang, as well as his kennels, Lingo created the Oorang Indians football team headed up by Jim Thorpe. The team played in National Football League from 1922–1923. Jerry Siebert, an Airedale breeder in Buckeye Lake, Ohio, followed in Lingo’s footsteps, and bred “Jerang Airedales.” There is a kennel in Tennessee that claims to have original Oorang Airedales.

After the First World War, the Airedales’ popularity rapidly increased thanks to stories of their bravery on the battlefield and also because Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, and Warren Harding owned Airedales. President Harding’s Airedale, Laddie Boy, was the “first celebrity White House pet”. President Harding had a special chair hand carved for him to sit on at very important Cabinet meetings. In the 1920s, the Airedale became the most popular breed in the USA

Technical Details

This image was captured with a Canon EOS 1D Mk II using an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L lens with 1.4x Extender.  Exposure settings were at 1/1000 second at f/6.3 and 320 ISO.

DogStar Thursday – vol. 16

English Springer Spaniel

As I have begun my side project of looking through the 300K+ dog images that I have captured over the years, I started picking some representative images of various dog breeds, so that I can start using them as a series.  As most of my photography is from agility competitions, you may be amazed at the enormous variety of breeds that I have captured over the years, ranging from the ultra-rare to common breeds, and the smallest toy breeds to an enormous Great Dane.

ESS-20110918_14E1443-8x12
English Springer Spaniel

Description

The English Springer Spaniel is a medium-sized compact dog. Its coat is moderately long with feathering on the legs and tail. It is a well proportioned, balanced dog with a gentle expression and a friendly wagging tail.  This breed represents perhaps the greatest divergence between working and show lines of any breed of dog. A field-bred dog and a show-bred dog appear to be different breeds, but are registered together. In fact, the gene pools are almost completely segregated and have been for at least 70 years.  A field-bred dog would not be competitive in a modern dog show, while a show dog would not have the speed or stamina to succeed in a field trial.

The English Springer Spaniel field-bred dogs tend to have shorter, coarser coats than show-bred dogs. The ears are less pendulous. Field-bred dogs are wiry and have more of a feral look than those bred for showing. The tail of the field-bred dog may be docked a few inches in comparison to the show dog. Field-bred dogs are selected for sense of smell, hunting ability, and response to training rather than appearance.

Show dogs have longer fur and more pendant ears, dewlaps and dangling flews. The tail is docked to a short stub in those countries that permit docking. They are generally more thickly boned and heavier than field-bred springers.

The English Springer Spaniel is similar to the English Cocker Spaniel and at first glance the only major difference is the latter’s smaller size. However English Springers also tend to have shorter, and higher-set ears than English Cockers. In addition Springers also tend to have a longer muzzle; their eyes are not as prominent, and the coat is less abundant.  The major differences between the Welsh Springer and the English Springer are that the Welsh have more limited colours and tend to be slightly smaller.

Coat and colors

Field-bred dogs tend to have shorter, coarser coats than the longer furred show-bred dogs. They normally only shed in summer and spring months but shed occasionally in the autumn.  The coat comes in black or liver (dark brown) with white markings or predominantly white with black or liver markings; Tricolour: black and white or liver and white with tan markings, usually found on eyebrows, cheeks, inside of ears and under the tail. Any white portion of the coat may be flecked with ticking.

Sizes

Males in the show dog line are typically approximately 18 to 20 inches (46 to 51 cm) at the withers and weigh 50 to 55 lb (23 to 25 kg). According to the UK Breed Standard, the English Springer Spaniel should be 20 inches (51 cm) at the withers. The females should be 17 to 19 inches (43 to 48 cm) and usually 35 to 45 lb (16 to 20 kg). Working types can be lighter in weight and finer in bone.

Technical Details

This image was captured with a Canon EOS 1D Mk III using an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L lens with 1.4x Extender.  Exposure settings were at 1/500 second at f/6.3 and 400 ISO.

Dogstar Thursday – vol 15

Ain’t I a stinker?

With today’s dog star, I’m going purely for cuteness without any guilt or reservation, as it is a photo of our little Dorothea Lange when she was only about 10 months old…

My wife and I took her for a stroll through Moore State Park, located in Paxton, MA which has wonderful trails and allows dogs in the park.  Little Dora really enjoyed the walk and was very good, as she proved in this image…

2014-04-06 11.57.11 HDR-1
I’m so cute!

Even at 10 months old, she knew how to go for cuteness and throw head tilts when being photographed 🙂  After all, how can she get in trouble when she looks at you in that fashion?  Yes, it has saved her many times!!

Hope you enjoy this image.

Technical Details

This image was captured with an iPhone 5S using the standard Camera app.