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by Scottie Westfall

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    Dog breed origins are often shrouded in a “creation myth.”  If you ever read an all-breed dog book, the official breed origins come across as awfully fanciful. Virtually every breed is regarded as ancient or derived from some private stock belonging to some notable:  Afghan hounds were the dogs Noah took on the Ark.  Beagles […]

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  • 03/08/17--18:31: Bluetick
  • It was that time in winter when the sun seems to rise for no other reason but cast down a few pallid rays and then sink below the horizon. It was a time when the gray clouds would come barreling in with snow squalls, but today the sky was cloudless. The land was covered in […]

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    Prepare for the cuteness!

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    One of the most annoying things about “dog people” is the constant jockeying for the prize of the “most ancient breed of dog.”  If you watch Westminster on television, I would say a third of the breeds are described as “ancient.” Most of them aren’t that old, and even if they do resemble ancient forms […]

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  • 09/12/17--20:01: A lesson in breed creation
  • For a variety of reasons, I’ve been looking at golden retriever pedigrees.  One rather unusual thing about golden retrievers is that they are a common breed, but they have relatively complete pedigrees. They were created by elites in the United Kingdom, many of whom were students of English agricultural improvement.   For example, the Marjoribanks […]

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    In the English language, the term “basset hound” refers to a specific breed. We recognize it as sort of a dwarf bloodhound that comes in the more “beagly” colors of tricolor and lemon and white.  It is immortalized in the cartoon character Droopy and is the mascot for the Hush Puppy shoe brand. One of […]

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    A recent discussion popped up on Facebook this morning in which a member of a homesteading group bragged about what a good livestock guardian and hunting dog his Labrador was. This post got posted in a livestock guardian breed group, which resulted in much, much eye-rolling. It is certainly true that there are dogs that […]

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  • 10/05/17--13:58: Meeting a whippet
  •   My experience with sighthounds is limited.  There really isn’t much of a culture of them in my part of the country, except that we do have greyhound racing. But I spent last week helping a friend of mine move from Florida to Ohio, and among the creatures I spent time with during this adventure […]

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    Several books came back with me from Florida. Among them is this book edited by Gail Goodman: Better photo of the cover and title: Because I have such an eclectic interest in dogs and breed history, I’ve been told by more than a few people that I need to read this book. So I have […]

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    As a result of my recent experiences with a whippet, I’ve been thinking a lot about how a breed can evolve such a strong bond with its special human. Some of this strong social bond has some roots in their origins as sighthounds. Most sighthound breeds are somewhat more primitive in their development compared to […]

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    There was time when this blog was part of an official network of bloggers. We would amplify each other’s posts. The most important thing was to be anti-kennel club and anti-dog show. If one could be rude as possible about it, then do so. Such an environment is not exactly designed for close collaboration, for […]

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  • 10/04/18--15:13: The Salukis
  • One week ago today, Jenna and I went to Pittsburgh to pick up some puppies at the airport. We found ourselves at some desolate warehouse place, but yes, they had our delivery from Albuquerque. They loaded the shipping box into our van. Zoom, the old whippet, raised his head to watch the proceedings, and out […]

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    I am not known for my conservatism. Indeed, I am definitely on the other side of the spectrum, but on some issues, I am not an ideologue, especially those issues that deal with animals that have a purpose. What I am about to write might cause me to lose some readership, but I feel I […]

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older | 1 | 2 | (Page 3)