What are the nuances of this breed? What should I notice when evaluating my dog’s structure, or his movement? What do I need to know when considering breeding? How can I bring out the best in my dog at a dog show?
To those with “an abiding interest in dogs,” questions like these are just the tip of the iceberg. Since the rise about 150 years ago of organized events that brought together like-minded people wanting to compare their dogs and discuss breeds, the enjoyment of learning more about the dogs we love has always been a key aspect of involvement in the sport. Learning more means finding authoritative sources and connecting with those who have the insight and experience you seek.
For dog people, the AKC Gazette has long been a primary place to find such expert knowledge. Published since 1889, the magazine has evolved from a record of show results and club notes to a venue for lively and knowledgeable discussion encompassing the wide-ranging world of purebred dogs, dog people, and canine events.
“The sport of dogs is wonderful and multifaceted, with a place for people from all walks of life who have an abiding interest in dogs.”
—Anne Rogers Clark
An official journal of the dog sport was part of the American Kennel Club’s vision from the start. The AKC’s first president, August Belmont Jr., strongly believed in the need for such a publication, and his dream was realized with the launch of The American Kennel Gazette just months after his 1888 election.
Since then the magazine has continued every month as an invaluable resource and touchstone for generation after generation of dog folk—dedicated, passionate people with an unquenchable thirst for information about all things canine.
Among the Gazette’s favorite elements are the breed columns, which had their beginning in the 1920s in a section called “Where Fanciers Gather” that featured commentary about individual breeds, and the breed columns have continued through the decades as authoritative sources of breed-specific information. Each column is written by an expert on behalf of the breed’s national parent club, with all the breeds rotating throughout the year on a quarterly basis. Each issue of the Gazette also includes “AKC Updates,” a roundup of news about dog events and happenings, and “Times Past,” where archival photos and artwork provide a look at the incredibly rich history of our life with dogs. Also in every issue are the Secretary’s Pages, which provide an essential record of AKC proceedings.
A unique highlight of the Gazette is “Dog People,” where Bud Boccone, one of the magazine’s editors who is also our talented in-house artist, captures in pen-strokes the essence of personalities known and dear to the dog world.
So for those with “an abiding interest in dogs,” the Gazette offers ongoing education and inspiration—and delight. Because what is it, if not delight, that ultimately drives someone to relentlessly pursue a passion, despite challenges, discouragements, and occasional heartbreak? Why else continue to be involved in dog events and breeding?
In an article titled “What Is Beauty Good For?” in the July 1927 issue, Chihuahua fancier Clara L. Dobbs put into words a dog person’s perspective:
“To the dog lover, of course, one does not have to explain that the joy of owning dogs is in the love one gives them, and the love they give us in return. “
The beauty of line and color in my dogs is as satisfying as the melodies the musician evokes from the pianoforte, the harmonies the artist lays with his brush on his canvas or the sculptor fashions from marble or bronze.
“‘What is it good for?’ It is a stupid question. What is beauty good for? Something essential is lacking in any nature that does not find joy in some one or more of the manifold aspects of beauty.
“For many years now my Chihuahuas have helped to satisfy this hunger for the beautiful. From the first one I ever owned, down to the latest born of my present family, there has been a succession of canine individuals as distinct in beauty and lovableness as one may find in human beings. And unlike human beings, I have yet to find in my dogs any ingratitude. Always they repay in devoted affection the care and tenderness expended for their comfort and well being.”
Speaking of times past, enjoy this brief newsreel footage of the 1960 Westminster show, featuring a look at English Springer Spaniel judging: