Mount Vernon Celebrates America’s Purebred Dog Heritage

Currently a measure is pending in the US Senate that would create a National Purebred Dog Day to celebrate the importance of purebred dogs, whose predictability and purpose have played an important role in the lives of Americans since the birth of our nation.

In fact, the “Father of Our Country” George Washington was an avid dog owner and breeder.  His broad variety of purpose-bred dogs performed a number of important jobs, from a Greyhound named “Azor” that accompanied Washington throughout much of the Revolutionary War to his terriers that helped protect his Mount Vernon farm from rats and other creatures that threatened the animals and crops to a Dalmatian coach dog. 

Washington was also an avid sportsman and according to the Mount Vernon website, spaniels, hounds, and even a “great Newfoundland dog” were used for hunting on the grounds of his home.  Washington had a large breeding program and is credited with developing the American Foxhound, one of our country’s first native breeds and one of the first breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club. 

Today, visitors to George Washington’s Mount Vernon can learn more about Washington’s passion for dogs with the new “All the President’s Pups Walking Tour.”   Dog owners may come to Mount Vernon with their leashed dogs and take a tour of the grounds and learn more about Washington’s dogs and breeding program (Visit the website for more information on the tour and the policies for bringing dogs to Mount Vernon).

Purebred dogs have played a pivotal role in the lives of our nation’s Founding Fathers, and continue to be an important part of America’s heritage and traditions.  The AKC invites you to contact your US Senators and ask them to support Senate Resolution 447, which honors and celebrates the pride, predictability, purpose, and preservation of purebred dogs and would establish a National Purebred Dog Day.