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AKC Dog Podcast Down and Back

In our eight-part inaugural podcast season of Down and Back: Stories From the American Kennel Club Archives, host Bud Boccone will tell the tales of breeds, dogs, and personalities who’ve shaped America (and Americans) over generations. Using the American Kennel Club’s historical records, archival footage, oral histories, interviews, and more, the show will bring the stories of purebred dogs to life in a new and innovative format for a whole new generation of listeners.

The show will always connect the history of the sport of purebred dogs with the modern day to leave listeners with an understanding of how the AKC has impacted the lives of every dog. This podcast provides a unique opportunity to delve into the archives and contextualize the phenomenal history of purpose-bred dogs in America as only the AKC can. In the show notes presented below, you can learn more about each dog breed featured in the series. Stay tuned for Season Two, coming soon!

  • Episode 1: The Emergence of Dog Obedience in America +

    This podcast episode features the surprisingly modern story of canine obedience and introduces you to the remarkable breeds who inspired it.

    Today’s tale has a human element, as most of the best dog stories do. It follows the lives of Ms. Helen Whitehouse Walker and Ms. Blanche Saunders, who are recognized for legitimizing obedience trials within the AKC, popularizing poodles in the United States, and entrancing an entire nation by showcasing their dog handling skills on the road. Please enjoy this brief, yet bountiful history of humans learning new tricks from dogs and their purpose-bred traits.

    Bonafide Bits

    • Poodle roots can be traced back to Germany where they were bred for retrieving ducks
    • Munito, the famous “Learned Dog” franchise in Europe, was based on a dog’s ability to comprehend cues from its handler
    • Breeds that excel at obedience training include Border Collie, German Shepherd Dog, Golden Retriever, and Doberman Pinscher
    • Obedience is the sport of tapping into abilities for which dogs are already hard-wired
    • In 1936, the American Kennel Club acknowledged Obedience as a sport

    Featured Breeds

    Poodle
    Forget those old stereotypes of Poodles as sissy dogs. Poodles are eager, athletic, and wickedly smart “real dogs” of remarkable versatility. The Standard, with his greater size and strength, is the best all-around athlete of the family, but all Poodles can be trained with great success. Discover more about Poodles at AKC’s Poodle (Standard) Breed Biography.

    Border Collie
    The intelligence, athleticism, and trainability of Borders have a perfect outlet in agility training. Having a job to perform — like agility, herding, or obedience work — is key to Border happiness. Amiable among friends, they may be reserved with strangers. Discover more about Border Collies at AKC’s Border Collie Breed Biography.

    German Shepherd Dog
    There are many reasons why German Shepherd Dogs stand in the front rank of canine royalty, but experts say their defining attribute is character: loyalty, courage, confidence, the ability to learn commands for many tasks, and the willingness to put their life on the line in defense of loved ones. German Shepherd Dogs will be gentle family pets and steadfast guardians, but, the breed standard says, there’s a “certain aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships.” Discover more about German Shepherd Dogs at AKC’s German Shepherd Dog Breed Biography.

    Golden Retriever
    The Golden Retriever, an exuberant Scottish gundog of great beauty, stands among America’s most popular dog breeds. They are serious workers at hunting and fieldwork, as guides for the blind, and in search-and-rescue, enjoy obedience and other competitive events, and have an endearing love of life when not at work. Discover more about Golden Retrievers at AKC’s Golden Retriever Breed Biography.

    Doberman Pinscher
    Sleek and powerful, possessing both a magnificent physique and keen intelligence, the Doberman Pinscher is one of dogkind’s noblemen. This incomparably fearless and vigilant breed stands proudly among the world’s finest protection dogs. Discover more about Doberman Pinschers at AKC’s Doberman Pinscher Breed Biography.

    Newfoundland
    The massive Newfoundland is a strikingly large, powerful working dog of heavy bone and dignified bearing. The sweet-tempered Newfie is a famously good companion and has earned a reputation as a patient and watchful “nanny dog” for kids. Discover more about Newfoundlands at AKC’s Newfoundland Breed Biography.

    Dachshund
    The famously long, low silhouette, ever-alert expression, and bold, vivacious personality of the Dachshund have made him a superstar of the canine kingdom. Dachshunds come in two sizes and three coat types of various colors and patterns. Discover more about Dachshunds at AKC’s Dachshund Breed Biography.

    Shareables From This Episode

    “Obedience begins and ends with training humans.”

    “Through the last half-century, there has been a renaissance in thinking about breed attributes.”

    “Ms. Helen Whitehouse Walker never set out to champion the Poodle but eventually became a Poodle evangelist.”

  • Episode 2: Uniquely Urban: Dogs Bred for Life in the City +

    This podcast episode highlights centuries of purpose breeding that allows certain dogs to be perfectly adapted for city bars, parks, and cramped studio apartments.

    History is still unclear as to whether a human chose to relocate an Bulldog in France or if the Bulldog got a whiff of the Moulin Rouge in Paris and fled the English countryside for a taste of the avant-garde. Nonetheless, some dogs have been purposefully bred as companions for humans who desire to live amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s up to their human companions to give dogs a comfortable lifestyle but with proper care, any dog can be a city dog.

    Bonafide Bits

    • Bulldogs were bred with jaws strong enough to pin a bull to the ground
    • In 1897, Toulouse-Lautrec included the portrait of a French Bulldog when he captured a saucy Paris night scene
    • Several Dali Lamas bred Lhasa Apsos in Buddhist monasteries
    • In 1893, the AKC officially recognized the distinctly American Boston Terrier
    • In 2018, a Great Dane was featured in New Yorker Magazine

    Featured Breeds

    Bulldog
    Kind but courageous, friendly but dignified, the Bulldog is a thick-set, low-slung, well-muscled bruiser whose “sourmug” face is the universal symbol of courage and tenacity. These docile, loyal companions adapt well to town or country. Discover more about Bulldogs at AKC’s Bulldog Breed Biography.

    French Bulldog
    The one-of-a-kind French Bulldog, with his large bat ears and even disposition, is one of the world’s most popular small-dog breeds, especially among city dwellers. The Frenchie is playful, alert, adaptable, and completely irresistible. Discover more about French Bulldogs at AKC’s French Bulldog Breed Biography.

    Brussels Griffon
    Tipping the scales at no more than 12 pounds, this human-like toy of complex character has enough personality for 10 ordinary dogs. A sensitive companion for discerning grownups, the Brussels Griffon is smart, devoted, and comically self-important. Discover more about Brussels Griffons at AKC’s Brussels Griffon Breed Biography.

    Lhasa Apso
    The lavishly coated Lhasa Apso is a thousand-year-old breed who served as sentinels at palaces and monasteries isolated high in the Himalayas. Smart, confident, and complex, Lhasas are family comedians but regally aloof with strangers. Discover more about Lhasa Apsos at AKC’s Lhasa Apso Breed Biography.

    Havanese
    Havanese, the only dog breed native to Cuba, are cheerful little dogs with a spring in their step and a gleam in their big, brown eyes. These vivacious and sociable companions are becoming especially popular with American city dwellers. Discover more about Havanese at AKC’s Havanese Breed Biography.

    Bolognese
    A small companion breed originating in Italy, the Bolognese is a calm, faithful dog with a long, fluffy pure-white coat. They are very playful, easy-going, and love people. Discover more about Bolognese at AKC’s Bolognese Breed Biography.

    Coton de Tulear
    The Coton de Tulear, “Royal Dog of Madagascar,” is a bright, happy-go-lucky companion dog whose favorite activities include clowning, cavorting, and following their special human around the house. The Coton is small but robustly sturdy. Discover more about Coton de Tulears at AKC’s Coton de Tulear Breed Biography.

    Bedlington Terrier
    Graceful terriers in sheep’s clothing, Bedlington Terriers, named for the English mining shire where they were first bred, are genial housemates, alert watchdogs, versatile athletes, and irresistibly cuddly TV-time companions. Discover more about Bedlington Terriers at AKC’s Bedlington Terrier Breed Biography.

    Boston Terrier
    The Boston Terrier is a lively little companion recognized by his tight tuxedo jacket, sporty but compact body, and the friendly glow in his big, round eyes. His impeccable manners have earned him the nickname “The American Gentleman.” Discover more about Boston Terriers at AKC’s Boston Terrier Breed Biography.

    Greyhound
    The champion sprinter of dogdom, the Greyhound is a gentle, noble, and sweet-tempered companion with an independent spirit. For thousands of years, these graceful hounds have been an object of fascination for artists, poets, and kings. Discover more about Greyhounds at AKC’s Greyhound Breed Biography.

    Great Dane
    The easygoing Great Dane, the mighty “Apollo of Dogs,” is a total joy to live with—but owning a dog of such imposing size, weight, and strength is a commitment not to be entered into lightly. This breed is indeed great, but not a Dane. Discover more about Great Danes at AKC’s Great Dane Breed Biography.

    Leonberger
    The Leonberger is a lush-coated giant of German origin. They have a gentle nature and serene patience and they relish the companionship of the whole family. Discover more about Leonbergers at AKC’s Leonberger Breed Biography.

    Shareables From This Episode

    “Many companion breeds proudly bear the name of the city where they were bred. How many can you name?”

    “City dog breeds share a few key traits including size, intelligence, sociability, and quite often stylish hairdos.”

    “With proper care, any dog can be a city dog.”

  • Episode 3: Hollywood Hounds: Transforming American Dog Culture Through Films +

    This podcast episode we’ll be looking at some of the biggest canine stars in showbiz and their lasting cultural impact in Hollywood and throughout our culture.

    The Dog Star, Canis major, may be the brightest star in the sky, but it pales in comparison to the dog stars of the big screen. When Timmy fell down the well, audiences knew Lassie would come to his rescue, and when Pongo prevailed over Cruella, movie fans cheered. For more than a century, humans have been paying to watch canine conundrums and hounds be heroes. Some movies lead to an uptick of ownership of a particular breed, based on a character a dog played in a film. Listen in to discover why humans watch dogs.

    Bonafide Bits

    • In 1921, Strongheart, a German Shepherd Dog, played the role of Flash in the Hollywood movie, “The Silent Call.”
    • Rin Tin Tin starred in 27 motion pictures, and “The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin” was a popular radio program.
    • The real name of the forever famous Toto from the “Wizard of Oz” was Terry.
    • Unfortunately, Walt Disney’s movie, “101 Dalmatians” made Dalmatians America’s fad-dog at the time.
    • Christopher Guest’s “Best in Show” is a mockumentary that portrays dogs as dignified and handlers as disobedient.

    Featured Breeds

    German Shepherd Dog
    There are many reasons why German Shepherd Dogs stand in the front rank of canine royalty, but experts say their defining attribute is character: loyalty, courage, confidence, the ability to learn commands for many tasks, and the willingness to put their life on the line in defense of loved ones. German Shepherd Dogs will be gentle family pets and steadfast guardians, but, the breed standard says, there’s a “certain aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships.” Discover more about German Shepherd Dogs at AKC’s German Shepherd Dog Breed Biography.

    Collie
    The Collie is a lithe, strong, responsive, active dog, carrying no useless timber, standing naturally straight and firm. The deep, moderately wide chest shows strength, the sloping shoulders and well-bent hocks indicate speed and grace, and the face shows high intelligence. The Collie presents an impressive, proud picture of true balance, each part being in harmonious proportion to every other part and to the whole. Discover more about Collies at AKC’s Collie Breed Biography.

    Staffordshire Bull Terrier
    From his brawling past, the muscular but agile Staffordshire Bull Terrier retains the traits of courage and tenacity. Happily, good breeding transformed this former gladiator into a mild, playful companion with a special feel for kids. Discover more about Staffordshire Bull Terriers at AKC’s Staffordshire Bull Terrier Breed Biography.

    Smooth Fox Terrier
    The Smooth Fox Terrier, called the “gentleman of the terrier world,” is a lively, gregarious terrier with a devil-may-care attitude, originally developed for Britain’s traditional foxhunts. Discover more about Smooth Fox Terriers at AKC’s Smooth Fox Terrier Breed Biography.

    Standard Schnauzer
    The bold, bewhiskered Standard Schnauzer is a high-spirited farm dog from Germany. They are the sometimes-willful but ever-reliable medium-sized members of the Schnauzer family of breeds. The Standard’s sporty look is a canine classic. Discover more about Standard Schnauzers at AKC’s Standard Schnauzer Breed Biography.

    Wire Fox Terrier
    The Wire Fox Terrier breed standard says they should be “on the tip-toe of expectation at the slightest provocation.” Once a mainstay of traditional British fox hunts, today’s Wire is a handsome and amusing companion and master show dog. Discover more about Wire Fox Terriers at AKC’s Wire Fox Terrier Breed Biography.

    Cairn Terrier
    Cairn Terriers are happy, busy little earth dogs originally bred to fearlessly root out foxes and other small, furred prey in the rocky Scottish countryside. Curious and alert, Cairns like having a place where they can explore and dig. Discover more about Cairn Terriers at AKC’s Cairn Terrier Breed Biography.

    Dalmatian
    The dignified Dalmatian, dogdom’s citizen of the world, is famed for his spotted coat and unique job description. During their long history, these “coach dogs” have accompanied the horse-drawn rigs of nobles and firefighters. Discover more about Dalmatians at AKC’s Dalmatian Breed Biography.

    Bloodhounds
    The world-famous “Sleuth Hound” does one thing better than any creature on earth: find people who are lost or hiding. An off-duty Bloodhound is among the canine kingdom’s most docile citizens, but he’s relentless and stubborn on a scent. Discover more about Bloodhounds at AKC’s Bloodhound Breed Biography.

    Shareables From this Episode:

    “For the studios, accustomed to the foibles of high-priced divas and scandal-prone, egocentric humans, reliable, obedient ‘dog stars’ were manna from heaven.”

    “Every type of dog needs just the right owner.”

    “Which furry film star is your favorite?”

  • Episode 4: Saved From Extinction: Endangered Breeds Brought Back From the Brink +

    In this podcast episode, we will be exploring the ebb and flow of different dog breeds throughout history and what some extraordinary people have done (and are currently doing) to bring breeds back from the brink.

    Ever since the first human domesticated the first canine, our species have been forever intricately linked. Throughout history, dogs have lessened our load, protected our assets, and been faithful companions. So, it’s only fair we return the favor. But, when a purpose-bred dog breed has fulfilled its purpose, who helps preserve four-legged family lines? The champions of endangered breeds, that’s who. They create breed awareness, fund breeding programs, and even collect “seeds” to keep beloved breeds from going extinct. Find out more about the dedicated cynophiles who have kept their favorite breeds’ extinction at bay.

    Bonafide Bits

    • In 1949, Frida Kahlo affectionately includes her beloved Señor Xolotl in her poignant “The Love Embrace of the Universe, the Earth, Myself, Diego, and Señor Xolotl.”

      The Love Embrace of the Universe, the Earth (Mexico), Myself, Diego, and Señor Xolotl Frida Kahlo painting
      The Love Embrace of the Universe, the Earth (Mexico), Myself, Diego, and Señor Xolotl, Frida Kahlo, 1949
    • In 1955, Archduchess Felix of Austria funded an expedition led by Norman Pelham Wright to find the endangered Xoloitzcuintli for breeding purposes.
    • Food shortages and atomic bombs almost wiped out Akitas.
    • During World War II, Great Pyrenees hauled artillery over the Pyrenees mountains to aid French soldiers.
    • The Red Army of communist China exacerbated the decline of the Chinese Shar-Pei.
    • There are fewer than 800 Otterhounds left, making them rarer than the giant panda.

    Featured Breeds

    Xoloitzcuintli
    The 3,000-year-old Xoloitzcuintli (pronounced “show-low-eats-QUEENT-lee”), the ancient Aztec dog of the gods, is today a loving companion and vigilant watchdog. The alert and loyal Xolo comes in three sizes, and either hairless or coated varieties. Discover more about Xoloitzcuintlis at AKC’s Xoloitzcuintli Dog Breed Biography.

    Weimaraner
    The Weimaraner, Germany’s sleek and swift “Gray Ghost,” is beloved by hunters and pet owners alike for their friendliness, obedience, and beauty. They enjoy exercise, and plenty of it, along with lots of quality time with their humans. Discover more about Weimaraners at AKC’s Weimaraner Breed Biography.

    Otterhound
    Big, boisterous, and affectionate, the Otterhound was bred in medieval England for the now-outlawed activity of otter hunting. This scarce breed is known for his dense shaggy coat, webbed feet, acute sense of smell, and affinity for swimming. Discover more about Otterhounds at AKC’s Otterhound Breed Biography.

    Leonberger
    The Leonberger is a lush-coated giant of German origin. They have a gentle nature and serene patience and they relish the companionship of the whole family. Discover more about Leonbergers at AKC’s Leonberger Breed Biography.

    Akita
    Akitas are muscular, double-coated dogs of ancient Japanese lineage famous for their dignity, courage, and loyalty. In their native land, they are venerated as family protectors and symbols of good health, happiness, and long life. Discover more about Akitas at AKC’s Akita Breed Biography.

    Polish Lowland Sheepdog
    A shaggy-coated herding dog who thrives on exercise and hard work, the Polish Lowland Sheepdog is clever, confident, and a bit stubborn. Compact, alert, and adaptable, they are beloved companions and watchdogs of Polish city dwellers. Discover more about Polish Lowland Sheepdogs at AKC’s Polish Lowland Sheepdog Breed Biography.

    Great Pyrenees
    The Great Pyrenees is a large, thickly coated, and immensely powerful working dog bred to deter sheep-stealing wolves and other predators on snowy mountaintops. Pyrs today are mellow companions and vigilant guardians of home and family. Discover more about Great Pyrenees at AKC’s Great Pyrenees Breed Biography.

    Chinese Shar-Pei
    This fascinating but challenging breed of ancient pedigree is steadfastly loyal to family but standoffish with strangers. The Chinese Shar-Pei has physical characteristics that make him a one-of-a-kind companion and guardian dog. Discover more about Chinese Shar-Peis at AKC’s Chinese Shar-Pei Breed Biography.

    Dandie Dinmont Terrier
    The unique-looking Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a tough but dignified little exterminator. Sturdily built for the rigors of farm life, they will agreeably adapt to city living. Dandies are compact companions blessed with a big personality. Discover more about Dandie Dinmont Terriers at AKC’s Dandie Dinmont Terrier Breed Biography.

    Komondor
    A powerfully large Hungarian flock guardian covered in profuse white cords from head to tail, the Komondor is among the world’s most recognizable breeds. The independent and protective Kom requires a firm, experienced hand at training. Discover more about Komondors at AKC’s Komondor Breed Biography.

    Sussex Spaniel
    “Placid, affectionate, even-tempered, true-blue, loyal” — all are words used to describe the Sussex Spaniel, a slow-but-steady hunter, and congenial house dog. His frowning expression is delightfully at odds with a typically cheerful nature. Discover more about Sussex Spaniels at AKC’s Sussex Spaniel Breed Biography.

    Shareables From This Episode

    “The Otterhound is rarer than the giant panda. Right now there are fewer than 800 Otterhounds globally.”

    “Dog breed extinction can happen for many reasons, but it is typically linked to societal disruption and upheaval.”

    “Fossilized remains of a Great Pyrenees have been dated back to 1000 BC.”

  • Episode 5: Working Class Heroes & Upper Class Companions +

    In this podcast episode, we uncover the backstories of how magnificent working-class dogs and their pampered brethren helped shape the story of humans.

    For thousands of years, different dog breeds have been specifically trained and kept based on the needs of the households they occupied. To protect their food supply and livelihoods, peasants and farmers required dogs to maintain flocks, guard the house, and kill rodents while lofty upper-class citizens kept sizable kennels of hunting, toy, and companion dogs to show their stature in society. Many aristocrats even included their beloved pets in their commissioned portraiture and art collections. Let’s take a gander at the former predators who could drive geese to market and those who could poshly pose for a painting.

    Bonafide Bits

    • The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, or “Swissie,” is a descendant of the war dogs used by Julius Caesar’s armies and can pull thousands of pounds.
    • Just the scent of urine from the Great Pyrenees is enough to keep predators away.
    • Mary Queen of Scots thought Maltese Terriers were heads above the rest.
    • Queen Victoria owned up to 35 Pomeranians at once.
    • Pembroke Welsh Corgis are bred to herd cattle and drive geese to market.
    • Chaser, a Border Collie memorized more than 1,000 different toy names.

    Featured Breeds

    Border Collie
    A remarkably bright workaholic, the Border Collie is an amazing dog—maybe a bit too amazing for owners without the time, energy, or means to keep it occupied. These energetic dogs will settle down for cuddle time when the workday is done. Discover more about Border Collies at AKC’s Border Collie Breed Biography.

    Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
    The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a large, immensely strong worker famous for a dense coat of striking black, red, and white markings. Dependable and faithful Swissies earned their feed as herders, drafters, and all-around pasture dogs. Discover more about Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs at AKC’s Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Breed Biography.

    Great Pyrenees
    The Great Pyrenees is a large, thickly coated, and immensely powerful working dog bred to deter sheep-stealing wolves and other predators on snowy mountaintops. Pyrs today are mellow companions and vigilant guardians of home and family. Discover more about Great Pyrenees at AKC’s Great Pyrenees Breed Biography.

    Pyrenean Shepherd
    Enthusiastic, mischievous, and whip-smart, the Pyrenean Shepherd is an indefatigable herder descended from ancient sheepdogs of the Pyrenees mountains. Tough and sinewy Pyr Sheps come in “rough-faced” and “smooth-faced” coat varieties. Discover more about Pyrenean Shepherds at AKC’s Pyrenean Shepherd Breed Biography.

    Shih Tzu
    That face! Those big dark eyes looking up at you with that sweet expression! It’s no surprise that Shih Tzu owners have been so delighted with this little “Lion Dog” for a thousand years. Where Shih Tzus go, giggles and mischief follow. Discover more about Shih Tzus at AKC’s Shih Tzu Breed Biography.

    Maltese
    The tiny Maltese, “Ye Ancient Dogge of Malta,” has been sitting in the lap of luxury since the Bible was a work in progress. Famous for their show-stopping, floor-length coat, Maltese are playful, charming, and adaptable toy companions. Discover more about Malteses at AKC’s Maltese Breed Biography.

    Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
    The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel wears his connection to British history in his breed’s name. Cavaliers are the best of two worlds, combining the gentle attentiveness of a toy breed with the verve and athleticism of a sporting spaniel. Discover more about Cavalier King Charles Spaniels at AKC’s Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Breed Biography.

    Italian Greyhound
    A true Greyhound in miniature, the elegant Italian Greyhound is an alert, playful, and highly affectionate toy companion. IGs make decorative couch dogs, but at heart, they are flash-and-dash coursing hounds with an instinct for pursuit. Discover more about Italian Greyhounds at AKC’s Italian Greyhound Breed Biography.

    Pomeranian
    The tiny Pomeranian, long a favorite of royals and commoners alike, has been called the ideal companion. The glorious coat, smiling, foxy face, and vivacious personality have helped make the Pom one of the world’s most popular toy breeds. Discover more about Pomeranians at AKC’s Pomeranian Breed Biography.

    Briard
    The Briard packs so much loyalty, love, and spirit into its ample frame that it’s often described as a “heart wrapped in fur.” The dashing good looks of these muscular Frenchmen radiate a distinct aura of Gallic romance and elegance. Discover more about Briards at AKC’s Briard Breed Biography.

    Beauceron
    The Beauceron is imposing and powerful, but also remarkably smart, spirited, and a versatile herder—imagine a Border Collie’s brain in a 100-pound body. They are especially beloved by women as a dashing but sensitive companion and protector. Discover more about Beaucerons at AKC’s Beauceron Breed Biography.

    Bouvier des Flandres
    They don’t build ’em like this anymore. Burly and barrel-chested, the tousle-coated dog of Flandres is from a time and place where a dog had to work like … well, a dog. These smart and steady all-purpose workers make excellent watchdogs. Discover more about Bouvier des Flandres’ at AKC’s Bouvier des Flandres Breed Biography.

    Berger Picard
    The Berger Picard is a lanky herding dog of strong bone and sturdy build. Picards spent centuries as take-charge independent problem-solvers, so early socialization and positive training are necessary to cope with their stubborn streak. Discover more about Berger Picards at AKC’s Berger Picard Breed Biography.

    Belgian Malinois
    The smart, confident, and versatile Belgian Malinois is a world-class worker who forges an unbreakable bond with his human partner. To deny a Mal activity and the pleasure of your company is to deprive him of his very reasons for being. Discover more about Belgian Malinois’ at AKC’s Belgian Malinois Breed Biography.

    Belgian Sheepdog
    The Belgian Sheepdog is a highly trainable herder whose versatility and intelligence is the stuff of canine legend. This is a breed built for hard work and plenty of it. These sensitive souls crave human companionship and abhor neglect. Discover more about Belgian Sheepdogs at AKC’s Belgian Sheepdog Breed Biography.

    Belgian Tervuren
    The elegant, agile Belgian Tervuren is a bright and self-assured herding dog of medium size, known to be affectionate and possessive with loved ones. Lots of hard work and challenging play is heaven for this tireless, do-it-all dog. Discover more about Belgian Tervurens at AKC’s Belgian Tervuren Breed Biography.

    Belgian Laekenois
    Strong, agile, and full of life, the Belgian Laekenois (pronounced “Lak-in-wah”) is one of four native dogs of Belgium. Although similar in body and temperament to the Malinois, Shepherd, and Tervuren, the Laekenois differs in coat color, texture, and length, as well as region of origin. Discover more about Belgian Laekenois’ at AKC’s Belgian Laekenois Breed Biography.

    Borzoi
    Among the most impressively beautiful of all dogs, the aristocratic Borzoi is cherished for his calm, agreeable temperament. In full stride, he is a princely package of strength, grace, and glamour flying by at 35 to 40 miles per hour. Discover more about Borzois at AKC’s Borzoi Breed Biography.

    English Foxhound
    The English Foxhound is a substantial galloping hound of great stamina. His long legs are straight as a gatepost, and just as sturdy. The back is perfectly level. And the chest is very deep, “girthing” as much as 31 inches on a hound measuring 24 inches at the shoulder, ensuring plenty of lung power for a grueling day’s hunt. Discover more about English Foxhounds at AKC’s English Foxhound Breed Biography.

    Wire Fox Terrier
    The Wire Fox Terrier breed standard says they should be “on the tip-toe of expectation at the slightest provocation.” Once a mainstay of traditional British fox hunts, today’s Wire is a handsome and amusing companion and master show dog. Discover more about Wire Fox Terriers at AKC’s Wire Fox Terrier Breed Biography.

    Samoyed
    The Samoyed is a substantial but graceful dog standing anywhere from 19 to a bit over 23 inches at the shoulder. Powerful, tireless, with a thick all-white coat impervious to cold—Sammies are perfectly beautiful but highly functional. Even their most delightful feature, a perpetual smile, has a practical function: The upturned corners of the mouth keep Sammies from drooling, preventing icicles from forming on the face. Discover more about Samoyeds at AKC’s Samoyed Breed Biography.

    Labrador Retriever
    The sweet-faced, lovable Labrador Retriever is America’s most popular dog breed. Labs are friendly, outgoing, and high-spirited companions who have more than enough affection to go around for a family looking for a medium-to-large dog. Discover more about Labrador Retrievers at AKC’s Labrador Retriever Breed Biography.

    Pembroke Welsh Corgi
    Among the most agreeable of all small house dogs, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a strong, athletic, and lively little herder who is affectionate and companionable without being needy. They are one of the world’s most popular herding breeds. Discover more about Pembroke Welsh Corgis at AKC’s Pembroke Welsh Corgi Breed Biography.

    Shareables From This Episode

    “Did you know Pembroke Welsh Corgis and Siberian Huskies are cousins?”

    “Many of today’s most intelligent, strongest, and most responsive dogs descend from breeds taught to help peasants, hunters, and the poor working class.”

    “Roman iconography tells us toy dog breeds were a sign of stature.”

  • Episode 6: Stately Canine Sidekicks of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. +

    In this podcast episode, we tour a couple of centuries of presidential dogs, the canine confidants of our Commanders-in-Chief.

    America truly is the land of opportunity. Just ask the lucky dogs who went from rags to riches solely from being in the right place, on the side of the road, at the right time. Dogs have been a welcome presence in the White House since the time of George Washington.

    For an in-person tour through Presidential pups, visit the AKC Museum of the Dog in New York. The Museum’s Presidential Dogs exhibit opens to the public on September 8, 2020.

    Bonafide Bits

    • George Washington was a dog lover and a serious breeder
    • Warren G. Harding’s Airedale Terrier, Laddie Boy, was featured in thousands of press stories
    • Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Scottish Terrier, Fala, was mentioned in the President’s speech to labor leaders
    • George H. W. Bush’s English Springer Spaniel, Millie, became a best-selling author
    • Barack Obama gifted his daughters a Portuguese Water Dog puppy after winning the Presidential election

    Featured Breeds

    American Foxhound
    American Foxhounds are good-natured, low-maintenance hounds who get on well with kids, dogs, even cats, but come with special considerations for prospective owners. They are closely associated with Revolutionary heroes and the rolling estates of old Virginia. Discover more about American Foxhounds at AKC’s American Foxhound Breed Biography.

    Briard
    The Briard packs so much loyalty, love, and spirit into its ample frame that it’s often described as a “heart wrapped in fur.” The dashing good looks of these muscular Frenchmen radiate a distinct aura of Gallic romance and elegance. Discover more about Briards at AKC’s Briard Breed Biography.

    Airedale Terrier
    His size, strength, and unflagging spirit have earned the Airedale Terrier the nickname “The King of Terriers.” The Airedale stands among the world’s most versatile dog breeds and has distinguished himself as a hunter, athlete, and companion. Discover more about Airedale Terriers at AKC’s Airedale Terrier Breed Biography.

    Bullmastiff
    Fearless at work, docile at home, the Bullmastiff is a large, muscular guarder who pursued and held poachers in Merry Old England—merry, we suppose, for everyone but poachers. Bullmastiffs are the result of Bulldog and Mastiff crosses. Discover more about Bullmastiffs at AKC’s Bullmastiff Breed Biography.

    Irish Setter
    The Irish Setter is a high-spirited gundog known for grace, swiftness, and a flashy red coat. They are famously good family dogs: sweet-tempered companions for the folks, and rollicking playmates and tennis-ball fetchers for the children. Discover more about Irish Setters at AKC’s Irish Setter Breed Biography.

    English Setter
    The English Setter is a medium-sized sporting dog of sweet temper and show-stopping good looks. It is one of the AKC’s four British setters created to work on the distinctly different terrains of England, Ireland, and Scotland. Discover more about English Setters at AKC’s English Setter Breed Biography.

    German Shepherd Dog
    There are many reasons why German Shepherd Dogs stand in the front rank of canine royalty, but experts say their defining attribute is character: loyalty, courage, confidence, the ability to learn commands for many tasks, and the willingness to put their life on the line in defense of loved ones. German Shepherd Dogs will be gentle family pets and steadfast guardians, but, the breed standard says, there’s a “certain aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships.” Discover more about German Shepherd Dogs at AKC’s German Shepherd Dog Breed Biography.

    Great Dane
    The easygoing Great Dane, the mighty “Apollo of Dogs,” is a total joy to live with—but owning a dog of such imposing size, weight, and strength is a commitment not to be entered into lightly. This breed is indeed great, but not a Dane. Discover more about Great Danes at AKC’s Great Dane Breed Biography.

    Scottish Terrier
    A solidly compact dog of vivid personality, the Scottish Terrier is an independent, confident companion of high spirits. Scotties have a dignified, almost-human character. Their terrier persistence has earned the breed the nickname “the Diehard.” Discover more about Scottish Terriers at AKC’s Scottish Terrier Breed Biography.

    Cocker Spaniel
    The merry and frolicsome Cocker Spaniel, with his big, dreamy eyes and impish personality, is one of the world’s best-loved breeds. They were developed as hunting dogs, but Cockers gained their wide popularity as all-around companions. Discover more about Cocker Spaniels at AKC’s Cocker Spaniel Breed Biography.

    Beagle
    Not only is the Beagle an excellent hunting dog and loyal companion it is also happy-go-lucky, funny, and—thanks to its pleading expression—cute. They were bred to hunt in packs, so they enjoy company and are generally easygoing. Discover more about Beagles at AKC’s Beagle Breed Biography.

    Golden Retriever
    The Golden Retriever, an exuberant Scottish gundog of great beauty, stands among America’s most popular dog breeds. They are serious workers at hunting and fieldwork, as guides for the blind, and in search-and-rescue, enjoy obedience and other competitive events, and have an endearing love of life when not at work. Discover more about Golden Retrievers at AKC’s Golden Retriever Breed Biography.

    English Springer Spaniel
    The English Springer Spaniel is a sweet-faced, lovable bird dog of great energy, stamina, and brains. Sport hunters cherish the duality of working Springers: handsome, mannerly pets during the week, and trusty hunting buddies on weekends. Discover more about English Springer Spaniels at AKC’s English Springer Spaniel Breed Biography.

    Portuguese Water Dog
    The bright and biddable Portuguese Water Dog was bred to be an all-around fisherman’s helper. The robust, medium-sized body is covered by a coat of tight, low-shedding curls. They are eager and athletic companions built for water work. Discover more about Portuguese Water Dogs at AKC’s Portuguese Water Dog Breed Biography.

    Shareables From This Episode

    “Presidential pups have had popularity ratings their Commanders-in-Chief could only dream of.”

    “Franklin Delano Roosevelt had a Scottish Terrier named Murray the Outlaw of Falahill, popularly known as Fala.”

    “From bed to shed, America is the land of canine opportunity.”

  • Episode 7: War Dogs: The History of Hounds in Hostile Territory +

    In this podcast episode, we tour the story of canine warriors and how after thousands of years they are only now starting to get the respect and attention they deserve.

    From helping Roman legions break through enemy lines to protecting U.S. military forces in Vietnam, dogs have played an integral part in human warfare. Their keen sense of smell, ability to detect the slightest movements, and their undying loyalty has made them invaluable in conflict-burdened battle scenes around the world. Let’s look at the brave breeds who have saved countless human lives.

    Bonafide Bits

    • Romans attached vats of burning oil to the backs of the now-extinct ancient Molossus breed to break through enemy lines
    • Border Collies are the product of old Roman dogs and Viking spitzes bred for herding in the rocky highlands of Scotland
    • In 1884, Germany established the first military school for training war dogs
    • In 1908, the AKC recognized the Doberman Pinscher and the German Shepherd Dog breeds
    • AKC judge Ernest Loeb and his German Shepherd Dog left Hitler’s Germany to win Best of Breed at the Westminster Dog Show
    • The legendary Marine Devil Dog unit consisted of three German Shepherd Dogs and twenty-one Doberman Pinschers
    • Four thousand dogs served the United States military during the Vietnam War. Of those, 350 were killed in action and less than 200 returned home

    Featured Breeds

    Saluki
    Among the world’s oldest breeds, the slim but rugged Saluki was the hunting hound of kings for thousands of years. Salukis are swift and agile sprinters who love a good chase. They make gentle, dignified, and independent but loyal pets. Discover more about Salukis at AKC’s Saluki Breed Biography.

    Cane Corso
    Smart, trainable, and of noble bearing, the assertive and confident Cane Corso is a peerless protector. The Corso’s lineage goes back to ancient Roman times, and the breed’s name roughly translates from Latin as “bodyguard-dog.” Discover more about Cane Corsos at AKC’s Cane Corso Breed Biography.

    Neapolitan Mastiff
    The Neapolitan Mastiff is a huge, powerful guarder whose astounding appearance has intimidated intruders since the days of ancient Rome. Wary with strangers, the profusely wrinkled Mastino is sweet, placid, and steady among loved ones. Discover more about Neapolitan Mastiffs at AKC’s Neapolitan Mastiff Breed Biography.

    Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
    The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a large, immensely strong worker famous for a dense coat of striking black, red, and white markings. Dependable and faithful Swissies earned their feed as herders, drafters, and all-around pasture dogs. Discover more about Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs at AKC’s Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Breed Biography.

    Border Collie
    A remarkably bright workaholic, the Border Collie is an amazing dog—maybe a bit too amazing for owners without the time, energy, or means to keep it occupied. These energetic dogs will settle down for cuddle time when the workday is done. Discover more about Border Collies at AKC’s Border Collie Breed Biography.

    Icelandic Sheepdog
    The Icelandic Sheepdog, Iceland’s only native dog breed, is a charmingly friendly and faithful all-around herder of small-to-medium size. A densely coated Nordic spitz-type breed, Icelandic Sheepdogs are enthusiastically devoted to their humans. Discover more about Icelandic Sheepdogs at AKC’s Icelandic Sheepdog Breed Biography.

    Doberman Pinscher
    Sleek and powerful, possessing both a magnificent physique and keen intelligence, the Doberman Pinscher is one of dogkind’s noblemen. This incomparably fearless and vigilant breed stands proudly among the world’s finest protection dogs. Discover more about Doberman Pinschers at AKC’s Doberman Pinscher Breed Biography.

    German Shepherd Dog
    There are many reasons why German Shepherd Dogs stand in the front rank of canine royalty, but experts say their defining attribute is character: loyalty, courage, confidence, the ability to learn commands for many tasks, and the willingness to put their life on the line in defense of loved ones. German Shepherd Dogs will be gentle family pets and steadfast guardians, but, the breed standard says, there’s a “certain aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships.” Discover more about German Shepherd Dogs at AKC’s German Shepherd Dog Breed Biography.

    Boxer
    Loyalty, affection, intelligence, work ethic, and good looks: Boxers are the whole doggy package. Bright and alert, sometimes silly, but always courageous, the Boxer has been among America’s most popular dog breeds for a very long time. Discover more about Boxers at AKC’s Boxer Breed Biography.

    Belgian Sheepdog
    The Belgian Sheepdog is a highly trainable herder whose versatility and intelligence is the stuff of canine legend. This is a breed built for hard work and plenty of it. These sensitive souls crave human companionship and abhor neglect. Discover more about Belgian Sheepdogs at AKC’s Belgian Sheepdog Breed Biography.

    Giant Schnauzer
    The Giant Schnauzer is a larger and more powerful version of the Standard Schnauzer, and he should, as the breed standard says, be a “bold and valiant figure of a dog.” Great intelligence and loyalty make him a stellar worker and companion. Discover more about Giant Schnauzers at AKC’s Giant Schnauzer Breed Biography.

    Collie
    The majestic Collie, thanks to a hundred years as a pop-culture star, is among the world’s most recognizable and beloved dog breeds. The full-coated “rough” Collie is the more familiar variety, but there is also a sleek “smooth” Collie. Discover more about Collies at AKC’s Collie Breed Biography.

    Shareables From This Episode

    “It’s a testament to both that the Viet Cong put a bounty on both dogs and their military handlers.”

    “Dobermans were ideal scouts because of their ability to distinguish among various scents. They could detect body odor 100 yards away.”

    “Roman occupation influenced every aspect of British life, including dog breeding.”

  • Episode 8: What's in a Name? The Eponymous Individuals Who Bred Canine Companions +

    In this podcast episode, we recall the stories of the individuals who brought about great dog breeds and how some famous breeds came to be named for individuals.

    The world’s beloved dog breeds are the product of careful, patient breeding by many people over many years. But, occasionally, a great breed is the product of years of painstaking work by an individual. Some of these people are fondly remembered by generations of dog fanciers. Others are forgotten and some live on through their canine namesakes. They are the hobbyists, scientists, even tax collectors whose purpose-bred dogs make the world a better place. This is a short history of how some dogs got their names.

    Bonafide Bits

    • In the early 1950s, a Doberman Pinscher named Storm won Westminster’s Best in Show, two years in a row
    • The Gordon Setter was among the breeds recognized when the AKC was founded in 1884
    • Hollywood elites Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper, and Cary Grant all kept Sealyham Terriers
    • The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is the only breed named after a fictional character
    • North Carolina’s state dog, the Plott Hound, was bred to be a big game hunter
    • Sir Edwin Landseer’s painting ‘Alpine Mastiffs Reanimating a Distressed Traveler’ hangs in the AKC Museum of the Dog

    Featured Breeds

    Doberman Pinscher
    Sleek and powerful, possessing both a magnificent physique and keen intelligence, the Doberman Pinscher is one of dogkind’s noblemen. This incomparably fearless and vigilant breed stands proudly among the world’s finest protection dogs. Discover more about Doberman Pinschers at AKC’s Doberman Pinscher Breed Biography.

    Manchester Terrier
    The Manchester Terrier is named after the English city where much of the breed’s early development took place. Sleek, racy dogs who possess a terrier’s ratting instinct and the graceful contours of coursing hounds, Manchesters are spirited, bright, and athletic. They combine the streamlined grace of a coursing hound and the instincts of a fearless rat terrier. These racy dogs come in two size varieties: Standard (not exceeding 22 pounds) and Toy (not exceeding 12 pounds). Discover more about Manchester Terriers at AKC’s Manchester Terrier Breed Biographies: Manchester Terrier (Standard) | Manchester Terrier (Toy)

    German Pinscher
    The sleek, no-frills German Pinscher is among Germany’s oldest breeds and the prototype of other pinscher breeds. This energetic, super-intelligent dog was at first used as a rat catcher but can be trained for all types of canine work. Discover more about German Pinschers at AKC’s German Pinscher Breed Biography.

    Rottweiler
    The Rottweiler is a robust working breed of great strength descended from the mastiffs of the Roman legions. A gentle playmate and protector within the family circle, the Rottie observes the outside world with a self-assured aloofness. Discover more about Rottweilers at AKC’s Rottweiler Breed Biography.

    German Shepherd Dog
    There are many reasons why German Shepherd Dogs stand in the front rank of canine royalty, but experts say their defining attribute is character: loyalty, courage, confidence, the ability to learn commands for many tasks, and the willingness to put their life on the line in defense of loved ones. German Shepherd Dogs will be gentle family pets and steadfast guardians, but, the breed standard says, there’s a “certain aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships.” Discover more about German Shepherd Dogs at AKC’s German Shepherd Dog Breed Biography.

    Yorkshire Terrier
    Beneath the dainty, glossy, floor-length coat of a Yorkshire Terrier beats the heart of a feisty, old-time terrier. Yorkies earned their living as ratters in mines and mills long before they became the beribboned lapdogs of Victorian ladies. Discover more about Yorkshire Terriers at AKC’s Yorkshire Terrier Breed Biography.

    Maltese
    The tiny Maltese, “Ye Ancient Dogge of Malta,” has been sitting in the lap of luxury since the Bible was a work in progress. Famous for their show-stopping, floor-length coat, Maltese are playful, charming, and adaptable toy companions. Discover more about Malteses at AKC’s Maltese Breed Biography.

    Parson Russell Terrier
    The Parson Russell Terrier is bold and clever, swift enough to run with horses and fearless enough to dig in and flush a fox from his lair. Independent problem-solvers, PRTs can have their own ideas on how to go about things. Discover more about Parson Russell Terriers at AKC’s Parson Russell Terrier Breed Biography.

    Russell Terrier
    Upbeat, lively, inquisitive, and friendly, the jaunty Russell Terrier was developed by England’s “Sporting Parson” for use in foxhunts. The adorable Russell Terrier looks like a plush toy come to life but is an eager, tireless working terrier. Discover more about Russell Terriers at AKC’s Russell Terrier Breed Biography.

    Gordon Setter
    The Gordon Setter, the black avenger of the Highlands, is a substantial bird dog named for a Scottish aristocrat. Athletic and outdoorsy, Gordons are bold, confident, and resolute in the field, and sweetly affectionate by the fireside. Discover more about Gordon Setters at AKC’s Gordon Setter Breed Biography.

    English Setter
    The English Setter is a medium-sized sporting dog of sweet temper and show-stopping good looks. It is one of the AKC’s four British setters created to work on the distinctly different terrains of England, Ireland, and Scotland. Discover more about English Setters at AKC’s English Setter Breed Biography.

    Bloodhound
    The world-famous “Sleuth Hound” does one thing better than any creature on earth: find people who are lost or hiding. An off-duty Bloodhound is among the canine kingdom’s most docile citizens, but he’s relentless and stubborn on a scent. Discover more about Bloodhounds at AKC’s Bloodhound Breed Biography.

    Sealyham Terrier
    The Sealyham Terrier is brave and spirited, but not as spiky as smaller terriers. These sturdy, outgoing companions are recognized by their “fall,” the mass of hair covering the forehead. Sealy fans enjoy their dog’s sly sense of humor. Discover more about Sealyham Terriers at AKC’s Sealyham Terrier Breed Biography.

    Golden Retriever
    The Golden Retriever, an exuberant Scottish gundog of great beauty, stands among America’s most popular dog breeds. They are serious workers at hunting and fieldwork, as guides for the blind, and in search-and-rescue, enjoy obedience and other competitive events, and have an endearing love of life when not at work. Discover more about Golden Retrievers at AKC’s Golden Retriever Breed Biography.

    Dandie Dinmont Terrier
    The unique-looking Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a tough but dignified little exterminator. Sturdily built for the rigors of farm life, they will agreeably adapt to city living. Dandies are compact companions blessed with a big personality. Discover more about Dandie Dinmont Terriers at AKC’s Dandie Dinmont Terrier Breed Biography.

    Irish Wolfhound
    The calm, dignified, and kindly Irish Wolfhound is the tallest of all AKC breeds. Once fearless big-game hunters capable of dispatching a wolf in single combat, Wolfhounds today are the most serene and agreeable of companions. Discover more about Irish Wolfhounds at AKC’s Irish Wolfhound Breed Biography.

    Cesky Terrier
    The Cesky Terrier, national dog of the Czech Republic, is a clever and adventurous playmate for kids and an eager walking buddy for the folks. They are tenacious at work, but a little more laid back and tractable than the usual terrier. Discover more about Cesky Terriers at AKC’s Cesky Terrier Breed Biography.

    Plott Hound
    The Plott Hound, a hound with a curious name and a unique history, is a rugged, relentless hunting dog who is a mellow gentleman at home but fearless, implacable, and bold at work. This eye-catching scenthound is North Carolina’s state dog. Discover more about Plott Hounds at AKC’s Plott Hound Breed Biography.

    Saint Bernard
    The Saint Bernard does not rank very high in AKC registrations, but the genial giant of the Swiss Alps is nonetheless among the world’s most famous and beloved breeds. Saints are famously watchful, patient, and careful with children. Discover more about Saint Bernards at AKC’s Saint Bernard Breed Biography.

    Shareables From This Episode

    “When the Romans first beheld the Irish Wolfhound they were wonderstruck.”

    “The world’s beloved dog breeds are the product of careful, patient breeding by many people over many years”.

    “The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is the only dog breed named after a fictional character.”

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