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.
Podcasts are audio-based episodic shows that you can subscribe to and listen to wherever you are and whenever you want—at home, in the car, on your commute. You can find a podcast on just about any topic you can imagine, including dogs! 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.
Down and Back: Stories From the American Kennel Club Archives debuts on your favorite podcast platforms June 26, 2020.
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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”