Crufts and History of British Dog Breeds from 63 BC to 1886 AD

01/10/2012 09:18

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History of British Dog Breeds from 63 BC to 1886 AD

Imbued in English culture is a love of animals of all kinds. I have a website of funny animals on art prints. British Dog Breeds have been bred over the centuries and shown at dog shows up and down the British Isles. Below is the history of British Dogs and when they first appeared.

63-21 BC Strabo mentions the export of Hunting dogs from Britain
c50 AD The sons of Uisnech flee from Ulster to Scotland taking 150 hounds with them
c80-120 AD Occupation of Corbridge Roman Station in Northumberland by a garrison whose dogs have been identified as 'bassets' and 'small greyhounds'
161-180 AD Oppian describes a British dog called the agassaeus - probably a terrier
727 or 730 AD The death of St Hubert, Bishop of Liege ………credited with the development of the hounds bearing his name , the Black St Hubert ( possible ancestor of the Bloodhound) and the White St Hubert ( supposed ancestor of the Southern Hound).
c800 AD Pictess huntress with hounds portrayed coursing deer on the Hilton of Cadboll Slab, Scotland
c1016 First Forest Laws imposed by Canute ………keeping of greyhounds forbidden to anyone under the status of freeman.
c1070 Bayern Tapestry depicts only two breeds of dogs one which may be a mastiff
1301 Archbishop Winchesley allows the Abbot of Gloucester to keep twelve hunting dogs.
1335 Edward III imports Irish hounds.
1340-1400 Geoffrey Chaucer makes first reference to spaniels in The Wife of Bath's Prologue.
1371 Traditional date for combat between Aubrey de Montdidier's Irish hound and its master's murderer, Macaire.
1486 Dame Julian Berners describes the ideal greyhound as follows in her Book of St Albans; 'Headed like a snake, necked like a drake, footed like a cat, tailed life a rat, sided like a bream, chinned like a beam'
1570 Dr John Caius publishes a book about British dogs.
1576 Abraham Fleming describes the use of terriers for hunting fox and badger.
1621 Gervase Markham gives a description of the setting spaniel in The Art of Fowling. He also describes the water dog.
1653 Dorothy Osborne writes to Sir William Temple to ask for an Irish hound.
1730 Sir Robert Walpole tries unsuccessfully to establish the post of Master of the Royal Foxhounds.
1732 The Newfoundland dog under the name of 'the Bear Dog' is described as being in use in England as a guard-dog and for turning water wheels.
c1770 Oliver Goldsmith, Irish author of Animated Nature, says that Irish hounds are rare and the largest he has seen is 'about four feet high'.
1780 Ashdown Park Coursing Society begun.
1782 Huo Meynell forms his pack at Quorndon from Arundel hounds…….
1787 Foxhounds pedigrees begin.
1790 One of the eight remaining Irish hounds is measured by A.R.Lambert who records it to be 36inches from hind toes to hind shoulders and 28!/2 inches from two to fore shoulder.
1796 Dog population estimated at 1 million.
1800 Edwards depicts the rough and smooth coated collie.
1800-1877 Edwarde Laverack , the developer of the English Setters called Laveracks.
1803 Willam Taplin declares the Irish Hound probably extinct.
1815 Guy Mannering is published by Sir Walter Scott , in which Daniel Dinmont Terriers are described
1815 The Reverend John ( 'Jack') Russell begins breeding terriers.
1820 The Bedlington terrier supposedly introduced from Holland but a weaver of Longhorsley.
1827 Death of the Duke of Gordon , originator of the Gordon Setter.
1836 The Waterloo Cup Meet begins at Sefton Altcar, near Liverpool. Silver collars are awarded to the winners till 1830 when a cup is instituted.
1843 Skye Terrier first mentioned
1847 A description of the 'English terrier' suggests that it is a Manchester terrier.
1850-1891 Captain John Edwarde develops the Sealyham on his estate at Sealyham in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire.
1858 National Coursing Club formed.
1859 First dog show , at Newcastle.
c1860 The Hin. Dudley Marjoribanks ( later Lord Tweedmouth) starts golden retrievers from a yellow retriever, one yellow pup in a litter of black wavy-coated pups that he has bought from a Brighton cobbler.
1862 Captain G.A.Graham attempts to revive the great Irish hound, using deerhound blood.
1870 A Mr W.C of Halifax, Nova Scotia mentions the report that the Beothuk Indians had ' a dog , but that it was a small breed…..The Labrador dog is  a distinct breed ………..formerly they were only to be met with on that part of the coast of Labrador which to us is known as the South Shore of the mainland in the Straits of Belle Isle.
1873 Kennel Club set up.
1877 Foxhound Show at Peterborough founded.
1882 Greyhound Stud Book.
1886 First Crufts Show . Terriers only.

I have a hobby website where I have on display various Dog Breeds and Funny Dogs on fine art prints by various artists from 17th. Century to 1930’s.


Crufts the Iconic Dog Show and its History

As an animal fan and an attendee of over 1000 shows of dogs, cats, birds, horses and country shows when I was self-employed and selling old fine art prints.


Crufts was named after its founder, Charles Cruft, who worked as general manager for a dog biscuit manufacturer, travelling to dog shows both in the United Kingdom and internationally, which allowed him to establish contacts and understand the need for higher standards for dog shows. In 1886, Cruft's first dog show, billed as the "First Great Terrier Show", had 57 classes and 600 entries. The first show named "Crufts"—"Cruft's Greatest Dog Show"—was held at the Royal Agricultural Hall, Islington, in 1891. It was the first at which all breeds were invited to compete, with around 2,000 dogs and almost 2,500 entries.


With the close of the 19th century, entries had risen to over 3,000, including royal patronage from various European countries and Russia. The show continued annually and gained popularity each year until Charles' death in 1938. His widow ran the show for four years until she felt unable to do so due to its high demands of time and effort. To ensure the future and reputation of the show (and, of course, her husband's work), she sold it to The Kennel Club.


In 1936, "The Jubilee Show" had 10,650 entries with the number of breeds totalling 80. The 1948 show was the first to be held under the new owner and was held at Olympia in London, where it continued to gain popularity with each passing year. The first Obedience Championships were held in 1955. In 1959, despite an increase in entrance fees, the show set a new world record with 13,211 entrants. By 1979, the show had to be moved to Earls Court exhibition centre as the increasing amount of entries and spectators had outgrown the capacity of its previous venue. Soon, the show had to be changed again—the duration had to be increased to three days in 1982, then again in 1987 to four days as the popularity continued to increase. Since 1991, the show has been held in the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, and the first time the show had moved out of London since its inception.


It was also at the Centenary celebrations in 1991 that Crufts was officially recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the world's largest dog show with 22,973 dogs being exhibited in conformation classes that year. Including agility and other events, it is estimated that an average 28,000 dogs take part in Crufts each year, with an estimated 160,000 human visitors attending the show and watched on Television Worldwide by over 100 million viewers.


I have a hobby website where I have on display various Dog Breeds and Funny Dogs on fine art prints by various artists from 17th. Century to 1930’s.