Almost Human

It’s not all that surprising that breed standards for dogs would include references to humans. Whether it’s in service of, companion to, or relationship with,  the connection between people and dogs is ancient and immutable. One will find our species mentioned in many breed standards, and the word “human” appears in every AKC group save one.*

The Terrier Group.

We derive a good deal of mirth from this fact, in part because we know, as do terrier owners, that most terriers don’t give a whit about what silly humans think.  God may love a terrier, but to paraphrase Jerome K. Jerome, terriers are born with four times as much original sin in them as other dogs. They tend to think that it’s better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission, and even that is fluid.

But we digress.

If you’re like us, and we know we are, you might find this next bit interesting.

Three breeds mention “human” in their respective standards, and not in terms of relationships, but in resemblance. “Dog nerds” will easily guess one of the breeds:  The Brussels Griffon’s expression is famously human-like. The breed standard reads, “Brussels Griffon [is] a toy dog, intelligent, alert, sturdy, with a thickset, short body, a smart carriage and set-up, attracting attention by an almost human expression.”

There’s no hiding how the Griff below feels. We’re inclined to agree with the standard!

Brussels Griffon by Walter Basinger

Anyone guessing that another toy breed might also include such language would be correct. From the Biewer Terrier’s AKC standard: “Expression – Is more human than that of a dog, being bright and intelligent.” Not to be outdone by the other two breeds, note that the standard indicates the Biewer’s expression to be more human than that of a dog.

Once you get past the screaming cuteness of the Biewer, you can see it!

Biewer Terrier, Brussels Griffon, expression, human-like, Spinone Italiano, standard, human

Biewer Terrier/Deposit photo

Finally, we admit that the third breed surprised us, and maybe it will you, as well.

From the Sporting Group: “The Spinone Italiano has a distinctive profile and soft, almost-human expression.

Biewer Terrier, Brussels Griffon, expression, human-like, Spinone Italiano, standard, human

We can’t disagree with this one, either.

*We are able to determine the appearance of words using a simple word search on current and uploaded breed standards

Top photo of Brussels Griffon by © Jagodka | Dreamstime

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