Breeds and Blue Bloods

Happily, it’s been a long time since purebred dogs were the purview of only the royalty and aristocracy, but many of our breeds’ histories are intertwined with blue bloods. Records tell us, for example, that the Princess of Wales’ (later to become Queen Alexandra) exhibited both her Borzoi and her Basset Hounds at dog shows,and that she was an early patron of The Ladies Kennel Association formed in 1903 (not to be confused with the Ladies Kennel Association of Long Island, New York).

Early records from Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, however, reveal a more colorful array of entries: In 1889, the Czar of Russia was listed as the breeder of a Siberian Wolfhound (do you suppose this was a Borzoi?) but in 1917, a German Shepherd Dog named “Filax of Lewanno” was exhibited, a hero of World War I for having brought 54 wounded soldiers to safety. Later, another German Shepherd Dog belonging to New York Yankee great, Lou Gehrig,was among the entries in 1933. His dog, “Afra of Cosalta” took second in the Open Bitch class. And lest you think that certain breeds are recent additions to the show fancy, consider that Leonbergers, Mexican Hairless, and Chinese Crested Hairless Dogs were all entries at Westminster. In 1884.

Image: Princess Montglyon with one of her fine Collies

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