We may lament the use of dogs as accessories, fashion statements, and indicators of affluence – all poor reasons to own a dog – but it’s nothing new – and more to the point, it’s an incomplete list since we left out “gender equality.”
Vogue Magazine – and specifically, editor Dorothy Todd – was the first to pick up on a couple of interesting observations back in 1924: Not only were some top kennels owned by women, but increasingly, women were owning big dogs of breeds that had been considered a man’s dog. Great Danes, Chow Chows and German Shepherd Dogs (then called Alsatians) and other large breeds vividly illustrated that women were starting to own the dogs they wanted to own, not the breeds society deemed more appropriate for a lady.
The 19th Amendment to the constitution was passed in 1920 granting women the right to vote, and eleven years later, a Vogue pattern book cover by Jean Page illustrated a woman’s choice to own the breed that suited her. We’ve always maintained that the story of our breeds is also the story of people, and that in addition to “following the money,” one can get a “read” on a society (its trends and collective mind set) by “following the dogs.” We hope that in the years to come, a future generation won’t look back at our times and wonder what happened to the all purebred dogs.