Green. Only Two Standards Mention It (and not about eyes)

True or False: Unless it has to do with eye color, the color, “green,” doesn’t appear in any AKC breed standard.

Ding ding ding.

The statement is false.

There are two breed standards in which the color green does appear, and in neither does the color have to do with any aspect of the dog’s physique. So….if it doesn’t have to do with the dog, itself, can you guess why the color shows up, and in which two breed standards?

The Beagle standard, which is the only AKC standard to also include specification for hunting garb, includes green in its recommendations for Show Livery (the apparel of the hunters): “Black velvet cap, white stock, green coat, white breeches or knickerbockers, green or black stockings, white spats, black or dark brown shoes. Vest and gloves optional. Ladies should turn out exactly the same except for a white skirt instead of white breeches.”

As an aside, hunt liveries, according to some sources, were the distinctive clothing worn by people of rank and their household. Out of this grew the tradition to wear livery out of respect for the office or privilege held, and to the farmers and the landowners who make hunts possible.  Certainly the tradition goes back centuries in British country life, and yes, colors had significance in that designated colors of royalty dictated hunting colors until the 19th century, and over time, different hunts had their own colors. Many British hunts still use the traditional colors today green, a camouflage color dating to stag and hare hunting days.  That said, gentlemen were traditionally granted the right to wear a red coat once they awarded a hunt button, a button worn only by those who have been awarded one by the Masters of a hunt. It was an honor to receive, and a visible recognition of the wearer’s service to the hunt.

But we digress.

The other breed standard to include the color belongs to the Estrela Mountain Dog, currently an AKC FSS breed. The word appears in the historical summary of the breed (using the same wording that appears in the breed’s FSS standard). It reads: [the Estrela Mountain dog] “can be considered one of the most ancient breeds in the Iberian Peninsula. It can be found from the foot of the mountains to the summit (approximately 2000 m), mainly in the summer, after the snow has melted, when the green pastures are much sought after by the herds, because the excessive heat has dried the grass on the lowlands.” 

The United Kennel Club’s standard offers different wording, and while”green” isn’t mentioned in it, it is tacitly understood that tastier pasture grass (yummy green turf) during summers was to be found at high altitude, and the Estrela guarded the flocks there, as well.

Mentioning color when it has nothing to do with the dog itself is still interesting when it shows up in a breed standard.  To us, anyway.

Image of an Estrela Mountain Dog/pxhere

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