Our Breeds’ Early Dogs: How Do We Know?

We owe a debt to early artists whose work reveal to us what breeds looked like before the first photograph of a dog was ever taken, and there is a lot of breed history before then. Illustrators have been especially helpful as they tend to be particularly attentive to anatomical detail, crucial to the breeder or fancier dedicated to their breed. “Have we strayed from short muzzles? “Has our breed gotten longer in leg?” “Have breeders neglected to pay attention to a short back?” These are all questions which can be answered by the work of canine illustrators, and one of the earliest premier canine illustrators was R.H.Moore. Though he rarely worked in color, this British talent is regarded as having rendered with unvarnished accuracy, dogs of the late 19th century, early 20th century. 

Image of the Borzoi, “Krilutt” from 1890 as depicted by R.H.Moore.

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