1. The Origin of the Dog

 

2.The dog's evolution

 

3.The Origin of the Dog Revisited
1. The Odyssey of the Word "Molossus"

2. The Evolution of brachycephalic molossoid dogs

1. Man's relationship with animals

2. Dog and Human societe

3. The dog shows in Europe

1.The Vision in dogs

2. The hearing of the dog

3. The sense of smell in dog

Λογότυποσ κυνοπαιδεία
Ελληνικά
Home
back to articles
research studies
copyright 2006-Cynopedia.com

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

the dawn of dog shows in Europe
The voluntary cohabitation of man and dog, which started 10,000 years ago, resulted today in a totally dependent relationship. The dog, an animal with a history of 35,000,000 years evolution, can now only survive in the conditions that the man offers. Today, in the so-called developed world, the 'purebred' dogs are about 35% of the total population of dogs.

The events, that is reports related to the "purebred", are now the heart of what is called organized “pure breeding”. But how were born the breeds, the dog shows and generally everything we call “pure breeding”? Furthermore, what is the relation between the organized dog show of today and the first efforts made in Europe?
In the 18th century, despite the high risk of rabies, the keeping up of dogs in towns and villages was widely spread. Hunting is an activity of the higher classes and it constitutes almost a ritual for the men. Moreover, the hunter dog is highly thought of just like it was in the Roman and Classical Times.
The term "purebred" concerned at the time the dog which followed a specific trace without getting confused by other traces.

For the farmers, of that time too, a “pure bred” is the strong and healthy dog which follows without biting, which does not chase the other domestic animals and which protects the farmyard.
In the nutshell, the dog is present everywhere and it certainly presents differences in its appearance, but no one sees any breed in it yet.
In the midis of the 19th century, at the time of the French Revolution and a little after it, we have some changes. In Germany, for example, the shepherds’ dog becomes the German Shepherd. At that time the Swiss kynologists like Siber, Strebel, Heim, just to mention a few of them, collect the best farmer’s animals, they rank them and they crossbreed them strictly with each other. Thus the new breeds started being created by these “anonymous” dogs. Of course, the obstacles were very big, since a lot of dogs were castrated and the man used them only for their skills. A typical case is the “butcher’s dog” of Central Europe, a name obtained by a lot of breeds with today’s characteristics, which were considered to be one after all. The Rottweiler, the Appenzell, the Entiebucher, cane Corso and the Grate Swiss Mountain Dog are breeds that today are completely separated. However, then they were regarded as the same type of dog since they were doing the same job and they had almost the same color. At that time the first shows are organized, where the owners compete, even though these events are more of cattle-fairs. For most of the participants a dog was sufficient, for it was simply the guard of the house, of the herd or a means of transport. In these first shows there is a clear discrimination into “high class” dogs, “useful” dogs (workers) and “hunting” dogs. The hunting dogs are not considered to combine the qualities of the two other species. The physical harmony, the specific colors do not play any important role since the challenge was the physical strength, character and performance in various tasks.
So, let's see how the dog events started in the various countries of Europe. ENGLAND
The first event of hunting and other dogs was held from 25 until 30 May 1863, with 1967 dogs. In 1873 was founded the first Kennel Club, chaired by the Prince of Wales and members only persons of high nobility. But unlike Continental Europe, the breeding and dog ownership is widely spread in the lower social classes. An inventory in 1869 showed 1,068,000 animals. Only for fox hunting in 1899 there were 221 herds, with 36 dogs each. A written document of 1889 stated that the profit from the breeding of dogs was approximately 100,000 English pounds!
At that time they organize hunting competitions and racing with Pointer Setters and Shepherds, which satisfied, among others, the English’s pation to bet.
England is rightfully thought of as the metropolis of dog events since at that time breeding is widely spread in all social classes.
GERMANY
In Germany up to 1871 fragmentation in dozens of feuds did not help the development of the dog events. In 1879 various clubs of Northern Germany formed a committee to create a common stud book. Non-hunting breeds were not accepted.
Unlike in Southern Germany, home of Rottweiller, Leonberger, Schnauser and German Shepherd, same moves were made that led to the Federation of Associations of Württemberg (1908). In Germany, every major event was under the supervision of the Royal and other aristocratic families, which indicates that the initiatives always start from the aristocracy.

AUSTRIA
In 1883 the Austrian breeders association was founded by members of several local clubs in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
In 1883, the 1885 and 1886 some very successful events took place in Vienna,  that were very interesting for the reason that many unknown breeds from the Balkans and Eastern Europe were presented. In Austria-Hungary all the initiatives were taken by aristocracy, too.

FRANCE
The first dog show was part of the World Exhibition that took place in Paris in 1867. In France also the base of the breeding are the hunting races, since hunting for France is a tradition that goes back to the Middle Ages.

ITALY
Here the basis of organized dog-shows was put in 1881 with an exhibition in Milan and the establishment of the Kennel Club Italiano a year later.
SWITZERLAND
Switzerland, unlike the other countries of Continental Europe, has developed a society based on years of social and religious struggles that had preceded.
Although at that time there are not any Dog clubs similar to those found in England, the development of the breeding is at the highest level. The reason was mainly that the people who have dealt with this subject were in their shuttering majority highly educated.
The St. Bernard dog.
While the Swiss hunting dogs are bred on a local level, a breed that is mainly bred in a monastery acquired a reputation and at the same time global fame. An unsuccessful attempt to cross-breed the smooth coated dog, who is the archaic type, with Newfoundland or according to others with Great Pyrenees, gave as a result the rough coated dog. This dog, that is the long-haired typed, which proved not to be the appropriate dog for work on snow and ice, began to be sent away from the monastery in the form of donations to donors and benefactors of the monastery. Conquerors like Napoleon and many tourists, especially from England, who visited the monastery, received as gifts impressive animals. In 1840 Queen Victoria of England bought two dogs and the encouragement of trade between Switzerland and England began to flourish.
The development was such that in 1860, in the shows in England, a special category for St. Bernard’s was created and in 1881 the first Club St. Bernard was founded in Britain. The British breeders set new standards for the breed and went so far as to characterize England as the country of origin of St. Bernard. Similar situations were created both in France and Germany and they distinguished the "Alpine" dogs from the other big type Molossoid. The fact remains that the dog of St. Bernard was used as the breeding basis for all known today Molossoid type of dogs.

The constitution of Switzerland was not a monarchy, as in other European countries and the privilege of hunting was not only for the aristocracy. Hunting in Switzerland was a traditional right of citizens. Hunters, though a barbaric habit, preferred to kill the young (weak) or the old animals, than to donate them to others. In this way, unintentionally, the breeds were retained unchanged. This was something that a young forester of the time, M. Siber, observed and began his studies on the local hunting breeds.
At the 4th till the 11th of September 1881 the first show takes place in Zurich. In this show, the German Leonberger dogs were judged as non "pure-bred", in order not to jeopardize the position of St. Bernard dogs. Later, in the big exhibition of Zurich, which was held on 8 to 12/6/1883 and thoroughly prepared by M. Siber, the third dog show took place. There were present 350 dogs, 25 puppies and awarded as prizes 5 golden-plated, 20 silver and 30 bronze medals, as well as 1,000 Swiss francs. In this particular show, the Swiss Kennel Society (SKG) was founded by 26 specialists of the time.
These people were doctors, physicists, mathematicians, academics, foresters, naturalists and paleontologists. On 15/9/1883 the Committee established stud book and proceeded to the first 81 entries. To strengthen its ties with the outside SKG recognized stud books of other national Kennels, except those of England.
At the beginning they registered only dogs which were awarded first and second prize. Later they changed this method of registration and they registered dogs that were presented at the show. The first pedigrees in Europe, is now a fact, contain basic descriptions and sketches of famous artists of the era. By 1/3/1884 the committee of SKG had listed 164 names. Of these, 20 have academic qualification and there are 3 female names. In 1887  the first regulation rules were created. The dogs to be grated could be classified under the following criteria:
- Winners Category: Dogs who took first place in shows.
- Limited Category: For dogs who had not received any awards.
- New (Young) Animal Category: There have never been participating in shows.
- Couple Category: Animals with similar hair and color, regardless of gender.
- Group Category: For three or more dogs of both sexes.
- Tracers Category.
- Smeller’s Category: For Teckel, Terrier.
- Swimmer’s Category: For dogs who successfully passed an examination in the water.
- Sale Category: For dogs that are for sale, but should be declared in one of the above categories.
- Puppy Category: For St. Bernards dogs of age 6-18 months
The duration of the shows was initially 3 to 7 days. However it was reduced to 2 days in 1890, which is successfully applied up to date. The system of assessment in the shows was approved on 4/10/1883 and it included the following:
Head and expression 20
Neck, nape                 5
Shoulder                    5
Chest                         5
Claws                         5
Coat                         10
Body                         10
Tail                             5
Leg and foot              10
Size                          15
Color                        10
Total                      100  (50 to 60 points gave the first medal)
The economic situation of SKG played a decisive role.  At first S.K.G. assume alone  the payment of prizes. Except the offers of the members other sources were:
- The monopoly of animals’ food during the show
- 10% of the purchase price of the animals during the show.
The judges of the time were the founders and members of the Bureau. The names of Theophil Studer and Albert Heim shows the level of the organized Swiss dog-shows then. The best dogs got the first, second and third prize and later there was established and fourth. The dogs that followed had to be content with the descriptions "highly commendable", "commendable" and the others with the barbaric characterization "lower material".
The transportation of the dogs to the shows was made by a coach or usually by railway. Initially they kept them in cages that were placed between the wheels of the luggage wagon.  A real torture for dogs due to cold, heat and noise. After a lot of protests it was allowed to place the cages inside the luggage wagon.
One issue that was created at the time was whether the judges should have the list of awards for dogs from previous shows. It was and is an issue that still divides the experts. Nevertheless it helps us to understand the idea of the time for the dog shows
An extract from the lists of the years 1883-1888 gives the following prices:
St. Bernard 300-10.000 francs, Fox Terrier, English Bulldog, and Setters up to 2,000 francs, Pointer 500-5.000 francs, Swiss hunting dogs up to 200 francs and German Shepherd 100-200 francs. In the show of 1887 the most expensive dog on the list was a multi-champion whose price was 125,000 francs. In order to understand how much a “pure-bred” dog cost at the time we should mention that the annual salary of a public official of that time was 1,800 francs and of a worker 1,300 francs. Something that shows that “pure-bred” dogs were only for well-off people.
TODAY
The developments in Europe today are completely different from the past. The observation and scientific research (Albert Heim) of the past have been replaced by marketing. Simultaneously, the entry of new countries not only strengthened the scientific research, but instead led to the commercialization of the animal. A typical example is Greece.
The man who started the whole effort in Greece during the decades of 1960 and 1970 was the veterinarian Stavros Basourakos. A brilliant scientist with vast knowledge. Unfortunately the people who followed did not have his knowledge and scientific background and all they accomplished  was to destroy the whole effort. The reason? They were never interested to learn what adductor muscles, carnassials etc are and so they never realized what a mammal is about.
EPILOGUE
It is relatively easy for the reader to realize that most of the regulations of the  dog shows today came from the rules of that era. Also the creation of today's dog show reality (FCI) is associated with that era. The creation of today's dog breeds started then by farmers and aristocrats who saw the dog as a “tool”. In Europe of that time there was nothing else except observation.
The only European country where the breeding of dogs was done on a scientific basis was Switzerland. Consequently we see that the very strong presence of the so-called "Swiss School" has direct link with the past.
What the school above has offered to the dog world is an extract from Albert Heim study:
"The man is called to play the role of nature as far as the future of the dog is concerned. From the events we should choose the best productive animals, in order to ensure the conservation of dogs. If we do not do that, there is no prospect for man’s best friend. "

Unfortunately today’s situation confirms the fears of the great scientist.
Barry, the most famous rescue dog in history (40 confirmed rescues). The embalmed body graces the entrance of the Albert Heim Foundation, in the Natural History Museum of Bern