Showsight - November 2017

Bostons, Boykins and Blueticks: Let’s Give Thanks for the American Breeds

by DAN SAYERS continued

the Pastor Dog, the breed is thought to descend from sheep and cattle dogs of the Western Pyrenees that arrived in the U.S. via Australia with Basque Shep- herds. The breed became ubiquitous in the West where it was employed by both ranchers and sheep herders. Although a longtime fixture on the American land- scape, the breed only became fully rec- ognized by the AKC in 1991. A favorite among horse show com- petitors, the Miniature American Shep- herd was developed in California from small, unregistered dogs thought to be Australian Shepherds. Granted full AKC recognition in 2015, the breed’s mod- est size makes it serviceable as a house- hold companion that’s still expected to handle sheep and goats when called on to do so. Like its larger predecessor, the breed has been known by many names, including Miniature Australian Shep- herd and North American Shepherd. Fully recognized by the AKC in 1994, the American Eskimo Dog is by no means a recent arrival to these shores. Nineteenth century European immi- grants brought their German and Italian Spitz, Keeshonden and Pomeranians to America where each was influential in the formation of the breed that became a talented circus performer. The Eskie’s white coat color—with or without bis- cuit cream—quickly became favored and was later secured through the intro- duction of the Japanese Spitz. Owing to its varied progenitors, the breed is shown in Toy, Miniature and Standard size divisions. The first Cocker Spaniel is said to have arrived in the New World aboard the Mayflower. True or not, one of the earliest breed clubs in America was formed to promote the Cocker and AKC recognition was granted in 1878. The breed became so popular in the U.S. that it ultimately took on a make and shape of its own. Beginning in 1946, the breed was divided in two and registrations for English Cocker Spaniels appeared in the AKC Stud Book the following year. Only in the U.S. does the American-type carry the breed’s original name. Developed in the Upper Midwest, the American Water Spaniel is the state dog of Wisconsin where it was devel- oped as an all-around hunter that could retrieve from boats. By combining Irish and English Water Spaniels, Curly

Coated Retrievers and various land Span- iels with native dogs, the breed became a versatile hunter and a perennial favor- ite among local hunters. Known origi- nally as the American Brown, the breed was granted AKC recognition in 1940. Although the Boykin Spaniel shares a similar history with the Midwest Spaniel, its development took place in the American South. Legend has it that around 1900, a stray Spaniel-type dog was befriended by a banker in Spartan- burg, South Carolina, while the man was walking home from church. Mr. Alexander L. White sent “Dumpy” to live with sportsman Lemuel Whitaker Boykin for whom the breed is named. Recognized in 2009, today’s Boykin is thought to be the result of combina- tions of Springer and Cocker Spaniels with two American breeds, the AWS and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever. The history of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever can be traced to two pups rescued from a British ship foundering off the coast of Maryland. Described as Newfoundland dogs—but likely St. John’s Water Dogs—“Sailor” and “Can- ton” were bred independently with local Spaniels and Hounds living on both shores of the Bay. Known today for its brown, sedge or deadgrass coat color as well as its confident and tenacious nature, the “Chessie” was originally recognized in 1878 as the Chesapeake Bay Dog. The American Foxhound is an amal- gam of hounds brought to the U.S. from England and France. In 1650, Robert Brooke arrived in Virginia with his pack of hounds and these were combined with Grand Bleu de Gascogne hounds given to General George Washington by the Marquis de Lafayette. Later, Irish- bred Foxhounds were introduced to improve speed. Officially recognized by the AKC in 1886, the breed was devel- oped into several fox hunting strains that include the Walker, Calhoun and the Penn-Marydel, among others. In 1945, the Black and Tan Coon- hound received full AKC recognition to become the first of five Coonhound breeds to do so. Descended largely from Brooke’s Black and Tan Virginia Foxhound and the Bloodhound, the breed was developed to trail possum and raccoon and to give voice when the quarry has been treed. The Black and

Horse shows provided early exposure for the Miniature American Shepherd.

A Cocker Spaniel is said to have arrived with the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock.

Of the Coonhound breeds, the Black and Tan was the first to gain AKC recognition.

combination of colors, merle and albinism are disqualifications. The Australian Shepherd has a vague history and a convoluted name. Once known as the California Shepherd and


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