BOSTONS, BOYKINS, AND BLUETICKS: LET’S GIVE THANKS FOR THE AMERICAN BREEDS
THE ALASKAN MALAMUTE IS VERY LIKELY THE OLDEST AND ONLY LANDRACE BREED HAILING FROM THE UNITED STATES.
The Alaskan Malamute is likely the oldest of the ‘American’ breeds.
JohnW. Walker and GeorgeWashingtonMaupin are given cred- it for the development of the Treeing Walker Coonhound. Bred in Kentucky, the hounds that both men produced have generally been referred to simply as Walker Hounds. Accepted into AKC’s Hound Group in 2012, this “hot-nosed” breed was first recognized by the UKC in 1945 as a variety of the English Coonhound. The American English Coonhound is capable of hunting fox during the day and raccoon at night. Sometimes referred to as the Redtick Coonhound, the breed was recognized by the UKC in 1905 as the English Fox and Coonhound. Possessing extraordinary agility with the ability to climb trees, this racy breed was granted full AKC recognition in 2011. The Bluetick Coonhound originated in Louisiana where breed- ers combined local “curs” with the Bleu de Gascogne, English and American Foxhounds, and Brooke’s original Virginia Hound. Sleek and racy, the Bluetick is speedy and ambitious with a “bawl” or “bugle” voice. A subgroup of this breed is known as the American Blue Gascon Hound, which is heavier in appearance and slower on the trail. The Bluetick was fully recognized by the AKC in 2009. The foundation of the Redbone Coonhound was laid by Scot- tish immigrants who brought red-colored Foxhounds to America in the 18th century. Named for Tennessean Peter Redbone, the breed was developed for speed through the introduction of Irish- bred Foxhounds. Crosses were also made with the Bloodhound to improve “nose.” Originally sporting a black saddle, this solid- colored hound entered AKC’s Hound Group in 2009. In 1750, Johannes Plott emigrated from Germany with five Hanoverian Hounds that would become the foundation of the breed known simply as the Plott. The breed has been bred for more than 250 years for its stamina in pursuit of wild boar and bear. A single breeding with a “leopard spotted dog” appears to be the only documented cross. In 2006, the state dog of North Carolina received full AKC recognition. The Catahoula Leopard Dog is Louisiana’s state dog. In the Choctaw language, Catahoula translates to “sacred lake,” a refer- ence to the breed’s genesis around the region’s many waterways. Several theories exist as to the breed’s origin, including the mixing
of local dogs with Mastiffs and Greyhounds brought to the area in the 16th century by Hernando de Soto. French settlers likely add- ed the Beauceron, lending that Herding breed’s coloration to the Catahoula’s coat. In 1996, the breed was first recorded in AKC’s Foundation Stock Service. Mr. Arthur Treadwell Walden devoted his life to the creation of New Hampshire’s state breed, the Chinook. This canine is named for Walden’s lead sled dog that was a combination of Husky stock and Mastiff blood. Crossed with the German Shepherd Dog, Bel- gian Sheepdog, and the Canadian Eskimo Dog, Chinook, the dog, was bred back to his progeny to fix type. Although the breed’s foun- dation sire died while serving in Admiral Byrd’s Antarctic expedi- tion, his legacy continued when the breed that bears his name was granted AKC recognition in the Working Group in 2010. The Alaskan Malamute is very likely the oldest and only land- race breed hailing from the United States. Named for the com- munity of Innuit people living along the shores of the Kotzebue Sound, the breed is thought to descend from wolf-dogs brought to the area from present-day Russia more than 4,000 years ago. Recent examination of the Malamute’s genetic markers demon- strates an East Asian origin and a relationship with the Siberian Husky. The breed has been recognized by the AKC since 1935, twenty-four years before its namesake territory was admitted for statehood. Making its entry into AKC’s Foundation Stock Service in 2017, the Carolina Dog was “discovered” in the 1920s, living wild in isolated stretches of cypress swamp, by Dr. I. Lehr Brisbin. Stud- ies of the breed’s autosomal, mitochondrial, and Y-chromosome diversity reveal a partial pre-Columbian ancestry. Although not entirely an indigenous breed, the Carolina Dog does appear to share a relationship with the Peruvian Inca Orchid and the Chi- huahua. And as with each of the recognized American breeds, the AKC’s most recent arrival is a combination of qualities from dog breeds brought to this country from around the world. In this way, they are just like us. And that is something for which we can all be thankful.
82 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, NOVEMBER 2021
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