Afghan Hound Times
(Afghan Hound Database and Breed Information Exchange)

de Flandre Kennels UK and USA
(By Steve Tillotson May 2013) PHOTO Mrs M B Cooper De Flandre Afghans UK 1927


The de Flandre kennel's main breed was Pomeranian. Mrs Muriel Bennington Cooper, living in East Yorkshire when she bred the afghans, and in Cheshire when she judged at Crufts on a number of occasions. The Pomeranians (but never the afghans) were bred in partnership with Mrs Margaret Gordon-Gratrix. Mrs G-G was a very wealthy woman. Three years after she married and in her early twenties her husband at the age of 25 years, 'went insane'. He lived to be a very old man and was kept in care at home by a staff of as many as seven (though two were devoted to kennel duties it seems)!

What is most interesting about de Flandre for me is that almost all litters of afghans were 50/50 Ghazni / Bell-Murray bred, and at a time when everybody was essentially in one camp or the other !

Mrs Cooper's Ghazni bred stud was possibly chinchilla in colour. He was a son of Khan of Ghazni - Mrs Mary Amps' first afghan hound - who was much larger and heavier boned than his kennel mate Sirdar. Margaret Niblock in her book says that Mrs Cooper exported her Ghazni stud male. However, nobody it seems knows where he went. And as Mrs Cooper seemed to work well with breeders in a number of countries it's difficult to guess where he may have ended up.

And very sadly in my view, and despite her best efforts in helping others get started, the breeding of all de Flandres was lost to the breed within the first few generations.

Lyall Payne, 5/13/2013
(Thank you Lyall. ST).

1. Introduction to de Flandre UK and de Flandre USA

1.1 (UK)
The kennel name de Flandre first belonged to Mrs M B Cooper of Hornsea, East Yorkshire, England. Mrs Cooper was one of the pioneer breeders in the 1920's. It may surprise some readers to learn that some of the early pioneer breeders were also very astute business people. Mrs Cooper advertised the fact that her kennel had "agents' in various parts of the world. In an advert in 1930 Mrs Cooper wrote "This kennel's sole agent for Ameica is Mrs Alice Goff, 110 Thoreau Street, Sunny Acres, Concord, Mass." Mrs Cooper goes on to say there are agents in London, Belgium and France. Mrs Coopers hounds were also exported to the Netherlands and that lineage was continued almost into the 1940's before it finally expired. Mrs M B Cooper only bred 6 litters, but as we shall see her bloodlines reached two continents and helped promote and establish the breed in the pioneering years of the 1920's.

(Ed note: About Mr Mrs Goff, researched by Lyall Payne -The name Goff has figured prominently in the early identity and development of New England. Thomas Goff, wealthy merchant, of London, England, Matthew Craddock, John Endicott, Sir Richard Saltonstall, and others were among the leading men in laying the foundation of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The vital records of Rehoboth, Mass., the mother town of many in its vicinity, in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island, begin with the families of Richard, Samuel and Robert Goff, and from these men descend many of the name here. Many served in the military service of the colony during the Revolution. Mrs Goff was born in Scotland and married W D Goff senior in 1899. Mr Goff established a profitable real estate business in Providence, Rhode Island. We're not sure yet (still researching) whether the reference to W D Goff below relates to Goff the senior, or his son who was also named William David Goff and who was born in 1902)  de Flandre Afghan Hounds
(Left) Putana de Flandre Breeder Mrs M B Cooper, de Flandre UK, 14/8/1926
(Right) Begum, Breeder Mr Abrams, de Flandre USA, 11/2/1932

1.2 (USA)
Mr Abrams took his kennel name from his English imports. He imported several "de Flandre" afghans bred by Mrs M B Cooper. Mr Abrams was one of the earliest enthusiasts in the breed having got involved as early as 1927. Despite this early enthusiasm, none of the De Flandre Afghan Hounds contribute to the pedigree history of the breed. Credit should be given to Mr Abram for his endeavours which undoubtedly helped bring the Afghan Hound breed to the attention to the public and enthusiasts, especially on the east coast. . Begum was not his first exhibit at Westminster Kennel Club. Mr Abram imported the dog Barakhan de Flandre from Mrs M B Cooper in England (later owned by W D. Goff) and this dog (the only Afghan Hound entered) won open dog, winners dog, and best of breed under Judge Anton A Rost at Westminser KC in 1930. So Mr Abram can claim having won best of breed at Westminster for the years 1930 and 1934. Barakhan left a brother behind in England by the name of Nush-Ki Of Ruritannia who was the 9th Afghan Hound to be made up a Champion in England.

Advertisment from the AKC Gazette dated June 1929 --

"To own one is to love one. The Afghan gains daily in popularity. The oldest known breed of domestic dog. Wonderful companions and house dogs. Easily trained for any sport.. immune to either intense heat or cold." Prices range from $150.00 to $1000.00. Mrs K Abrams, importer, Sirdar Of Ghazni Kennels, Philadelphia, PA. June 1929,"

A couple of news archives referencing the Abrams Afghan hounds De Flandre USA news archive first afghan  hound to USA De Flandre USA news archive first afghan  hound to USA

3. Some Photo's and Pedigrees

We'll return in more detail to some of the specifics of the breedings by Mrs Cooper and Mr Abrams later in this section. Let's look at a couple of photographs and pedigrees.. We should be aware that Mrs Cooper only bred 6 litters in total. Most of the breedings involved mating Ghazni dogs to Bell Murray bitches. So the few rare photo's we have of such early breedings are valuable as they reveal how some breedings between these two different types/kennels bloodlines worked out.

Putana de Flandre
Breeder Mrs M B Cooper, UK, 14/8/1926 de Flandre Afghan Hounds UK
Breeder Mr Abrams, USA, 11/2/1932

Afghan Hound Times - Begum (USA) rare photograph 1930's

Below is the pedigree of Putana de Flandre

Parents Grandparents Great-Grandparents Great-Great-Grandparents
Ch Sirdar of Ghazni Parent Not Recorded    
Parent Not Recorded    
Sheba Baluch Taiza Bm Parent Not Recorded
Parent Not Recorded
Nurm Bm Parent Not Recorded
Parent Not Recorded
Sonee Ooty Zorawar Bm
Dil Bm
Ch Ranee Rajah Bm
Begum Bm

Below is the pedigree of Begum. USA.

Pedigree of BEGUM (USA)
Parents Grandparents Great-Grandparents Great-Great-Grandparents
Kush De Flandre Mustavfi of Ghazni Khan of Ghazni Parent Not Recorded
Parent Not Recorded
Rani of Ghazni Parent Not Recorded
Parent Not Recorded
Cupra Baluch Bm Taiza Bm
Nurm Bm
Oolu Bm Ooty Bm
Pushum Bm
Blodwin De Flandre Mustavfi of Ghazni Khan of Ghazni Parent Not Recorded
Parent Not Recorded
Rani of Ghazni Parent Not Recorded
Parent Not Recorded
Tarza Baluch Bm Taiza Bm
Nurm Bm
Daghai Bm Ooty Bm
Pushum Bm

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Related content:
The Afghan Levrier 1927 by Mrs M B Cooper (de Flanders Afghan Hounds, UK
Early Afghan Hounds Section

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