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(Article compiled by Steve Tillotson, November 2012)
Updated May 2015


    1.1 History of legacy writings (courtesy Clifford Hubbard)
    The history of canine books published in English is a surprising history. A great background read on this topic is - "An Introduction To The Literature Of British Dogs. Five Centuries Of Illustrated Dog Books" by (Clifford L Hubbard, The Castle Press, Aberystwyth, Wales, 1947) which contains a chronological review of five centuries of books about dogs.

    According to Hubbard the majority of early books on the subject of dogs (typically those books being about sporting dogs and hunting dogs, rather than general all breed, or breed specfic books) were written in Latin, or a foreign language such as French. Hubbard states that the very first work on hunting to be written in English was "Master Of Game" by Edward, second Duke Of York. Amazingly this "lytel symple book" of which only nineteen written copies exist, was written somewhere between 1406 - 1413, but it was not published until as late as 1904. Apparently this book was almost a literal translation of "Miroir de Phebus" written by Conte Gaston de Foix,Viconte de Bearn. According to Hubbard, of the thirty-six chapters in "Master Of Game" five are the original work by Edward himself.

    Hubbard had an encylopeadic knowledge of canine writings, he was an accomplished author in his own right. His published works include - "The Observers Book Of Dogs", "Everybody's Dogs", "Working Dogs Of The World", "Dogs In Britain". He also collaborated with others to co-author books, including "The Book Of The Dog" With Brian Vesey-Fitzgerald and others. Hubbard even co-authored works in foreign languages, for example - Il Libro Dei Cani (in Italian) and "Hundar" (in Swedish). Readers of books about the Afghan Hound will be aware of the references to Hubbard who wrote the first book on the breed - "The Afghan Hound Handbook", (Published by Nicholson and Watson, England 1951). All subsequent Afghan Hound breed books have referenced Hubbard.

    1.2 Important legacy writings (courtesy Clifford Hubbard)

    Courtesy of Clifford Hubbard herebelow is a chronological summary of the main references often used by modern writers.

    • 1879 The Illustrated Book of the Dog, by Vero Shaw.

      This first really important work appeared in 1879-81 as The Illustrated Book of the Dog, by Vero Shaw. Later known as "The Encylopedia Of The Dog". This is the largest work of the nineteenth century to be published in English, having coloured plates of celebrated show dogs.

    • 1906 "The Dog Book" by James Watson

      The first of the great cynological works of the twentieth century appeared in 1906. This book, The Dog Book, was written by James Watson, a Scot, who was probably the UK's first sports editor of a daily newspaper. Watson quotes liberally from the best of the earlier authors and so saves the student of British dogs much wider reading. Watson carried out an incredible amount of research, and although this book by no means represents his first work it remains even to-day (1951) a monument to the prodigious labour his check-work involved. The Dog Book was originally published in ten parts in the U.S.A., but its first English appearance, was in 1906. Of the book itself, it can be said that it is easily the finest book on dogs written by a British writer until Ash's superb "Dogs : Their History and Development" appeared in 1927.

    • 1907 "The New Book of the Dog" by Robert Leighton.
      (Click here to read the sections (extract) about Oriental Greyhounds including Afghan hounds)

      The next important general work by a British writer is that by our penultimate authority, Robert Leighton. This book is "The New Book of the Dog" (1907), which will remain an important work for all time. Leighton wrote quietly and took great pains with his work. His book covered practically every well-known breed and was certainly the first British work to describe many of the varieties of the continental mainland of Europe and Asia.* Profusely illustrated with coloured plates and photographs, the book dealt with all the important British breeds of the time, some of the chapters being written by eminent authorities and breeders.

      *Some of the articles by Leighton himself on relatively rare breeds appear to have been influenced by de Bylant's Les Races de Chiens (1894), of which incredibly comprehensive work an edition (the third) was published in 1905 with the text covering over 300 breeds and varieties written in French, English, German and Dutch
    • 1927 "Dogs : Their History and Development" Edward C. Ash

      The last and undoubtedly the greatest work on the dog ever printed in English is "Dogs : Their History and Development" (1927) by Edward C. Ash. Like Watson, Ash had learned not to place too much reliance on the earlier writers, consequently, although he took heed of their statements, he checked them himself from all available sources. Indeed, Ash went so deep into the eariy history of each breed that he accumulated a hitherto undreamed mass of data, which he generally sorted out clearly and presented in a very . readable form. His best and permanent reference work is Dogs : Their History and Development. This is a terrific work published in two quarto volumes and illustrated by hundreds of excellent photographs of selected dogs and reproductions of paintings, prints, pottery and relief work. There is no doubt that Ash's researches in the British Museum, paid handsome dividends although here and there errors crept into his books . . .especially into his smaller ones. His ready wit and cynicism is apparent in this book where, as on all other occasions, he ridicules many of the tall stories put forward in the nineteenth century by dog writers like J. C. Macdona ; Of all the published literature on the dog, in any language, Ash's Dogs : Their History and Development remains the supreme effort for original work and investigation. This great book is not the last word on dogs (no book could possibly be), -but certainly it will reign supreme as a work of reference until well into the second half of this century.

      1.3 What some others have said about legacy writings -

      1.3.1 "William D Drury in collaboration with R Hood Wright
      "British Dogs, Their Points, Selection and Show Preparation"

      "It is somewhat remarkable that, whilst we have accounts of almost all the noted breeds, including the Irish Wolfhound, there is no allussion to any such dog as the Deerhound, save in writings of a comparatively recent date". Drury again "If we look for enlightenment in the writings of the older authors, we find little; indeed rather is it a case of confusion worse confounded. In some descripions seem grossly exaggerated; while in others they are lacking in those essential details that, if forthcoming would have helped us with greater accuracy to piect together the unwoven threads of history".

      1.3.2 Edward C Ash in The Practical Dog Book, 1930

      "But in the story of the Irish Wolfhound, the name of Hogan must always be connected. First of all, the Reverend gentleman made a prodigious research, and, secondly, apparently claimed, whenever he found the word dog, that it was the Irish Wolfhound. It was he that gave the oft repeated statement that Irish Wolfhounds were mentioned in very early Irish times, in that literature (the authenticity of which is doubted) which deals with Irish heroes. "

      1.3.2 By Fredson T. Bowers American Kennel Gazette, May 1, 1939

      "One makes a great mistake, however, if one judges older scientific writers by modern standards. Accuracy is not their forte, and demonstrably many of their dogs of various breeds are drawn from imagination and gullible hearsay rather than from life; or, if from life, from a specimen which by no stretch of the imagination could be considered as typical".


      We thought it would be helpful to include some actual quotes/snippets from legacy writings. Our thanks to Rehan Ud Din Baber who posted on Facebook is collection of legacy writings which we have combined with our own list to produce the enlarged list below.

      The snippets below confirm the viewpoint above of vagueness in description making it difficult to identify confidently the breed under discussion. Words such as "Persian Greyhound" were used to describe Saluki's and/or Afghan hounds in those early days, adding to the confusion. Many other names have been assigned to various breeds of Asian hounds in the early days, these include - Afghan greyhound, , Arab or Persian greyhounds, Barukhzy hound, Poligar dogs, Various Greyhound types, Greyhound and Polygar crossbreeds, Cabolee dogs, Brinjaree dog, Rampur Hound, Tazi or Aboriginal hound, Native greyhounds. Kirghiz Greyhound etc

      Astute readers may note that some of the snippets below appear to be a repeat of some previous writing. Often the author had no personal knowledge of the breed he was writing about and relied upon third party information, which itself may have been taken from an earlier publication. This is how the rumour of Afghan hounds single handedly taking down a leopard came into being. Major Amps (Ghazni Afghan hounds) is on record stating that this rumour is not true and in fact his Afghan hounds wouldn't recognize a leopard if they evern saw one. Thus we have to treat legacy writings with an open mind and a degree of suspicion. A very good example of a myth is the article The "myth" of the Sinai Penninsula that was perpetuated up until fairly recent times.

      • 1. Memoirs of the extraordinary military career of John Shipp: late a lieutenant in his majesty's 87th regiment. - Volume 2. c. 1829 The author describes a dog he kept and who was a trusty guard dog and faithful companion - "He was a powerful dog - a kind of Persian-hill greyhound, that would kill a wolf single-handed"

      • 2. Vanity Fair Magazine 1918 Dec - Jan edition, picture of Zardin Text, reads: "Introducing Zardin, who might well be called Abu Ben Adhem. He is an Afghan greyhound but to his brother greyhounds as the piano virtuoso is to his fellow men--at least in respect of hair. He dwells in Persia"

        Zardin 1918 Vanity Fair Magazine
        http:/ Photo Zardin 1918 Vanity Fair Magazine

        3. The Asiatic Journal and Monthly Register for British India and Its Dependencies c. 1841. Authors comments on fox hunting - "Now, fox-hunting in India is usually carried on with Englisg, Arab or Persian greyhounds

      • 4. The Sporting magazine; or Monthly calendar of the transactions of the turf c. 1839. Another reference to Fox-Coursing - "The greyhounds in use ae Arabs and are coarser than the English, less graceful in shape, and with pendelous ears, nearly as long as a pointer's. They are mostly of a fawn, red or dun color. English dogs are sometimes used, as also a cross from with the Arabs, the latter make excellent dogs, combining the speed of the English and the ferocity and hardihood of the Arabs".

      • 5. The hunting grounds of the Old World, Henry Astbury Leveson, c. 1865 Author is describing preparations for a march - "Then come my two dog-boys, one with a couple of Anglo-Persian gretyhounds, and the other with four huge creatures of the Poligar breed, famous animals to lay after a wounded deer, or to bring a bear or hog to bay

      • 6. The Sporting review, ed. by 'Craven'. John William Carletonc.1840 We often wonder if a cross with the savage thin-haired Rampoor hound, or as some term it the Polygar dog of India, would ever suit our much lighter and less greyhounds. Their height is at least five inches more, and weight in proportion, and they will pull down a leopard cleverly.

      • 7. The United service magazine: Volume 75. -Arthur William Alsager Pollockc. 1854. Article discussing field sports "The north of the Punjab offers an excellent range for field sports . Mr James and party were accompanied by a large pack of dogs, including the Rampore breed, Persian greyhounds, and a large species resembling a wolf-hound.

      • 8. Tiger slayer by order (Digby Davies, late Bombay police). c. 1916. Article discussing the Indian Hare - Like the Indian fox - a pretty little silver white creature with black tips to their brush - they afford excellent coursing with Persian greyhounds . I had some first rate Persian greyhounds, which I had purchased from the stables in Bombay when buying remounts for the troop of Mounted Police.

      • 9. Twelve years' military adventure in three quarters of the globe -John Blakistonc. 1829 Article discussing greyhounds used in hunting. "The dogs in use are a cross between the greyhound and the Polygar dog, which is of the same species, but much stronger, and more ferocious, though not so swift. Without this cross, the English dog would degenerate in the climate, and besides, he is not always posessed of sufficient courage to seize a fox"

      • 10. Dogs: their history and development: Volume 1. ~Edward Cecil Ash c. 1927 "The ' Polygar ' is a larger dog than the ' Bunjara,' standing from 27 inches to 31 inches at shoulder ; he is not so ferocious either, but has an equally good pluck, and never gives in alive. In colour, he is bluish grey or dark grey. He is almost bare of hair, except on his head, which is covered with a fine coat, as sleek and soft as a mole's. He has bristles all over his body, like a pig; and in fact his skin much resembles that of a dark-colored pig. His tail is fine, like a greyhound's, and he has more or less of greyhound ears. For hunting purposes, and as a guard, he is excellent and more reliable than 'Bunjara' not having such a spice of the devil in him. He is used both by natives and Europeans, and principally for hunting the tiger and panther. He is most faithful to his master and capable of being trained to many useful purposes."

      • 11. 'Southern India' F. E. Penny. c. 1914. "Like the English Gipsies, the Lumadis have their own dogs, a peculiar breed of long-limbed, powerful animals. They are brown or grey, and are not unlike the' Poligar dogs of the plains in the south, except that the latter have less hair. They attach themselves strongly to their master, but with strangers they are shy and unfriendly, taking after their wolf ancestors. The indian dog of the plains is said to be descended from the jackal, a less courageous progenitor. The poligar dog makes a fine hunting dog. Probably the Indian Gipsies find the same good quality in their own animals".

      • 12. Thirty years in India: or A soldier's reminiscences of native and European life in the presidencies from 1808 to 1838. By Henry Bevan, c. 1839 -"The polygar dog, which I have often employed in my hunting and shooting excursions, is the best of the native canine breeds in Hindustan. It is somewhat like the greyhound in shape, but rather thicker, the hair is very short and wiry, the head is nearly a medium between that of the mastiff and the greyhound. . The purest breed of the polygar-dog is found about Madeira and Tenevelly, but it is not rare in the southern dependencies of the Madras presidency and in the Carnatic. Some sportsman prefer the cross of the Arab dog and the hound, as the breed is obtained with greater facility. The Arab dog may be regarded as a course specis of greyhound, the colour is generally brown, its feet are less tender than those of the European dog but more so than those of the polygar-dog, to which it is also inferior in strength and boldness

      • 13. Sport and Work on the Nepaul Frontier. James Inglis - 1880 Discussing the Cabolees peoples - The wanering Caboolees, who come down to the plains once a year with dried fruit, spices and other products of field or garden, also bring with them the dogs of their native country for sale, and on occasion they bring lovely long haired white Persian cats, very beautiful animals. These Cabolee dogs are tall, long-limbed brutes, generally white, with a long thin snout, very long silky-haired drooping ears, and generally wearing tufts of hair on their legs and tail, somewhat like the feathering of a spaniel, which makes them look rather clumsy. They cannot stand the heat of the plains at all well, and are difficult to tame, but fleet and plucky, hunting well with an English pack.

      • 14. The Naturalist's Library, I. Mammalia: Vol10, Pt 2, William Jardine - 1834 "The Arabian or Bedouin greyhound is a large and very fierce species, not perfectly pure, but greatly valued, and used by the wandering tribes not only for coursing antelopes, but to watch their tents and cattle. They have more strength of jaw, and are rufous, or white clouded with tan colour". The Brinjaree dog, uses in the Deccan, is superior in stature and strength to the Persian. This breed, we believe, is the best in India, where their general colour is yellowish or tan, but our sportsman report the Indidn dogs to want velocity. The persian breed, with the plane of the nose almost arched, and the lumber part of tbe back less curved than our dogs, has the hair silky, the tail very long and hairy. Those we have seen were pale slate-coloured, or white, and in speed, game and size at least equal to our best breeds.

      • 15. The Book of sports, British and foreign: devoted to the pictorial ... Thomas Hood - 1843 - "This species (Persian Greyhound) of greyhound is much esteemed in Peria . These greyhounds are employed in coursing hares in the plains, and in chaing the antelope. As the speed of the antelope is greater than that of the greyhound, the Perisns train hawks for the purpose of assisting the dog in this kind of chase. The hawks when young are fed upon the head of a stuffed antelope, and thus taught to fly at that part of the animal. When the antelops is discovered, the hawk is cast off, which fastening its talons in the animals head impedes its progress and thus enables the greyhounds to overtake it. , Though several Persian gretyhound have at different times been brought to this country, the breed can scarcely be considered as established here. The specimen, however a female, from which Mr Hamilton painted the pictures from which our engraving is' taken, was bred in this country. She is, we believe, the only Persian greyhound bitch now in England. There is a dog in the gardens of the Zoological Society, Regents park and the Duke of Devonshire has another at Chatsworth

      • 16. The Modern Voyager & Traveller Through Europe, Asia, Africa, and ... William Adams (M.A.) 1828 - "The greyhounds of Afghanistan are excellent, and a long-haired species of cat, called boorauk are exported hence in great numbers and called Persian cats

      • 17. Asiatic journal: Volume 10 - The Persian merchants also bring very beautiful greyhounds to India for sale, but ehay are always extremely high-priced, being much in request. The native or pariah dogs, are a degenerte and useless race of mongrels, and infinite care is taken to preserve foreign breeds, which require great attention, the climate being very unfavourable to all except the hardiest sort of terriers.

      • 18. The Sporting review, ed. by 'Craven'. John William Carleton - 1839 "Resembling the same stock is the Persian Greyound, or Polygar dog of India - one of the most perfectly beautiful creatures that can be conceived. There are two varities, one which is covered all over with a long silky hair like a spaiel, and carrying a deep fringe to his ears, and the other smoth on the body, with a lighter coloured fringe the length of eight or nine inches on the tail and back part of the thighs. The former is to be found i the southern and flat parts of India, the latter inhabits the more inhospitable mountainous regions, and is accordingly a fiercer and more hardy dog. These dogs possess good noses and are very courageous

      • 19. The new book of the dog: Volume 2 Robert Leighton - 1907 - The Barukhzy Hound, or Afghan Greyhound.* A very celebrated breed in the East is the Afghan Greyhound or Barukhzy hound. The name it bears is that of the royal family of the Barukhzy. This breed is chiefly found in the neighbourhood of Cabul and Balkh. In a history of India of the sixteenth century mention is made of the importations of dogs, particularly good ones coming from the Hazarah district, which would probably refer to this breed. Old records in their own country show them to be of very ancient origin. Their speed, scent, courage, and powers of endurance are said to be remarkable.

      • 20 Scenes and characteristics of Hindostan, with sketches of ...: Volume 3 Emma Roberts - 1825 - "Persian greyhounds are also exposed in the streets for sale, under the superintendence of some of those fine, tall, splendid-looking men, who bring all sorts of merchandise from Cashmere, Persia and Thibet to the cities of Hindustan.

      • 21 Things Indian: being discursive notes on various subjects ... William Crooke - 1906 - "A similar valuable breed is the large hairless, Poligar dog of Chennai. The Muslims brought the greyhound from Persia, and the breed is now best represented by the Northern Rampur breed.

      • 22. Introduction to the geography and history of India, and of the ... Alfred Radford Symonds - 1845 Extract from chapter on Baluchistan - The Greyhounds of this country are excellent and are bred with great care by the Baloochees, who hold them in great estimation

      • 23 Journal: Volume 10 Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal - 1841 "Dogs - The common dog of the country appears to approximate a good deal to the Pariah of the plains. But the Tajee greyhound a large ghandsome animal with exceedingly long curly hair about his legs and ears

      • 24 Ain-e-Akbari (Institutes of Emperor Akbar) c. 1590 -"His Majesty likes this animal very much for his excellent qulities, and imports dogs from all countries, Excellent dogs come Kabul, especially the Hazarah district (norh of Raulpindi). They even ornament dogs and give them names There is one keeper for every two Tazi (hunting) dogs.

      • 25. Tuzk-e-Jahangiri (Autobiography of Mughal Emperor Noor-ud-Din Muhammad Jahangir (1569 1627)) -Muhibb Al and Aga Beg, envoys of the ruler of Persia, presented twenty four horses, two mules, three camels and seven greyhounds (sag-i-tazi)

      • 26 Beast and Man in India: A Popular Sketch of Indian Animals in Their Relations with the People c. 1891 ~John Lockwood Kipling - "But it appers to be a fact that ehe creole dog, born in India of imported parents, develops some of the characteristics of the indigenous animal. His head especially his nose, grows longer and narrower, he loses substance in the neck, chest and loins, he stands on higher legs and w ags a longer tail than his British born parents,

      • 27. Asiatic journal and monthly miscellany c. 1843 "The imported Persian greyhound, however, a fine creature, with ears and hair like fine silk, is pretty common, as is also the Rampore dog, something between the talbot and the greyhound, and not unlike the animals I have represented in old hunting pictures, the breed of which is now probably extinct in England, I apprehend that the Rampore dog must have been originally brought from Cabul and naturalized by the Patans in Rohilcund

      • 28 Narrative of a journey to Kalt, incl. an account of the insurrection at that place in 1840, c. 1843 ~Charles Masson "There is a breed of horses in this province which if not eminently distinguished, is still valued, and it possesses also a variety of the Tazi or greyhound of much repute in Balochitan, and prized in more remote countries

      • 29 Journal and proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal vol. 3, c. 1908 "H.H. the late Mir Ali Murad used to train passage-seekers to "ravine deer" as is still done in some parts of Arabia and Persia. The late Sir Harry Lumsden, who raised the Guides, told the writer that the Amir Of Kabul used to send him in the cold weather two Turkistani falcolners with "eyess sekers" and Afghan greyhounds, all trained for this flight The article then goes on to detail how the hounds worked with falcolners in pursuit of game etc

      • 30 Travels Into Bokhara: Being the Account of a Journey from India to Cabool, Tartary, and Persia, Volume 1, c. 1834 "The escort was mounted on fine Toorkmun horses, and accompanied by some native greyhounds - a fleet sort of dog, with long shaggy hair on the legs and body


      Capt Barff's Hounds in India Capt Barff's Hounds in India

      Another dimension to origins and breed history relates to India and Afghanistan. India was the British miitary hub in Asia. Most of the hounds shipped to England came via India. Several of the important imports were bred in India. So in acknowledging that our breed originated in Afghanistan, we should note that some of the foundation stock was bred in India, some from Indian stock, some from Afghanistan stock. The borders between Afghanistan and its neighbours were historically very fluid. Pre 19th century, neighbouring countries like Persia (now Iran) might launch a small invastion into Afghanistan and make a land grab. Some time later, Afghanistan might launch a response and grab that lost land back. The big change came in 1947 when the British "Partitioned India". The British basicaly divided India into two areas, based on ethnicity - the bulk of the country remained as India, but the eastern borders abutting Afghanistan, including "The North West Frontier" were carved out and formed part of the new Islamic State Of Pakistan. The south west of Afghanistan (Baluchistan) was transferred into the new state of Pakistan. So areas known to have been sources of Afghan hounds (eg Baluchistan) are nowadays part of Pakistan. Major and Mary Amps (Ghazni) had kennels in Afghanistan (Kabul) and also Peshewar, the latter originaly being in Afghanistan, butnow being part of the new state of Pakistan. Other Indian or Afghanistan territories ceded to Pakistan included - Quetta, Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi. Afghanistan has never accepted these changes to its territories or borders.. The point we wanted to make, was the importance of India in the history of our breed, - see also the article - Afghan hounds in India

      Related content -
      Races de Chiens by Compte Henri Bylandt 1897 edition
      Myths, Legends and Reality" By Steve Tillotson, January 2013
      The "myth" of the Sinai Penninsula By Steve Tillotson, November 2013)
      Captain Barff and Zardin (By Steve Tilotson, Lyall Payne, John Bloor, 2014)
      Afghan hounds in India By Steve Tillotson 2012

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