Plan for the future of the FCI

With a little over a century of history behind it, the FCI has a very promising future. I believe in this future, I believe in the FCI and I feel sure that in our hearts we know that, for the FCI, the best is still to come.

I have a vision of what the FCI should represent in the future, for every member country, for every breeder, for every competitor and for every dog owner. I see the FCI as a frontline organisation, which sets the tone for discussion in the international dog community, with a spirit of openness, in an atmosphere of intellectual dialogue and as a global brand which looks to the best interests of dogs and their owners worldwide.

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Rafael de Santiago
President of the FCI
On the path of cynology from the middle ages to 1911 (part 2/7)

Read the whole article and more in the FCI Centenary Book

Raymond TRIQUET, France
Senior « Maître de Conférence » at the University of Lille III,
former President of the FCI Standards Commission
Translation: Jennifer Mulholland

Hounds were in the hands of kings and nobility and hunting was forbidden for the common people, in England and likewise in France, at the risk of being sentenced to death. Henri II, King of France, even prohibited priests and archbishops from the hunt in 1556. Hunting is an art and treaties flourish. The hunters exchange their dogs and the “bastards” are protected. Faster dogs are brought over from England. Hunt packs multiply. They succeed one another for centuries opening to the middle class and finishing with us. Napoleon III still had a pack of 120 Foxhounds (according to Brigitte CHABROL). It is in modern times that the problems arise with the advent of anti-hunt militants and the abolishing of this practice in Great Britain in November 2004 (Act of Parliament). Already in the XIXth century, to satisfy the sensitive souls, the hunted deer in England was transported in carts (carted deer), captured and hobbled at the end of the hunt. The Count LE COUTEULX de CANTELEU referred to this in 1890 as “canned deer”. Thus he opposes the art of hunting to the English “sport” of fox hunting.

The greyhounds haunted palaces and castles and hunted with princes. One only needs to re-read TOLSTOY, War and Peace, when he describes the “yeoman prickers” slipping more than forty dogs, so much so, that with the packs of hounds, there were in all “approximately one hundred and thirty dogs”. In Russia, after the “ukases” of 1765 and 1767 which worsened the serfs’ living conditions under the reign of The Great Catherine II (SOKOLOFF), it was possible to exchange families of serfs for one Borzoi. Since the XVIIth century and perhaps before, Borzois hunt wolves but also (and maybe even especially) the hare, even if the Russian word does not suggest this. The word Borzoi (Borzaya) comes from oriental Slavonic borzo which meant “fast” in the XVth century. The adjective borzyi refers to a fiery horse. Thus this dog is, in the words of FURETIÈRE “a dog of speed” and the Russians do not appreciate either the French or German name (Barsoi) in which the “a”, in place of the “o” (in English Borzoi), betrays the original meaning. Nevertheless, in Europe, the greyhounds were victims of their qualities. “A good hound must catch all beasts” according to FÉBUS. In the XVIth century, RABELAIS praised the hound of Monsieur DE MEURLES (in Gargantua): “Par le corps Dieu, il n’eschappoit ny lièvre, ni renard devant luy”* (“By God, neither hare nor fox can escape from him”). This is why complaints multiplied in France from as early as the XVIIIth century; there was no more game in the plains. A document dated 1740 refers to 117 hares being caught in two months in the Béthune area by hounds from Irish regiments “who always have many”. In the end the law of May 3, 1844 proclaimed it illegal to hunt with sighthounds in France. However, England had invented the “sport” in the middle of the XVIIth century (i.e. any open-air activity in which dogs and horses can participate and whose aim is the capture of game or fish, without any notion of gain) and they avoided the ban by inventing coursing, the chasing of hare on open land then, later, in closed areas according to strict rules. The first club was founded in Swaffham by Lord ORFORD in 1776. The greyhound still kills the hare but this is not what matters most. It can kill during a bad course but a course can be good even if the hare is not caught. This is a new conception: it is the art and the manner which count as those hunters, who are not pot-hunters, also say.

What about the other dogs; what is happening to them?- They were loved for themselves and not only for services rendered. We know this from the Kings. To quote but two, HENRI IV King of France (1589 – 1610) laughed when he saw his dogs lick his children’s faces. CHARLES II, King of England, Scotland and Ireland (1660 – 1685) was crazy about his miniature Spaniels who invaded his residence to such an extent that visiting ambassadors complained about the dirt and the smell.

Clarissa Strozzi, Le Titien

The ladies had small dogs who acted as hand or foot warmers or sleeve dogs. Many dogs are depicted in the works of famous artists. One of the most well known is Roberto Strozzi’s Daughter painted by LE TITIEN in 1542. The so beautiful little Spaniel sitting on the stool against the young Clarissa was chosen at the Lille Congress in November 1934 as the model for the Miniature Continental Spaniel (GAUTIER and HARNIST). However, it was not the same for the common people’s dogs. In the cities they were used as scavengers and carrion-eaters going to the extent, in times of dearth, of digging up the dead, like the wolves of FÉBUS who ate “the hanged who were attached low down or who fell from the gallows”. In the country, when they were not guarding livestock, dogs lived at the end of a chain in the farmyards, giving rise to the English expression bandog, from band-dog (chained dog); this was the case in France for the mastins (mâtins) and, in England, the mastiffs in the old sense of the word (middle English mastis, mastie, masty, mastive). According to B. DENIS, the mastins were “heavy shepherd dogs, common farm dogs”. In England, during the Middle Ages, heavy dogs belonging to peasants were mutilated according to the 1272 “Law of the Forest”. Three toes of a front paw were chopped off on the butcher’s block to prevent them from chasing the “beasts of chase” (expeditation). In 1607, in France, during the reign of HENRI VI who was a great hunter, a decree forbade the land workers to bring their mastiffs to the fields unless they had their hock cut and ordered the shepherds, under the threat of being whipped, to keep their dogs on a leash except “when it is necessary to release them to drive and protect their flock” (which also proves, that continental dogs did not just guard the flocks but also drove them). The overall feeling towards dogs, except for hunting dogs and sighthounds, was one of contempt. This is voiced in many expressions (“throw to the dogs”, “die like a dog” “a dog’s life”, etc.) which can be found in almost all European languages. If the Barbet was used as a turn-spit dog to the satisfaction of the cooks, he was also, like all the domestic dogs, “the victim” of doctors who experimented their poisons on them (LINNÉ, quoted by HERMANS).

On the other hand, in the XVIIth century, LA FONTAINE considers the French Mastiff to be “as powerful as he is handsome”. It is a modern notion of beauty applied to a dog. He explains its function as a guard dog: “Give the hunt to people carrying sticks” (i.e. to vagabonds) “and beggars” and also as a companion dog: “Flatter the household, please his master”. Its wages will be “chicken bones, pigeon bones, not to mention many caresses”: thus we have a happy dog even though his “neck is bare” because of the “collar by which he is attached”. Collars, proof of the submission of dog to man, also served to protect the dog from wolf or bear bites. Some were amazing, in metal, covered with spikes (for the hunt and war, not only for molossian dogs but also for sighthounds during the XVIth century). Later some even became works of art, made of badger hair and of copper or silver as from the XVIIIth century.

Shepherd and guard dogs inspired fewer authors. Nevertheless, one of them is famous in France: Charles ESTIENNE ( l’Agriculture et Maison rustique , 1564) which shows mastiffs “which are left to run about at night”. Two years later saw the publication of Jean DE GLAMORGAN’s Chasse du loup (Wolf hunt) with his mastiffs who were “guard dogs for barking at thieves”. Some authors attached a lot of importance to the colour of the coat, always in view of their utilization. For example, in 1600, Olivier DE SERRES thought that guard dogs for the home should be black and those for the park “much lighter in colour”; the black dogs “being more vicious than the white ones”. Since DU FOUILLOUX (1573), scenthounds have also been divided according to the colour of their coat, which corresponds to their “nature”, whites, fawns, grays and blacks.

© © : Deutsche Fotothek
Chien avec collier à pointe, Wolf Helmardt von Hohberg

Adulated dogs, disgraced dogs. According to the French proverb , “he who wants to drown his dog accuses it of having rabies” (“qui veut noyer son chien l’accuse de la rage”*). Rabies sowed terror and was the cause of many dogs being massacred like in France in 1271 and in Germany in 1427 (DELORT). Sometimes dogs were also exterminated for no other reason than their proliferation. In 1908 dogs in Istanbul were abandoned without food or water on “the uninhabited island of Oxia” (DE PLANHOL) where they all perished. This tendency of mankind to inflict summary justice on its “best friend” is not dead, unfortunately. Some, in Germany, amongst whom policemen and high level politicians allowed themselves to be caught up in a collective psychosis after the sad killing of a child by a pitbull on June 26, 2000. This, in spite of the fact that we had just finished the World Show in Milan where the “King dog” had just been celebrated in a magnificent manner. Rudyard KIPLING, who gave an excellent description of the dogs of British soldiers in India and, in particular, the “exploits” of Bullterriers, sums up best the duality of man-dog relationships in Garm, a Hostage:

Dogs are at the best no more than verminous vagrants,
Self scratchers,
Foul feeders

Further on he added:

A free thing, tied to you so strictly by love
As for reciprocity, he described it thus:
So why in Heaven
Should we give our heart to a dog to bear?
(“the Power of the Dog”)
We, dog fanciers, know the answer.

As early as the XVIIth century in France, dogs were already an important topic as the first French language dictionary, Dictionnaire universel by Antoine FURETIÈRE in 1690, accords them more than two pages. The definition illustrates the esteem in which the dog is already held in spite of the restrictions of the numerous derogatory expressions given:

Domestic animal which barks, which serves to guard the home and to hunt. The dog is the symbol of loyalty

Dictionnaire universel d’Antoine de Furetière (page de titre), 2ème édition, Tome premier.
Here “breed” still means “ancestry”. Among the French hunting dogs “some are called of royal breed”. Others are of common breed and more are of mixed breed or slight breed. There are three kinds of “anglois” (English) dogs, one of which is the Beagle. The “Baud” dogs which are called “Greffiers” hunt with “the nose held high”. The grey dogs “know how to do everything”. Black dogs are called “St. Hubert”. The following important phrase shows that these are “our” St. Hubert dogs and, moreover, that the word “breed” is employed as we would do today: “we maintain the breed in memory of this Saint in the Abbey which bears his name in the Ardennes”. I would like to recall that the French word race (breed) changed from the Italian word razza to French around 1500. Thereafter it was known in German and English. The English word breed appeared in 1553 and comes from Old English (according to O.E.D.). Previously I gave the following definition for fawn: “all shades from yellow to red”. Here we have: “Fawn or red dogs” who have “a big heart”. As for those we call “solid colour”, “they are called dogs of one piece”. The future pointing dogs are referred to as setting dogs. They are “arquebus dogs” (thus gun dogs); they hunt “hair and feather”. Many other “kinds” of dogs are mentioned. The pointers (“which look like the setting dogs”) are thus already like present day Continental Pointers and not like the German Bracken which are scent hounds. Spaniels “force the rabbits out of the brush wood”. Griffons come from Italy and “point all game”. Bassets “which we call ground dogs (we would say go to ground), come from Flanders and Artois. “They attack all that goes to earth (a key word for the future “terrier”) like badgers” is not the Dachshund a “badger dog” (German der Dachs)? FURETIÈRE recalls an old belief: some bassets “have a double row of teeth like wolves”. They have “crooked front paws” (already!). Barbets have a curly coat. “Their principal nature is to fetch” and they “point on land and in water” and are “the most loyal dogs in the world”. The “dogues” are “fighting dogs”. The word dogue is English and means “dog”, like the German englischer Dock in 1582 and englische Docke in 1616. “The mastins are guard dogs which are left in the farmyard to bark”. In his French-English dictionary (Dictionnarie of the French and English Tongues), COTGRAVE, in 1611, had already planned an entry: “Mastin: a Mastive or Ban-dog, a great country curre”. The Alans or “Gentle Alans” dogs are “big dogs”. We also say “butcher-dogs” (which comes straight from Gaston FÉBUS). FURETIÈRE pursues his article with a long passage about the qualities and faults of dogs taken from hunting treaties. It is really amazing that FURETIÈRE, this monument of culture of the “grand siècle”, gives such an important place to dogs, with so many details which we look for: origin, utilization, characteristic features, size, coat and colour.

In FURETIÈRE, the shepherd dog is conspicuous by its absence. Even so, a shepherd from the Claye-Souilly region, Jehan DE BRIE, wrote as early as 1379 “all that a shepherd must know “ (tout ce que doit savoir un berger) (HERMANS). The “shepherd dog” (canis pastoralis) is already cited by Jean NICOT in his Thresor de la langue francoyse (Treasure of the French language) 1606 in which the shepherd is thus described : “The shepherd is he who brings the sheep to pasture and guards them”. Flock driving dogs, smaller that flock guard dogs (now we say “protection”) will establish themselves in the next century (XVIIIth) throughout Western Europe and begin to diversify. This corresponds to the considerable increase in the number of sheep. In the era when BUFFON published his masterpiece, Histoire naturelle générale et particulière, 1786, they played at shepherd and shepherdess at Versailles, with Marie-Antoinette, Queen of France. FLORIAN, the author of fables, relates in 1792 the work of herding dogs in his Le roi et les deux bergers (The King and the two shepherds):

Deux moutons effrayés s’écartent dans la plaine
Un autre chien part, les ramène (…)
Et le berger dit au roi : la chose est fort facile ;
Tout mon secret consiste à choisir de bons chiens.