|Classification of Dogs
Ay, in the catalogue ye go for men ;
As hounds, and greyhounds, mongrels, spaniels, curs,
Shoughs, water-rugs and demi-wolves, are clept
All by the name of dogs : the valued file
Distinguishes the swift, the slow, the' subtle,
The housekeeper, the hunter, every one
According to the gift which bounteous nature
Hath in him closed. ,, , , .
Macbeth Act 3, Sc. i : SHAKESPEARE
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| The history of the domestic dog has been chronicled
in English since the first serious attempt to produce a logical classification
of the breeds.
Dame Juliana Berners (Barnes or Bernes) ,in her treatise on hunting
in the Boke of St. Albans, which was first published in 1486 by a
schoolmaster at St. Albans, gave what was the first list of recognised
breeds to be printed in English. " Thyse ben thenames of houndes,"
she wrote, " fyrste there is a Grehoun, a Bastard, aMengrell,
a Mastiff, a Lemor, a Spanyel, Raches, Kenettys, Teroures,Butchers'
Houndes, Myddyng dogges, Tryndel-taylles, and Prikherid
currys, and smalle ladyes' poppees that bere awaye the flees."
Theclassification was very limited, but it served to illustrate the
importance attached even at that time to certain breeds of dogs and
their purpose which have to this day retained their original nomenclature.
Dame Juliana's book was apparently well received and became popular
in the sixteenth century (when it ran to several impressions) at the
same time as the learned contribution of Dr. Caius was published.
This earliest attempt at a complete classification of dogs was published
in 1570 and called De Canibus Britannicus. This treatise was written
in Latin by Dr Johannes caius who was the physician to Queen Elizabeth
the first and the founder of Caius College Cambridge. It was first
translated into English in 1576.
Caius divided his first group into 'Venatici' and ' Aucupatorii'.
The Venatici were used for the purpose of hunting beasts ; the Aucupatorii
were employed in the hunting of fowl. As Dr. Caius wrote," The
first findeth game on the land. The other findeth game on the water."
His Venatici or Dogges serving y pastime of hunting beasts were divided
Leverarws, or Harriers; Terrarius, or Terrars; Sanguinarius, or Bloodhounds;
Agaseus, or Gazehounds; Leporanus, or Grehounds; Loranus, or Lyemmer;
Vertigus, or Tumbler; and Cams furax, or Stealer.
His Aucupatorii were not so inclusive, and comprised merely : Dogs
used for fowling:
Index, or Setter; Aquaticus, or Spaniell.
The third group of Caius' table of species was devoted entirely to
the 'Spaniell Gentle', or 'Comforter';
but the fourth section, that for farm dogs, consists of the following
two types :
Canis pastoralis, or the Shepherd's
Dogge; The Mastive, or Bandogge,
called Canis Villaticus Or Carbenarius,
which hath sundry names derived from sundry circumstances,
The final section, which appears to deal with mongrels, contains the:
Admonitor, or Wapp;
Vernepator, or Turnespet;
Saltator, or Dauncer.