Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show may be over, but this dog show is ready to begin! For this exhibition, we’ve searched through the Hirschfeld archive for images of dogs of every size and shape. In many cases, the actual breed was noted on the record of the drawing. In others, we’re giving you our best educated guess. Dogs appear in drawings in nearly every category from theatre, film, television, music, and literature, as well as politics, private commissions, and Hirschfeld’s earliest lithographs.
We have separated the dogs seen in this show by breed, just as they do in conformation dog shows. Conformation dog shows are not a beauty contest and different breeds are not judged against each other. Each purebred dog breed has an established standard which may vary from organizations, and dogs are judged based on that standard. Judges are looking for the dog that best exemplifies the breed standard.
There are breeds from each of the seven American Kennel Club groups represented: Sporting, Working, Terrier, Hound, Toy, Herding, and Non-Sporting and range in date from 1924 and through 2001. We have added a few at the end in a category we called the “Miscellaneous Mutt Group. You’ll learn about some of the most famous dogs in 20th century media, some dogs who weren’t so famous but well-loved by their humans, and learn some fun facts about different breeds. Maybe you’ll even fall in love with a breed and start looking for your next best friend.
On her days off, Eastman practices as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer. She brings her two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Chandler and Bennett to work every day. The Al Hirschfeld Foundation is waiting for her to train them to sniff out NINAs.
You can see their adventures on Instagram @KatherineAndCavaliers.
Sporting Group: American Cocker Spaniel
David and Phillip have a great love of art and theater that includes an extensive collection of Hirschfeld artwork. In 1996, they commissioned this drawing of their two Cocker Spaniels and themselves. Bennett (right) was a chocolate and white parti-color and Baxter (left) was a black and white parti-color. According to Phillip, Bennett was obsessed with tennis balls, and would find every single tennis ball in someone’s house, whether they knew they had them or not. Baxter joined the family via Bennett’s groomer when he was 9 months old. Baxter kept his brother young, though he was known to drive Bennett crazy! Bennett lived to be 16 years old, but his younger brother Baxter sadly only lived to his 6th birthday.
There are two breeds of Cocker Spaniels: the American Cocker Spaniel with a shorter face and rounded dome skull, and the English Cocker Spaniel with a longer snout and the larger of the two Cocker breeds.
Hound Group: Borzoi
Borzois enjoyed time as a status symbol in the early to mid 20th century. Hirschfeld included a Borzoi with “The Proletarian Playwright” from Show Business is No Business. The female star from Hollywood Types shows the beautiful star signing autographs with her equally beautiful and elegant Borzois. See her monogram and guess who Hirschfeld was thinking of. A running Borzoi (the Russian борзый meaning “swift”) is the logo for Alfred A. Knopf.
Borzois are a sighthound, which means they hunt game primarily through their sight and speed. Originally known as the Russian Wolfhound, the Borzoi’s prey of choice is wolf. They were so well known at the time that Leo Tolstoy includes an extensive Borzoi wolf hunting scene in War and Peace, spanning four chapters of the epic novel. Wolf hunting was very popular during the Romanov dynasty and the breed was beloved by the royal family until their demise in 1918.
Hound Group: Beagle
Herding Group: Rough Collie
In 1965, Ralph Schoenstein wrote a biography of President Johnson’s dogs, got a publisher, and was ready to sell over 100,000 copies until the White House, more specifically Lady Bird Johnson’s press secretary Liz Carpenter, called the book “awful!” and wanted the book stopped. My Year in the White House Dog House, which Hirschfeld illustrated, tells the saga that follows. President Johnson had two dogs: Blanco, a white Rough Collie, and Him, a Beagle (Lady Bird had a matching “Her” Beagle who is not in the book). Beagles are a small but sturdy scenthound and have one of the strongest noses in the canine kingdom. While the book was not a best seller, it served as a tribute to the dogs. Him was killed crossing the road across from the White House at a young age in 1966. Blanco the Collie was given to a doctor in Kentucky when the Johnsons left the White House, the same year this book was published.
Working Group: Great Dane
Springtime for Sidney was a short-lived column by S.J. Perelman for Redbook Magazine in the early months of 1952. By this point in the column, “The Man Who Had Everything” S.J. Perelman was in Las Vegas, Nevada, searching for something more. Buddy, seen in bed here, was a brindled Great Dane who startled Perelman the first time they met. Buddy’s owner, a Vegas bookmaker named Mr. Choynski, eventually had to give him sleeping pills to calm down, resulting in the scene of Choynski, Buddy, and Perelman sleeping in the same bed. “I lay rigidly on the very edge of the bed. Buddy sprawled between us, alternatvely slobbering on my cheek and snarling,” Perelman says.
The large and majestic Great Dane, nicknamed the Apollo of Dogs, is not really a Dane. The breed was developed in Germany in the middle ages as a large hunting dog for boar and bear. Great Danes are consistently holders of the world record for largest dog year after year. Some of the best-known Great Danes are Marmaduke and Scooby Doo, yet not so well known as to have been drawn by Hirschfeld.
Working Group: Siberian Husky
The Siberian Husky was developed on the Chukchi Peninusla in Siberia for mushing, or pulling a sled on snow. They were brought to Alaska in the early 20th century as working dogs and eventually for sled dog racing. Huskies have a thick double coat: a soft undercoat and a long, rougher topcoat that act as guard hairs. This protects the dogs from the harsh icy conditions in the winter and helps them to reflect heat in the summer. They require constant grooming and a very good vacuum cleaner.
Herding Group: Australian Shepherd
Australian Shepherds were developed by California ranchers in the early 19th century. “Aussies” are a working breed and have not had a long time to adjust to becoming a popular family pet breed. They have high energy requirements and will become destructive if those needs are not met. As a herding breed, they also will herd young children, making family life difficult. They come in variety of colors, with the most popular Blue Merle, Red Merle, Red Tri, and Black Tri (shown here in drawing).
Terrier Group: Jack Russell Terrier
Eddie Crane, a Jack Russel Terrier, was played by a hyper-active dog named Moose on the hit sitcom Frasier. Eddie’s signature move was staring down Frasier, who would get so upset at the dog just staring at him. Before making it in Hollywood, Moose’s original family couldn’t handle the small terrier’s feisty attitude and sent him off on a plane to live with Hollywood animal trainers. His big break came when he was cast as Eddie. Moose had a son, Enzo, who starred in the Warner Brother’s film “My Dog Skip” in 2000, alongside Frankie Muniz. Enzo played the young Skip, while Moose played elderly Skip in a few scenes. Moose passed away peacefully at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 15 in 2006.
Terrier Group: Wire Fox Terrier
Skippy the Wire Fox Terrier was known to be a very serious actor, but was temperamental, so the actors were not allowed to interact with him when not actively filming as to not break his concentration, as well as out of fear of being bitten. Skippy was in dozens of films throughout the thirties, including the second and third Thin Man films and a brief appearance in Bringing Up Baby. At the height of his career, Skippy was paid $200 a week, while his trainer only got $60 a week. Following the success of The Thin Man, terriers enjoyed newfound popularity as pet dogs.
While Wire Fox Terriers are generally friendly and great companions, they require a lot of mental and physical exercise and like all terriers, have very high prey drive. After all, their job is to hunt foxes and small rodents. Wire Fox Terriers have won more Best in Shows than any other breed at Westminster, with a total of 15 BIS wins.
Terrier Group: Miniature Schnauzer
Notably absent from Hirschfeld’s 12 different drawings of The Wizard of Oz is everyone’s favorite Cairn Terrier, Toto. Despite drawing five out of the six posters of the MGM spectacle and several drawings long after the film became a classic, the small terrier never makes an appearance in Hirschfeld’s work. Toto does appear in the 1978 drawing of the film “The Wiz”, but has been magically transformed into a Miniature Schnauzer. Small, spunky, and distinguished with their beautifully groomed beard, the Miniature Schnauzer is the most popular breed of the Terrier group.
And remember, all of Dorothy’s problems could have been fixed if she had only kept her dog on a leash.
Toy Group: Japanese Chin
“Charming, noble, and loving” is how the AKC describes the petite Japanese Chin. The exact origins of the breed are highly debated, with some claiming they come from China while others say the breed is from Korea. However they ended up getting to Japan, it is now recognized as a distinctly Japanese breed. The breed was developed on the Japanese islands 500-1,000 years ago, and was introduced to the rest of the world in 1854, when trade in Japan was reopened after 200 years of isolation. The Japanese Chin comes in three coat colors: black and white, red and white, or black and white with tan points (tricolor). Trend expert Faith Popcorn, sometimes referred to as “The Nostradamus of Marketing,” is shown with a black and white Japanese Chin, so those dogs may have been part of a trend.
Toy Group: Chinese Crested
Hirschfeld’s etching of Gypsy is one of the earliest theater cast drawings that has been published as a limited edition print, with only My Fair Lady beating it by three years. While the small pooch that Rose is holding in the drawing looks like a Yorkshire Terrier, something small and fluffy, Gypsy Rose Lee’s breed of choice was the Chinese Crested. Lee was gifted her first Chinese Crested “Fu Man Chu” from her sister June Havoc. Lee was an early supporter of the breed in America and many of the Chinese Cresteds today can trace their lineage back to her dogs. Cresteds come in two accepted coats: Powderpuff, a coated variety, and the more well-known Hairless, the hairless variety.
Toy Group: Maltese
Dating back to ancient Greek and Roman times, the Maltese is a small companion dog with flowy white hair. Like many other breeds, despite their name claiming a specific origin, the Maltese are not from Malta. While it is not known exactly where the breed comes from, most suggest a south-central Europe origin. Maltese are low-shedding, making them an ideal choice for people with allergies and their long hair make a great place for hiding NINAs. Silverman was a television executive and producer who was responsible for such programs as Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! (the original incarnation of the Scooby-Doo franchise, 1969–1970), All in the Family, The Waltons, and Charlie's Angels.
Toy Group: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The largest of the toy breeds, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have a rich history as companion dogs and were a favorite of King Charles II. Before Queen Victoria had her Pomeranians, she had a tricolor Cavalier, Dash, who she received as a gift at age 13. Dash was her faithful companion and saw Victoria grow from a girl into the Queen of England.
Not to be confused with the King Charles Spaniel (also known as the English Toy Spaniel), Cavaliers are a larger breed with a longer snout than their English Toy cousins. Cavaliers come in 4 colors: Blenheim (red and white), Tricolor (black and white with tan markings), Black and Tan (black with tan markings), and Ruby (all red). Two Blenheims, Chandler and Bennett work in the Al Hirschfeld Foundation office..
Non Sporting: Poodle
Poodles come in three sizes: Standard, Miniature, and Toy. I’d like to suggest the dog being bitten by the man in this drawing is a Miniature Poodle, of middle size, probably weighing in at 30 pounds. This was the cover for the Newspaper Guild Annual in 1952. The phrase "man bites dog" is a shortened version of an aphorism in journalism that describes how an unusual, infrequent event (such as a man biting a dog) is more likely to be reported as news than an ordinary, everyday occurrence with similar consequences, such as a dog biting a man.
There are over 50 different ways to clip a Poodle’s coat no matter their size, but the most recognizable is the Continental Clip, with the face and rear clipped, with pom-pom type tufts on all four feet, and on each hip. While Poodles are often cited as hypoallergenic, there is no dog who are truly hypoallergenic. That being said, Poodles are low-shedding and are a great choice for those with allergies. The green coat of this Poodle disqualifies it from judging, and paired with the blatant animal abuse by the handler we must ask the Poodle to please leave the ring.
Non Sporting: Lhasa Apso
For the sake of having more than one dog included in our Non-Sporting group, we’d like to put forth that the Riggios’ dog is a Lhasa Apso. The Lhasa Apso is a native of Tibet and the breed is over 1,000 years old. The 14th Dali Lama gifted Lhasa Apsos to establish the breed in America in the late 1940s, however the breed was recognized by the AKC in 1935. They have long coats that are parted down the middle, with hair extending to the floor. While they “sport” a lot of hair, like Poodles they are considered to be low-shedders and may be a good choice for someone with allergies or who doesn’t like to vacuum.
Herding Group: Old English Sheepdog
Paul McCartney never had a dog growing up, so in the mid-sixties he decided to get an Old English Sheepdog named Martha which led to the Beatles’ White Album song, “Martha My Dear.” “Whereas it would appear to anybody else to be a song to a girl called Martha, it’s actually a dog, and our relationship was platonic, believe me!” McCartney recalled. Martha, his “silly girl” lived to be 15 years old. Although Old English Sheepdogs are considered low-shedders, they require a lot of grooming. If you’re ready to provide 1-3 hours of grooming several times a week, they make great family pets, adjusting to both rural and city life with ease.
Herding Group: German Shepherd Dog
Billed in this advertisement as “The Greatest Dog Actor on the Screen”, Brawn (drawn here) was actually the son of the first canine star of Hollywood, Strongheart. Originally named Etzel, Strongheart was born in October 1917 in Germany and served in the German Red Cross. Director and animal trainer Laurence Trimble and his partner Jane Murfin bought Stronghart at a dog show in America with the intention of training him for acting roles on the big screen. Strongheart made his film debut in The Silent Call, 1921. With the success of Strongheart’s films and an even more famous dog-actor to come, the German Shepherd quickly rose in popularity as a trusted family pet.
Herding Group: German Shepherd Dog
Born almost exactly one year after Strongeheart, Rin Tin Tin was a dark sable German Shepherd from France. His appeared in his first film, Hell’s River, in 1922 and had his first starring role the following year with Where the North Begins. Hirschfeld first drew the canine superstar in 1926’s While London Sleeps. For Jaws of Steel, Hirschfeld drew a series of prints ads in a more traditional style, along with this caricature, a rare opportunity to see both sides of Hirschfeld’s drawing side by side. Rin Tin Tin left a legacy of 27 films and many offspring to continue telling Rin Tin Tin stories for generations to come.
Other German Shepherds: Flash in The Thirteenth Hour
Herding Group: Rough Collie
Arguably the most famous dog in popular culture, Lassie made her MGM debut in 1943 with Lassie Come Home starring child stars Roddy McDowell and Elizabeth Taylor. However, the television series is where Lassie’s legacy lies. Running from 1954-1973, the show is the 5th longest running primetime television show. This drawing from March 1958 was done at the beginning of the “Timmy years” (1957-1964), with the John Provost as Timmy, Lassie’s best friend. While Lassie graced the cover TV Guide many times over the years, she is the only animal to have a Hirschfeld TV Guide to her name. Hirschfeld illustrated more than 40 TV Guide covers, and had even more drawings featured inside the magazine from 1954 to 2001. Lassie, along with predecessors Strongheart and Rin Tin Tin, are the only three animals to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Collies come in two varieties, Rough and Smooth coat, and in a variety of colors.
Miscellaneous Mutts Group: Unidentified Sheepdog
Facing a new “dog tax”, a woman is unable to afford to the back taxes for her sheepdog, Patsy, and the dog is at risk of being put to sleep. New to town, a reporter from the local newspaper takes up her case to save Patsy from death. The play is an English adaptation of the German play Sturm im Wasserglas by Bruno Frank. It was also adapted into a 1937 romantic comedy film starring Vivien Leigh and Rex Harrison. Hirschfeld did two newspaper drawings for the show, for the Brooklyn Eagle and the Herald Tribune (shown here), as well as an ad for the show that featured the dogs of cirtics including his friend Brooks Atkinson’s dog. Storm over Patsy ran on Broadway for only 48 performances, with a dog named “Colonel” playing Patsy. It was both his Broadway debut and final show. He had no understudy.
Miscellaneous Mutts Group: Mischievous Male Dog
Hirschfeld lithographs from the 1920s and 1930s are an extension of the work he was publishing in newspapers, albeit with a different topic and style. Artist George Grosz described Hirschfeld as a “master draughtsman” whose “satire remains graphic where a lesser talent would have produced a mere literary footnote. The people in these prints, and their milieu, are fitted into a satiric pattern which owes nothing to political bias or a transiently fashionable irritation with well entrenched smugness.” In this image, inspired by a scene that Hirschfeld saw outside of the British Museum, he emphasizes the artist's plight and the dichotomy with those who pass by having a dog urinate on one of the artist’s canvases. Male dog owners understand the struggle.
Miscellaneous Mutts Group: Various Breeds
No Follies is complete without a canine act, and The Will Rogers Follies is certainly no exception. This show featured a spectacular bit at the end of Act 1 by the Madcap Mutts, a group of canines led by humans Tom and Bonnie Brackney who were rescued from shelters across the country. The Brackneys started their troupe of tricky canines in 1977 when they first appeared in the Ice Follies. After a successful two year run on Broadway, The Will Rogers Follies went on a national tour. Tragically while in Hartford, seven of the eight dogs featured in the show were killed when they were overcome by smoke from an electrical fire in a trailer outside of the the theater. The show was quickly reworked and continued on without the mutts for the time being. It is not known which dog was the lone canine survivor of the fire, so we remember them all: B.A., Cocoa, Honey, Molly, Rusty, Scooter, Will and Zee.
Miscellaneous Mutts Group: Mixed Breed
The luckiest stray dog in 1930’s New York City was Sandy from the comic strip Little Orphan Annie, who is saved from near-death by Annie, and who then convinces a dog catcher that the mutt is actually her dog. Sandy is never described as any particular breed, but is most often portrayed as a scraggly dog with dusty (or shall we say “sandy”) colored fur. Sandy first appears five months after the start of Harold Gray’s strip and has been with Annie ever since. Without Sandy, who was played by a dog of the same name (his understudy was Arf) in the 1977 Broadway musical, Annie would have no one to sing the show stopping “Tomorrow” to at all. A former stray rescued from the Connecticut Humane Society for $8 on the day he was to be put to sleep, Sandy only missed 14 of the 2,377 performances of Annie. He appeared twice at the Tony Awards and performed for Presidents Carter and Regan. Sandy passed away in 1990 at the age of 16.
For a dog training comedy of errors film, Robert Benchley’s How to Train A Dog shows all the funniest ways of how NOT to train a dog. Hirschfeld produced a series of images for Benchley short films in the 1930s.
Just as it’s no longer appropriate—or even legal—for a school teacher to hit a child, the world of dog training has moved from punitive and correction based methods to its modern form, using primarily positive reinforced based training and adhering to LIMA (least intrusive, minimally aversive) protocols. Today, dog trainers understand that all animals learn best through positively reinforcing behaviors rather than being forced to do a behavior through fear or to avoid pain.
There is currently no regulation in the dog training industry. While hairdressers must maintain a license and sign a code of conduct to be able to cut your hair or trim your beard, dog trainers are not required to hold any certification or license, although there are many professional certifications in the field. Make sure you’re utilizing the services of a trainer who adheres to modern dog training methods. Ask questions like What are your qualifications/certifications?”, “What training methods and philosophy do you use?”, and “What will happen to my dog if they get something wrong?” Dog training should be fun and a positive experience for all parties.