University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Department of Geography - Seminars in Cultural and Historical Geography > The dog fancy at war: breeds, breeding and Britishness, 1914-1918

The dog fancy at war: breeds, breeding and Britishness, 1914-1918

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This paper looks at the impact of the First World War upon the institutions of dog breeding and showing in Britain. Some have suggested that dogs had a ‘good war’, but it is demonstrable not only that particular breeds suffered – the dachshund, inevitably – but also the business and culture of pedigree dogs. Such suspicion was heaped upon dog owners, breeders and showers, particularly under the food shortages of 1916-1918, that their patriotism and Britishness was called into question. The leadership of the Kennel Club was challenged, as was the survival of the business of pedigree breeding. Whilst dog breeding has been understood principally in terms of class relations, this study thus concentrates on questions of politics and even biopolitics. It extends the study of the cultural ‘domestication’ of the pet dog by looking at the exclusion and abjection of animals and their owners from the national community.

This talk is part of the Department of Geography - Seminars in Cultural and Historical Geography series.

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