I have been interested for some time in historical images of dogs, especially images of the ancestors of modern breeds. It is a shock to see how much some breeds have changed. This picture of a pointer from 150 years ago is recognisable as a pointer. I suspect this is because the breed has been selected for its qualities as a functional field or gun dog, rather than appearance, which tends to lead to exaggerated features.
“A pointer named “Major” is identified as the first known example of a modern dog. A description of the dog was found in a now-obscure 1865 edition of a Victorian journal called The Field. It marks the earliest reported dog breed based on physical form and pedigree.
“The invention of ‘breed,’ physically and imaginatively, still shapes how we see and think about dogs today,” Michael Worboys, Director of the University of Manchester’s Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, told Discovery News.
Worboys and his team found the information concerning “Major” while preparing a new museum exhibit on dogs.”
UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER