Friday, February 27, 2009

Dalziel on studying the history of dogs--1881

This is from page 4 of British Dogs, 1881:

No book on dogs would be complete without some notice of the history and development of the various breeds, as far as it can be traced by direct testimony or fair inference, but we have not attempted that well-trodden ground which has hitherto proved so barren, and discussed the vexed question of the origin of the dog, which remains to the present time hopelessly obscure, and surrounded with the entanglements of contradictory opinions waiting to be unravelled by a Darwin or a Wallace.

In reference, however, to the origin of the very great number of varieties which exist, and are ever increasing, we may in many instances hazard a speculation which may be accepted or rejected at the reader's option.

We cannot accept the theory propounded by a recent writer that each country or district had a peculiar type of wild dog created for it from which the various breeds of domesticated dogs have sprung. Varieties can, we think, be accounted for more reasonably and more in accord with the result of modern research.

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