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Dr. Conrad Gesner, a Swiss physician was also known as Konrad von Gesner (1516-1565). According to Edward Ash, he engaged in the first serious attempt to deal with dogs in his writings on natural history.

In 1545, his Bibliotheca Universalis was published (scholars describe this as the first great work on Bibliography). Dr. Gesner also published the first of five books entitled Historiae Animalium starting in 1551. A copy of one of the cover pages is shown.

Gesner wrote to Dr. Johannes Caius, an English physician, asking Dr. Caius for a description of British dogs to be included in an update of his naturalist writings. Caius responded to Gesner's request by writing a letter in Latin describing different types of dogs in Britain, but that letter went unpublished at Caius' request.

Five years after the first letter was sent, Caius sent Gesner a second letter. Gesner used this information in his writings

 
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