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On the shepherds dogge, from Of English
The diversities, the names, the natures, and the properties.
by Johannes Caius
(Written in Latin and drawne into
Englishe by Abraham Fleming.)
Note: This book was recently printed by Vintage Dog Books 2005
from the book of 1880 by A. Bradley, London
The publisher noted this text was photocopied at the British Museum.
A very small portion of the text states:
"For it is not in Englande, as it is in Fraunce, as it is in Flaunders,
as it is in Syria, as it in Tartaria, where the sheepe
follow the shepherd, for here in our country the sheepherd followeth
the sheepe." "... .that the Dogge commonly
runneth out at his masters warrant which is his whistle."
The Caius Letters
Dr. Conrad Gesner wrote to Dr. Johannes Caius, an English physician, asking Dr.
Caius for a description of British dogs. Dr. Gesner wanted to include
Dr. Caius' descriptions in an updated work on natural history. Dr. Caius (1533-1603), physician-in-chief to
Queen Elizabeth I, responded to Gesner's
request by writing a letter in Latin describing different types of dogs in Britain,
but that letter went unpublished.
Dr. Caius followed up five years after his first letter to Gesner by sending
another letter. The information in the second letter was used by Dr.
Gesner. The second letter was also published as a small book in
1570. The significance of this book is that it was the first
book devoted entirely to the subject of dogs.It was published under the title
De Canibus Britannicis (shortened title). Later,
Caius' book was translated by his assistant, Abraham Fleming, to
English, and again published in the year 1576 under the name Of English
Dogs (shortened titled). Caius categorized the dogs into classifications, one of
which was the "shepherd's dogge."
Caius' drawings sent to Gesner were reproduced in Ash's books Dogs: Their
History and Development (1927), and The Practical Dog Book (1931).
What is puzzling is that Ash, in his 1927 book, stated all the
drawings appearing on Plate 31 were "probably sketches by Dr. Caius"
except #3 (same as #7 below). For No. 3, he used the explanation of: 'Hispanorum
acquatice canes commendantur apud Caium.' 'Water Spainel' in
England. (Cirino, 1653)." Ash was referring to Andreas Cirino, who
published a derivative of De Natura et Solertia Canum, in 1653.
In the 1931 book, Ash identified figures (#4 and #7) from Plate
1. In that description, Ash wrote:
"The Water dog or Water Spagnelle. The dog before being clipped (7), and
the dog clipped (4). Two of Dr. Caius' illustrations of British
dogs. The hair is left on the chest to protect the lungs."
the #4 drawing there is a beard and there is a representation of a
Perhaps Ash learned after the publication of his 1927 book that this image
(#7) was also sketched by Caius, not by Cirino, and made a correction. However, it is
the use of the word "probably" before the words "sketches by Dr. Caius"
that can be troubling to one looking for definitive explanations. Also,
in the 1927 book, Ash wrote his opinion on Cirino's work stating
merely a repetition of previous authors, and though some of the woodcuts
are copies from earlier works, some of them are new and original...."
It seems as though one is dealing with a number of questions.