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Edward Topsell, (c. 1572 –1625)
borrowing heavily from Gesner and Caius' writings, wrote "The Historie
of Foure-footed Beasts." It was published in 1607. Topsell described
various "smelling dogs," one of which was described as the Tuscan dog.
Edward Ash, in his book Dogs: Their
History and Development (1927), page 88, wrote:
seem from Topsell's account and from the further evidence of
illustrations that there were two very diverse varieties of dogs some
known as spaniels, and the others as 'Water-dogs, or Spagnells,'
probably a poodle of the bearded collie cross. They are probably related
to the shepherd's dog of Taplin, the old English sheep-dog and the
(Note: The shepherd's dog of Taplin to which Ash was
referring was John Scott's engraving of Reinagle's painting which
engraving is housed today in the
British Museum. This painting is further discussed in the "Timeline"
section for the year 1803.)
"Whether there was any
relationship between the Tuscan dog described by Topsell as not
beautiful but having shaggy hair, commended for its scenting powers,
is difficult to say, but Edwards describes a Russian pointer used in
England to which the Tuscan description might well apply. This Tuscan dog because of its
scenting powers was brought to England, and because of its heavy coat
might be taken north, where a heavy coat,...was considered desirable as
protecting an animal from cold and wet. This might account for the
bearded collie of Scotland and its relative the bob-tail; or was the
Tuscan dog a poodle?"