You are visiting the "Topsell" page. Don't forget, click on the "back" button to return to the "Timeline" page.

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:

"It would 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 otter-hound."

(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?"

2011 Innovare Design. The majority of  materials presented on this website are copyrighted by the original authors, etc. In addition, the appropriate forms have been filed with the United States Library of Congress in order to protect original authorship under 17 U.S.C. Sec. 102(a). Further, licensing fees have been paid for use of some images. Therefore, under the provisions of the U.S. Copyright Law, as well as the Berne Agreement, for those countries honoring the Berne Agreement, you are hereby notified not to use, or copy, any materials on this website without the prior written consent of the copyright holder. Questions or Concerns? Please contact or These two email addresses are not presented as links. They must be retyped in the address line for your email. This was done to avoid unnecessary junk email being forwarded to the website. Thank you for your understanding.