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Dogs and Royalty

Queen Elizabeth II of England loves dogs, and felt that if she had not been born to be queen she would have liked, "to be a lady living in the country with lots of horses and dogs". The close relationship between powerful rulers and dogs is not a recent development though.

Chihuahuas were associated with the ancient royals of the Aztecs, King Arthur favoured hunting dogs, King John in the 13th century had Otterhounds, and William the Conqueror introduced Bloodhounds to Britain.

The much married Henry VIII had more success with dogs than wives it seems. He introduced the Maltese Terrier to England, as well as enjoying coursing stags with Greyhounds, and appreciating the company of Cocker Spaniels. It has to be said that dogs have returned the devotion of the monarchs who loved them. After Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded, a Skye Terrier was found hiding in her skirts, and had to be dragged away from his mistress.

King Charles II of England adored the breed named after him. His favourite spaniel gave birth to a litter of puppies in her royal master's bed. Such was his enthusiasm for his dogs that he passed a law that the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was not to be denied entry anywhere in the land. This law has never been repealed, and it would be interesting to put it to the test!

Queen Victoria boosted many dog breeds. She encountered the Border Collie in 1871 at Balmoral Castle, and being attracted by their "beauty spirit and devotion" she welcomed them into her royal kennel. She saw Pomeranians in Florence, and brought them back to Britain. Prince Albert introduced his wife to the Dachshund breed, and amongst others, the queen was given Japanese Chins from Japan where they had a long history of association with royalty, and China sent Chow Chows as a present.

Pugs were introduced to England by William III, and also beloved by George III and Edward VIII, later the Duke of Windsor.

The King of Thailand has written a book about his favorite dog, crossbreed Copper. Modern British Royalty still love their dogs too, Queen Elizabeth is Patron of the Kennel Club. The queen is renowned for her corgis, but also favours Labradors and spaniels. The late Princess Margaret liked Sealyams and Dachshunds. The occasioinal meeting between Corgis and Dachshund lead to the crossbreed dubbed Dorgis! The Labrador is a favourite dog amongst all the modern British royals, with Jack Russell Terriers also admired. Princess Anne owns Greyhounds, Bloodhounds, Clumber Spaniel and her infamous Bull Terriers.

You can see that if you like dogs you are in good company. Maybe these powerful people enjoy the company of dogs because they relate to you as you are, not being swayed by money or position. It must be comforting to know that when a dog wags his tail or gives you a lick he genuinely loves you - but then I guess that is the enjoyment we all get from our dogs.


274 - Crufts 2024 and can dog friendly be neurodivergent friendly?

In this episode Julie and Jenny go to Crufts 2024 and Michelle Foulia explores whether dog friendly can be neurodivergent friendly too. Plus the problems the French Bulldog faces, and how our dogs are good for our neurobiology!

189 - The Dog Healers and War Dogs Remembered

In this episode you can hear Mark Winik talk about his debut novel, The Dog Healers, and listen to Julia Robertson explain why she founded the charity War Dogs remembered. Plus there's the DogCast Radio News, and what Mischief the German Spitz puppy has been up to.

188 - Service Dogs UK and Roxie the Doxie Finds Her Forever Home

In this episode you can hear about Service Dogs UK, a fantastic charity which trains assistance dogs to support veterans of any service - military personnel, police, firefighters, paramedics and the coastguard - who develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to their job. Also, listen to Dr Jody A Dean, a clinical psychologist talk about how her book, Roxie the Doxie finds her Forever Home, is helping children understand and talk about adoption and other family issues. Plus the DogCast Radio News and some thoughts on the alpha dog myth.

187 - Muffins Halo and Chorley Fun Dog Show

In this episode you can hear about Muffin's Halo for Blind Dogs, and what motivates people to enter their dog in a fun dog show. In the DogCast Radio News, listen to stories about the latest dog related research. Plus there's a new member of the DogCast Radio team!

186 - Maxwell Muir on wolves

In this episode you can hear trainer, behaviourist, writer, broadcaster and wolf expert Maxwell Muir talk about what wolves mean to him personally, their plight in a modern world, and his hopes for their future. Plus we have the DogCast Radio News.