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“Mein Fuhrer wants you to Photograph his Dog.

“Mein Fuhrer wants you to Photograph his Dog.”

If I had been around in the First World War, this could have been the type of conversation I had with a couple of SS guards early one morning.

Stop for a moment and imagine the scene.

Standing in front of you is a man, 5ft 9in tall, dresses in a crisp pressed grey tunic with matching trousers, knee high black patent leather boots glinting in the sunlight. A long drawn face, sporting a fine mustache. Beneath the hair swept across his brow is the cold empty stare of one of the most notable dictators of the 20th Century – Adolf Hilter.

What could easily be described in a scene from a the RSPCA’s worst nightmare, Adolf Hitler was in fact, behind the façade, a great dog lover.

Hitler loved the loyalty and obedience of dogs, and through his lifetime owned a number of different breeds.

The German Shepherd breed became his breed of choice, with the most notable of his family being Blondi, gifted to him by Martin Bormann in 1941. Blondi was to stay by Hilters’ side right through the retreat into the Führerbunker located underneath the garden of the Reich Chancellery on 16 January 1945.

Hitler’s affection for his beloved Blondi extended to allowing her to sleep in the bed beside him in the bunker. The love of German Shepherd’s however didn’t reach his wife Eva Braun, who is known to have two Scottish Terriers, named Negus and Stasi.

It seems that like most men, the dog was the love of his life, Eva is known to have been jealous of the attention Hitler devoted to her and it alleged to kick her beneath the dining table.

german shepherd dog

Dog’s soon became a status symbol amongst the Third Reich, as their loyalty and obedience, showed them beside Hitler, the Wolf.

Can you find it in your heart to rescue a dog?

Well it seems that is how Hitlers’ dog ownership started. Again, not a catchline we are likely to see on rescue charity advert’s – ‘If Hitler can rescue a dog, so can you..’ But it seems his first pet was a stray white Fox Terrier, found during World War One, called Fuchsl.

He later went on to own a succession of German Shepherds, with names like Prinz, Muckl, Blondi, Blonda and Bella.

It’s said that Hitler was so scared of his beloved Blondi being captured by the Russians, he had his personal physician put her to sleep.

So, whilst I wasn’t around to photograph Hitler and his dogs, I really am glad that somebody was, as this adds a really interesting perspective to the history of the 20th Century.

Hitler was so impressed and captivated by the intelligence of dogs, that he truly believed they could help him win the war. We’ll look at this a bit more in another blog post.

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All About Pugs

All About Pugs

The Pug, one of the top twenty most popular dog breeds in the United States, is an ancient breed of Chinese origin. They date back to at least 400 B.C. when they were prized by Chinese emperors of the Shang dynasty. At that time they were known as Lo-Chiang-Sze, “Lion Dog” or Foo (Fu) because of their resemblance to the Chinese guardian lions called Foo, which were considered guardian spirits. They share this term with the Pekinese which was also called the Foo Dog.

From these earliest times the Pug’s sole function was to live in luxury as a companion dog. Because of the breed’s popularity they spread to Tibet where they were kept by monks in monasteries, and then to Japan and later to Europe.

It wasn’t until the 16th and 17th centuries that Dutch merchants brought the first Pugs back to Holland. The little dogs quickly became the official dog of the ruling House of Orange which later came to rule in Great Britain.

History reports that in 1572 the Prince of Orange’s life was saved from an assassin because of the barking of his Pug. William of Orange, who became William III of England and his wife Queen Mary II of England took Pugs with them when they left the Netherlands for England in 1688.

Pugs became popular throughout Europe in the 17th century. They appeared in paintings by Goya and were dressed in clothing and rode with the coachman in Germany, Italy and elsewhere.

In France the Empress Josephine enjoyed the company of Pugs. She used her Pug, named Fortune, to carry secret messages in his collar to her husband Napoleon Bonaparte when she was temporarily imprisoned.

The English painter William Hogarth owned several Pugs and was devoted to them. He painted his self-portrait with his Pug named Trump in 1745.

Pugs were called Mopshond (to grumble in Dutch) in Holland and Carlin in France, but they picked up the name Pug in England. The name probably comes from their facial expression which resembles the marmoset monkeys that were popular pets in the early 18th century. The monkeys were also known as Pugs.

Pugs reached new heights of popularity with the dog lover Queen Victoria on the throne.

Queen Victoria bred Pugs herself Her involvement with the breed, and with dogs in general, helped found the Kennel Club in Britain in 1873. Queen Victoria preferred fawn and apricot Pugs while another early fancier, Lady Brassey, brought black Pugs back from China in 1886, making them highly sought after.

The Pug was brought to the United States in the 19th century and recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1885, making it one of the earliest breeds recognised by the AKC. The Pug enjoyed great popularity only to dwindle in numbers by the turn of the century. Dedicated breeders kept the breed alive and gradually interest in the breed returned.

The Pug Dog Club of America was founded in 1931. At the current time the Pug is enjoying a renewed growth in popularity.

Only one Pug has won Best In Show at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show: Dhandys Favorite Woochuck in 1981. At the World Dog Show in 2004 the Best In Show winner was the Pug Double D Cinoblu’s Masterpiece.