Dog Breeding

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Dog Breeding


a branch of animal breeding; the raising of dogs for use in various branches of the national economy, in sports, and in the army. Working dogs are bred to perform such functions as herding, pulling sleds and other vehicles (common in the north), guarding, and scouting. Certain breeds of dog are raised for use in commercial and amateur hunting. Dogs are also bred for use as pets.

In Russia dogs were bred mainly for herding animals (in regions of nomadic animal breeding), pulling vehicles (in the Far North, Sakhalin, Kamchatka, and other regions), and guarding property. Breeding work was not organized. Shepherds, drivers, and guards improved breeds simply through the selection of the best herding dogs, team leaders, and watchdogs, respectively. In the early 20th century small kennels for the breeding of police dogs were established, as was the Society for Promoting the Use of Dogs in Police and Guard Work, which included a special school for trainers.

The first dog-breeding organizations were founded after the Civil War of 1918–20 as part of cooperative hunting societies. In 1925 the first dog-breeding congress was held, which established standards for the principal breeds of dogs and adopted the Statute on Pedigree Dog Raising. In the next decade a large number of dog-breeding sections were organized in local hunting associations in many republics. The breeding of hunting dogs received the support of numerous state and cooperative organizations, including Soiuzpushnina, Tsentrosoiuz (Central Cooperative Alliance), Zagotzhivsyr’e, and Glavsevmorput’ (Main Northern Sea Route Administration). A vital role in the breeding of working dogs belonged to the kennels and schools of the Soviet army and militia.

At present, working dogs are bred by ministries and departments that use dogs for service in the national economy, army, and militia. The breeding of working dogs by private individuals has been organized by DOSAAF (Voluntary Society for Cooperation With the Army, Air Force, and Navy), which administers the Federation for the Breeding of Working Dogs. The breeding of hunting dogs is supervised by the Central Administration for Conservation, National Preserves, and the Hunting Industry under the Ministry of Agriculture of the USSR, by corresponding administrations of the ministries of agriculture of the Union republics, and by bureaus of the hunting industry in oblast and krai executive committees. Each Union republic has a hunting society, which includes a dog-breeding section that coordinates all breeding work in the republic. Cynologists are trained at special schools and at kennel clubs that offer courses in dog breeding. The All-Union Pedigree Index of Working Dogs is maintained by DOSAAF, and the All-Union Pedigree Book of Hunting Dogs is maintained by the Union of Hunting and Fishing Societies (Ro-sokhotrybolovsoiuz). Dog shows are held annually: the best dogs are awarded medals and various other prizes, and their owners are given certificates.

Dog breeding as a scientific discipline, that is, cynology, is taught at several higher and secondary institutions of learning, for example, at the Irkutsk, Kirov, and Kazakh agricultural institutes and at the Moscow Procurement Technicum. Research on dog breeding is conducted at the All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Hunting and Fur Farming in Kirov and at the Kazakh Scientific Research Institute of Animal Breeding. Monographs, textbooks, and various other types of literature on dog breeding are published.

Dogs are bred in all countries of the world, usually by various clubs and societies of amateur dog breeders. The world’s oldest dog breeders’ organization is the Kennel Club of England, which was founded in 1873. Since 1874 the club has kept a genealogical registry of pedigree dogs (Kennel Studbook), and since 1880 it has published the newspaper Kennel Gazette and a number of journals. Kennel clubs were subsequently organized in Belgium, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Switzerland, and the USA. Most European countries and the USA are members of the International Cynological Federation, whose headquarters are located in Thuin, Belgium. The federation sponsors international exhibitions and competitions of dogs.

In capitalist countries dog breeding, aside from a highly developed amateur sector, is to a considerable degree commercial. In a number of countries dog shows are conducted only by private firms, the largest of which (for example, the European firm of Cruft) have their own judging panels and their own prizes. There are large commercial dog-breeding enterprises, private training schools, boarding kennels, veterinary hospitals, and dog-grooming shops. Special companies prepare food and other supplies for the animals. A large number of special journals are published, including some devoted to certain breeds of dogs, as well as other reference works on dog breeding.


Shereshevskii, E. I., P. A. Petriaev, and V. G. Golubev. Ezdovoe sobakovodstvo. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946.
Sluzhebnoe i okhotnich’esobakovodstvo. Moscow, 1964.
Posobie po sobakovodstvu, 2nd ed. Leningrad, 1973.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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