A popular online trend these days is the presentation of facts that sound like lies. For instance, the truth that Cleopatra lived closer to the invention of the iPhone than she did to the building of the Great Pyramid. So, I decided to do a version for gundog aficionados. Prepare to have your mind blown:
1. George Washington is considered the founder of the American foxhound.
2. The Chesapeake Bay retriever owes its roots to two Newfoundland pups rescued from a shipwreck in 1807—but the pups were moved to opposite shores of the Chesapeake Bay and never actually bred to each other.
3. As late as the early 20th century, cocker and springer spaniels were the same breed and born in the same litters. Males exceeding 28 pounds and bitches exceeding 25 pounds were considered springers; the smaller dogs were considered cockers.
4. The first English setters trained as bird dogs predate the telescope.
5. Many German versatile breeds, including the German shorthaired pointer and wirehaired pointer, originated in the mid-19th century due to a change in the German Hunting Law that opened the sport to the middle class.
6. The Labrador retriever originated in Newfoundland, not Labrador.
7. The pointer was the first breed ever used to point game (okay, so this one doesn't sound like a lie).
8. The Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever's original purpose was to "toll" (attract) ducks by scampering along the bank.
9. Also known as the Hungarian pointer, the vizsla nearly went extinct around the end of World War I.
10. The black and tan coonhound predates the First Crusade.
11. Beagles don't drool.
12. The dog that ultimately led to the Boykin spaniel was a stray named "Dumpy".
13. Unlike other coonhound breeds whose originators focused only on function, the redbone was selectively bred for its striking, handsome appearance.
14. Weimaraners don't like kennels.
15. A Labrador retriever with a pink colored nose and eye rims--rather than the proper black—is known as a "Dudley".
16. The Sussex spaniel is the only spaniel bred to "give tongue" (that is, bark) while scenting game. The alert is common among hounds but considered an undesirable trait for all other spaniels.