16 episodes

Host Bud Boccone tells the tales of breeds, dogs, and dog-loving humans who’ve shaped America (and Americans) over generations. Tapping 135+ years of historical records, archival footage, oral histories, interviews, and more, Down and Back brings the stories of the sport of dogs to life as only AKC can.

Down and Back: AKC Dog Podcast The American Kennel Club, Inc.

    • History
    • 4.9 • 33 Ratings

Host Bud Boccone tells the tales of breeds, dogs, and dog-loving humans who’ve shaped America (and Americans) over generations. Tapping 135+ years of historical records, archival footage, oral histories, interviews, and more, Down and Back brings the stories of the sport of dogs to life as only AKC can.

    All-American Dogs in the AKC: A Winning Combination

    All-American Dogs in the AKC: A Winning Combination

    In this podcast episode, we introduce you to “All-American Dogs,” or mixed-breed dogs, and share some remarkable stories about them and the owners who love and train them.
    The AKC expanded American dog sports to welcome mixed-breed dogs in 2010, and they’ve been competing in events like Agility, Obedience, Fast CAT, and Scent Work ever since. These wild cards of the genus Canis can become circus performers, professional trick dogs, agility champs at Westminster, and lots more. We take a deep dive into the history of All-American Dogs in the AKC to find out more.
     
    Bonafide Bits
    The Canine Partners program welcomes mixed-breed dogs to enroll in the AKC family. Over one million dogs and their owners have participated in AKC’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) program. The debut of mixed-breed participation in all AKC agility events was April 1, 2010. For more information about a specific dog breed, or to find a breed rescue, visit AKC.org.
     
    Shareables
    “AKC’s Purebred Alternative Listing (PAL) program welcomes purebred dogs who aren’t eligible for registration—for example, a rescued Golden Retriever—to participate in AKC events.” “In the earliest days of conformation dog shows, mixed-breed dogs participated because rules were lax and breed standards didn’t yet exist.” “Phelan, an All-American Dog, clocked a winning 32.3 mph at American Kennel Club’s inaugural Fast CAT Invitational.”  

    • 21 min
    Morris & Essex: The Quintessential Dog Show

    Morris & Essex: The Quintessential Dog Show

    In this podcast episode, we tour a century and a half of dog shows. In particular, the 30-year heyday of Morris & Essex Kennel Club’s show. With research from the AKC Library and Archives, we will explore how dog shows have been dramatically reinvented over generations and how those reinventions speak volumes about the ever-evolving bond between humans and dogs.
    For three glorious decades, the hottest ticket in stateside high society was the Morris & Essex dog show. The event ushered in the platinum age of dog shows. To celebrate the long-awaited return of the great show, attendees of the 2021 rendition (originally slated for the 2020 plague year) donned fine period costumes in tribute to the show’s original creator, financier, and dog lover Mrs. Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge. And, to commemorate the re-emergence of this dog lover’s quintessential event, the AKC digitized the official marked Show Catalogs and AKC Gazettes from the show’s run.
    Bonafide Bits:
    The first formal dog show is believed to have been held in New Castle, England in 1859 and sponsored by a gun maker. On May 28, 1927, Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge staged the first Morris & Essex dog show featuring 595 dogs from 17 breed categories. In 1899, the American Pet Dog Club had 4,000 visitors attend its dog show at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House. Heralded as the first lady of dogdom, Mrs. Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge became the first woman to officiate as sole judge for Best in Show at Westminster. Based on the historic AKC Gazette coverage of Morris & Essex, 1935-1957, Rock Ridge Night Rocket won back-to-back Morris & Essex Best in Show in 1947 and 1948. Featured Breeds
    Irish Setter
    The Irish Setter is a high-spirited gundog known for grace, swiftness, and a flashy red coat. They are famously good family dogs: sweet-tempered companions for the folks, and rollicking playmates and tennis-ball fetchers for the children. Discover more about Irish Setters at AKC’s Irish Setter Breed Biography.
     
    Pointers
    The noble Pointer is the ultimate expression of canine power and grace. Unquestioned aristocrats of the sporting world, Pointers carry themselves proudly and are capable of great speed and agility. The coat comes in several colors, solid or in patterns but as the breed’s devotees like to say, a good Pointer can’t be a bad color. A large male can stand 28 inches at the shoulder and weigh up to 75 pounds; a small female might weigh as little as 45 pounds and stand 23 inches. Discover more about Pointers at AKC’s Pointer Breed Biography.
     
    Japanese Chin
    Chin are the unrivaled noblemen of Japanese breeds. They’re tiny “indoorsy” companions, with an unmistakably Eastern look and bearing. The head is large, the muzzle short, and the round, dark eyes convey, as Chin fans like to say, a “look of astonishment.” The profuse mane around the neck and shoulders, the plumed tail arching over the back, and the pants or “culottes” on the hind legs project the elegant, exotic appearance so typical of Asia’s royal line of laptop cuddle bugs. Discover more about Japanese Chins at AKC’s Japanese Chin Breed Biography.
     
    French Bulldog
    The one-of-a-kind French Bulldog, with his large bat ears and even disposition, is one of the world’s most popular small-dog breeds, especially among city dwellers. The Frenchie is playful, alert, adaptable, and completely irresistible. Discover more about French Bulldogs at AKC’s French Bulldog Breed Biography.
     
    Irish Terrier
    Irish Terriers are the prototype of a long-legged terrier. Standing about 18 inches at the shoulder, they’re sturdy but lithe and graceful. Every line of the body is eye-catching, and the overall picture is beautifully balanced. The tight red coat is as fiery as the breed’s temperament. Irish Terriers are a dog lover’s delight: If your heart doesn’t go pitty-pat at the sight of this technicolor terrier framed against the vivid greens of the Irish countryside, fo

    • 22 min
    Pooches Who Peddle: Dogs as Corporate Mascots

    Pooches Who Peddle: Dogs as Corporate Mascots

    In this podcast episode, we explore the history of dogs as brand ambassadors in corporate America’s marketing campaigns.
    Simply seeing an image of a dog can instill feelings of comfort in people, which is why corporations use compassionate canines to boost their company’s perception and peddle their products. Many of the most memorable marketing campaigns of the twentieth century included a dog as a mascot. And, research shows that the use of dogs online and in social media can dramatically increase engagement. They pose for photos, attend live events, and even give “paw-tographs” to adoring fans, but who were the real dogs behind the mascots of corporate advertising fame?
     
    Bonafide Bits:
    Donning a diamond-studded tiara and collar, Lady Greyhound led a successful 10-year PR campaign for Greyhound Lines. 20,000 paper-mache replicas of RCA’s spokesdog, Nipper, were used as store displays. A Basset Hound naturally represented easy-going, casual comfort for Hushpuppy shoes. The Bull Terrier who served as the famous Spuds MacKenzie was a female named Honey Tree Evil Eye, or “Evie” for short.  
    Featured Breeds:
    Greyhound
    Greyhounds are the essence of the dog breeder’s credo “Form follows function.” From the narrow, aerodynamic skull to the shock-absorbing pads of the feet, Greyhounds are perfectly constructed for high-speed pursuit. The lean beauty of the Greyhound “inverted S” shape, created by the deep chest curving gently into a tightly tucked waist, has been an object of fascination for artists, poets, and kings for as long as human beings have called themselves civilized. Greyhounds are the template from which other coursing hounds have been struck. Discover more about Greyhounds at AKC’s Greyhound Breed Biography.
     
    Chihuahua
    The Chihuahua is a balanced, graceful dog of terrier-like demeanor, weighing no more than six pounds. The rounded “apple” head is a breed hallmark. The erect ears and full, luminous eyes are acutely expressive. Coats come in many colors and patterns and can be long or short. The varieties are identical except for the coat. Chihuahuas possess loyalty, charm, and a big-dog attitude. Even tiny dogs require training, and without it, this clever scamp will rule your household like a little Napoleon. Compact and confident, Chihuahuas are ideal city pets. They are too small for roughhousing with kids, and special care must be taken in cold weather, but Chihuahuas are adaptable as long as they get lots of quality time in their preferred lap. Discover more about Chihuahuas at AKC’s Chihuahua Breed Biography.
     
    Boxer
    Loyalty, affection, intelligence, work ethic, and good looks: Boxers are the whole doggy package. Bright and alert, sometimes silly, but always courageous, the Boxer has been among America’s most popular dog breeds for a very long time. Discover more about Boxers at AKC’s Boxer Breed Biography.
     
    Bull Terrier
    Bull Terriers are robust, big-boned terriers who move with a jaunty stride suggesting agility and power. The breed's hallmark is a long, egg-shaped head with erect and pointed ears and small, triangular eyes that glisten with good humor. Coats come in two types: white; and any other color (including an attractive brindle striping), either solid or with white markings. A well-made BT is the picture of muscular determination and balance. There are four keys to BT happiness: early socialization with dogs and people; firm but loving training; ample exercise; and lots of quality time with his adored humans. If these requirements are met, there is no more loyal, lovable, and entertaining companion. This is the ultimate “personality breed.” Discover more about Bull Terriers at AKC’s Bull Terrier Breed Biography.
     
    Smooth Fox Terrier
    Smooths are quite similar to their close relatives, Wire Fox Terriers. Like their crispy-coated cousins, Smooths stand no more than 15.5 inches at the shoulder. The distinguishing physical trait, besides

    • 23 min
    Form Follows Function in the World of Dogs

    Form Follows Function in the World of Dogs

    In this podcast episode, we explore canine anatomy to reveal the deliberate function behind the familiar forms of breeds you know. And a few breeds that are not-so-familiar.
    The way a dog is built and how it moves says a lot about its original purpose and place of origin. Whether it is to climb steep cliffs to catch birds or having a short stature to keep a nose to the ground, every aspect of a dog’s anatomy lends to its unique abilities. The AKC recognizes 197 distinct breeds today, and each has been purposefully bred to perfect a wide range of canine skills and talents.
    Bonafide Bits
    Dachshund translates to “badger hound.” The breed has been around since the 1400s. Testimony of a Bloodhound’s findings is acceptable in some courts. The Norwegian Lundehund has a three-jointed toe, much like a human thumb. Featured Breeds
    Basset Hound
    The Basset Hound stands no higher than 14 inches at the shoulder but, with his remarkably heavy bone, powerful little legs, and massive paws, he possesses big-dog strength and stamina. Bassets are famous for a large, domed head that features extremely long, velvety ears, mournful eyes, and a wrinkled brow, which give the breed the look of a sad clown. Built more for endurance than speed, the Basset moves in a deliberate but effortless manner. The breed’s scenting ability is uncanny; it’s said that among dogs only the Bloodhound’s nose is more accurate. Mild and agreeable at home, the Basset is stubborn on the trail and barks in a loud, ringing voice. Although they may not be wildly demonstrative in their affections, they are steadfastly loyal. Discover more about Basset Hounds at AKC’s Basset Hound Breed Biography.
    Chihuahua
    The Chihuahua is a balanced, graceful dog of terrier-like demeanor, weighing no more than 6 pounds. The rounded “apple” head is a breed hallmark. The erect ears and full, luminous eyes are acutely expressive. Coats come in many colors and patterns and can be long or short. The varieties are identical except for the coat. Chihuahuas possess loyalty, charm, and a big-dog attitude. Even tiny dogs require training, and without it, this clever scamp will rule your household like a little Napoleon. Compact and confident, Chihuahuas are ideal city pets. They are too small for roughhousing with kids, and special care must be taken in cold weather, but Chihuahuas are adaptable as long as they get lots of quality time in their preferred lap. Discover more about Chihuahuas at AKC’s Chihuahua Breed Biography.
    Poodle
    Forget those old stereotypes of Poodles as sissy dogs. Poodles are eager, athletic, and wickedly smart “real dogs” of remarkable versatility. The Standard, with his greater size and strength, is the best all-around athlete of the family, but all Poodles can be trained with great success. Discover more about Poodles at AKC’s Poodle (Standard) Breed Biography.
    Irish Setter
    The Irish Setter is a high-spirited gundog known for grace, swiftness, and a flashy red coat. They are famously good family dogs: sweet-tempered companions for the folks, and rollicking playmates and tennis-ball fetchers for the children. Discover more about Irish Setters at AKC’s Irish Setter Breed Biography.
    Gordon Setter
    The Gordon Setter, the black avenger of the Highlands, is a substantial bird dog named for a Scottish aristocrat. Athletic and outdoorsy, Gordons are bold, confident, and resolute in the field, and sweetly affectionate by the fireside. Discover more about Gordon Setters at AKC’s Gordon Setter Breed Biography.
    Golden Retriever
    The Golden Retriever, an exuberant Scottish gundog of great beauty, stands among America’s most popular dog breeds. They are serious workers at hunting and fieldwork, as guides for the blind, and in search-and-rescue, enjoy obedience and other competitive events, and have an endearing love of life when not at work. Discover more about Golden Retrievers at AKC’s Golden Retriever Breed Biography.
    Labrador Retriever

    • 23 min
    The Dogs of 9/11 and Beyond

    The Dogs of 9/11 and Beyond

    In this podcast episode, we meet some of the brave, tireless dogs and handlers who were an integral part of the harrowing events of 9/11 and the subsequent search, rescue, and recovery effort.
    When catastrophes occur, humans and dogs team up to perform dangerous and difficult tasks. Highly-trained working dogs and their handlers must commit to long hours in perilous situations to save lives and provide comfort. The recovery efforts in the aftermath of 9/11 are a testament to a dog’s unique abilities, courage, and the therapeutic resilience that they generously share with us in times of need.
    Bonafide Bits
    Apollo, a German Shepherd Dog, and handler Pete Davis were the first canine search and rescue team to arrive at Ground Zero. Golden Retriever Bretagne and handler Diane Corliss spent 10 days searching through the World Trade Center wreckage. Border Collie Sage worked recovery at the Pentagon and hurricanes Rita and Katrina before being deployed to Iraq. Trakr, a German Shepherd Dog, and handler James Symington rescued a woman from World Trade Center rubble 26 hours after she became trapped. Golden Retriever Nikie, Keeshond Tikva, with certified trauma responder Frank Shane and trainer Cindy Ehlers, provided comfort to weary human workers during the crisis. Featured Breeds
    Labrador Retriever
    The sweet-faced, lovable Labrador Retriever is America’s most popular dog breed. Labs are friendly, outgoing, and high-spirited companions who have more than enough affection to go around for a family looking for a medium-to-large dog. Labs are famously friendly. They are companionable housemates who bond with the whole family, and they socialize well with neighbor dogs and humans alike. But don’t mistake his easy-going personality for low energy: The Lab is an enthusiastic athlete that requires lots of exercise like swimming and marathon games of fetch, to keep physically and mentally fit. Discover more about Labrador Retrievers at AKC’s Labrador Retriever Breed Biography.
    German Shepherd Dog
    There are many reasons why German Shepherd Dogs stand in the front rank of canine royalty, but experts say their defining attribute is character: loyalty, courage, confidence, the ability to learn commands for many tasks, and the willingness to put their life on the line in defense of loved ones. German Shepherd Dogs will be gentle family pets and steadfast guardians, but, the breed standard says, there’s a “certain aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships.” Discover more about German Shepherd Dogs at AKC’s German Shepherd Dog Breed Biography.
    Golden Retriever
    The Golden Retriever, an exuberant Scottish gundog of great beauty, stands among America’s most popular dog breeds. They are serious workers at hunting and fieldwork, as guides for the blind, and in search-and-rescue, enjoy obedience and other competitive events, and have an endearing love of life when not at work. Discover more about Golden Retrievers at AKC’s Golden Retriever Breed Biography.
    Doberman Pinscher
    Sleek and powerful, possessing both a magnificent physique and keen intelligence, the Doberman Pinscher is one of dogkind’s noblemen. This incomparably fearless and vigilant breed stands proudly among the world’s finest protection dogs. Discover more about Doberman Pinschers at AKC’s Doberman Pinscher Breed Biography.
    Bulldog
    Kind but courageous, friendly but dignified, the Bulldog is a thick-set, low-slung, well-muscled bruiser whose “sour mug” face is the universal symbol of courage and tenacity. These docile, loyal companions adapt well to town or country. Discover more about Bulldogs at AKC’s Bulldog Breed Biography.
    Border Collie
    A remarkably bright workaholic, the Border Collie is an amazing dog—maybe a bit too amazing for owners without the time, energy, or means to keep it occupied. These energetic dogs will settle down for cuddle time when the workday is done. Discover more about Border

    • 23 min
    Dogs: Stars of Myth, Legend, and Folklore

    Dogs: Stars of Myth, Legend, and Folklore

    In this podcast episode, we gain a better understanding of why dogs play a starring role in thousands of years of human folklore and explore the very real breeds that inspired the stories.
    Dogs permeate human myth and folklore more than any other creature. Their expansive field of vision, sensitivity to high-pitched sounds, and exceptional gift of sniff could be the reason many myths and legends portray dogs as supersensory guards and protectors of mere mortals. Dogs’ roles in human stories reflect neither the good nor the bad of them — rather they demonstrate the central place dogs occupy in our shared consciousness.
    Bonafide Bits
    “Dogs of Myth,” a book by Gerald and Loretta Hausman, chronologically captures a treasure trove of dog lore. In Chinese folklore, the Pekingese is known to have the heart of a lion. In Tibet, the Lhasa Apso is the earthly incarnation of the mythical snow lion. Canis Major is the constellation that includes the dog star Sirius, Orion’s hunting dog. In Greek mythology, Cerberus is a three-headed dog who guards the underworld of Hades. Featured Breeds
    Mastiff
    For the uninitiated, a face-to-face encounter with these black-masked giants can be startling. A male stands at least 30 inches at the shoulder and can outweigh many a full-grown man. The rectangular body is deep and thickly muscled, covered by a short double coat of fawn, apricot, or brindle stripes. The head is broad and massive, and a wrinkled forehead accentuates an alert, kindly expression. Mastiffs are patient, lovable companions and guardians who take best to gentle training. Eternally loyal Mastiffs are protective of family, and a natural wariness of strangers makes early training and socialization essential. Mastiffs are magnificent pets, but acquiring a powerful giant-breed dog is a commitment not to be taken lightly. Discover more about Mastiffs at AKC’s Mastiff Breed Biography.
    English Toy Spaniel
    The ETS is a square, snub-nosed toy weighing no more than 14 pounds. The large domed head with its long and lush ears, dark melting eyes, and chubby cheeks is a famous breed trait. The profuse coat comes in four varieties, each with its own proper name: red and white (Blenheim); black and tan (King Charles); white, black, and tan (Prince Charles); and a solid red (Ruby). Blenheims often have a red mark, the 'Blenheim Spot,' on top of the head. The ETS, like many toy breeds kept by royals, came to assume the personalities of their aristocratic owners. They can be proud and willful, and extremely discriminating in their choice of friends. With their favored humans, they are affectionate at home and exuberant and curious at play. Discover more about English Toy Spaniels at AKC’s English Toy Spaniel Breed Biography.
    Akita
    Akitas are burly, heavy-boned spitz-type dogs of imposing stature. Standing 24 to 28 inches at the shoulder, Akitas have a dense coat that comes in several colors, including white. The head is broad and massive and is balanced in the rear by a full, curled-over tail. The erect ears and dark, shining eyes contribute to an expression of alertness, a hallmark of the breed. Akitas are quiet, fastidious dogs. Wary of strangers and often intolerant of other animals, Akitas will gladly share their silly, affectionate side with family and friends. They thrive on human companionship. The large, independent-thinking Akita is hardwired for protecting those they love. They must be well socialized from birth with people and other dogs. Discover more about Akitas at AKC’s Akita Breed Biography.
    Tibetan Mastiff
    Coming face to face with this ancient behemoth, an intruder up to no good, will likely move on to easier pickings. Tibetan Mastiffs can stand 26 inches at the shoulder and weigh well over 100 pounds. It’s impossible to discuss this breed without leaning on words like “powerful,” “muscular,” “massive,” and “substantial.” And yet, TMs are quite light-footed and will meet a perceived threat

    • 25 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
33 Ratings

33 Ratings

Iammyownbiggestfan ,

Hoping for some more episodes!!

Just found this podcast, it’s lighthearted and educational.

RSU1 ,

Fabulous and Fun!

If you like dogs, you love doing things with them and have even the slightest bit of interest in the “how, why and when” behind them, these podcasts are for you. An engaging host, Bud Boccone and the AKC staff weave together humorous, entertaining and informative stories about the purpose, history and development of purebred dogs and dog events. Buccone’s storytelling is enhanced with vintage sound bytes from people and events that you “kinda, sorta, vaguely remember, maybe” have heard of, but could never really put into context or completely understand their importance to the dogs and sports that we know and love today. You come away from each episode with a greater understanding of not only the titled subject, but of other enticing bits of useful dog information, too (really, the different poodle haircuts in a story about Obedience?! It’s great!) A highly recommended listen!

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