Happy National Dog Day!

August 26 is National Dog Day, and we here at the Historical Society of Sarasota County would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to our Florida Dog!

Yes, we do have a Florida dog.

Photograph by Adam Strang Bass from the Florida Cattlemen’s Facebook page

The Florida Cattlemen’s Association says:

Shortly after cattle were brought to Florida in 1521, the Cracker (cur) dog was brought over in 1539 by Hernando de Soto. Cur dogs have been used for hundreds of years by cowboys all over the state.

These dogs are specially trained to herd cattle in the challenging climate we have here in Florida. Having short hair helps them stay cool in the hot summers, and move quickly and quietly through thick brush.

They are also very courageous dogs that become protective of their families. Back in the early days of cattle hunting, ranchers had to find ways to protect their herds from various predators, which made cur dogs a perfect addition to a whip or gun.

Even today you still find cur dogs trailing behind their cowboy in the pasture.

And Cracker curs continue to be well-loved even if you don’t have cattle to raise.

More info from 101 Dog Breeds: “The word cur derived from the word “curren”, meaning growl, refers to mixed breeds of dogs. Initially, the term was used for describing a dog with a short tail tending to cattle, however, in the modern times, it stands for any mixed breed variety. Dog experts feel that the purpose bred treeing hounds of North America also falls under the category of curs.”

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