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hound dog
Posted: 20 September 2007 10:25 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I got into a discussion with a vet who said hounds were a type of dog. I said all hounds are dogs and anyone could call their dog a ‘lazy hound’ if they wanted, in popular usage. I said ‘all dogs are hounds’ but she was referring to breeds like bloodhounds, foxhounds, bassett hounds, wolfhounds, and seemingly going by name (I should add this was in a chatroom). Later it struck me that these were all hunting dogs so they could well all be a class of dog.
Then I remembered the German for dog is Hund so what do the Germans call non-hunting dogs generally, etc? Are they all Hund? Dachshund means badger-dog in German.
I believe no one has nailed down the etymology of dog in English but we have hound, retriever, etc. to further confound matters.

I’ve come across two American slang expressions using hound, too. Gash-hound (pussy chaser), booze-hound (alcoholic) in which hunting what you desire seems to be involved.
And Elvis’s ‘I ain’t nothing but a hound dog’ would be in the gash category? Or a tautology so it scans?

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Posted: 20 September 2007 12:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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We’ve got a bit of an etymological fallacy problem here. Hound, or hund, was the original Old English word for dog. After the introduction of dog in the 11th century, hound gradually specialized to mean a dog that tracks or chases game. German, which never had the word dog, retains the general, original Old Germanic meaning of hund.

Dog is indeed of mysterious origin. It dates to the late Old English period, but we don’t know what root it comes from.

And the Elvis song is “you ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog,” not “I.”

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Posted: 20 September 2007 11:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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German, which never had the word dog

Although it does now, via a loan from English. The Great Dane is called in German ”Deutsche Dogge”, and the English mastiff ”Englische Dogge”. I have seen ”Dogge” translated into English as “mastiff”, though I’m not sure if it is really applied to all breeds of mastiff type or only certain ones.
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Posted: 21 September 2007 01:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Do you think the spelling “dogge” suggests the word crossed the channel when it was still spelled like that on this side?

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Posted: 21 September 2007 04:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I don’t know how old the loan word is. The ending may just be an adaptation to make it trip naturally off the German tongue. Similarly, various breeds of mastiff-type dogs in Italy and Spanish-speaking countries are called ”dogo” - e.g. the Dogo Argentino, Dogo Cubano, Dogo Canario, Dogo Sardesco. That can’t be a memory of the medieval English pronunciation.

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Posted: 21 September 2007 06:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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When I learned German I was told that Dogge was a big dog, but there was no indication that it referred just to a specific breed, such as mastiff.  OTOH, my old Langescheidts translates it as “Great Dane.”

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Posted: 21 September 2007 06:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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The OED says the German word was borrowed from English in the 16-17th centuries and cites a 1582 German work for englische Dock. Similarly, the big dic says the Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian dogo are also from the English, but doesn’t give a date. Presumably its later than the German. Certainly, the naming of breeds is quite recent.

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Posted: 24 September 2007 06:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Thanks for your interesting replies. Can it then be said that all hounds are dogs and all dogs are hounds? Are there defining characteristics for the two words here?
I’d imagine that all breeds of dog were originally bred to hunt in some way except lap dogs which were more for companionship or, according to Grose in an entry I can’t remember, for lady dowagers to blame their farts on.
Big poodles were for retrieving ducks from ponds or lakes but clearly toy or miniature poodles weren’t unless it is possible to hunt wrens.
Americans say “that dog won’t hunt” meaning that endeavour or argument doesn’t wash. “That hound won’t hunt” would have been more euphonious - presumably there is no semantic distinction, then?
I’m being hounded by the press suggests hunted. Dogged by misfortune is what?

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Posted: 24 September 2007 07:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Can it then be said that all hounds are dogs and all dogs are hounds?

It can be, if you want to deliberately ignore a distinction that most modern English speakers knowledgeable about dogs (not just your vet) make.

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Posted: 24 September 2007 07:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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So all breeds that have never “tracked or chased game” at some stage are not hounds? Pointers, setters, do this. Only lap dogs and sheepdogs can never be hounds? Confused now. Sorry, Dr T :(

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Posted: 24 September 2007 08:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I’d imagine that all breeds of dog were originally bred to hunt in some way

Not at all. What about herding dogs? Watchdogs and guard dogs? Fighting dogs (such as the bulldog and Japanese Akita)? Cart-pulling dogs (a suprisingly widespread group)? Sledge dogs? Rescue dogs, such as Newfoundlands and St Bernards?

And even within the group of dogs bred for hunting in general there is a distinction between dogs that hunt themselves by sight or scent in packs, which is what the word “hound” has generally mean since the Middle Ages, and those which assist human hunters in various ways, for example by locating/flushing out game (e.g. pointers, setters, spaniels, terriers), or retrieving it.

Americans say “that dog won’t hunt” meaning that endeavour or argument doesn’t wash. “That hound won’t hunt” would have been more euphonious - presumably there is no semantic distinction, then?

Not necessarily. If a setter or a pointer showed no interest in finding game for you to shoot at, in America you could perfectly well say of it “that dog won’t hunt”. (You couldn’t in Britain, where “hunting” is something you do with packs of hounds, and if you go out with a gun you are “shooting”, not hunting. But over here we would be more likely to say “That horse won’t run”.)

I’m being hounded by the press suggests hunted. Dogged by misfortune is what?

Being “hounded” implies a whole pack making a lot of noise. Being “dogged” implies being tracked patiently by a single dog.

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Posted: 24 September 2007 09:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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“The hound” said Martin in a low, vehement voice, his face quite changed, “the infernal young hound, he beats her”. (from O’Brian, P., Clarissa Oakes).

A young man is a hound, says Martin, because he beats his wife (we are not told whether he tracks or chases game). Someone else might think him a dog. Or possibly a son of a bitch, a title which both a dog and a hound might claim. If a shepherd beats his wife, one might call him a hound. If he beats his dog, what does that make him? On the other hand, Francis Thompson’s “Hound of Heaven” might take exception to being called “dog”, unless the title were spelled backwards. Then again, the South African Cape hunting dog ("wildehond" in Afrikaans) is neither a hound, nor yet a dog. Wikipedia calls it carefully “a carnivorous mammal of the family Canidae”; it belongs to the genus Lycaon, not Canis. On the other hand, if you were to call the timber wolf, which does belong to the genus Canis, “a dog”, or “a hound”, most people would hasten to correct you.

This frantic insistence on distinguishing between the terms “hound” and “dog” with an exactitude more appropriate to the definition of the SI kilogram, is not at all like you, venomousbede. Many of your postings are quite rational ;-). I am sorry about your confusion, and suspect you may not be feeling quite yourself. May I recommend a course of therapy, beginning with 50 ml of Scotch, followed by a repetition of the dose after successful ingestion of the first. This should be enough to exonerate you. It always works for me. And if it doesn’t work (or if you’re a teetotaller) try taking an axe to your (or your dog’s, or your hound’s, as the case may be) vet. Or if blood is abhorrent to you, you could smother her with a vet blanket.

;-)

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Posted: 24 September 2007 09:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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And then, on the other hand ........

The Dog of the Baskervilles

All terror is deflated; one imagines a chihuahua pattering across the darkened moors (although they do have a nasty nip).

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Posted: 12 November 2007 06:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I recently moved in with my fiance who has a Dogo, who is now 11 years old.  He is in fairly good health and is a great protector, he tends to not like many people though.  Anyways I have done my research on him, except no where does it give the correct pronounciation of the name.
My stepdaughter loves to correct me no matter how I say it so if someone could please let me know that would be great.
Is it Do-Go
or is it DoughGo
or neither and we are both wrong.  Our vet said DoughGo so that is what I was going by.
Thanks for any assistance with this matter

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Posted: 12 November 2007 06:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I believe the vet is right and it’s / dough-go /. Here’s a site (Yahoo) that gives the Spanish pronunciation (the breed is Argentinian), including an audio clip.

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Posted: 12 November 2007 11:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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The American Kennel Club (along with every other registry that sanctions dog shows and dog sports) divides the breeds into groups according to their functions.  Hounds originally resided in the Sporting Group.  Eventually they were put in the newly-formed Hound Group, intended for sporting (hunting) dogs that sought game by scent or sight.  However, there are anomalies in most AKC Groups such as the dachsunds which are mistakenly assigned to the hound group largely because of the misunderstanding of the word -hund.  Dachshund are terriers as they go to ground.

The AKC Sporting Group now contains the setters, retrievers, and spaniels minus the poodles which are inexplicably put in the Non-Sporting Group. The Kennel Club (UK) groups are slightly different and quite sensibly call the sporting group the Gundog Group.

Hounds seek fur.  Setters, retrievers, and spaniels primarily seek feather.

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