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I am looking for the names of the American Eskimo or White German Spitz dogs that performed in circuses in the early 1900s. I have a few leads including the Cooper Brother’s Railroad circus and also ties to Barnum and Bailey’s circus, but there certainly may be others – any are welcome. I’d like to gather as much information about the history of these dogs and their trainers. I own 4 American Eskimo Dogs and train them in agility, obedience and tricks. I’d love to know more about their background and see if I can map out some links back to these original performers.

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Unfortunately, it is very rare to find references to the names of performing animals with the exception of elephants, some big cats and horses.  While performing dogs may most probably have been named by their trainers, the historical record seldom mentions the names of specific dogs.  Historical references for animal acts in the early 1900’s may refer to dog acts or small animal acts, but less often specify breeds.  Some scholars suggest that performing dogs were acquired from local sources as the show traveled from town to town and most often were mixed breeds.

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