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Old 12-08-2012, 06:08 AM
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StephyMei1112 StephyMei1112 is offline
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Default The presence of GSD's....

In a drama serial set in the latter years of the Qing Dynasty in Beijing is highly irritating to me lol. I just downloaded the first episode of the TVB Drama "The Confidant" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Confidant and the opening scene was a Prince/Emissary chasing down a delinquent with a entourage complete with dogs...yes, GSD's.

The establishment and the Empress Cixi had great disdain for anything from the "foreign devils" being brought into China or indeed court life. So GSD's certainly may have been kept as a sort of novelty pet/in the Imperial menagerie but would definitely not be on the Imperial Chinese security K9 unit during those times. Shar Pei's/Chows would have been the dogs employed for that kind of work - while Pekingese/Shih Tzu's/Assorted lap dogs would have trailed behind the Royals themselves.

I appreciate the historical canine accuracy of scenes in two movies I can recall....

The first being something in a eastern european language - it was about Anna Karenina or something; it showed Borzoi coursing and them on leashes with the noble/wealthy party during a walk afterward.

The second being Lugwig by Visconti. About the "mad king" Lugwig of Bavaria. During a scene with Empress Sissi being escorted to a carriage - an Irish Wolfhound was present. The dog of choice of many Noble/Royal houses during the 17th/18th century.

A pretty enjoyable watch otherwise.
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:50 AM
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When were TV shows and movies ever known for being dog-accurate, much less at a historical level? I gave up on having any expectations a long time ago. I have noticed that Chinese shows have a certain fondness for using German Shepherds in particular as guard dogs, police dogs, general service dogs, and wolves. There have been more than one shows that my mother called me over to watch because of the presence of the GSDs, and a lot of them were set no later than the 1500s.

Attempts to standardize the breed only began in the very late 1800s, with the SV formed and the first German Shepherd Dog, Horand von Grafrath (originally named Hektor Linksrhein) registered in 1899. The breed was in its infancy in the late 1800s/early 1900s and more a not yet consistent or true, combination of specific herding types derived from selective breeding for livestock guarding and tending.

Considering said Empress died in 1908 according to Wikipedia, the likelihood of there being such a number of German Shepherd Dogs in China is probably zero. Especially if you take into account that this would be less than just a decade of attempting to standardize a breed by selecting for herding/tending dogs first and foremost. I cannot imagine that a novel herding breed would be the choice over ancient working guarding at such an early stage in their development and recognition.

Like I said, eh, movies and shows. It's a thing.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:38 AM
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In a RPG I play, two characters have pet dogs: a Catahoula and a Caucasian Ovcharka. The game is set in London in 1938. I try very hard not to spoil others fun by pointing out there is no way they have those dogs.

The direwolves on Game of Thrones don't look even remotely wolfish.

Oddly, the best show I've seen with dogs in it is Damages. They spend tons of screen time not only showing the characters with dogs, but like legit responsible dog ownership. Glen Close is apparently a pretty big dog lover. Which is funny, because once she wanted to make a coat out of Dalmatians.
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:01 AM
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Well, real dire wolves sort of looked like wolf-hyena things. I haven't seen GoT so don't know what theirs look like, but real ones probably looked more like the wargs in the Lord of the Rings trilogy than anything. Maybe with longer fur and not quite as big.

Historical accuracy of animals in any movies makes me cringe. Especially poultry. Like westerns where the streets are full of free range australorps and sex-links. How hard would it be to find some barred rocks and rhode island reds to toss out on the set?
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