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Old 02-18-2009, 06:02 AM   #1
StephanieFox
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Dog breeds and capitalizations

I do dog writing, or at least I did until all the dog publications I wrote for went under. Anyway, the publications differed in their capitalization rules. Some insisted that all dog breeds be capitalized so you'd have German Shorthaired Pointers, French Bulldogs, and Jack Russell Terriers. Others insisted that you capitalized only the words in the dog breed's name that would be capitalized on their own, so that you'd have German shorthaired pointers, French bulldogs and Jack Russell terriers (Jack Russell being a man's name.)

What is your experience with dog breed names? Who is right?
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:37 AM   #2
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Both are right--they're just following different style guides.

I'm pretty sure the AP standard is "King Charles spaniels, cocker spaniels, and Bouviers des Flandres" but I haven't edited any doggy stuff in a while. I know that the AKC and the UK Kennel Club capitalize all breed names: "French Poodles, Labrador Retrievers, and Borzois."
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:47 AM   #3
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You only capitalize the proper names and nationalities in the breed name, while the following elements are usually not capitalized (note the latter rule is not written in solid stone) ; however, if you are referring to a very specific breed, as to distinguish it from other members belonging to the breed, then all elements are capitalized—for instance, "Jack Russell Terrier" (an AKC breed, you capitalize) as opposed to "a terrier" (an English common name).

All AKC breeds can be found on this Web page.

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Old 02-18-2009, 07:03 AM   #4
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Oh, yes, ErylRavenwell makes a good point.

AKC version: King Charles Spaniels, Cocker Spaniels, and English Springer Spaniels were among the spaniels showing well in the competition.

AP version: King Charles spaniels, cocker spaniels and English springer spaniels were among the spaniels showing well in the competition.
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:30 PM   #5
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So then, I'm assuming that when I write for a dog food company it's capital letters all the way. If I'm writing my own dog blog, I can make the rules up as I go along.

(I feel so powerful!)
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:45 PM   #6
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This puts me in mind of a hospital I worked for. One of my jobs was to proof printed material.

When I pointed out that administrator and doctor should not be capitalized in "the Administrator and the Doctors agree," I was informed by e-mail: "In this Hospital, Administrator and Doctor are always capitalized."

Pretty soon, the Nurses insisted they were also diety.

I see the silly notion of importance by capitalization has now gone to the Dogs.
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:22 PM   #7
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And if that weren't bad enough, they change the breed names. A Jack Russell is now a Parson Russell. My grandfather, who was an all-breed judge in bench and field, had two complaints: the politicking and the fact that popularity ruined a breed, but at least in his day, they didn't change the names.
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