Article: General Information » Cynology
Cynology (pron.: /sɨˈnɒlədʒi/) is the study of matters related to canines or domestic dogs.
In English it may be a term sometimes used to denote serious zoological approach to the study of dogs as well as by writers on canine subjects, dog breeders and trainers and enthusiasts who informally study the dog,. It is not a field of science, although the use of the Classical construction (linking of two Greek or Latin based words) in English is used to imply that it is a discipline or scientific. The word does not appear in standard English dictionaries.
Cynology is a classical compound word (from Greek κύων, kyōn, genitive κυνός, kynos, “dog”; and -λογία, -logia) referring to the study of dogs. The word is not found in major English dictionaries and it is not a recognized scientific discipline in English-speaking countries. Similar words are found in other languages, such German and Dutch kynologie, and the Russian кинология, from the Proto-Indo-European *ḱwon-, which is the source of hound.
κυν is also the source of the English word cynic, and is directly related to canine and hound.
Usage in English
The suffix ‘-logy’ in English words refers to a study, or an academic discipline, or field of scientific study. English Classical compound words of this type may confer an impression of scientific rigor on a non-scientific occupation or profession.
Usage in English of the word cynology is rare, and occasionally found in the names of dog training academies, with cynologist sometimes being used as a title by some dog trainers or handlers. People who informally study the dog may refer to themselves as ‘cynologists’ to imply serious study or scientific work.
The study of dogs
Studies of dogs, and dog related matters, are carried out and published: in general, by those who have mastered the relevant literature or aspects of it, and the formal structure of the subject (National and International Kennel Club breeding, health, and show regulations etc); in specific, by biologists, geneticists, zoologists, behaviorists, and others scientists, historians, veterinarians and breed specialists.
Informally, dogs may be studied by those with no specific scientific training, such as publicists and authors, breeders, trainers, police dog handlers, animal communicators and others, through literature, history,and personal experience. Many useful books and videotapes for the public have been produced through informal study of the dog. Those who, very rarely, refer to themselves as “cynologists”, may formally or informally study such things as veterinary science, dog breeding, breed development, dog behavior and training, and the literature and history of dogs.
Usage in other languages
Cynology, may have other connotations or use in languages other than English, see German de:Kynologie, Dutch nl:Kynologie and Czech cs:Sportovní kynologie.
The very rare term cynologist in English, is generally found to refer to “canine specialists” such as; certified care professionals, certified show judges, breeders, breed enthusiasts, certified dog-trainers and professional dog-handlers.
- A similar word is used to refer to dog handlers and dog trainers in Russia.
- A veterinary clinic in Armenia offers a ‘cynologist’ to assist with dog training.
- A magazine in the Baltic states described as ‘dedicated to the development of cynology in the Baltic countries’ covers dog training, dog shows, and veterinary advice (a hobbyist magazine, not a scientific journal.)
Notes and references
- http://www.nmbe.ch/deutsch/531_6.html%7CAlbert Heim Foundation (Goal and purpose of such a collection),The Natural History Museum Berne
- James O’Heare. “Cynology College”. advertisement. “Member, Association of Pet Dog Trainers” – http://groups.google.com/group/CLICK-L/browse_thread/thread/eddf4d889fc8da1f
- Kinship Dog Trainer Training. “Become a Trainer”. “Receive a Canine Companions Diploma in Cynology and Certification as a Canine Companions Cynologist!” – http://www.canine-companions.com/become-a-trainer/dog-trainer-training.html
- P. Burns. “German Hunt Terriers”. The Terrierman. “Gruenewald was a “cynologist” (a self-styled dog man with an interest in genetics)” – http://terriermandotcom.blogspot.com/2004/11/german-hunt-terriers.html
- Five quotes are used in the Wiktionary to justify inclusion of the word cynology/cynologist.
- 1892, The Journal of Comparative Medicine and Veterinary Archives, ‘Professor Mills has done excellent work in his course on “Cynology, the Dog and his Diseases,” a subject hitherto only taught incidentally in any college …’
- 1948, Dogs In Britain Clifford L.B. Hubbard, MacMillan & Co, ‘Buffon’s table is here reproduced as it was a sincere attempt towards laying a foundation upon which cynologists might work out the origin of breeds and their varieties and the analysis of dog groups.’
- 1951, The American Mercury, ‘Students of cynology can trace in the dictionary the dog’s remarkable rise in the public esteem in this century.’
- 1985, The Complete Dog Book, published by the American Kennel Club, ‘The annals of cynology make no further mention of the breed until 1901 when a combined Rottweiler and Leonberger Club was formed.’
- 1990, Austin Farrer, in his introduction to G. W. Leibniz’ “Theodicy: Essays on the Goodness of God, the Freedom of Man and the Origin of Evil”; quoted in Charles Taliaferro’s 2005 Evidence and Faith (online) ‘Now neither probatology nor cynology could hope to be universal — the world is not all sheep nor all dog: it would have to be hylology;’
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