An email question from a reader
The rule for capitalization of dog breeds is that if the breed is named after a place name or a person, the breed is capitalized. Thus: Great Pyrenees, German Shepherd, Maltese, Labrador, Chihuahua, Jack Russell, Saint Bernard, Doberman.
The Poodle, on the other hand, is named after a puddle (Ger. pudel).
A capital letter gives a sense of importance and since this is the Poodle (and dog) blog, and since I can do what I want to do here, I choose to capitalize all dog breed names. I think all dogs deserve a sense of importance even if they are named for something lowly. So I write Collie, Spaniel, even Pit Bull. Especially Pit Bull.
Besides it makes it easy for me. I don’t have to wonder if Samoyed is some place in the frozen tundra or if there is a city in Japan called Akita. Who knows what or where Dalmatia is? And what about Malamute? Is that a place, a tribe, a musher?
It’s easier to capitalize them all. More egalitarian too.