© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2008 DOI: 10.1163/156853008X357676 Society and Animals 16 (2008) 354-371 www.brill.nl/soan Breeding Racism: Th e Imperial Battleﬁ elds of the “German” Shepherd Dog Aaron Skabelund Assistant Professor, Department of History, Brigham Young University, 2140 JFSB, Provo, UT 84602, USA email@example.com Received 7 March 2008, Accepted 23 June 2008 Abstract During the ﬁ rst half of the twentieth century, the Shepherd Dog came to be strongly identiﬁ ed with Imperial and Nazi Germany, as well as with many other masters in the colonial world. Th rough its transnational diﬀ usion after World War I, the breed became a pervasive symbol of imperial aggression and racist exploitation. Th e 1930s Japanese empire subtly Japanized the dogs who became an icon of the Imperial Army. How could a cultural construct so closely associated with Germany come to represent many diﬀ erent colonial regimes? Using Imperial Japan as a case study, this paper argues that this symbolic pliability is a derivative of the high functionality, wide adaptation, and conspicuous nature of the Shepherd Dog as protector, deterrent, and enforcer of social control. As a visible intermediary in hierarchal relationships between diﬀ erent human groups, the Shepherd Dog became
Society & Animals – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2008
Keywords: BREED; RACE; GERMANY; SHEPHERD DOGS; FASCISM; JAPAN; IMPERIALISM
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