National Dog Week was set aside during the fourth week of September as a nation-wide campaign to educate the public about better dog care.
85 years ago, National Dog Week was founded by Captain William Lewis Judy, who loved dogs. Captain Judy served in the U.S. Army in World War I, earning a Silver Star, and later founded his own publishing house that he used to produce a number of books about dogs. He also bought and publishd Dog World magazine. Through this endeavor, the Dog Writers Association of America was founded. Members of this association determined in 1928 that the fourth week in September should be National Dog Week.
The week also became sponsored by the Dog Owner’s League of America and the National Dog Week Association. While these organizations no longer exist, they had powerful connections with legislators during the days of the FDR administration, working for better dog laws and more humane policies.
During this time, it was common for breed devotees to be passionate about their particular pedigreed pups; however, the founders of National Dog Week envisioned a far broader campaign that would reach out to all dog owners, regardless or of their dog's breed or lack of pedigree.
National Dog Week Stamp, 1936
National Dog Week Stamp, 1937
Generally, National Dog Week gets a small amount of coverage by the media in modern times, but anything to elevate the cause of Man's Best Friend is noteworthy.
How are you celebrating your dog this week, in particular?
National Dog Week Poster by Albert Staehle, 1950.