Statues are generally made to commemorate an important or popular figure, so it’s no surprise that dogs have been carved in stone several times.
You are sure to spot many dog statues in and around London – but have you ever taken the time to stop, look, and learn why they are there?
TeamDogs has put together a list of four statues worth checking out on your next trip around the capital – let us know what you think of them in the comments below.
Read more here: Homeless Londoner “on the verge of death” suggests a charity worker who “saved his life” and uses Coke as a wedding ring
1. Brown dog, Battersea Park
The “Brown Dog” statue in Battersea Park is one of the most notorious in town. Located in the north of the site, it is along the route between the Old English Garden and the Peace Pagoda.
A statue was originally placed here in 1906 after being commissioned by activists protesting the use of vivisection (experimental surgery on live animals) at University College London.
The bronze sculpture designed by Joseph Whitehead was supposed to remind of a Brown Terrier that was operated illegally and inhumanly by William Bayliss in front of 60 medical students. It was accompanied by a provocative plaque condemning UCL.
The memorial was destroyed many times, required 24-hour police protection, and sparked a series of clashes known as the Brown Dog Riots.
Despite a 20,000-strong petition to the rescue, the statue was secretly removed by Battersea Council in 1910 to try to end the conflict.
A new sculpture by artist Nicola Hicks that stands there today was added later in 1985. The statue is modeled after her own terrier named Brock.
2. Trump the Pug, Chiswick High Street
Although it has different meanings today, ‘Trump’ was once associated with the renowned 18th-century engraver and painter William Hogarth, who had a beloved pooch of the same name.
The couple’s connection was first immortalized in Hogarth’s self-portrait “Painter and His Pug” (1745), which now hangs in the Tate Gallery.
West London residents will also find a model of the duo on Chiswick High Street. The artwork, designed by Jim Mathieson in 2001, is just a stone’s throw from Hogarth’s country estate.
Patrons included contemporary artist David Hockney, as well as the Hogarth Health Club, the developers of Chiswick Park and Sainsbury’s Local. An additional £ 10,000 was raised to allow Hogarth’s puppy to be housed alongside his master.
A resin copy of just Trump was later commissioned by the William Hogarth Trust for the William Hogarth School playground in 2008.
3rd Dogs from Alkibiades, Victoria Park
If you’ve been a visitor to Victoria Park in the past, you’ve probably run between the next dog statue – or in this case a series of statues – on our list.
These two identical stone beasts proudly guard the gates of the Bonner Street park entrance in Bethnal Green, East London.
Modeled out of marble, the Molossian Hounds couple were donated by Lady Aignarth in 1912 and may be a memorial to her husband.
Her name refers to a 5th century Athenian statesman who was friends with the notorious moral philosopher Socrates. Strangely enough, however, Alkibiades only owned one dog!
Although briefly removed and replaced with replicas by Tower Hamlets Council in 2009, the real pieces were reinstated before the London Olympics and continue to act as guardians of the park.
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4th Dog and Pot, Blackfriars
This fun addition is great for literature lovers as well as dog lovers.
Created to mark the bicentenary of Charles Dickens in 2012, the Dog and Pot sculpture is a replica of a statue that the world-famous Victorian writer walked past as a 12-year-old on his way to work.
He even wrote in his autobiography that he “saw the picture of a golden dog licking a golden pot over a shop door” as he turned into Blackfriars Road every day.
The original feature, which was actually a shop sign, is believed to date from the 16th century. It was previously exhibited at the Cuming Museum, Elephant and Castle.
Well, thanks to Michael Painter, a carpenter and artist, you can have a similar experience as you step out of Southwark Station.
Look at the lamppost at an angle to the exit and you will see its version, which features a dog carved from elm and an iron pot.
This statue actually has its own Twitter account called @dogandpot. Dickens’ great-great-grandson revealed it too!