Dogs Playing Poker

Hi all.

Can anyone tell me which breeds of dog are featured in this picture:

Dogs playing poker.

I like making puzzles and I’m designing an MIT Mystery Hunt style competition with a friend of mine. We want to use this picture as the basis for one of the puzzles.


You can usually tell the breed by the way it holds its cards… :stuck_out_tongue:

Seriously I don’t think these are identifiable by the individual breed. The one in the right foreground looks kind of like an English bulldog, but I don’t know what you would call the one on the left. Collie-like, maybe. The gray one behind the bulldog looks kind of Great Dane-ish.

Also, there are different versions with different breeds.

If they’re serious players, they must be Chipins.

I would agree with Boyo Jim. Aside from the bulldog, those all look like mongrels to me. If they are intended to be specific breeds, they have been painted so poorly as to be unidentifiable for all intents and purposes.

Unless you need to use that specific painting, I would suggest choosing another one where the breeds are more clearly indicated.

I doubt that Cassius Coolidge was attempting to faithfully represent any particular breeds. He was commissioned to paint a series of 16 paintings featuring anthropomorphic dogs for use in cigar ads, after all. There was no reason for him to be specific about the breeds.

(Nine of the paintings were of dogs playing poker, and for some reason, those were the ones which “stuck” in popular culture.)

Okay. Cheers guys.

The two at the rear left and the one on the right have the classic markings of a beagle, but their ears are the wrong shape.
The one at the rear right looks like a dobermann pinscher, but lacks the typical brown markings of that breed.
The one on the left looks like a skeletal border collie (i.e. Lassie).
The one front right is clearly a bulldog of some kind.
The one front left could be anything, maybe a young labrador retriever.

Just for the record, the image that the OP linked to isn’t a Coolidge but rather one of the legions of pale imitations. This fan site has images of the nine “dogs playing poker” paintings, as well as nine other Coolidge paintings. (The tenth one, dubbed “unknown”, may or may not actually be a Coolidge.)

In 2005, two of the Coolidge paintings sold for $590,000 at auction.

It’s such a complete copy of “A Friend in Need”, that Coolidge’s original intent concerning breeds is still a valid consideration. I don’t think breeds are definitely identifiable for a lot of Coolidge’s original dogs.