Got an idea for a holiday? Send it to us

Submit Now

786 Shares
786 Shares
WedSep 20

National Dog Week – September 20, 2023

National Dog Week takes place from September 20 to 27 each year to show appreciation for our furry companions. Dogs have been companions to humans for at least 14,000 years, but the relationship changed a lot over the centuries. The writer and war veteran, Captain William Judy sought to take dogs out of the dog house. He dedicated his life after the war to improving the conditions for canines and helping educate dog owners on the proper way to care for dogs depending on their breed. He once wrote, “Don’t call a man a dog—it’s unfair to the dog.” This quote perfectly sums up his perspective on the matter.

History of National Dog Week

The WWI veteran, Captain William Lewis Judy, founded National Dog Week in 1928. He started this holiday to appreciate the role dogs play in our lives and to educate people about their responsibilities toward their canines. During that time, it was common for families to leave their dogs chained outside. Dogs were allowed to roam free and no leash laws were in place, leaving the animal at risk of being lost or hit by cars. This is vastly different from the way dog owners usually treat their pets today, and a large part of that change can be accredited to Judy.

After the war, Judy began writing stories about his experiences. He published under the pseudonym Weimer Port, a name derived from the dog breed Weimaraner. After that, he graduated to writing books about dogs, such as “The Dog Encyclopedia” and many others that followed. He also purchased “Dog World Magazine” in 1923 where he wrote and edited essays. The magazine continued after his death, the final issue being published in September 2012.

Judy aimed to improve the lives of dogs and did that and more. His writings educated dog owners on various breeds, their needs, and successful training methods. Judy founded the Dog Writers Association of America in 1935. This was to encourage the publication of more dog-related works and award those who produced quality writing. In his book, “Don’t Call a Dog a Man,” Judy wrote lovingly about what the dog-human relationship should look like.

National Dog Week timeline

29,000 — 14,000 Years Ago
A Loyal Friend

Humans begin domesticating dogs and life on Earth becomes 29,000 times better.

1899
Police Dogs

Dogs in Belgium are trained to join law enforcement, showing how useful dogs can be when properly trained.

1909
“The Call of the Wild”

Jack London’s “The Call of the Wild” is immensely popular and well-loved.

1923
Under New Ownership

Captain William Judy acquires “Dog World Magazine.”

1928
National Dog Week

Captain William Judy creates National Dog Week.

National Dog Week FAQs

What is the smartest dog breed?

Border collies are by far the smarted breed, which is not surprising as they’re usually employed in herding livestock. With plentiful energy and curiosity, they’re easy to train.

What is the rarest dog breed in the world?

The Norwegian Lundehund has been around since the Ice Age. They almost went extinct during WWII but survived thanks to breeders.

What is the first dog breed

The Saluki is the oldest known dog breed, emerging in Egypt around 328 B.C.

National Dog Week Activities

  1. Adopt, don’t shop

    If you’ve been looking for an excuse to get yourself (another) furry friend, then this is it! Dogs are social creatures that value companionship. Go to a local shelter and find your dog a live-in friend.

  2. Volunteer your time and resources

    If you can’t add another member to your household, volunteer at your local shelter. You can spend the evening walking them and keeping them company.

  3. Schedule a doggy date

    Treat your dog for the day by taking them to the beach or the park. If you’re looking for something special to do, make a picnic or take your dog out for a walk and let them choose the path.

5 Fascinating Facts About Dogs

  1. They can talk

    Button communication is a new training method for dogs that helps them respond to your commands by the press of a button.

  2. They’re the first domesticated animal

    Dogs are the first animals to be domesticated — as working animals and as an alarm system.

  3. They smell your fear!

    Dogs can smell our emotions and mirror them.

  4. Their whiskers work as a compass

    Whiskers help them navigate their environment by determining the sizes of objects around them, even in the dark!

  5. They’re smarter than you think

    Dogs can learn to understand 165 words, with smarter breeds going up to 250.

Why We Love National Dog Week

  1. They’re good for our health

    Interacting with dogs boots our happiness hormones. This improves their owners’ mental and physical health.

  2. They love us back

    Studies prove that dogs love their humans and consider them family. The love and loyalty of dogs are invaluable.

  3. They come in all shapes and sizes

    No matter where you live or what your lifestyle is like, there’s a dog breed made just for you. A husky will outrun you in the park and a pug will lounge with you while you stay in and watch T.V.

National Dog Week dates

YearDateDay
2023September 20Wednesday
2024September 20Friday
2025September 20Saturday
2026September 20Sunday
2027September 20Monday

Want to sponsor this holiday?

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.