Author ~ Advisor ~ Archivist
Etiam si omnes, ego non - Even if all others do, not me.
David Hancock, magazine article and book writer, breed advisor and judge, (not to be confused with his namesake, the renowned lurcher breeder), has over half a century's experience with and in the study of dogs. Originally intending to be a vet, he worked for several years as a teen-aged kennel-boy to a vet. He learned at first hand, from assisting with surgical procedures, from attending Bath Dog Show, where his employer was show vet, being instructed on conformation, structure and soundness, and from visiting famous local kennels, such as Molly Harbut's world-renowned 'Bengal' Airedales.
As a professional soldier he subsequently worked in 22 different countries, studying their dogs and their ancestry, building up his remarkable photo/image library: Charwynne Dog Features, over 5,000 depictions of dogs, used by many national and international magazines and film companies. For 14 years he oversaw a Rare Breeds Centre, conserving and breeding rare breeds of domestic cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, poultry and horses, breeding and exhibiting the stock. In his working life he was responsible for four different museums and an art gallery, several times advising the Natural History Museum on their canine displays.
He has worked with emergent dog breeds, writing the breed standard for the Sporting Lucas Terrier, the Victorian Bulldog and the Plummer Terrier and judged all these breeds as well as American Bulldogs. He has also judged working tests for gundogs. He served on the British Bullmastiff League's committee for a number of years. He has a collection of over 550 rare or out-of-print dog books and has read as many more. He is already the author of ten books on dogs, (the most recent The World of the Lurcher, Quiller 2010, Sporting Terriers, Crowood 2011 and Sighthounds, Crowood, 2012), and well over 750 articles in national and international magazines.
Three reviewers of his books have separately written:
'What a masterpiece! It is compulsory reading for anyone with any interest in dogs',
'...based on impressive personal research extraordinary amongst writers on dogs' and
'That is what makes David Hancock perhaps the most important living writer about dogs.'
In 2009 he won an Annual Writing Competition award presented by the Dog Writers’ Association of America, having been a runner-up two years earlier. He worked on Tigress Productions' TV series 'Dogs which changed the World', broadcast in the USA and Europe in 2007, and Passionate Productions’s influential TV programme ‘Pedigree Dogs Exposed’, broadcast by the BBC. He subsequently contributed to the Bateson Report into pedigree dog-breeding. He writes for five current sporting/canine magazines, here and abroad.
Footnote: David Hancock's first published work was a series of 3 articles on successive evenings in The London Illustrated News in November, 1951, based on his diary of the expedition to Hofsjukull Ice Cap in Iceland. Commenting on these articles the Editor wrote:
"During this week our readers will have seen...three articles which were extracts from a journal kept by David Hancock, a 19-year-old boy who was a member of this year's British Schools Exploring Society's expedition to the interior of Iceland. The boy's experience and his recording of it surely ought to give encouragement and hope to all who care for the spiritual greatness of our people."
It was those words that inspired David to take up writing in later years, words that are contained on this site.