This thesis argues that the National Beagle Club of America defined and regulated beagling as a way for upper class men to demonstrate their social status in a sporting context. As members of the American elite, the club’s leadership used their personal resources and social access to shape the sport for their own purposes. The club’s governing documents and regular events reinforced ideas about exclusivity, performance, and wealth. The breed standard formalized the dogs’ position as animal athletes who were valued for their sporting capabilities. Kennels served as physical representations of owners’ socioeconomic status while providing specialized housing for their dogs. Found at the intersection of scholarship on the history of sport and the history of purebred dogs, this thesis explores the club’s first fifty years from 1890 to 1940.
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Thesis advisor: Kelm, Mary-Ellen
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