Dogs have been man’s best friend since the dawn of recorded history. It’s hypothesized that early hunters used dogs for their keen sense of smell. Australian Aborigines huddled with them to gain warmth on cold nights. Dogs have been buried with humans as far back as 1,000 BC.
Every dog is different and every owner is different, and the bond between the two is unique to them.
Photographers Ollie Grove and Will Robson-Scott set out to document these distinctive bonds in their recent project, “In Dogs We Trust.” They travelled the world photographing owners with their pooches, and they found a trove of characters.
Grove and Robson-Scott shared some images with us. You can see more and buy the book at their website.
Grove and Robson-Scott say their project grew out of 'a mutual love of dogs, portraiture, and a new project that we felt had not been covered before.'
'We have both always had family dogs. Both our dads are still dog owners,' Grove tells Business Insider.
'There is not one type of dog owner or dog person and there is not one type of dog. Nothing is more inviting for a couple of photographers than a project that will constantly surprise and differ,' he explains.
The two met dog owners many different ways, including word of mouth and random encounters on the street. They say they wanted 'to source interesting characters,' instead of finding dogs and owners at any old dog park.
Grove says, at this point, the two have shot more portraits than he can count. The project had to be 'effectively cut in half' to fit the length of their new book.
Grove says that the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is very popular, especially in the UK. He describes the breed as a 'loyal, dependable, sweet-natured dog that also has a history for being a ferocious fighter.'
'The nanny nature of the breed often leads to it being abandoned by tough guys who expect the dog to be an angry sidekick but instead just licks everyone's face,' he explains.
Do owners in different countries treat their dogs differently? 'Not particularly,' says Grove. 'Good owners are good owners and the bad are clearly bad!'
When asked the age old question of whether dogs and their owners tend to look alike, Grove says, 'Very rarely -- it is a bit of a myth. If the owners do, it is because they adopt the look and are usually quite eccentric characters you only see at dog shows like Crufts.'
After shooting more dogs and owners than they could keep track of, the two said that the project reinforced the need for would-be owners to really think before getting a dog. 'Certain characters had clearly bitten off more than they could chew when they got a dog,' says Grove.
'It also showed us that dog ownership is more popular than ever and therefore we need to think more about rehousing and rescuing dogs -- people don't stop breeding and idiots don't stop abandoning and mistreating,' Grove continues.
Both photographers say their own lives are too unsettled to own dogs of their own right now. 'Dogs require serious attention and commitment. We will both be owners when we have found where we are staying and have a network strong enough to rely on for support,' says Grove.
For the time being, the two are going to continue to photograph dogs and their owners around the world. 'There are plenty of breeds that we are still on the lookout for, so we hope we can succeed in getting them for the next edition,' they say.
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