Dog writing is a type of journalism that is focused primarily on various dog related topics. A dog writer may choose to focus dog shows, dog related news, or write human interest stories. Some amount of knowledge and familiarity with dogs is typically required because it can be a highly specialized subject. Prior to about 1935, the type of articles produced by a dog writer were covered by a variety of journalists from other disciplines. The formation of groups such as the Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) helped legitimize the profession and increase the availability of journalistic resources at shows.
Writing specifically about dogs as a profession is relatively new compared to other journalistic specialties. The first association of dog writers did not form in the United States until the year 1935, before which dog related subjects were typically handled by non-specialists. Dog shows were often covered in newspaper sports pages, so sports journalists were often assigned to these stories. The development of the profession and the creation of related organizations led to better resources and opportunities for dog writers.
A dog writer has a wide variety of choices for subject matter, though some familiarity with dogs is typically required. One major source of material for the dog writer is shows. Conformity, obedience, agility, and specialty shows are all regularly covered by dog writers. Their articles often appear in newspapers as well as niche magazines that cater directly to dog fanciers.
Dog sports are also typically covered by these writers. Some dog shows, particularly those that include agility portions, can be considered sport. These sports are much more varied and can include a diverse range of activities, including skijoring, hunting, and greyhound racing. Since each type of show and each individual sport has its own particular regulations and quirks, there is room for a great deal of specialization among dog writers.
In addition to writing about shows and sports, many dog writers cover dog-related news items, human interest stories, and various other aspects of dog ownership and companionship. Dog-related news can include vital information, such as food recalls, while human interest stories typically touch on the interactions between people and dogs in heartwarming or interesting ways. Topics that a dog writer may cover can also include pet care advice or tips, training procedures, and information on specific breeds. Many dog writers pen books on these types of subjects, which can be useful to new pet owners in addition to existing dog fanciers.