Dog Art: depicting dogs barking, training, and doing dog agility

Dogs have been a favorite subject of many artists for centuries. From cave paintings, to the times of Renaissance art and medieval swords, to modern day computer illustrations, dog art has evolved through the years. Dogs are seen as the symbol of loyalty, and during the Renaissance period were often painted with married couples to represent fidelity.

Today, canine art has taken many forms: traditional art with handsome Labradors sunning themselves, art in photography with interesting angles and a seemingly non-posed context, and colourful illustrations of happy go-lucky dogs doing dog agility or ones with hard edges and meaningful stares. has over 2000 illustrations, clip art and stock photos of dogs a nice idea to enjoy or for a simple present for someone. Many depict the sweet and easy going personalities of family dogs and their relationships with humans, while in contrast to that, many convincingly illustrate what artists long ago did not capture: the fury of the snarling angry dog. (Some were so convincing, that it made me want to go out and buy some dog pepper spray!)

Although modern art may be edgy and much in demand, classical art still is top-notch when it comes to auction time. has a yearly auction that coincides with Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show called Dogs in Art Auction. The most expensive painting sold last year was American artist Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait’s (1819-1905) Pointer Retrieving a Woodcock, which sold for $23,900 to a collector in the southern states via the Internet. Auctions can be wonderful events; held to raise funds for many canine organizations.

Assistance Dog Institute is a non-profit organization that is training dogs not only on the basics (sit, heel, stay, and how to stop a dog from barking, etc,) but teaches them to turn on lights, open doors, pull chairs and retrieve dropped objects for children and adults with physical disabilities or other special needs. They too often have fund raisers including golf gifts and tournaments or silent auctions. Vendors usually donate new items or weekend stays in the California wine country, but anyone can clean out and organize your clothes closet to find treasures to donate.
Greyhound Gifts is also an organization devoted to the welfare of canines. Susan O’Hara combined her passion for the greyhound and a life-long love of creating hand made ceramic sculpture, and created unique pet gifts. Greyhound pottery vases, sitting greyhounds (greyhound statue) and a head silhouette refrigerator magnet are a few. A portion of all Greyhound Gifts sales directly supports similar greyhound rescue adoption groups to Golden State Greyhound Adoption which is my favorite.
It sounds crazy, but with one organization, not just humans, but the animals themselves can get involved in producing the art that inevitably contributes to their well-being. Dog Scouts of America’s goal is to increase awareness about the human/companion animal bond, and to promote responsible dog ownership. They have many activities and educate owners how to teach using positive reinforcement. One of the activities in particular is teaching dogs to paint. They then hold art shows and even auction off the paintings to benefit organizations which train service dogs for people with special needs.

Art Appraisal Online

Today, getting art appraised can be as easy as getting a quote for term life insurance over the phone. It can take a matter of minutes to get a ball-park figure, or it can take longer to get a more detailed answer. To reach a larger audience, recently many art appraisers have chosen to join the electronic information super highway and move their businesses to the internet.

So now you can find out what the birthday gift idea your grandmother had for your grandfather way back when is it worth today more quickly and easily than ever before. Most art appraisers only require you send them a photograph of the piece, the original and answer a questionnaire. Some can give instant verbal appraisals over the phone or via email. They can estimate the value by the condition and authentication of the piece. Appraisers can even tell you how much a piece has depreciated as a result of something like water damage (or heaven forbid something like a spot of salad dressing on the canvas).
Maynard Elliot an appraiser who started has an online form to fill out the information about your piece and then get a timely response. His appraisal service is mainly for collectors securing their investment, insurance agents for customer appraisals, insurance companies for claims settlement purposes, to insure an item, contemporary, decorative or otherwise, art galleries and corporate collections, artists selling prices supported, educational resources, charitable institutions and donations and estates and trusts. Elliot has quite a distinguished background in Art History and Art Appraisals and his extensive study of art goes back 40 years.

Fine Art Appraisals online is also among the many companies offering this service. They charge $75 verbal appraisal and $175 written appraisal for all media including paintings, sculpture, prints and photography.

A well-known online appraiser is Ask the Appraiser on They teamed up with Ebay in 2003 to better serve the community with services for appraisals of pieces for auctions. But it’s not just for Ebay. It’s a simple online service that comes with a tutorial to explain step by step the process. You can get an instant appraisal via email, or send a digital photo and description for a more detailed appraisal. They appraise such items as antiques (art, furniture, etc.), ceramics, coins/currency, collectibles, glass, jewelry and gems, sporting goods, sports (football equipment/memorabilia, basketball, soccer, horse racing equipment among other sports memorabilia), stamps and toys and dolls. For a nominal fee you can even ask them to check out an Ebay auction online and tell you what the item is worth.

Many of these art appraisers are members of The Association of Online Appraisers (AOA). It is a registered 501(c)(6) not-for-profit international association for personal property appraisers who are involved in offering online written appraisal reports (either as individuals or via an appraisal management company) through the use of digital images and Internet online reporting. Their mission statement is to promote and encourage professionalism and ethical conduct among online personal property appraisers. You can search for an appraiser online through their website:

Modern technology in the online industry could bring such services even closer with VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) solutions. Online appraisal could be as easy as a telephone chat via the internet in real time. Watch for it. It could be coming soon to an online appraiser near you…