The Dog Days of Summer

Possible Classroom Concepts: Social Studies – Pets (Specifically Dogs )

Language Arts – Literature, Fiction, Nonfiction

Mathematics – Pictographs

Possible Art Concepts: Art History – Artists Inspired By Dogs ( Picasso, Warhol, Hockney and many more )

Animal Portraits, Mediums ( paintings, drawing, prints, sculptures, cartoons, mosaics, ceramics ), Inspiration, Muses

We have reached the Dog Days of Summer. Well, you know the old saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” So, if life gives us Dog Days, why not look at some dogs and their artist owners?

How about printing out photos from the address above and ask students to arrange them into a pictograph according to dog types? If you do this, you will notice that the dachshund wins hands down as the most popular breed with three artists. You can read about all three dachshunds, their masters and see work these dog’s inspired here:

The story behind Picasso’s dachshund, Lump, can be found in this delightful nonfiction picture book:

Lumpito and the Painter from Spain  By Monica Kulling

A history of dogs as muses or inspirations in artworks and the stories behind them can be found in this very informative post:


Giacomo Balla’s “Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash” (Another dachshund!)

I like the following pet art lesson because of all the creative possibilities it has. The painting above can also be an inspiration for this lesson.

Two other interesting art related dog books are

Rockwell: A Boy and His Dog by  Loren Spiotta-DiMare ( a nonfiction book about Norman Rockwell”s quest for a dog model )


Dogs Night by Meredith Hooper ( a fictional account of dogs that switch places in famous paintings )


Edwin Henry Landseer’s “Dignity and Impudence”

The fourth graders in my county read an excerpt from the book, Because of Winn Dixie. Winn Dixie has a very perky personality. It just so happens that the British dog portrait artist, Edwin Henry Landseer liked to paint his subjects with personalities. Just as you can see in the painting above. A lesson and student activities can be found here:

More examples of his work can be found here:–DTmMvxxgIVgmw-Ch00eQAA&biw=1264&bih=768#imgrc=_

I’d love to know how I’m doing. You can get to the comment box by clicking on the post’s title and scrolling to the bottom. Hope to hear from you soon. Enjoy this summer day.  Visit again soon.

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