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Historically, cats have outnumbered dogs when it came to household pets in the capital, but recent shifts to home working have caused an unprecedented rise in dog owners. Our beautiful green spaces are a fine place to dog-spot – real ones as well as artistic renderings – and statues of pups also feature on streets, squares and even on the side of supermarkets. Find a selection of canine sculptures below.

7 artworks

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Esmé Percy Memorial Drinking Fountain for Dogs
© the copyright holder. Photo credit: Sally Norris / Art UK

Both practical and sweet, this sculptural fountain provides water at the level of passing pets. It was provided to Kensington Gardens in memorial of Esmé Percy in 1961, four years after this death.

Esmé Percy was a producer and star of many films and theatrical performances. Percy studied under Sarah Bernhardt and often played the lead role in works by George Bernard Shaw. He became more of a character actor after he lost an eye in an accident while playing with a Great Dane.

Esmé Percy Memorial Drinking Fountain for Dogs
Sylvia Gilley (1908–2008)
Bronze & granite
H 110 x W 177 x D 173 cm

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Brown Dog Memorial and Fountain
Photo credit: Historic England Archive

This sculpture, and the following one, in this Curation, are actually one and the same – Nicola Hicks' memorial a later replacement of Whitehead's.

The 'Brown Dog' on a plinth may look appear simple, but this monument has a fascinating history, encompassing riots, mass demonstrations, protests and a libel case. It all started when two Swedish students at University College London witnessed animal experiments in 1903.

Anthony McIntosh tells the full story on Art UK: https://artuk.org/discover/stories/nicola-hicks-brown-dog

Brown Dog Memorial and Fountain 1906
Joseph James Whitehead (1868–1951)
Bronze & granite

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Brown Dog
© Nicola Hicks, Flowers Gallery, London. Photo credit: Vincenzo Albano / Art UK (black and white image, 1985, courtesy of Cruelty Free International)

Nicola Hicks' memorial is unusual, in that it is a memorial of an earlier memorial. The original and its replacement are symbols for animal rights and of resistance to the horrendous practice of vivisection.

Anthony McIntosh tells the full story on Art UK: https://artuk.org/discover/stories/nicola-hicks-brown-dog

Brown Dog 1985
Nicola Hicks (b.1960) and Gilbert & Turnbull Ltd, London
Bronze & Portland stone
H 46 cm

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Anticipation
© the copyright holder. Photo credit: Mark Collins / Art UK

This work, showing a woman with children being faithfully followed by a dog, as unveiled by Queen Elizabeth II to commemorate the 2002 Golden Jubilee. Unfortunately, only two days later, it disappeared from its spot – the council explaining that the work was found to be unstable. After returning to the foundry for adjustment, it was installed back at the High Street in Uxbridge.

A short video about the sculpture can be seen at https://www.londonsscreenarchives.org.uk/title/20319/

Anticipation 2002
Anita Lafford (active 1990–2006)
Bronze

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The Broad Family
© the copyright holder. Photo credit: Alfred Yeung / Art UK

In the City of London can be found perhaps one of the least realistic-looking dog sculptures in London – yet it is also perhaps one of the most charming. With its simply marked eye, pointed ears and draped coat, the dog of the Broad family leads the group.

The Catalan artist, Xavier Corberó, undertook high-profile commissions during his career, such as the design of the 1922 Olympic medals.

The Broad Family 1991
Xavier Corberó (1935–2017)
Basalt stone
H 450 cm

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The Picnic
© the artist's estate. Photo credit: Gary Tyrell / Art UK

It takes a while to spot the dog in this mounted bronze relief, situated near Tescos in Lewisham. He/she seems to be enjoying snacking on its own leg while the picnickers have their meal.

From Berlin and Amsterdam, the artist settled in Blackheath from 1960. She taught sculpture at Catford and Greenwich Adult Education Institutes.

The Picnic 1988
Gerda Rubinstein (1931–2022)
Bronze resin
H 180 x W 288 cm

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William Hogarth (1697–1764) with His Pug
© the copyright holder. Photo credit: Juliet Ferguson / Art UK

The artist's faithful dog Trump sits attentively by his knee in this statue, situated in Chiswick. About a ten-minute walk towards the River Thames is St Nicholas Church, Hogarth's resting place.

Trump looks a lot larger than the typical pugs of the twentieth century...

William Hogarth (1697–1764) with His Pug
Jim Mathieson (1931–2003)
Bronze
H 200 x W 70 x D 70 cm