Pup-arazzi: Walter Chandhoha’s collection of canine photography

In the long anticipated sequel to his book on cats, Chandhoha’s Dogs captures the spirit of his photography and his enduring legacy as the 20th century’s greatest pet photographer

Walter Chandoha was a prolific photographer, and after serving as a combat photographer in World War II, he gained the fuzzy reputation as the 20th century’s greatest pet photographer. His charming work has appeared on over 300 magazine covers, thousands of advertisements and his images were regularly featured in popular magazines such as Life and Look. 

In 2019, Chandoha released Cats with Taschen, which gave readers a glimpse into his archive of over 90,000 cat images. Though Chandoha sadly died last year, aged 98, while he was working on Cats, the photographer hand picked his favourite dog photos for a potential follow-up title. With care and precision he put hundreds of contact sheets, prints and colour transparencies in carefully marked boxes, many of which had been hidden for the last 50 years. 

Chandoha in the studio with his rescue dog, 1975. All images © Estate of Walter Chandoha, courtesy of Taschen

Next month sees Dogs published as the long-awaited sequel to Cats, and features some of Chandoha’s best black-and-white and Kodachrome canine photography.

Spanning a 50-year period, the book has been divided into six sections, and each chapter aims to provide insight into Chandoha’s skills and techniques. From studio shoots to countryside romps, street scenes to pristine dog shows, over 60 breeds of pup, both big and small, are catalogued in the nearly 300-page book. 

Dalmation and the photgrapher’s son Enrico, Long Island, New York, 1958

“Walter Chandoha’s photographs of dogs are compelling not just because dogs have an inherent charm, but because the person behind the camera was a master of his craft,” writes the photography critic Jean Dykstra in the book’s introduction.

As with Chandoha’s previous book, Dogs is not only a photographic tribute to man’s best friend, but it’s also a nod to the photographer’s enduring legacy, and his love for his craft.

Dogs by Walter Chandoha and published by Taschen is out 7 October; taschen.com