Doughty’s Dogs, 1908

This postcard shows James Doughty and his dogs performing on the West Pier in Brighton in 1908.

Jumping through hoops

After a long career as a travelling clown and showman, James Doughty came to settle in Brighton. He would carry on performing until he was in his 90s, although his dogs were doing much of the work at this point.

This remarkable postcard shows a jumping dog in mid-flight through two hoops. It’s one of those magical images where the photographer has hit the shutter at the perfect moment to capture the excitement of the scene.

Today we tend to use the phrase ‘jumping through hoops’ to describe carrying out complicated and annoying tasks in order to achieve a goal. But this photo is reminder that literally jumping through hoops can be a fast and enjoyable spectacle — especially when performed by a trained dog with an expectant audience.

Author: Kevin Bacon, Digital Manager

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