Turnspit dog



Dogs have been man’s best friend for centuries and have been trained to do a variety of tasks, including hunting, guarding, and even cooking. The Turnspit dog, also known as the “Kitchen dog,” was an essential part of the kitchen in the 18th century. These dogs were used to turn meat on rotisseries, a tedious task that humans found too difficult. This article looks at the history, breed characteristics, intelligence, grooming needs, and health needs of the Turnspit dog.

Turnspit dog History

The Turnspit dog was a breed of dog that originated in England in the early 19th century. These dogs were not kept as pets, and were used mainly for kitchen work. They were bred to look after kitchen fires and turn a spit that roasted meat over a fire. With the invention of mechanical spit-turners, the need for Turnspit dogs decreased, and the breed eventually became extinct.

Turnspit dog Breed Characteristics

The Turnspit dog was a low-set dog with short legs, long, droopy ears, and a tail that curled upwards. They were generally medium-sized and had smooth fur that was either black or tan in color. Their body was sturdy and muscular, and they had a head that was almost rectangular in shape. These dogs were known for their strength and endurance, which made them perfect for the job they were bred for.

Turnspit dog Intelligence

The Turnspit dog was an intelligent breed and was considered to be extremely loyal to their owners. They learned quickly and were always eager to please. Their intelligence and work ethic made them the ideal dog for kitchen work. These dogs did not require much training and were mainly taught by example.

Turnspit dog Average Size

The Turnspit dog was a medium-sized dog and grew to around 16-21 inches in height. They weighed between 30-50 pounds, with females often being smaller than males.

Turnspit dog Child Friendly

As Turnspit dogs were bred for kitchen work, they were not generally kept as pets, and their temperament around children is not known. However, research suggests that Turnspit dogs were loyal and affectionate to their owners, so they may have been friendly towards children if they were raised in a family home.

Turnspit dog Health Needs

As the Turnspit dog is now an extinct breed, there is no information on any specific health needs. However, as with all dogs, they would have required regular vaccinations and vet check-ups to ensure their overall health.

Turnspit dog Grooming Needs

The Turnspit dog had short, smooth fur that required little grooming. A weekly brush to remove loose hair and a wipe down with a damp cloth would have been sufficient to keep them looking clean and healthy.

Turnspit dog Amount Of Shedding

The Turnspit dog did not shed excessively and was considered to be a low-maintenance breed. However, regular grooming can help to minimize shedding and keep the fur looking healthy.

Turnspit dog Trainability

The Turnspit dog was an intelligent breed and learned quickly by example. They were used mainly for kitchen work, and their training was done on the job.

Turnspit dog Exercise Needs

As the Turnspit dog was bred for kitchen work, they had high levels of endurance and required moderate exercise. They would have enjoyed daily walks and playtime in a secure yard or park.

Turnspit dog Average Lifespan

As the Turnspit dog breed is extinct, there is no information on their average lifespan. However, as a general rule, dogs of a similar size and build can live anywhere from 10 to 15 years.


The Turnspit dog was an intelligent and hard-working breed, and their contribution to the kitchen in the 18th century cannot be underestimated. Although the breed is now extinct, their legacy lives on. It is essential to note that if you are considering getting a dog, it is crucial to research the breed’s characteristics and health needs to ensure they are the right fit for you and your family.