The Dog
William Youatt

Part 2 out of 10

there was the belief among them that at some future time they would
return again to life. Well-fattened puppies are frequently sold; and an
invitation to a feast of dog's meat is the greatest distinction that can
be offered to a stranger by any of the Indian nations east of the Rocky

[Notwithstanding the Indians occasionally eat their dogs either through
necessity or when they wish to pay a marked tribute of respect to their
gods, or prepare a feast of friendship with strangers, they value them
very highly, and do not by any means consider their flesh superior to
that of the buffaloes or other animals of the chase. Mr. Catlin remarks,
that "the dog, amongst all Indian tribes, is more esteemed and more
valued than amongst any part of the civilized world: the Indian, who has
more time to devote to his company, and whose untutored mind more nearly
assimilates to that of his faithful domestic, keeps him closer company
and draws him nearer his heart: they hunt together and are equal sharers
in the chase--their bed is one; and on the rocks and on their coats of
arms they carve his image as the symbol of fidelity." (Vol. I., p. 230.)

On visiting the Sioux, they prepared for this gentleman as a token of
regard a dog feast, previous to partaking of which they addressed him in
a manner that plainly exhibits the veneration in which they held these
faithful animals, at the same time forcibly demonstrating the peculiar
circumstances under which they alone are willing to destroy them:

"My father, I hope you will have pity upon us; we are very poor. We
offer you to-day not the best we have got; for we have a plenty of good
buffalo hump and marrow; but we give you our hearts in this feast, we
have killed our faithful dogs to feed you, and the Great Spirit will
seal our friendship. I have no more to say." (Vol. I., p. 229.)--L.]

As a counterpart to much of this, the ancient Hyrcanians may be
mentioned, who lived near the Caspian Sea, and who deemed it one of the
strongest expressions of respect to leave the corpse of their deceased
friends to be torn and devoured by dogs. Every man was provided with a
certain number of these animals, as a living tomb for himself at some
future period, and these dogs were remarkable for their fierceness.

[Not only the Hyrcanians but most of the people dwelling on or near the
Caspian sea, preserved this race or a similarly formidable one, more
particularly to devour their dead; it being considered more propitiatory
to the Gods, and more flattering to the spirits of the deceased, to make
this disposition of the corpse, than consigning it to the gloomy grave
or funeral pile.

This custom is noticed by Theodoret as being pursued by the inhabitants
of those parts, and was not abolished till after their adherence to


Some of the readers of this work may possibly recollect three beautiful
dogs of this species in the gardens of the Zoological Society of London,
which afforded a perfect illustration of the elongated head of the dogs
belonging to Cuvier's first section. Mr. Bennett, the Secretary of the
Society, gave an interesting account of them in 1835, derived from the
observation of Sir John Franklin and Dr. Richardson.

The elongation and sharpness of the muzzle, and the small capacity of
the skull, first attract attention. The dog was doubtless fitted for its
situation, where its duty is to hunt by sight after the moose or
rein-deer, but would have been comparatively worthless if he was to be
guided by the scent. Its erect ears, widened at the base and pointed at
the top, gave it an appearance of vivacity and spirit. Its depth of
chest, and tucked-up flank, and muscular quarters, marked it as a dog of
speed, while its light frame, and the length of the toes, and wideness
of web between them, seem to depict the kind of surface over which it
was to bound. It is not designed to seize and to hold any animal of
considerable bulk; it bounds over the snow without sinking, if the
slightest crust is formed upon it, and eagerly overtakes and keeps at
bay the moose or the rein-deer until the hunters arrive. This animal
furnishes a beautiful illustration of adaptation for a particular

The hair of these dogs is white, with patches of grayish-black and
brown. They are known only in the neighbourhood of the Mackenzie River
and of the Great Bear Lake in North America They appear to be
good-tempered and easily manageable, and soon become familiar even with
strangers. They are most valuable to the Indians, who live almost
entirely on the produce of the chase. In their native country they never
bark, but utter a whine and howl resembling that of the Esquimaux dog;
yet one of the three, who was born a few days after its parents arrived
at the gardens, while it whined and howled occasionally with its
parents, at other times uttered the perfect bark of its companions of
various breeds around it.

[It is the general belief among the Indians and others who are familiar
with this dog, that his origin is connected, in some way, with the
Arctic Fox, Canis Lagopus, as he so much resembles this animal in his
general appearance and habits.

This fox when taken is easily tamed, a few days of captivity being often
sufficient to render him quite docile, and ample opportunities have thus
been afforded for studying his peculiarities.

Although the cross between the wolf and dog may be considered
established beyond controversy, the testimony is not so very conclusive
as regards the fox. The most authentic instances on record are perhaps
those mentioned by Mr. Daniel, who states that Mr. Tattersall had a
terrier bitch, who bred by a fox, and the produce again had whelps by
dogs, also that the woodman of Mongewell manor had a bitch, the
offspring of a tame dog-fox, by a shepherd's cur, and she again had
puppies by a dog; he does not state, however, that he knew these facts
personally; but concludes from these two instances, that the fox species
may be fairly added to the other supposed original stocks of dogs.
(Daniel's Rural Sports, vol. 1. p. 15.)

Mr. Collinson also states, that it is certain that the Siberian dog not
only copulates with the wolf, but with the fox also. Notwithstanding
this assertion, he is not able to cite a single instance, but on the
other hand is forced to acknowledge, that he never met with any person
who had seen the coupling of these two animals. The peasants of that
country have a small dog, which, from their foxy appearance, they term
fox-dogs. Our Indian dogs, also, resemble somewhat the wolves and foxes,
the original inhabitants of this continent, while the canine family
throughout the east is strongly marked with the jackal, the wild
aborigines of that portion of the world.

These dogs, when fighting, do not shake their antagonists, like the
perfectly domesticated dog; their teeth are extremely sharp, and when
snarling, the skin is drawn from the mouth; their bite is more severe,
and they show but little disposition to attack the wolves, although
quite eager in the pursuit of all other game. The Indians had no dogs
previous to the coming of the whites, but depended in a great measure,
when hunting, upon the presence of the wolves, who, by their howlings,
indicated the position of the herds of buffalo or deer, knowing full
well that after the general carnage, they would come in for a full share
of the garbage of these animals.

Harlan, in his Fauna Americana, says,

"we have very little doubt that the various species of domestic dogs
are mere varieties of prolific hybrids, produced by the union of the
wolf with the fox or jackal. A prolific hybrid of this kind once
produced, the progeny would more readily unite with the congeners of
either parent, and with each other, and in this manner give rise to
the innumerable varieties which at the present day are found scattered
over the face of the earth." (Page 77.)

It is somewhat strange, that no naturalist has, as yet, succeeded in
causing a union between the fox and dog, if the thing be possible. We
ourselves are cognizant of an instance, where every effort was made to
produce an offspring from such a connexion, but to no purpose, although
the terrier bitch was thrice in heat while confined with the fox, and
lived on the most amicable terms with him. We agree with Doct. Godman,
that if a litter has ever been generated by these two animals, they were
hybrids, as nothing to the contrary of an authentic character has been
brought forward, whereas it is well known that the fox always exhibits a
great antipathy and instinctive repugnance to such an union. It is also
reasonable to suppose that if prolific hybrids had at any time been
produced, the breed, from its singular character, would have been
propagated by the fortunate possessor, either from curiosity or utility.
The intestines of the fox are shorter than those of the dog or wolf--L.]


can be traced to a very remote period of history. Some of the old
authors speak of it as the dog which in the times of ancient mythology
Diana presented to Procris. Pliny describes in enthusiastic terms the
combat of one of them with a lion, and afterwards with an elephant. A
dog very much resembling the ancient stories is yet found in Albania,
and most of the districts of Greece. He is almost as large as a mastiff,
with long and silky hair, the legs being shorter and stronger than those
of the greyhound. He is gentle and tractable with those whom he knows,
and when there is no point of duty at stake; but no bribe can seduce him
from his post when any trust is committed to him.

[This dog, it is very probable, was highly impregnated with molossian
blood, and like that animal, was trained both for war and the chase. It
is rather doubtful, whether the dogs presented to Alexander the Great by
the king of Albania, were those of his own country or some that he had
obtained from other parts. We are inclined to believe that they were
imported dogs, for Pliny distinctly states, that these two were all that
the generous monarch possessed, and if destroyed could not be replaced.
From this circumstance it is natural to suppose that, if these dogs had
been native Albanians, the king would have been able to supply any
reasonable quantity of them, and, therefore, not necessitated to send
this message to Alexander. On the other hand, if these dogs had been of
the pure molossian type, such as were raised in Epirus, it is probable
that their huge dimensions would not have surprised this monarch so
much, as it is reasonable to believe that Alexander would certainly have
seen, if not heard, of dogs so remarkable, belonging to a kingdom in
immediate contiguity with his own. We are, therefore, forced to look to
some other source, from whence came these proud dogs, who alone deigned
to contend with the lion and elephant, and must yield to Strabo, who
states that these animals were of the Indian breed.--L. 15.]


The difference between these two breeds consists principally in the
size, the Dalmatian being much smaller than the Danish. The body is
generally white, marked with numerous small round black or reddish-brown
spots. The Dalmatian is said to be used in his native country for the
chase, to be easily broken, and stanch to his work. He has never been
thus employed in England, but is chiefly distinguished by his fondness
for horses, and as being the frequent attendant on the carriages of the
wealthy. To that its office seems to be confined; for it rarely develops
sufficient sense or sagacity to be useful in any of the ordinary offices
of the dog.

[This dog is, perhaps, the tallest of the canine species in existence;
the smaller Dane, or "le braque de Bengal," of the French writers, is
perhaps a cross of this animal with the pointer or hound, or the
original dog degenerated by removal from his native soil. Although these
dogs generally display little or no intelligence, and are, in fact,
denounced by many writers as being incapable of acquiring sufficient
knowledge to make them in any way serviceable for hunting, still we are
led to believe that these latent qualities might be developed in this
breed as well as any other of his particular physical construction.

We had a little Dane in our possession, whom we instructed, with little
trouble, in a variety of tricks; although at first surly and stupid, he
soon exhibited great aptness and pleasure in repeating the various
lessons which we taught him. If he had been younger we might have given
him an opportunity of displaying himself in the field, as we are
confident, from his tractable disposition, that he might have been
tutored, with perseverance, even sufficiently well to stand upon game.
The dogs of Epirus were supposed to have been spotted like the
Dalmatian, if not of the same breed. These dogs may also be the "spotted
hounds" given by Pan to Diana.

Let the little Dane's intellectual abilities be what they may, long
habit and association have so intimately connected him with the stable
and its occupants that he seems no longer fit for any other purpose than
that of following in the wake of the carriages of the wealthy. This he
does with peculiar fondness and singular ingenuity; for, although
constantly by the side or at the heels of the horses, or under the
tongue of the vehicle, his sure retreat when attacked by other dogs, who
seem to have an antipathy for these pampered and fancy attendants on the
affluent, he seldom or never is trod upon, or otherwise injured.

The little Dane is often a good ratter; and a gentleman of this city
informs me that his dogs not only exhibit an attachment to horses in
general, but that one of them has a particular partiality for an old
carriage-horse, with whom he has been intimately associated for many
years, and always greets his return to the stable with every
demonstration of delight, by jumping up and kissing him, &c.--L.]


('Canis laniarius'). There is considerable difficulty in describing this
variety. The French consider it as the progenitor of all the breeds of
dogs that resemble and yet cannot be perfectly classed with the
greyhound. It should rather be considered as a species in which are
included a variety of dogs,--the Albanian, the Danish, the Irish
greyhound, and almost the pure British greyhound. The head is elongated
and the forehead flat, the ears pendulous towards the tips, and the
colour of a yellowish fawn. This is the usual sheep-dog in France, in
which country he is also employed as a house-dog. He discharges his duty
most faithfully; and, notwithstanding his flat forehead, shows himself
to possess a very high degree of intelligence.

[The French matin we have seen of every variety of colour, being mostly
patched with brown, yellow, grey, black, or white. He is employed both
in France and Germany in hunting the boar and wolf; which savage animals
he fearlessly attacks with courage equal to any dog they possess.--L.]


We find no mention of this dog in the early Grecian records. The
'pugnaces' and the 'sagaces' are mentioned; but the 'celeres'--the
swift-footed--are not spoken of as a peculiar breed. The Celtic nations,
the inhabitants of the northern continent of Europe and the Western
Islands, were then scarcely known, and the swift-footed dogs were
peculiar to those tribes. They were not, however, introduced into the
more southern parts of Europe until after the dissolution of the Roman

The dog is, however, mentioned by Ovid; and his description of coursing
the hare is so accurate that we cannot refrain from inserting it. We
select a translation of it from Golding.

"I gat me to the knap
Of this same hill, and there behelde of this strange course the hap,
In which the beaste seemes one while caught, and ere a man would thinke
Doth quickly give the grewnd [9] the slip, and from his biting shrinke;
And, like a wilie fox, he runs not forth directly out,
Nor makes a winlas over all the champion fields about,
But, doubling and indenting, still avoydes his enemie's lips,
An turning short, as swift about as spinning-wheele he wips,
To disappoint the snatch. The grewnd, pursuing at an inch,
Doth cote [10] him, never loosing. Continually he snatches
In vaine, but nothing in his mouth, save only hair, he catches."

There is another sketch by the same poet:

"As when th' impatient greyhound, slipped from far,
Bounds o'er the glade to course the fearful hare,
She in her speed does all her safety lay,
And he with double speed pursues the prey;
O'erruns her at the sitting turn, but licks
His chaps in vain, yet blows upon the flix;
She seeks the shelter, which the neighbouring covert gives,
And, gaining it, she doubts if yet she lives." [11]

The English, Scotch, and Irish greyhounds were all of Celtic derivation,
And their cultivation and character correspond with the civilization of
the different Celtic tribes. The dogs that were exported from Britain to
Rome were probably of this kind. Mr. Blaine gives an account of the
progress of these dogs, which seems to be evidently founded on truth.

"Scotland, a northern locality, has long been celebrated for its
greyhounds, which are known to be large and wiry-coated. They are
probably types of the early Celtic greyhounds, which, yielding to the
influences of a colder climate than that they came from, became coated
with a thick and wiry hair. In Ireland, as being milder in its
climate, the frame expanded in bulk, and the coat, although not
altogether, was yet less crisped and wiry. In both localities, there
being at that time boars, wolves, and even bears, powerful dogs were
required. In England these wild beasts were more early exterminated,
and consequently the same kind of dog was not retained, but, on the
contrary, was by culture made finer in coat, and of greater beauty in

[The canis leporarius, or greyhound of the present day, is quite an
inferior animal in point of size, when compared with his forefathers,
who alone were occupied in the chase of the boar, wolf, bear, deer, and
other animals both powerful and savage.

As these wild animals gradually disappeared under the hand of
civilization, these hardy dogs were less wanted; and thus, by slow
degrees, have degenerated into the less powerful, but more beautiful and
symmetrical proportions that we now see. This change, however, has
better adapted him for speed, and the coursing of such quadrupeds as
depend upon nimbleness and activity of motion, to secure their escape.

Owing, in some measure, to the climate, but more particularly to the
inactive life that they lead in this country, so much at variance with
that of England, we can lay claim to but few dogs that would be
considered above mediocrity among British sportsmen. We have seen
several of these dogs which, living in a state of idle luxury, have
degenerated considerably even in the third generation; and we cannot now
recall but one dog, in the possession of a young lady in Philadelphia,
that would at all come up to the English standard of perfection; and
this one is a descendant from a fine imported stock in the second
generation. The ancient Greeks were much devoted to coursing, but
previous to the time of Arrian, their hounds were not a sufficient
match, in point of speed, for the hare, and it was seldom that their
sports were attended with success in the actual capture of this fleet
animal by the dogs alone. If taken at all, it was generally by running
them down in a long chase, or driving them into nets, toils, and other
similar contrivances, as forcibly described in the following lines of
the ancient poet, when extolling the pleasures of a country life.

"Aut trudit acres hinc et hinc multa cane
Apros in obstante plagas,
Aut amite levi rara leiidit retia,
Turdis edacibus dolos;
Pavidumve leporem, et advenam laqueo gruem,
Jucunda captat praemia."

(Horace, 'Epode ii.', v. 31.)

Even after the introduction of the Celtic hound, who, as before stated,
was far inferior as regards speed to the present race, it was no easy
matter to take the hare, it being necessary to carry several couples of
dogs into the field, and let them slip at certain intervals in the
chase, so that the fresh dogs might, in this way, overtake the little
animal, already frightened and fatigued by previous exertion.

In reference to this mode of coursing, the younger Xenophon particularly
enjoins that to prevent confusion in the field, naturally arising from
the hunters letting their dogs loose at improper intervals, from
eagerness to see them run,

"that a steward should be appointed over the sport, should match the
dogs, and give orders to the field:--if the hare start on this side,
you and you are to slip, and nobody else; but if on that side, you and
you: and let strict attention be paid to the orders given."
(Arrian, chap. xx.)

Alciphron, in his familiar epistles descriptive of the domestic manners
of the Greeks, gives a lively description of a course not very different
from those of the present day, as will be seen in the following extract:

"In trying whether the young dogs were fit for the chase, I started a
hare from a little bush; my sons loosed the dogs from the slips. They
frightened her confoundedly, and were very near taking the game. The
hare, in her flight, climbed a steep place, and found a retreat in
some burrow. One of the more spirited of the dogs, pressing close upon
her, gasping, and expecting to take her in his gripe, went down with
her into the hole. In endeavouring to pull out the hare, he broke one
of his fore-legs. I lifted up my good dog, with his lame leg, and
found the hare half devoured: thus, when I hoped to get something, I
encountered a serious loss."
(Letter ix.)

We will close our remarks upon this subject by introducing a few
descriptive lines, selected from one of the very rare English authors
who have attempted a versification of this exciting sport.

"Yet if for silvan sport thy bosom glow,
Let thy fleet greyhound urge his flying foe.
With what delight the rapid course I view!
How does my eye the circling race pursue!
He snaps deceitful air with empty jaws;
The suttle hare darts swift beneath his paws;
She flys, he stretches, now with nimble bound
Eager he presses on, but overshoots his ground:
Then tears with goary mouth the screaming prey."

('Gay's Poems', vol i.--'Rural Sports', v. 290),--L.]

Mr. Richardson, in his History of the Greyhound, gives a different
derivation of the name of this dog. He says that the 'greyhound' was of
Grecian origin--'cannis Graecus',--that 'Graecus' was not unfrequently
written 'Graeius', and thence was derived the term 'greyhound'. This
derivation, however, is somewhat too far-fetched.

Mention occurs of the greyhound in a very early period of the British
history. He was an inmate of the Anglo-Saxon kennels in the time of
Elfric, king of Mercia. There are paintings of him that can be
satisfactorily traced to the ninth century. In the time of Canute he was
reckoned first in degree of rank among the canine species, and no one
under the degree of a gentleman, 'liberalis', or more properly, perhaps
a 'freeholder', was allowed by the forest laws to keep them. Even he
could not keep them within two miles of a royal forest, unless two of
the toes were cut off and for every mile that an uncut dog was found
within this distance a fine of a shilling was levied on the owner. The
nobleman was rarely seen abroad without his hawk upon his fist, and his
greyhound at his side.

Henry II was passionately fond of them. John spared no expense to
procure good horses and swift hounds, and appears frequently to have
received greyhounds in lieu of money on the issue or removal of grants.
For the renewal of a grant in the year 1203 he received five hundred
marks, ten horses, and ten leashes of greyhounds, and for another, in
1210, one swift running horse and six greyhounds.

The Isle of Dogs, now devoted to purposes of commerce, received its name
from its having been, at this period, the receptacle of the greyhounds
and spaniels of this monarch. It was selected on account of its
contiguity to Waltham and the other royal forests where coursing was a
frequent amusement. For the same purpose he often took up his abode at
Greenwich. [12]

Blount's Ancient Tenures abound with instances of the high repute in
which this dog has ever been held in Great Britain. The holders of land
in the manor of Setene in Kent were compelled, as the condition of their
tenure to Edward I and II, to lend their greyhounds, when this king went
into Gascony, "so long as a pair of shoes of 4d price would last."
Edward III was partial to greyhounds; for when he was engaged in war
with France he took with him sixty couples of them, besides other large
hunting dogs.

Charles I was as fond of the greyhound as his son Charles II was of the
spaniel. Sir Philip Warwick thus writes of that unfortunate monarch;

"Methinks, because it shows his dislike of a common court vice, it is
not unworthy the relating of him, that one evening, his dog scratching
at his door, he commanded me to let in Gipsy; whereupon I took, the
boldness to say, Sir, I perceive you love a greyhound better than you
do a spaniel. Yes, says he, for they equally love their masters, and
yet do not flatter them so much."

On most of the old tombs in the sculpture of which the dog is
introduced, the greyhound is represented lying at the feet of his
master; and an old Welsh proverb says that a gentleman may be known by
his hawk, his horse, and his greyhound.

The following poetical record of the fidelity, prowess, and ill-fate of
Gelert, the favourite greyhound of Llewellyn Prince of Wales, and
son-in-law to King John, will he read with interest:

The spearman heard the bugle sound
And cheerly smiled the morn,
And many a brach and many a hound
Obeyed Llewellyn's horn.

And still as blew a lowder blast,
And gave a louder cheer,
"Come, Gelert! why art thou the last
Llewellyn's horn to hear?"

"Oh, where does faithful Gelert roam?
The flower of all his race!
So true, so brave; a lamb at home,
A lion in the chase?"

'Twas only at Lewellyn's board
The faithful Gelert fed,
He watched, he served, he cheered his lord,
And sentinel'd his bed.

In sooth he was a peerless hound,
The gift of royal John;
But now no Gelert could be found,
And all the chase rode on.

And now as over rocks and dells
The gallant chidings rise,
All Snowdon's craggy chaos yells
With many mingled cries.

That day llewellyn little loved
The chase of hart or hare;
And scan and small the booty proved,
For Gelert was not there.

Unpleased Llewellyn homeward hied,
When near the portal seat
His truant Gelert he espied,
Bounding his lord to greet.

But when he gained the castle-door,
Aghast the chieftan stood;
The hound was smeared with gouts of gore--
His lips and fangs ran blood.

Llewellyn gazed with wild surprise:
Unused such looks to meet,
His favourite check'd his joyful guise
And crouched and licked his feet.

Onward in haste Llewellyn pass'd,
And on went Gelert too;
And still where'er his eyes he cast,
Fresh blood-gouts shocked his view.

O'erturned his infant's bed he found,
The blood-stained covert rent;
And all around the walls and ground,
With recent blood besprent.

He called his child--no voice replied--
He searched with terror wild:
Blood! blood! he found on every side,
But nowhere found the child.

'Hellhound! by thee my child's devoured!'
The frantic father cried;
And to the hilt his vengeful sword
He plunged in Gelert's side.

His suppliant, as to earth he fell,
No pity could impart;
But still his Gelert's dying yell
Passed heavy o'er his heart.

Aroused by Gelert's dying yell,
Some slumberer wakened nigh:
What words the parent's joy can tell
To hear his infant cry!

Concealed beneath a mangled heap
His hurried search had missed,
All glowing from his rosy sleep,
His cherub boy he kissed.

Nor scratch had he, nor harm, nor dread,
But the same couch beneath,
Lay a great wolf, all torn and dead,
Tremendous still in death.

Ah, what was then Llewellyn's pain!
For now the truth was clear:
The gallant hound the wolf had slain,
To save Llewellyn's heir.

Vain, vain was all Llewellyn's wo:
"Best of thy kind, adieu!
The frantic deed which laid thee low,
This heart shall ever rue."

And now a gallant tomb they raise,
With costly sculpture decked;
And marbles, storied with his praise,
Poor Gelert's bones protect.

Here never could the spearman pass,
Or forester, unmoved;
Here oft the tear-besprinkled grass
Llewellyn's sorrow proved.

And here he hung his horn and spear;
And oft, as evening fell,
In fancy's piercing sounds would hear
Poor Gelert's dying yell!

It will be evident, however, from the story of the noble hound whose
history is just related, that the greyhounds of the time were very
different from those which are used at the present day. There are no
Gelerts now to combat successfully with the wolf, if these ferocious
animals were yet to be met with in our forests. The greyhound of this
early period must have resembled the Irish wolf-dog of the present day,
a larger, stronger, fiercer dog than we are accustomed to see.

The owner of Gelert lived in the time of John, in the early part of the
thirteenth century; but, at the latter part of the fifteenth century,
the following singular description is given of the greyhound of that
period. It is extracted from a very curious work entitled "The Treatise
perteynynge to Hawkynge, Huntynge, &c., emprynted at Westmestre, by
Wynkyn de Werde, 1496."

A greyhounde should be headed lyke a snake,
And neckyd lyke a drake,
Fotyd lyke a cat
Tayled lyke a ratte,
Syded like a teme
And chyned like a bream.
The fyrste yere he must lerne to fede,
The seconde yere to feld him lede.
The thyrde yere he is felow lyke.
The fourth yere there is non syke.
The fifth yere he is good ynough.
The syxth yere he shall hold the plough,
The seventh yere he will avaylle
Grete bytches for assayle.
But when he is come to the ninth yere
Have him then to the tannere;
For the best hounde that ever bytch had
At the ninth yere is full bad.

As to the destiny of the poor animal in his ninth year, we differ from
the author; but it cannot be denied that few dogs retain their speed
beyond the eighth or ninth year.

There can scarcely be a better description of the greyhound of the
present day; but it would not do for the antagonist of the wolf. The
breed had probably begun to degenerate, and that process would seem to
have slowly progressed. Towards the close of the last century, Lord
Orford, a nobleman enthusiastically devoted to coursing, imagined, and
rightly, that the greyhound of his day was deficient in courage and
perseverance. He bethought himself how this could best be rectified, and
he adopted a plan which brought upon him much ridicule at the time, but
ultimately redounded to his credit. He selected a bull-dog, one of the
smooth rat-tailed species, and he crossed one of his greyhound bitches
with him. He kept the female whelps and crossed them with some of his
fleetest dogs, and the consequence was, that, after the sixth or seventh
generation, there was not a vestige left of the form of the bulldog; but
his courage and his indomitable perseverance remained, and, having once
started after his game, he did not relinquish chase until he fell
exhausted or perhaps died. This cross is now almost universally adopted.
It is one of the secrets in the breeding of the greyhound.

Of the stanchness of the well-bred greyhound, the following is a
satisfactory example. A hare was started before a brace of greyhounds,
and ran by them for several miles. When they were found, both the dogs
and the hare lay dead within a few yards of each other. A labouring man
had seen them turn her several times; but it did not appear that either
of them had caught her, for there was no wound upon her.

A favourite bitch of this breed was Czarina, bred by Lord Orford, and
purchased at his decease by Colonel Thornton: she won every match for
which she started, and they were no fewer than forty-seven. Lord Orford
had matched her for a stake of considerable magnitude; but, before the
appointed day arrived, he became seriously ill and was confined to his
chamber. On the morning of the course he eluded the watchfulness of his
attendant, saddled his favourite piebald pony, and, at the moment of
starting, appeared on the course. No one had power to restrain him, and
all entreaties were in vain. He peremptorily insisted on the dogs being
started, and he would ride after them. His favourite bitch displayed her
superiority at every stroke; she won the stakes: but at the moment of
highest exultation he fell from his pony, and, pitching on his head,
almost immediately expired. With all his eccentricities, he was a kind,
benevolent, and honourable man.

In the thirteenth year of her age, and in defiance of the strange verses
just now quoted, Czarina began to breed, and two of her progeny, Claret
and young Czarina, challenged the whole kingdom and won their matches.
Major, and Snowball, without a white spot about him, inherited all the
excellence of their dam. The former was rather the fleeter of the two,
but the stanchness of Snowball nothing could exceed. A Scotch greyhound,
who had beaten every opponent in his own country, was at this time
brought to England, and challenged every dog in the kingdom. The
challenge was accepted by Snowball, who beat him in a two-mile course.
Snowball won the Mailton cup on four successive years, was never beaten,
and some of his blood is now to be traced in almost every good dog in
every part of the kingdom, at least in all those that are accustomed to
hunt in an open country. The last match run by Snowball was against Mr.
Plumber's celebrated greyhound Speed; and, so severely contested was it,
that Speed died soon afterwards. A son of the old dog, called Young
Snowball, who almost equalled his father, was sold for one hundred

The speed of the greyhound has been said to be equal to that of the
fleetest horse. A singular circumstance, which occurred at Doncaster,
proved that it was not much inferior. A mare cantering over the
Doncaster course, her competitor having been withdrawn, was joined by a
greyhound bitch when she had proceeded about a mile. She seemed
determined to race with the mare, which the jockey humoured, and
gradually increased his pace, until at the distance they put themselves
at their full speed. The mare beat her antagonist only by a head. The
race-horse is, perhaps, generally superior to the greyhound on level
ground, but the greyhound would have the advantage in a hilly country.

Lord Rivers succeeded to Major Topham and Colonel Thornton, the owners
of Major and Snowball, as the leading man on the course. His kennels at
Strathfieldsaye were the pride of the neighbouring country. At first he
bore away almost every prize, but breeding too much in and in, and for
speed more than for stoutness, the reputation of his kennel considerably
declined before his death.

In 1797 a brace of greyhounds coursed a hare over the edge of a
chalk-pit at Offham, in Sussex. The hare and both the dogs were found
dead at the bottom of the pit.

On another occasion a hare was chased by a brace of greyhounds: she was
killed at the distance of seven miles from the place at which they
started. Both of the dogs were so exhausted, that every possible
assistance being given, they were with difficulty recovered.

The English greyhound hunts by sight alone; not because he is altogether
devoid of scent, but because he has been taught to depend upon his
speed, and that degree of speed which is utterly incompatible with the
searching out of the scent. It is like a pack of hounds, running breast
high, with the game in view. They are then running by sight, and not by
scent, almost doubling their usual pace, and sometimes, from an
unexpected turning of the fox or hare, thrown out for a little while.
The hound soon recovers the track by his exquisite sense of smell. The
English greyhound is never taught to scent his game, but, on the
contrary, is called off the moment he has lost sight of the hare, the
re-starting of which is left to the spaniel.

The English greyhound is distinguished by its peculiarly long and
attenuated head and face, terminating in a singular sharpness of the
nose, and length of the muzzle or month. There are two results from
this: the length of the mouth gives a longer grasp and secures the prey,
but, as the nasal cavities and the cavity of the skull are
proportionately diminished, there is not so much room for the expansion
of the membrane of the nose, there is less power of scent, and less
space for the development of the brain.

There is little want of extraordinary acute hearing, and the ears of the
greyhound are small compared with his bulk. Markham recommends the ears
to be close, sharp, and drooping, neither protruding by their bulk, nor
tiring by their weight.

The power of the eye is but of little consequence, for the game is
rarely distant from the dog, and therefore, easily seen.

The neck is an important portion of the frame. It should be long, in
order to correspond with the length of the legs, and thus enable the dog
to seize and lift the game, as he rapidly pursues his course, without
throwing any undue or dangerous weight on the fore extremities. In the
act of seizing the hare the short-necked dog may lose the centre of
gravity and fall.

The chest is a very important part of the greyhound, as well as of every
other animal of speed. It must be capacious: this capacity must be
obtained by depth rather than by width, in order that the shoulders may
not be thrown so far apart as to impede progression.

The form and situation of the shoulders are of material consequence; for
on them depends the extent of the action which the animal is capable of
exerting. The shoulders should be broad and deep, and obliquely placed.
They are so in the horse, and the action of the dog depends entirely on
this conformation.

The fore legs should be set on square at the shoulder: bulging out at
the elbow not only gives a clumsy appearance, but makes the dog slow.
The legs should have plenty of bone, and be straight, and well set on
the feet, and the toes neither turned out nor in. The fore arm, or that
portion of the leg which is between the elbow and the knee, should be
long, straight and muscular. These are circumstances that cannot be
dispensed with. The length of the fore arm, and the low placing of the
pastern, are of essential importance.

With regard to the form of the back and sides of the greyhound, Mr.
Thacker says, with much truth, that

"It is the strength of the back which is brought into requisition, in
particular, in running over hilly ground. Here may be said to rest the
distinction between long and short backs, supposing both to be good
and strong. The more lengthy the back, and proportionately strong, the
more the greyhound is calculated to beat the shorter-backed dog on the
flat; but on hilly ground one with a shorter back will have the
advantage." [13]

The ribs should also be well arched. We would perhaps avoid him with
sides too decidedly outswelling, but still more would we avoid the
direct flat-sided dog.

Without really good haunches and muscular thighs, it has been well
remarked that the odds are against any dog, be his other points whatever
they may. It is by the propulsatory efforts of the muscles of the loins
and thighs that the race is won. The thighs should be large, and
muscularly indented; the hocks broad, and, like the knee, low placed.
These are very important points; for, as Mr. Blaine has properly
remarked, "on the extent of the angles formed between these several
portions of the hinder limbs, depends the extent of the space passed
over at each bound."

The colour of the greyhound varies exceedingly. Some are perfectly black
and glossy. In strength and endurance, the brindled dog, or the brown or
fawn-coloured one, is the best. The white greyhound, although a
beautiful animal and swift, is not, perhaps, quite so much to be
depended on.

The greyhound is said to be deficient in attachment to his master and in
general intelligence. There is some truth in the imputation; but, in
fact, the greyhound has, far less than even the hound, the opportunity
of forming individual attachments, and no other exercise of the mind is
required of him than to follow the game which starts up before him, and
to catch it if he can. If, however, he is closely watched he will be
found to have all the intellect that his situation requires. [14]

As to the individual attachment which the greyhound may form, he has not
always or often the opportunity to acquire or to exhibit it. The keeper
exercises over him a tyrannical power, and the owner seldom notices him
in the manner which excites affection, or scarcely recognition; but, as
a plea for the seeming want of fondness, which, compared with other
breeds, he exhibits, it will be sufficient to quote the testimony of the
younger Xenophon, who had made the greyhound his companion and his

"I have myself bred up," says he, "a swift, hard-working, courageous,
sound-footed dog. He is most gentle and kindly affectioned, and never
before had I any such a dog for myself, or my friend, or my
fellow-sportsman. When he is not actually engaged in coursing, he is
never away from me. On his return he runs before me, often looking
back to see whether I had turned out of the road, and as soon as he
again catches sight of me, showing symptoms of joy, and once more
trotting away before me. If a short time only has passed since he has
seen me or my friend, he jumps up repeatedly by way of salutation, and
barks with joy as a greeting to us. He has also many different tones
of speech, and such as I never heard from any other dog. Now really I
do not think that I ought to be ashamed to chronicle the name of this
dog, or to let posterity know that Xenophon the Athenian had a
greyhound, called Horme, possessed of the greatest speed, and
intelligence, and fidelity, and excellent in every point."

[The Greek sportsmen held their dogs in peculiar estimation; they were
not only their attendants in the field, but their constant companions in
their houses, were fed from their tables, and even shared their beds. It
is with some degree of pleasure that the patrons of this noble animal
will witness, in the following remarks, the tender solicitude with which
this people watched over their dogs.

"There is nothing like a soft and warm bed for greyhounds, but it is
best for them to sleep with men, as they become thereby affectionately
attached, pleased with the contact of the human body, and as fond of
their bed-fellow as of their feeder. If any ailing affect the dog the
man will perceive it, and will relieve him in the night, when thirsty,
or urged by any call of nature. He will also know how the dog has
rested. For if he has passed a sleepless night, or groaned frequently
in his sleep, or thrown up any of his food, it will not be safe to
take him out coursing. All these things the dog's bed-fellow will be
acquainted with."
(Arrian, chap. ix. Trans.)

It was also not an unusual circumstance for the most polished Greeks,
when sending notes of invitation to their friends, requesting their
presence in celebration of some festive occasion, to extend the same
civilities to their favourite dogs, by desiring them to be brought
along, as will be seen by the following paragraph selected from a letter
of this kind addressed by one friend to another.

"I am about to celebrate the birth-day of my son, and I invite you, my
Pithacion, to the feast. But come not alone; bring with you your wife,
children, and your brother. If you will bring also your bitch, who is
a good guard, and by the loudness of her voice drives away the enemies
of your flocks, she will not, I warrant, disdain to be partaker of our
feast, &c."
(Letter xviii., Alciphron's Epistles.)--L.]

The greyhound has within the last fifty years assumed a somewhat
different character from that which he once possessed. He is
distinguished by a beautiful symmetry of form, of which he once could
not boast, and he has even superior speed to that which he formerly
exhibited. He is no longer used to struggle with the deer, but he
contends with his fellow over a shorter and speedier course.

The rules for breeding and breaking-in of greyhounds are very simple.
The utmost attention should be paid to the qualities of the parents; for
it is as certain in these dogs as in the horse that all depends upon the
breeding. The bitch should be healthy and of good size; the dog
muscular, stanch, and speedy, and somewhat larger than the bitch. Both
should have arrived at their full vigour, and with none of their powers
beginning to fail. Those as much as possible should be selected whose
peculiar appearance bids fair to increase the good qualities and
diminish the bad ones on either side. The best blood and the best form
should be diligently sought. Breeding from young dogs on either side
should, generally speaking, be avoided. With regard to older dogs,
whether male or female, there may be less care. Many greyhounds, both
male and female, eight, nine, and ten years of age, have been the
progenitors of dogs possessing every stanch and good quality.

On no consideration, however, should the bitch be put to the dog before
she is two years old. Little can be done to regulate the period of
oestrum; but the most valuable breed will be almost invariably that
which is produced during the spring, because at that time there will
often be opportunity for that systematic exercise on which the growth
and powers of the dog so materially depend. A litter of puppies in the
beginning or even the middle of winter will often be scarcely worth the
trouble or expense of rearing.

The age of the greyhound is now taken from the first day in the year;
but the conditions of entry are fixed at different periods. It seems,
however, to be agreed that no dog or bitch can qualify for a puppy cup
after two years of ago.

One principle to be ever kept in mind is a warm and comfortable
situation, and a plentiful supply of nourishment for the mother and for
the puppies from the moment of their birth. The dog that is stinted in
his early growth will never do its owner credit. The bitch should be
abundantly supplied with milk, and the young ones with milk and bread,
and oatmeal, and small portions of flesh as soon as they are disposed to
eat it; great care, however, being taken that they are not over-gorged.
Regular and proper feeding, with occasional exercise, will constitute
the best preparation for the actual training. If a foster-mother be
required for the puppies, it should, if possible, be a greyhound; for it
is not at all impossible that the bad qualities of the nurse may to a
greater or less degree be communicated to the whelps. Bringing up by
hand is far preferable to the introduction of any foster-mother. A glass
or Indian-rubber bottle may be used for a little while, if not until the
weaning. Milk at first, and afterwards milk and sop alternately, may be

There is a difference of opinion whether the whelp should be kept in the
kennel and subjected to its regular discipline, or placed at walk in
some farm-house. In consequence of the liberty he will enjoy at the
latter, his growth will probably be more rapid; but, running with the
farmers' dogs, and probably coursing many hares, he will acquire, to a
certain degree, a habit of wildness. It is useless to deny this; but, on
the other hand, nothing will contribute so much to the development of
every power as a state of almost unlimited freedom when the dogs are
young. The wildness that will be exhibited can soon be afterwards
restrained so far as is necessary, and the dog who has been permitted to
exert his powers when young will manifest his superiority in more
advanced age, and in nothing more than his dexterity at the turn.

When the training actually commences, it should be preceded by a couple
of doses of physic, with an interval of five or six days, and, probably,
a moderate bleeding between them; for, if the dog begins to work
overloaded with flesh and fat, he will suffer so severely from it that
possibly he will never afterwards prove a game dog. In the course of his
training he should be allowed every advantage and experience every
encouragement. His courses should be twice or thrice a-week, according
to their severity, and as often as it can be effected be should be
rewarded with some mark of kindness.

In the 'Sportsman' for April, 1840, is an interesting account of the
chase of the hare. It is said that, in general, a good greyhound will
reach a hare if she runs straight. He pursues her eagerly, and the
moment he is about to strike at her she turns short, and the dog, unable
to stop himself, is thrown from ten to twenty yards from her. These
jerking turns soon begin to tell upon a dog, and an old well-practised
hare will seldom fail to make her escape. When, however, pursued by a
couple of dogs, the hare has a more difficult game to play, as it
frequently happens that when she is turned by the leading dog she has
great difficulty in avoiding the stroke of the second.

It is highly interesting to witness the game of an old hare. She has
generally some brake or thicket in view, under the cover of which she
means to escape from her pursuers. On moving from her seat she makes
directly for the hiding-place, but, unable to reach it, has recourse to
turning, and, 'wrenched' by one or the other of her pursuers, she seems
every moment almost in the jaws of one of them, and yet in a most
dexterous manner she accomplishes her object. A greyhound, when he
perceives a hare about to enter a thicket, is sure to strike at her if
within any reasonable distance. The hare shortens her stride as she
approaches the thicket, and at the critical moment she makes so sudden,
dexterous, and effectual a spring, that the dogs are flung to a
considerable distance, and she has reached the cover and escaped.

The isle of Cyprus has for many years been celebrated for its breed of
the greyhound. On grand days, or when the governor is present, the sport
is conducted in a curious manner. When the hare is ready to become the
prey of its enemies, the governor rushes forwards, and, throwing before
the greyhounds a stick which he carries, they all instantaneously stop.
The hare now runs a little distance; but one of the swiftest greyhounds
is then let loose. He pursues the hare, and, having come up with it,
carries it back, and, springing on the neck of the governor's horse,
places it before him. The governor delivers it to one of his officers,
who sends it to the park, where he maintains many prisoners of the same
kind; for he will not destroy the animal that has contributed to his
amusement. [15]

The following, according to Mr. Blaine, an ardent courser in his youth,
is the best mode of feeding greyhounds at regular work:

"The dogs had a full flesh meal every afternoon or evening, as more
nutriment is derived from night-feeding than by day, and when sleeping
than when waking. In the morning they were let out, and either
followed the keeper about the paddock, or the groom in his horse
exercise, and then had a trifling meat of mixed food, as a quieting
portion, until the evening full meal. Such was our practice on the
days when no coursing was contemplated, and, with the exception of
lowering the quantity and quality of the evening meal, the same plan
was pursued throughout the year. On the day previous to coursing, if
we intended anything like an exhibition of our dogs before company
engaged to meet us on the marshes, we gave a plentiful meal early the
previous day, some exercise also in the afternoon, and a light supper
at night, of meal with either broth or milk, with a man on horseback
going a gentle trot of six or seven miles an hour." [16]

Mr. Thacker orders the greyhounds out on the fore part of every day;
but, instead of being loose and at liberty, they would be much better
two and two; then, when he meets with a proper field to loose them in,
to give them a good gallop. This will be a greater novelty than if they
had been loose on the road, and they will gallop with more eagerness.
Four days in a week will be enough for this exercise. On one day there
should he a gallop of one or two miles, or even a course for each brace
of dogs.

The young dog has usually an older and more experienced one to start
with him. That which is of most importance is, that his leader should be
a thoroughly stout and high-mettled dog. If he shrinks or shies at any
impediment, however formidable, the young one will be sure to imitate
him, and to become an uncertain dog, if not a rank coward. Early in
November is the time when these initiatory trials are to be made. It is
of consequence that the young one should witness a death as soon as
possible. Some imagine that two old dogs should accompany the young one
at its first commencement. After the death of the leveret, the young dog
must be coaxed and fondled, but never suffered to taste the blood.

In kennels in which the training is regularly conducted, the dog should
be brushed all over twice every day. Few things contribute so much to
health as general cleanliness, and friction applied to the skin. Warmth
is as necessary for greyhounds as for horses, and should not be
forgotten in cold weather. Body-clothing is a custom of considerable
antiquity, and should not be abandoned. The breeder of greyhounds for
the purpose of coursing must reckon upon incurring considerable expense;
but, if he loves the sport, ho will be amply remunerated by the speed
and stoutness of his dogs.

A question has arisen whether, on the morning of the coursing, any
stimulant should be given to the dog. The author of this work would
unhesitatingly approve of this practice. He has had abundant experience
of the good effect of it; but the stimulus must be that which, while it
produces the desired effect, leaves no exhaustion behind. [17]


has the same sharpness of muzzle, length of head, lightness of ear, and
depth of chest, as the English dog; but the general frame is stronger
and more muscular, the hind quarters more prominent, there is evident
increase of size and roughness of coat, and there is also some
diminution of speed. If it were not for these points, these dogs might
occasionally be taken for each other. In coursing the hare, no
north-country dog will stand against the lighter southern, although the
southern would be unequal to the labour often required from the

The Scotch greyhound is said--perhaps wrongly--to be oftenest used by
those who look more to the quantity of game than to the fairness and
openness of the sport, and in some parts of the country this dog is not
permitted to be entered for a sweepstakes, because, instead of depending
on his speed alone, as does the English greyhound, he has recourse to
occasional artifices in order to intercept the hare. In sporting
language he runs sly, and, therefore, is sometimes excluded.


is a larger, stronger, and fiercer dog, and may be readily distinguished
from the Lowland Scotch greyhound by its pendulous, and, generally,
darker ears, and by the length of hair which almost covers his face.
Many accounts have been given of the perfection of its scent, and it is
said to have followed a wounded deer during two successive days. He is
usually two inches taller than the Scotch greyhound. The head is carried
particularly high, and gives to the animal a noble appearance. His limbs
are exceedingly muscular, his back beautifully arched. The tail is long
and curved, but assumes the form of an almost straight line when he is
much excited. The only fault which these dogs have is their occasional
ill-temper, or even ferocity; but this does not extend to the owner and
his family.

It appears singular that the English greyhound exhibits so little power
of scent; but this is simply because he has never been taught to use it,
or has been cruelly corrected when he has attempted to exercise it.

Holinshed relates the mischief that followed the stealing of one of
these dogs:

"Divers of the young Pictesh nobilitye repaired unto Craithlint, King
of the Scots, for to hunt and make merie with him; but, when they
should depart homewards, perceiving that the Scotish dogs did far
excel theirs, both in fairnesse, swiftnesse, and hardinesse, and also
in long standing up and holding out, they got diverse both dogs and
bitches of the best kind for breed, to be given them by the Scotish
Lords: and yet not so contented, they stole one belonging to the King
from his keeper, being more esteemed of him than all the others which
he had about him. The maister of the leash, being informed hereof
pursued after them that had stolen the dog, thinking, indeed, to have
taken him from them: but they not being to part with him fell at
altercation, and at the end chanced to strike the maister of the leash
through with their horse spears, so that he did die presently.
Whereupon noise and crie being raised in the country by his servantes,
divers of the Scots, as they were going home from hunting, returned,
and falling upon the Picts to revenge the death of their fellow, there
ensued a shrewed bickering betwixt them; so that of the Scots there
died three score gentlemen, besides a great number of the commons, not
one of them understanding what the matter meant. Of the Picts there
were about 100 slaine."

Mr. H.D. Richardson describes a cross between the greyhound and British

"It is a tall muscular raw-boned dog, the ears far larger, and more
pendulous, than those of the greyhound or deer-hound. The colour is
generally black, or black and tan; his muzzle and the tips of the ears
usually dark. He is exceedingly swift and fierce; can pull down a stag
single-handed; runs chiefly by sight, but will also occasionally take
up the scent. In point of scent, however, he is inferior to the true
deer-hound. This dog cannot take a turn readily, but often fails at
the double." [18]


This dog differs from the Scotch, in having shorter and finer hair, of a
pale fawn colour, and pendent ears. It is, compared with the Scotch dog,
gentle and harmless, perhaps indolent, until roused. It is a larger dog
than the Scottish dog, some of them being full four feet in length, and
proportionately muscular. On this account, and also on account of their
determined spirit when roused, they were carefully preserved by some
Irish gentlemen. They were formerly used in hunting the wolf when that
animal infested the forests of Ireland. Mr. Bell says that the last
person who kept the pure breed was Lord Altamont, who in 1780 "had eight
of them." [19]


the 'agasaeus' of former times, was probably allied to, or connected
with, the Irish greyhound. It hunted entirely by sight, and, if its prey
was lost for a time, it could recover it by a singular distinguishing
faculty. Should the deer rejoin the herd, the dog would unerringly
select him again from all his companions:

"Seest thou the gasehound how with glance severe
From the close herd he marks the destined deer?" [20]

There is no dog possessed of this quality at present known in Europe;
but the translator of Arrian thinks that it might be produced between
the Irish greyhound and the bloodhound.


This animal is nearly extinct, or only to be met with at the mansions of
one or two persons by whom he is kept more for show than use, the wild
animals which he seemed powerful enough to conquer having long
disappeared from the kingdom. The beauty of his appearance and the
antiquity of his race are his only claims, as he disdains the chase of
stag, fox, or hare, although he is ever ready to protect the person and
the property of his master. His size is various, some having attained
the height of four feet, and Dr. Goldsmith stales that he saw one as
large as a yearling calf. He is shaped like a greyhound, but stouter;
and the only dog which the writer from whom this account is taken ever
saw approaching to his graceful figure, combining beauty with strength,
is the large Spanish wolf-dog: concerning which he adds, that, showing
one of these Spanish dogs to some friends, he leaped through a window
into a cow-house, where a valuable calf was lying, and seizing the
terrified animal, killed it in an instant; some sheep having in the same
way disappeared, he was given away. The same writer says that his
grandfather had an Irish wolf-dog which saved his mother's life from a
wolf as she was paying a visit attended by this faithful follower. He
rushed on his foe just when he was about to make his spring, and after a
fierce struggle laid him dead at his mistress's feet. His name was Bran.


is principally distinguished by its dark-brown or iron-grey colour--its
short semi-erect ears--its thin lanky body--long but muscular legs--soft
thick hair, and the hair of its tail forming a spiral twist, or fan,
(thence called the fan-tailed dog,) and as he runs having a very
pleasing appearance. He hunts by scent as well as by sight, and,
therefore, small packs of this kind are sometimes kept, against which
the wolf, or even the bear, would stand little chance. He is principally
used for the chase of the deer or the wolf, but occasionally follows the
hare. The deer is the principal object of pursuit, and for this he is
far better adapted than to contend with the ferocious wolf. His
principal faults are want of activity and dexterity. He is met with in
most parts of Russia, where his breed is carefully preserved by the
nobility, with whom coursing is a favourite diversion.

Some dogs of this breed were not long ago introduced into Ireland.


The author is glad that he is enabled to present his readers with the
portrait of one now in the menagerie of the Zoological Society of
London. It is the dog whose image is occasionally sculptured on the
friezes of some of the ancient Grecian temples, and was doubtless a
faithful portrait of one of the dogs which Xenophon the Athenian valued,
and was the companion of the heroes of Greece in her ancient glory.

The principal difference between the Grecian and the English greyhound
is, that the former is not so large, the muzzle is not so pointed, and
the limbs are not so finely framed.


is a small-sized hairless dog, or with only a few hairs on his tail. He
is never used in the field, and bred only as a spoiled pet, yet not
always spoiled, for anecdotes are related of his inviolable attachment
to his owner. One of them belonged to a Turkish Pacha who was destroyed
by the bowstring. He would not forsake the corpse, but laid himself down
by the body of his murdered master, and presently expired.


is a beautiful animal. He is more delicately framed than the English
breed; the ears are also more pendulous, and feathered almost as much as
those of a King Charles's spaniel. Notwithstanding, however, his
apparent slenderness and delicacy, he yields not in courage, and
scarcely in strength, to the British dog. There are few kennels in which
he is found in which he is not the master.

In his native country, he is not only used for hunting the hare, but the
antelope, the wild ass, and even the boar. The antelope is speedier than
the greyhound: therefore the hawk is given to him as an ally. The
antelope is no sooner started than the hawk is cast off, who, fluttering
before the head of the deer, and sometimes darting his talons into his
head, disconcerts him, and enables the greyhound speedily to overtake
and master him. The chase, however, in which the Persians chiefly
delight, and for which these greyhounds are mostly valued, is that of
the 'ghoo-khan', or wild ass. This animal inhabits the mountainous
districts of Persia. He is swift, ferocious, and of great endurance,
which, together with the nature of the ground, renders this sport
exceedingly dangerous. The hunter scarcely gives the animal a fair
chance, for relays of greyhounds are placed at various distances in the
surrounding country; so that, when those by which the animal is first
started are tired, there are others to continue the chase. Such,
however, is the speed and endurance of the ghoo-khan, that it is seldom
fairly run down by the greyhounds, its death being usually achieved by
the rifle of some horseman. The Persians evince great skill and courage
in this dangerous sport, galloping at full speed, rifle in hand, up and
down the most precipitous hills, and across ravines and mountain
streams, that might well daunt the boldest rider. [22]

The Persian greyhound, carried to Hindoostan, is not always to be
depended upon; but, it is said, is apt to console itself by hunting its
own master, or any one else, when the game proves too fleet or escapes
into the cover.


possesses all the symmetry of the English or Persian one, on a small
scale. So far as beauty can recommend it, and, generally speaking, good
nature, it is deservedly a favourite in the drawingroom; but, like the
large greyhound, it is inferior in intelligence. It has no strong
individual attachment, but changes it with singular facility. It is not,
however, seen to advantage in its petted and degraded state, but has
occasionally proved a not unsuccessful courser of the rabbit and the
hare, and exhibited no small share of speed and perseverance. In a
country, however, the greater part of which is infested with wolves, it
cannot be of much service, but exposed to unnecessary danger. It is bred
along the coasts of Italy, principally for the purpose of sale to

In order to acquire more perfect beauty of form, and more activity also,
the English greyhound has received one cross from the Italian, and with
decided advantage. The speed and the beauty have been evidently
increased, and the courage and stoutness have not been diminished.

It has been said that Frederick the Great of Prussia was very fond of a
small Italian greyhound, and used to carry it about with him under his
cloak. During the seven years' war, he was pursued by a party of
Austrian dragoons, and compelled to take shelter, with his favourite,
under the dry arch of a bridge. Had the little animal, that was
naturally ill-tempered and noisy, once barked, the monarch would have
been taken prisoner, and the fate of the campaign and of Prussia
decided; but it lay perfectly still, and clung close to its master, as
if conscious of their mutual danger. When it died, it was buried in the
gardens of the palace at Berlin, and a suitable inscription placed over
its grave.

[Footnote 1: 'Annals of Sporting', vol. vi. p. 99.]

[Footnote 2: The superstition of the Arabians and Turks with regard to
dogs is somewhat singular: neither have they much affection for these
animals, or suffer them to be in or near the camp, except to guard it in
the night. They have, however, some charity for the females that have
whelps. As for other dogs, they feed them well, and give them good
words, but never touch them nor go near them, because dogs are regarded
as unclean animals. They particularly drive them away in wet weather;
for, if one drop of water from a dog should fall on their raiment, their
devotion would be interrupted and useless. They who are fond of hunting
make their religion subservient to their pleasure, and say that
greyhounds and setters are excepted from the general rule, because when
not running these dogs are tied up where nothing unclean can reach them,
and they are never suffered to eat any thing unclean. Their opinion is
the same with regard to small dogs, which are kept with great care, and
no one willingly injures a dog, or, if he should injure purposely, or
destroy one of them, the law would punish him. Chevalier Darvieux's
'Travels in Arabia Deserta', 1718, p. 155.]

[Footnote 3: 'Heber's Narrative', p. 500.]

[Footnote 4: 'Histoire du Chien', par Elzear Blaze, p. 54.]

[Footnote 5: 'Proceedings of the Zoological Society', Part I. 833.]

[Footnote 6: Williamson's 'Oriental Field Sports']

[Footnote 7: Poiret, in his 'Travels in Barbary' asserts that

"the dog loses in the East a great part of those good qualities that
make him the friend of man. He is no longer a faithful domesticated
animal, faithfully attached to his master, and ever ready to defend
him even at the expense of his own life. He is cruel and
blood-thirsty, his look is savage, and his appearance revolting;
carrion, filth, anything is good enough for him if he can but appease
his hunger. They seldom bite one another, but they unite against a
stranger who approaches the Arab tents, and would tear him to pieces
if he did not seek his safety in flight."
Vol. i. p. 353.

Denon, when in the city of Alexandria, in Egypt, says,

"I have no longer recognised the dog, that friend of man, the attached
and faithful companion--the lively and honest courtier. He is here a
gloomy egotist, and cut off from all human intercourse without being
the less a slave. He does not know him whose house he protects, and
devours his corpse without repugnance."
Travels in Lower Egypt, p. 32.]

[Footnote 8: 'Histoire du Chien', p. 200. The Voyage of Dumont
d'Urville, vol. ii. p.474.]

[Footnote 9: Greyhound.]

[Footnote 10: Overcast, or overrun.]

[Footnote 11: Ovid, 'Metamorph.', lib. i. v. 353.]

[Footnote 12: A singular story is told of Richard II, and one of these
dogs. It is given in the language of Froissart.

"A grayhounde called Mithe, who always wayted upon the kynge, and
would knowe no man els. For when so ever the kynge did ryde, he that
kept the grayhounde dyd lette him lose, and he wolde streyght runne to
the kynge and faune uppon hym, and leape with his fore fete uppon the
kynge's shoulders. And, as the kynge and the Erle of Derby talked
togyder in the courte, the grayhounde who was wonte to leape uppon the
kynge, left the kynge and came to the Erle of Derby, Duke of
Lancastre; and made to him the same friendly continuance and chere as
he was wonte to do to the kynge. The duke, who knewe not the
grayhounde, demanded of the kynge what the grayhounde wolde do?
'Cousin,' qoud the kynge, 'it is a greate goode token to you, and an
evyl signe to me.' 'How knowe you that?' quod the duke. 'I knowe it
well,' quod the kynge. 'The grayhounde acknowledgeth you here this
daye as Kynge of England, as ye shall be, and I shal be deposed; the
grayhounde hath this knowledge naturally: therefore take hyme to you,
he wyll followe you and forsake me.' The duke understood well those
words, and cheryshed the grayhounde, who would never after followe
kynge Richarde, but followed the duke of Lancastre."]

[Footnote 13: 'Thacker on Sporting'.]

[Footnote 14: The writer of this work had a brace of greyhounds as
arrant thieves as ever lived. They would now and then steal into the
cooking-room belonging to the kennel, lift the lid from the boiler, and,
if any portion of the joint or piece of meat projected above the water,
suddenly seize it, and before there was time for them to feel much of
its heat, contrive to whirl it on the floor, and eat it at their leisure
as it got cold. In order to prevent this, the top of the boiler was
secured by an iron rod passing under its handle of the boiler on each
side; but not many days passed ere they discovered that they could gnaw
the cords asunder, and displace the rod, and fish out the meat as
before. Small chains were then substituted for the cords, and the meat
was cooked in safety for nearly a week, when they found that, by rearing
themselves on their hind legs, and applying their united strength
towards the top of the boiler they could lift it out of its bed and roll
it along the floor, and so get at the broth, although the meat was out
of their reach. The man who looked after them expressed himself heartily
glad when they were gone; for, he said, he was often afraid to go into
the kennel, and was sure they were devils, and not dogs.]

[Footnote 15: Scott's 'Sportsman's Repository', p. 97.]

[Footnote 16: Blaine's 'Encyclopedia of Sporting'.]

[Footnote 17: For a set of laws for Coursing Matches. see Appendix.]

[Footnote 18: 'Sportsman', vol. xi. p. 314]

[Footnote 19: Bell's 'British Quadrupeds', p. 241.]

[Footnote 20: Tickell's 'Miscellanies']

[Footnote 21: 'Sporting Mag.' 1837, p. 156.]

[Footnote 22: 'New Sports. Mag.' xiii. 124.]

* * * * *




The head moderately elongated, the parietals not approaching from
their insertion, but rather diverging, so as to enlarge the cerebral
cavities and the frontal sinuses; consequently giving to these dogs
greater power of scent and intelligence. They constitute the most
pleasing and valuable division of the Dog.

The Spaniel is evidently the parent of the Newfoundland dog and the
setter; while the retriever, the poodle, the Bernardine, the Esquimaux,
the Siberian, and the Greenland dogs, the shepherd and drover's dog, and
every variety distinguished for intelligence and fidelity, have more or
less of his blood in them.


is probably of Spanish origin, and thence his name. The ears are large
and pendent, the tail elevated, the fur of a different length in
different parts of the body, but longest about the ears, under the neck,
behind the thighs and on the tail, varying in colour, but most commonly
white with brown or black patches.

There are many varieties of the spaniel. The smallest of the 'land'
spaniels is


It is chiefly used in flushing woodcocks and pheasants in thickets and
copses into which the setter, and even the springer, can scarcely enter.

"But, if the shady woods my cares employ,
In quest of feathered game my spaniels beat,
Puzzling the entangled copse, and from the brake
Push forth the whirring pheasant."

The cocker is here very useful, although he is occasionally an
exceedingly impatient animal. He is apt to whimper and babble as soon as
he comes upon the scent of game, and often raises the bird before the
sportsman is within reach: but when he is sufficiently broken in not to
give tongue until the game rises, he is exceedingly valuable. There can
scarcely be a prettier object than this little creature, full of
activity, and bustling in every direction, with his tail erect; and, the
moment he scents the bird, expressing his delight by the quivering of
every limb, and the low eager whimpering which the best breaking cannot
always subdue.

Presently the bird springs, and then he shrieks out his ecstasy,
startling even the sportsman with his sharp, shrill, and strangely
expressive bark.

The most serious objection to the use of the cocker is the difficulty of
teaching him to distinguish his game, and confine himself within bounds;
for he will too often flush everything that comes within his reach. It
is often the practice to attach bells to his collar, that the sportsman
may know where he is; but there is an inconvenience connected with this,
that the noise of the bells will often disturb and spring the game
before the dog comes fairly upon it.

Patience and perseverance, with a due mixture of kindness and
correction, will, however, accomplish a great deal in the tuition of the
well-bred spaniel. He may at first hunt about after every bird that
presents itself, or chase the interdicted game; but, if he is
immediately called in and rated, or perhaps corrected, but not too
severely, he will learn his proper lesson, and will recognise the game,
to which alone his attention must be directed. The grand secret in
breaking in these dogs is mildness, mingled with perseverance, the
lessons being enforced, and practically illustrated by the example of an
old and steady dog.

These spaniels will sometimes vie with almost every other species of dog
in intelligence, and will not yield to one of them in fidelity. A
gentleman in Sussex had an old cocker, that was his constant companion,
both in the house and the field. If the morning was rainy, the dog was
perfectly quiet; if it was fine, he became restless, and, at the usual
time for his master to go out, he would take him by the flap of his
coat, and gently pull at it. If the door was opened, he ran immediately
to the keeper's lodge, which was at a considerable distance from the
house. This was a signal for the other dogs to be brought up, and then
he trotted back to announce their approach.

[This beautiful and interesting dog, so called from his peculiar
suitableness for woodcock shooting, is but little known among us except
as a boudoir companion for our ladies. He is, nevertheless, extensively
used in England by sportsmen for finding and flushing this bird, as also
the pheasant; and no doubt, if introduced into our country, would prove
equally, if not more serviceable, in putting up game concealed in the
thickets and marshy hollows of our uncleared grounds. Having extremely
fine scenting powers, they are also employed in greyhound coursing, to
give warning of the proximity of a hare, which they seldom fail to

This active little animal hunts with great spirit, and soon becomes
attached to the sport; in fact the only difficulty to be overcome in
breaking him, is the effort it requires to make him suppress his natural
ardour and withhold his exclamations of delight till the bird is
actually on the wing. The tutelage of the cocker intended for the field
should commence as early as possible, and is not, as many suppose,
attended with great difficulty. His first lessons should be confined to
the art of bringing and carrying, which he soon, in common with all the
other members of the spaniel tribe, learns. The next thing to be
inculcated is implicit obedience to our wishes; then, at the age of four
months or so, he may be carried to the field, where his natural fondness
for hunting will soon be developed by his chasing every bird within his
reach. When this impulse is fully exhibited, and the dog expresses
gratification in the amusement, he should be then instructed to give
chase, or not, at his master's pleasure. When this desirable end has
been accomplished, he may be introduced to the particular kinds of game
which it is proposed to hunt him on, and by slow degrees teach him to
confine his attentions to those varieties alone. It is absolutely
necessary that the dog be forced to hunt as near to the sportsman as
possible, otherwise the game will be flushed at such a distance that it
will be impossible to get at it. The cocker spaniel is much smaller than
the springer; his ears are long, pendulous, and silky; his body round
and compact; his legs short and tufted; his coat variable; his nose
black; tail bushy and feathered, and, when hunting, is kept in constant

Some are black and white, others liver colour and yellow; the latter
variety we have most usually seen in this country, and some of them have
been represented to us as well-broken and serviceable dogs.--L.]


so called from the fondness of Charles II for it--who usually had some
of them following him, wherever he went--belongs likewise to the
cockers. Its form and character are well preserved in one of the
paintings of the unfortunate parent of that monarch and his family. The
ears deeply fringed and sweeping the ground, the rounder form of the
forehead, the larger and moister eye, the longer and silken coat, and
the clearness of the tan, and white and black colour, sufficiently
distinguish this variety. His beauty and diminutive size have consigned
him to the drawing-room or parlour.

Charles the First had a breed of spaniels, very small, with the hair
black and curly. The spaniel of the second Charles was of the black and
tan breed.

The King Charles's breed of the present day is materially altered for
the worse. The muzzle is almost as short, and the forehead as ugly and
prominent, as the veriest bull-dog. The eye is increased to double its
former size, and has an expression of stupidity with which the character
of the dog too accurately corresponds. Still there is the long ear, and
the silky coat, and the beautiful colour of the hair, and for these the
dealers do not scruple to ask twenty, thirty, and even fifty guineas.

[This breed of dog was cultivated with such jealous care by the late
Duke of Norfolk, that no solicitation or entreaty could induce this
nobleman to part with one of these favourites, except under certain
peculiar stipulations and injunctions, as detailed in the following
interview of Mr. Blain with the late Duchess of York. "On one occasion,
when we were accompanying Her Royal Highness to her menagerie, with
almost a kennel of canine favourites behind her, after drawing our
attention to a jet black pug pup she had just received from Germany, she
remarked that she was going to show me what she considered a present of
much greater rarity, which was a true King Charles's breed sent to her
by the Duke of Norfolk. 'But,' she observed, 'would you believe he could
be so ungallant as to write word that he must have a positive promise
not from myself, but from the Duke of York, that I should not breed from
it in the direct line?'" Notwithstanding these selfish restrictions on
the part of this noble patron of the spaniel, this breed of dog has
become quite common in England, and not a few have found their way to
this country.--L.]


This dog is slower and steadier in its range than the cocker; but it is
a much safer dog for the shooter, and can better stand a hard day's
work. The largest and best breed of springers is said to be in Sussex,
and is much esteemed in the Wealds of that county.

From a cross with the terrier a black and tan variety was procured,
which was cultivated by the late Duke of Norfolk, and thence called the
Norfolk Spaniel. It is larger than the common springer, and stancher,
and stouter. It often forms a strong individual attachment, and is
unhappy and pines away when separated from its master. It is more
ill-tempered than the common springer, and, if not well broken in, is
often exceedingly obstinate.

[Mr. Skinner informs us that this breed, in its greatest purity, may be
found in the Carrollton family, as also in the possession of Mr.
Keyworth of Washington city.--L.]


the cross of the terrier being nearly or quite got rid of, is often a
beautiful animal, and is much valued, although it is frequently
considered a somewhat stupid animal. The cocker and the springer are
sometimes used as finders in coursing.


a breed cultivated by one of the Dukes of Marlborough, belongs to this
division. From its beauty, and occasional gaiety, it is oftener an
inhabitant of the drawing-room than the field; but it occasionally
breaks out, and shows what nature designed it for. Some of these
carpeted pets acquit themselves nobly in the covert. There they ought
oftener to be; for they have not much individuality of attachment to
recommend them, and, like other spoiled animals, both quadruped and
biped, misbehave. The breed has degenerated of late, and is not always
to be had pure, even in the neighbourhood of Blenheim. This spaniel may
he distinguished by the length and silkiness of the coat, the deep
fringe about the ear, the arch and deep-feathering of the tail, the full
and moist eye, and the blackness of the palate.


Of this breed there are two varieties, a larger and smaller, both useful
according to the degree of range or the work required; the smaller,
however, being ordinarily preferable. Whatever be his general size,
strength and compactness of form are requisite. His head is long, his
face smooth, and his limbs, more developed than those of the springer,
should be muscular, his carcase round, and his hair long and closely
curled. Good breaking is more necessary here than even with the
land-spaniel, and, fortunately, it is more easily accomplished; for, the
water-spaniel, although a stouter, is a more docile animal than the land

Docility and affection are stamped on his countenance, and he rivals
every other breed in his attachment to his master. His work is double;
first to find, when ordered so to do, and to back behind the sportsman
when the game will be more advantageously trodden up. In both he must be
taught to be perfectly obedient to the voice, that he may be kept within
range, and not unnecessarily disturb the birds. A more important part of
his duty, however, is to find and bring the game that has dropped. To
teach him to find is easy enough, for a young water-spaniel will as
readily take to the water as a pointer puppy will stop; but to bring his
game without tearing is a more difficult lesson, and the most difficult
of all is to make him suspend the pursuit of the wounded game while the
sportsman re-loads.

The water-spaniel was originally from Spain; but the pure breed has been
lost, and the present dog is probably descended from the large water-dog
and the English setter.

The water and land spaniels differ materially from each other. The
water-spaniel, although when at his work being all that his master can
desire, is, when unemployed, comparatively a slow and inactive dog; but
under this sobriety of demeanor is concealed a strength and fidelity of
attachment to which the more lively land-spaniel cannot always lay just
claim. The writer of this work once saved a young water-spaniel from the
persecution of a crowd of people who had driven it into a passage, and
were pelting it with stones. The animal had the character of being,
contrary to what his species usually are, exceedingly savage; and he
suffered himself to be taken up by me and carried from his foes with a
kind of sullenness; but when, being out of the reach of danger, he was
put down, he gazed on his deliverer, and then crouched at his feet.

From that moment he attached himself to his new master with an intensity
of affection scarcely conceivable--never expressed by any boisterous
caresses, but by endeavouring to be in some manner in contact with him;
resting his head upon his foot; lying upon some portion of his apparel,
his eye intently fixed upon him; endeavouring to understand every
expression of his countenance. He would follow one gentleman, and one
only, to the river-side, and behave gallantly and nobly there; but the
moment he was dismissed he would scamper home, gaze upon his master, and
lay himself down at his feet. In one of these excursions he was shot. He
crawled home, reached his master's feet, and expired in the act of
licking his hand.

Perhaps the author may be permitted to relate one story more of the
water-spaniel: he pledges himself for its perfect truth. The owner of
the dog is telling this tale.

"I was once on the sea-coast, when a small, badly-formed, and leaky
fishing-boat was cast on shore, on a fearful reef of rocks. Three men
and a boy of ten years old constituted the crew. The men swam on
shore, but they were so bruised against the rocks, that they could not
render any assistance to the poor boy, and no person could be found to
venture out in any way. I heard the noise and went to the spot with my
dog. I spoke to him, and in he went, more like a seal than a dog, and
after several fruitless attempts to mount the wreck he succeeded, and
laid hold of the boy, who clung to the ropes, screaming in the most
fearful way at being thus dragged into the water. The waves dashed
frightfully on the rocks. In the anxiety and responsibility of the
moment I thought that the dog had missed him, and I stripped off my
clothes, resolved to render what assistance I could. I was just in the
act of springing from the shore, having selected the moment when the
receding waves gave me the best chance of rendering any assistance,
when I saw old 'Bagsman,' for that was the name of my dog, with the
struggling boy in his mouth, and the head uppermost. I rushed to the
place where he must land, and the waves bore the boy and the dog into
my arms.

"Some time after that I was shooting wild-fowl. I and my dog had been
working hard, and I left him behind me while I went to a neighbouring
town to purchase gunpowder. A man, in a drunken frolic, had pushed off
in a boat with a girl in it; the tide going out carried the boat
quickly away, and the man becoming frightened, and unable to swim,
jumped overboard. Bagsman, who was on the spot, hearing the splash,
jumped in, swam out to the man, caught hold of him, and brought him
twenty yards towards the shore, when the drunken fellow clasped the
dog tight round the body, and they both went down together. The girl
was saved by a boat going to her assistance. The body of the man was
recovered about an hour afterwards, with that of the dog clasped tight
in his arms, thus dragging him to the bottom. 'Poor Bagsman! thy worth
deserves to be thus chronicled.'"


The particular cross from which this dog descended is unknown, but the
variety produced has been carefully preserved. It is, probably, of
continental origin, and is known by its thick curly hair concealing
almost every part of the face, and giving it the appearance of a short,
thick, unintelligent head. When, however, that hair is removed, there is
still the large head; but there is also the cerebral cavity more
capacious than in any other dog, and the frontal sinuses fully
developed, and exhibiting every indication of the intellectual class to
which it belongs.

It was originally a water-dog, as its long and curly hair, and its
propensities in its domesticated state, prove; but, from its peculiar
sagacity, it is capable of being trained to almost any useful purpose,
and its strong individual attachment renders it more the companion of
man than a mere sporting dog: indeed, its qualities as a sporting dog
are seldom recognised by its owner.

These dogs have far more courage than the water-spaniel, all the
sagacity of the Newfoundland, more general talent, if the expression may
be used, and more individual attachment than either of them, and without
the fawning of the one, or the submissiveness of the other. The poodle
seems conscious of his worth, and there is often a quiet dignity
accompanying his demonstrations of friendship.

This dog, however, possesses a very peculiar kind of intelligence. It
will almost perform the common offices of a servant: it will ring the
bell and open the door. Mr. Wilkie, of Ladythorn in Northumberland, had
a poodle which he had instructed to go through all the apparent agonies
of dying. He would fall on one side, stretch himself out, and move his
hind legs as if he were in great pain; he would next simulate the
convulsive throbs of departing life, and then stretch out his limbs and
thus seem as if he had expired. In this situation he would remain
motionless, until he had his master's command to rise.

The portrait of Sancho, a poodle, that was with difficulty forced from
the grave of his master, after the battle of Salamanca, is familiar to
many of our readers. Enticed from his post he could not be, nor was he
at length taken away until weakened by grief and starvation. He by
degrees attached himself to his new master, the Marquis of Worcester,
but not with the natural ardour of a poodle. He was attentive to every
command, and could perform many little domestic offices. Sometimes he
would exhibit considerable buoyancy of spirit; but there oftener seemed
to be about him the recollection of older and closer friendship.

Another poodle occupies an interesting place in the history of the
Peninsular war. He too belonged to a French officer, who was killed at
the battle of Castella. The French were compelled to retreat before they
could bury their dead, and the soldiers wished to carry with them their
regimental favourite; but he would not be forced from the corpse of his
master. Some soldiers afterwards traversing the field of battle, one of
them discovered the cross of the Legion of Honour on the breast of the
fallen officer, and stooped to take it away, when the dog flew savagely
at him, and would not quit his hold, until the bayonet of another
soldier laid him lifeless.

A veterinary surgeon, who, before any other animal than the horse was
acknowledged to be the legitimate object of medical care, did not
disdain to attend to the diseases of the dog, used to say that there
were two breeds which he never wished to see in his infirmary, namely,
the poodle and the Norfolk spaniel; for, although not always difficult
to manage, he could never attach them to him, but they annoyed him by
their pitiful and imploring gaze during the day, and their mournful
howling at night.

Custom has determined that the natural coat of this animal shall be
taken from him. It may be a relief to the poodle for a part of his coat
to be stripped off in hot weather, and the curly hair which is left on
his chest, contrasted with his smooth and well-rounded loins and
quarters, may make it look pretty enough; but it should he remembered
that he was not designed by nature to be thus exposed to the cold of
winter, and that there are no dogs so liable to rheumatism, and that
rheumatism degenerating into palsy, as the well-trimmed poodle.


is a small poodle, the production of some unknown and disadvantageous
cross with the true poodle. It has all the sagacity of the poodle, and
will perform even more than his tricks. It is always in action; always
fidgety; generally incapable of much affection, but inheriting much
self-love and occasional ill temper; unmanageable by any one but its
owner; eaten up with red mange; and frequently a nuisance to its master
and a torment to every one else.

We must not, however, do it injustice; it is very intelligent, and truly
attached to its owner.

The barbet possesses more sagacity than most other dogs, but it is
sagacity of a particular kind, and frequently connected with various
amusing tricks. Mr. Jesse, in his Gleanings in Natural History, gives a
singular illustration of this. A friend of his had a barbet that was not
always under proper command. In order to keep him in better order, he
purchased a small whip, with which he corrected him once or twice during
a walk. On his return the whip was put on a table in the hall, but on
the next morning it was missing. It was soon afterwards found concealed
in an out-building, and again made use of in correcting the dog. Once
more it would have been lost, but, on watching the dog, who was
suspected of having stolen it, he was seen to take it from the hall
table in order to hide it once more.


can be traced back to an early period. Strabo says that

"there is a town in Sicily called Melita, whence are exported many
beautiful dogs called 'Canes Melitaei'. They were the peculiar
favourites of the women; but now (A.D. 25) there is less account made
of these animals, which are not bigger than common ferrets or weasels,
yet they are not small in understanding nor unstable in their love."

They are also found in Malta and in other islands of the Mediterranean,
and they maintain the same character of being devotedly affectionate to
their owners, while, it is added,--and they are not loved the less for
that,--they are ill-tempered to strangers.


is a diminutive likeness of the noble animal whose name it bears. Its
head, neck, shoulders, and fore-legs down to the very feet, are covered
with long, wavy, silky hairs. On the other parts of the dog it is so
short as scarcely to be grasped, except that on the tail there is a
small bush of hair. The origin of this breed is not known; it is,
perhaps, an intermediate one between the Maltese and the Turkish dog.


as it is improperly called, is a native of hot climates. The supposition
of Buffon is not an improbable one, that, being taken from some
temperate country to one considerable hotter, the European dog probably
acquired some cutaneous disease. This is no uncommon occurrence in
Guinea, the East Indies, and South America. Some of these animals
afterwards found their way into Europe, and, from their singularity,
care was taken to multiply the breed. Aldrovandus states that the first
two of them made their appearance in Europe in his time, but the breed
was not continued, on account, as it was supposed, of the climate being
too cold for them.

The few that are occasionally seen in England bear about them every mark
of a degenerated race. They have no activity, and they show little
intelligence or affection. One singular circumstance appertains to all
that the author of this work has had the opportunity of seeing,--their
teeth become very early diseased, and drop from the gums. That eminent
zoologist, Mr. Yarrell, examining, with the author of this work, one
that had died, certainly not more than five years old, found that it had
neither incisors nor canine teeth, and that the molars were reduced to
one on each side, the large tubercular tooth being the only one that was
remaining. At the scientific meeting of the Zoological Society, the same
gentleman stated, that he had examined the mouths of two individuals of
the same variety, then alive at the gardens, in both of which the teeth
were remarkably deficient. In neither of them were there any false
molars, and the incisors in both were deficient in number. Before the
age of four years the tongue is usually disgustingly hanging from the
mouths of these animals.


is a breed almost peculiar to the Alps, and to the district between
Switzerland and Savoy. The passes over these mountains are exceedingly
dangerous from their steepness and narrowness. A precipice of many
hundred feet is often found on one side, and perpendicular rocks on the
other, while the path is glazed with frozen snow or ice. In many places
the path is overhung with huge masses of frozen snow, which occasionally
loosen and fall, when the dreadful storms peculiar to these regions
suddenly come on, and form an insurmountable barrier, or sweep away or
bury the unfortunate traveller. Should he escape these dangers, the path
is now become trackless, and he wanders amid the dreary solitudes until
night overtakes him; and then, when he pauses from fatigue or
uncertainty with regard to the path he should pursue, his limbs are
speedily benumbed. Fatal slumbers, which he cannot shake off, steal upon
him, and he crouches under some ledge and sleeps, to wake no more. The
snow drifts on. It is almost continually falling, and he is soon
concealed from all human help.

On the top of Mount St. Bernard, and near one of the most dangerous of
these passes, is a convent, in which is preserved a breed of large dogs
trained to search for the benighted and frozen wanderer. Every night,
and particularly when the wind blows tempestuously, some of these dogs
are sent out. They traverse every path about the mountains, and their
scent is so exquisite that they can discover the traveller, although he
may lie many feet deep in the snow. Having found him, they set to work
and endeavour to scrape away the snow, uttering a deep bark that
reverberates from rock to rock, and tells those who are watching in the
convent that some poor wretch is in peril. Generally, a little flask of
spirits is tied round the neck of the animal, by drinking which the
benighted traveller may recruit his strength, until more effectual
rescue arrive. The monks hasten in the direction of the sound, and often
succeed in rekindling the vital spark before it is quite extinguished.
Very many travellers have been thus rescued from death by these
benevolent men and their intelligent and interesting quadruped servants.

One of these Bernardine dogs, named Barry, had a medal tied round his
neck as a badge of honourable distinction, for he had saved the lives of
forty persons. He at length died nobly in his vocation. A Piedmontese
courier arrived at St. Bernard on a very stormy day, labouring to make
his way to the little village of St. Pierre, in the valley beneath the
mountain, where his wife and children lived. It was in vain that the
monks attempted to check his resolution to reach his family. They at
last gave him two guides, each of whom was accompanied by a dog, one of
which was the remarkable creature whose service had been so valuable.
Descending from the convent, they were overwhelmed by two avalanches or
heaps of falling snow, and the same destruction awaited the family of
the poor courier, who were travelling up the mountain in the hope of
obtaining some news of the husband and father.

A beautiful engraving has been made of this noble dog. It represents him
as saving a child which he had found in the Glacier of Balsore, and
cherished, and warmed, and induced to climb on his shoulders, and thus
preserved from, otherwise, certain destruction.


The Newfoundland is a spaniel of large size. He is a native of the
island of which he bears the name; but his history is disgraceful to the
owners of so valuable an animal. The employment of the lower classes of
the inhabitants of St. John, in Newfoundland, is divided between the
cutting of wood, and the drawing of it and other merchandise in the
winter, and fishing in the summer.

The carts used in the winter work are drawn by these dogs, who are
almost invariably urged and goaded on beyond their strength, fed only
with putrid salt-fish, and an inadequate quantity even of that. A great
many of them are worn out and die before the winter is over; and, when
the summer approaches, and the fishing season commences, many of them
are quite abandoned, and, uniting with their companions, prowl about
preying on the neighbouring flocks, or absolutely starving.

Mr. Macgregor, however, states that

"in almost every other part of British America they are valuable and
useful. They are remarkably docile and obedient to their masters,
serviceable in all the fishing countries, and yoked in pairs to draw
the winter's fuel home. They are faithful, good-natured, and ever
friendly to man. They will defend their master and their master's
property, and suffer no person to injure either the one or the other;
and, however extreme may be the danger, they will not leave them for a
minute. They seem only to want the faculty of speech, in order to make
their good wishes and feelings understood, and they are capable of
being trained for all the purposes for which every other variety of
the canine species is used".[1]

That which most recommends the Newfoundland dog is his fearlessness of
water, and particularly as connected with the preservation of human
life. The writer of the present work knows one of these animals that has
preserved from drowning four human beings.

[This breed of dog, though much esteemed both in England and other
portions of the world, as well for his majestic appearance as for many
useful and winning traits of character, has but few sportsmen as patrons
with us. He is not only used in England as a water-dog for the pursuit
of wild fowl, but has been trained by many sportsmen to hunt on
partridges, woodcocks, and pheasants, and is represented by Captain
Hawker and others as surpassing all others of the canine race, in
finding wounded game of every description.

Mr. Blain remarks that,


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