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The Dog by William Youatt

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"as a retriever, the Newfoundland dog is easily brought to do almost
anything that is required of him, and he is so tractable, likewise,
that, with the least possible trouble, he may be safely taken among
pointers to the field, with whose province he will not interfere, but
will be overjoyed to be allowed to look up the wounded game, which he
will do with a perseverance that no speed and no distance can slacken,
nor any hedge-row baulk. In cover he is very useful; some, indeed,
shoot woodcocks to a Newfoundland, and he never shines more than when
he is returning with a woodcock, pheasant, or hare, in his mouth,
which he yields up, or even puts into your hand unmutilated."

Notwithstanding the high commendations of these gentlemen, we cannot
look upon the Newfoundland in any other light than that of a dog, whose
powers of sagacity are destined for display in the water.

In contending with this element, either in the preservation of human
life, or in search of wounded fowl, he has no equal, and volumes might
be filled with accounts of his various daring achievements in this
particular branch, not only in England, but on the rivers of our own
country. Mr. Blain mentions two varieties of these dogs as being common
in England, the Labrador and St. John. The former is very large,
rough-haired, and carries his tail very high; the latter is smaller,
more docile, and sagacious in the extreme, and withal much more
manageable. We were not aware of these varieties, and more particularly
as regards the difference in docility and sagacity, but are convinced,
from subsequent observations, that such is the case even in our own
country, for we have often noticed a great dissimilarity in the size and
appearance of these dogs and attributed it to the effects of the climate
and cross breeding with inferior animals. We are indebted to Mr. Skinner
for bringing before the public a faithful and minute account of two of
these animals imported into this country by Mr. Law, of Baltimore, and
may be pardoned for giving again publicity to this gentleman's letter in
relation to these two sagacious brutes.

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, January 7th, 1845.

"MY DEAR SIR:--In the fall of 1807 I was on board of the ship Canton,
belonging to my uncle, the late Hugh Thompson, of Baltimore, when we
fell in, at sea, near the termination of a very heavy equinoctial
gale, with an English brig in a sinking condition, and took off the
crew. The brig was loaded with codfish, and was bound to Poole, in
England, from Newfoundland. I boarded her, in command of a boat from
the Canton, which was sent to take off the English crew, the brig's
own boats having been all swept away, and her crew in a state of
intoxication. I found on board of her two Newfoundland pups, male and
female, which I saved, and, subsequently, on our landing the English
crew at Norfolk, our own destination being Baltimore, I purchased
these two pups of the English captain for a guinea a-piece. Being
bound again to sea, I gave the dog-pup, which was called Sailor, to
Mr. John Mercer, of West River; and the slut-pup, which was called
Canton, to Doctor James Stewart, of Sparrow's Point. The history which
the English captain gave me of these pups was, that the owner of his
brig was extensively engaged in the Newfoundland trade, and had
directed his correspondent to select and send him a pair of pups of
the most approved Newfoundland breed, but of different families, and
that the pair I purchased of him were selected under this order. The
dog was of a dingy red colour, and the slut black. They were not
large; their hair was short, but very thick coated; they had dew
claws. Both attained great reputation as water-dogs. They were most
sagacious in everything, particularly so in all duties connected with
duck-shooting. Governor Lloyd exchanged a Mexican ram for the dog at
the time of the merino fever, when such rams were selling for many
hundred dollars, and took him over to his estate on the eastern shore
of Maryland, where his progeny were well known for many years after,
and may still he known there, and on the western shore, as the Sailor
breed. The slut remained at Sparrow's Point till her death, and her
progeny were, and are still, well known through Patapsco Neck, on the
Gunpowder, and up the bay, amongst the duck-shooters, as unsurpassed
for their purposes. I have heard both Doctor Stewart and Mr. Mercer
relate most extraordinary instances of the sagacity and performances
of both dog and slut, and would refer you to their friends for such
particulars as I am unable, at this distance of time, to recollect
with sufficient accuracy to repeat.

Yours, in haste,


These dogs are represented as being of fine carriage, broad-chested,
compact figure, and in every respect built for strength and activity.

Their patience and endurance were very great when pursuing wounded ducks
through the floating ice, and when fatigued from extraordinary exertions
were known to rest themselves upon broken portions of ice till
sufficiently recovered again to commence the chase. We have seen some of
the descendants of these sagacious animals on the Chesapeake, engaged,
not only in bringing the ducks from the water when shot, but also toling
them into shore within range of the murderous batteries concealed behind
the blind.

This may not be an inappropriate place to speak of this wonderful mode
of decoying ducks, termed toling, so extensively practised upon the
Chesapeake bay and its tributaries, where the canvass-back and red-heads
resort in such numerous quantities every fall. A species of mongrel
water-dog, or often any common cur, is taught to run backwards and
forwards after stones, sticks, or other missiles thrown from one side to
the other. In his activity and industry in this simple branch of
education, within the comprehension of any dog, consists the almost
incredible art of toling the canvass-back.

With a dog of this character, the shooting party, consisting of several
persons all prepared with heavy double-barrelled duck-guns, ensconce
themselves at break of day behind some one of the numerous blinds
temporarily erected along the shore contiguous to the feeding-grounds of
these ducks. Everything being arranged, and the morning mists cleared
off, the ducks will be seen securely feeding on the shallows not less
than several hundreds of yards from the shore. The dog is now put in
motion by throwing stones from one side of the blind to the other. This
will soon be perceived by the ducks, who, stimulated by an extreme
degree of curiosity, and feeling anxious to inform themselves as to this
sudden and singular phenomenon, raise their heads high in the water and
commence swimming for the shore. The dog being kept in motion, the ducks
will not arrest their progress until within a few feet of the water's
edge, and oftentimes will stand on the shore staring, as it were, in
mute and silly astonishment at the playful motions of the dog.

If well trained the dog takes no notice whatever of the duck, but
continues his fascination until the quick report of the battery
announces to him that his services are now wanted in another quarter,
and he immediately rushes into the water to arrest the flight of the
maimed and wounded, who, struggling on every side, dye the water with
their rich blood.

The discovery of this mode of decoying ducks was quite an accident,
being attributed to a circumstance noticed by a sportsman, who,
concealed behind a blind patiently awaiting the near approach of the
canvass-back, observed that they suddenly lifted up their heads and
moved towards the shore. Wondering at this singular and unusual
procedure on the part of this wray bird, he naturally looked round to
discover the cause, and observed a young fox sporting upon the river
bank, and the ducks, all eagerness to gaze upon him, were steering their
course directly for the shore.

These ducks will not only be decoyed by the dog, but will often come in
by waving a fancy coloured handkerchief attached to the ramrod. We have
seen a dog fail to attract their attention till bound around the loins
with a white handkerchief, and then succeed perfectly well. The toling
season continues about three weeks from the first appearance of the
ducks, often a much shorter time, as these birds become more cautious,
and are no longer deceived in this way.

The canvass-back toles better than any other duck; in fact, it is
asserted by many sportsmen, that this particular variety alone can be
decoyed in this mode. There are always numbers of other ducks feeding
with the canvass-back, particularly the red-heads and black-necks, who
partake of the top of the grass that the canvas-back discards after
eating off the root, which is a kind of celery. These ducks, though they
come in with the canvass-back when toled, do not seem to take any notice
whatever of the dog, but continue to swim along, carelessly feeding, as
if entrusting themselves entirely to the guidance of the other ducks.

As far as we have been able to judge, we are inclined to this opinion
also, and do not recollect ever having succeeded in toling any other
species of duck, unaccompanied by the canvass-back, although we have
made the effort many times. These ducks are a very singular bird, and
although very cunning under ordinary circumstances, seem perfectly
bewildered upon this subject, as we were one of a party several years
since, who actually succeeded in decoying the same batch of ducks three
successive times in the course of an hour, and slaying at each fire a
large number, as we counted out over forty at the conclusion of the

Although the toling of ducks is so simple in its process, there are few
dogs that have sufficient industry and perseverance to arrive at any
degree of perfection in the art. The dog, if not possessed of some
sagacity and considerable training, is very apt to tire and stop running
when the ducks have got near to the shore, but too far to be reached by
the guns, which spoils all, as the birds are very apt to swim or fly off
if the motion of the animal is arrested for a few moments.--L.]

A native of Germany was travelling one evening on foot through Holland,
accompanied by a large dog. Walking on a high bank which formed one side
of a dyke, his foot slipped, and he was precipitated into the water;
and, being unable to swim, soon became senseless. When he recovered his
recollection, he found himself in a cottage on the contrary side of the
dyke, surrounded by peasants, who had been using the means for the
recovery of drowned persons. The account given by one of them was, that,
returning home from his labour, he observed at a considerable distance a
large dog in the water, swimming and dragging, and sometimes pushing
along something that he seemed to have great difficulty in supporting,
but which he at length succeeded in getting into a small creek on the
opposite side. When the animal had pulled what he had hitherto supported
as far out of the water as he was able, the peasant discovered that it
was the body of a man, whose face and hands the dog was industriously
licking. The peasant hastened to a bridge across the dyke, and, having
obtained assistance, the body was conveyed to a neighbouring house,
where proper means soon restored the drowned man to life. Two very
considerable bruises, with the marks of teeth, appeared, one on his
shoulder and the other on his poll; hence it was presumed that the
faithful beast had first seized his master by the shoulder, and swam
with him in this manner for some time, but that his sagacity had
prompted him to quit this hold, and to shift it to the nape of the neck,
by which he had been enabled to support the head out of water; and in
this way he had conveyed him nearly a quarter of a mile before he had
brought him to the creek, where the banks were low and accessible.

Dr. Beattie relates an instance of a gentleman attempting to cross the
river Dee, then frozen over, near Aberdeen. The ice gave way about the
middle of the river; but, having a gun in his hand, he supported himself
by placing it across the opening. His dog then ran to a neighbouring
village, where, with the most significant gestures, he pulled a man by
the coat, and prevailed on him to follow him. They arrived at the spot
just in time to save the drowning man's life.

Of the noble disposition of the Newfoundland dog, Dr. Abel, in one of
his lectures on Phrenology, relates a singular instance.

"When this dog left his master's house, he was often assailed by a
number of little noisy dogs in the street. He usually passed them with
apparent unconcern, as if they were beneath his notice; but one little
cur was particularly troublesome, and at length carried his impudence
so far as to bite the Newfoundland dog in the leg. This was a degree
of wanton insult beyond what he could patiently endure; and he
instantly turned round, ran after the offender, and seized him by the
skin of the back. In this way he carried him in his mouth to the quay,
and, holding him some time over the water, at length dropped him into
it. He did not, however, seem to design that the culprit should be
punished capitally. He waited a little while, until the poor animal,
who was unused to that element, was not only well ducked, but nearly
sinking, and then plunged in, and brought him safe to land."

"It would be difficult," says Dr. Hancock, in his Essay on Instinct,
"to conceive any punishment more aptly contrived or more completely in
character. Indeed, if it were fully analyzed, an ample commentary
might be written in order to show what a variety of comparisons and
motives and generous feelings entered into the composition of this

No one ever drew more legitimate consequence from certain existing

One other story should not be omitted of this noble breed of water-dogs.
A vessel was driven on the beach of Lydd, in Kent. The surf was rolling
furiously. Eight poor fellows were crying for help, but not a boat could
be got off to their assistance. At length a gentleman came on the beach
accompanied by his Newfoundland dog: he directed the attention of the
animal to the vessel, and put a short stick into his mouth. The
intelligent and courageous fellow at once understood his meaning, sprung
into the sea, and fought his way through the waves. He could not,
however, get close enough to the vessel to deliver that with which he
was charged; but the crew understood what was meant, and they made fast
a rope to another piece of wood, and threw it towards him. The noble
beast dropped his own piece of wood and immediately seized that which
had been cast to him, and then, with a degree of strength and
determination scarcely credible,--for he was again and again lost under
the waves,--he dragged it through the surge and delivered it to his
master. A line of communication was thus formed, and every man on board
was rescued.

There is, however, a more remarkable fact recorded in the Penny

"During a heavy gale a ship had struck on a rock near the land. The
only chance of escape for the shipwrecked was to get a rope ashore;
for it was impossible for any boat to live in the sea as it was then
running. There were two Newfoundland dogs and a bull-dog on board. One
of the Newfoundland dogs was thrown overboard, with a rope thrown
round him, and perished in the waves. The second shared a similar
fate: but the bull-dog fought his way through that terrible sea, and,
arriving safe onshore, rope and all, became the saviour of the crew."

Some of the true Newfoundland dogs have been brought to Europe and have
been used as retrievers. They are principally valuable for the fearless
manner in which they will penetrate the thickest cover. They are
comparatively small, but muscular, strong, and generally black. A larger
variety has been bred, and is now perfectly established. He is seldom
used as a sporting dog, or for draught, but is admired on account of his
stature and beauty, and the different colours with which he is often
marked. Perhaps he is not quite so good-natured and manageable as the
smaller variety, and yet it is not often that much fault can be found
with him on this account.

A noble animal of this kind was presented to the Zoological Society by
His Royal Highness Prince Albert. He is a great ornament to the gardens;
but he had been somewhat unmanageable, and had done some mischief before
he was sent thither.

A portion of Lord Byron's beautiful epitaph on the death of his
Newfoundland dog will properly close our account of this animal:

"The poor dog! In life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend;
Whose honest heart is still his master's own;
Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone."

[Notwithstanding the many excellent qualities so conspicuous in this
noble breed of dog, he is said to possess one most ungenerous trait of
character, "a peculiar antipathy to sheep," and if not early trained to
endure their presence, will take every opportunity to destroy these
innocent animals.]


is a beast of burden and of draught, usefully employed by the
inhabitants of the extreme parts of North America and the neighbouring
islands. When the Esquimaux Indian goes in pursuit of the seal, the
rein-deer, or the bear, his dogs carry the materials of his temporary
hut, and the few necessaries of his simple life; or, yoked to the
sledge, often draw him and his family full sixty miles a-day over the
frozen plains of these inhospitable regions. At other times they assist
in the chase, and run down and destroy the bear and the rein-deer on
land, and the seal on the coast.

These dogs are very early trained to the work which they are destined to
follow, and even at the tender age of four or five months are harnessed
together or in company with older animals, and are compelled, either by
persuasion or brutal chastisement, to draw heavy weights, and thus soon
become accustomed to the trammels of the rude gearing, and familiar with
the service that they afterwards perform with so much sagacity and

Capt. Lyon states that they are very similar in appearance to the
shepherd dog of England, but more muscular and broad chested, owing to
severe work; ears pointed, of a savage appearance; the finer dogs are
equal to the Newfoundland breed in point of height and general symmetry.

It is also somewhat curious to be informed that these dogs have no
particular season of oestrum, but bear young indiscriminately at all
times of the year, cold or warm, having very little or no effect upon
their reproductive powers, being often seen in heat during the month of
December when the thermometer was forty degrees below zero.

Their journeys are often without any certain object; but, if the dogs
scent the deer or the bear, they gallop away in that direction until
their prey is within reach of the driver, or they are enabled to assist
in destroying their foe. Captain Parry, in his Journal of a 'Second
Voyage for the Discovery of a North-West Passage', gives an amusing
account of these expeditions.

"A number of dogs, varying from six to twelve, are attached to each
sledge by means of a single trace, but with no reins. An old and tried
dog is placed as the leader, who, in their simple journeys, and when
the chase is the object, steadily obeys the voice of the driver
sitting in front of the sledge, with a whip long enough to reach the
leader. This whip, however, is used as seldom as possible; for these
dogs, although tractable, are ferocious, and will endure little
correction. When the whip is applied with severity on one, he falls
upon and worries his neighbour, and he, in his turn, attacks a third,
and there is a scene of universal confusion, or the dogs double from
side to side to avoid the whip, and the traces become entangled, and
the safety of the sledge endangered. The carriage must then be
stopped, each dog put into his proper place, and the traces
re-adjusted. This frequently happens several times in the course of
the day. The driver therefore depends principally on the docility of
the leader, who, with admirable precision, quickens or slackens his
pace, and starts off or stops, or turns to the right or left, at the
summons of his master. When they are journeying homeward, or
travelling to some spot to which the leader has been accustomed to go,
he is generally suffered to pursue his own course; for, although every
trace of the road is lost in the drifting snow, he scents it out, and
follows it with undeviating accuracy. Even the leader, however, is not
always under the control of his master. If the journey lies homeward,
he will go his own pace, and that is usually at the top of his speed;
or, if any game starts, or he scents it at a distance, no command of
his driver will restrain him. Neither the dog nor his master is half
civilized or subdued."

Each of these dogs will draw a weight of 120 lb. over the snow, at the
rate of seven or eight miles an hour.

[It is extraordinary to consider the powers and wonderful speed of these
animals, almost equalling that of many horses.

Captain Lyon informs us that three dogs drew a sledge weighing 100 lbs.
and himself, one mile in six minutes; his leader dog, which is generally
more powerful than the others, drew 196 lb. the same distance in eight
minutes; seven dogs ran one mile in four minutes and thirty seconds,
with a heavy sledge full of men attached to them; ten dogs ran one mile
in five minutes; nine dogs drew 1611 lb. the same distance in nine
minutes.--'Lyon's Journal', p. 243.--L.]

In summer, many of these dogs are used as beasts of burden, and each
carries from thirty to fifty pounds. They are then much better kept than
in the winter; for they have the remains of the whale and sea-calf,
which their masters disdain to eat. The majority, however, are sent
adrift in the summer, and they live on the produce of the chase or of
their constant thievery. The exactness with which, the summer being
past, each returns to his master, is an admirable proof of sagacity, and
frequently of attachment.

In some parts of Siberia, on the borders of the Oby, there are
established relays of dogs, like the post-horses in other countries.
Four of these are attached to a very light vehicle; but, when much haste
is required, or any very heavy goods are to be conveyed, more than
treble or quadruple that number are harnessed to the vehicle. M. de
Lesseps [2] gives an almost incredible account of this. He is speaking
of the voracity of these poor beasts, in the midst of the snowy desert,
with little or no food.

"We had unharnessed our dogs, in order to bring them closer together,
in the ordinary way; but, the moment they were brought up to the pole,
they seized their harness, constructed of the thickest and toughest
leather, and tore it to pieces, and devoured it. It was in vain that
we attempted every means of restraint. A great number of them escaped
into the wilds around, others wandered here and there, and seized
everything that came within their reach, and which their teeth could
destroy. Almost every minute some one of them fell exhausted, and
immediately became the prey of the others. Every one that could get
within reach struggled for his share. Every limb was disputed, and
torn away by a troop of rivals, who attacked all within their reach.
As soon as one fell by exhaustion or accident, he was seized by a
dozen others, and destroyed in the space of a few minutes. In order to
defend ourselves from this crowd of famished beasts, we were compelled
to have recourse to our bludgeons and our swords. To this horrible
scene of mutual destruction succeeded, on the following day, the sad
appearance of those that surrounded the sledge, to which we had
retreated for safety and for warmth. They were thin, and starved, and
miserable; they could scarcely move; their plaintive and continual
howlings seemed to claim our succour; but there was no possibility of
relieving them in the slightest degree, except that some of them crept
to the opening in our carriage through which the smoke escapes; and
the more they felt the warmth closer they crept, and then, through
mere feebleness, losing their equilibrium, they rolled into the fire
before our eyes."

These dogs are not so high as the common pointer, but much larger and
stouter, although their thick hair, three or four inches long in the
winter, gives them an appearance of more stoutness than they possess.
Under this hair is a coating of fine close soft wool, which begins to
grow in the early part of winter, and drops off in the spring. Their
muzzles are sharp and generally black, and their ears erect.

The Greenland, and Siberian, and Kamtschatdale are varieties of the
Esquimaux or Arctic dogs, but enlarged in form, and better subdued. The
docility of some of these is equal to that of any European breed.

A person of the name of Chabert, who was afterwards better known by the
title of "Fire King," had a beautiful Siberian dog, who would draw him
in a light carriage 20 miles a day. He asked L200 for him, and sold him
for a considerable portion of that sum; for he was a most beautiful
animal of his kind, and as docile as he was beautiful. Between the sale
and the delivery, the dog fell and broke his leg. Chabert, to whom the
price agreed on was of immense consequence, was in despair. He took the
dog at night to a veterinary surgeon. He formally introduced them to
each other. He talked to the dog, pointed to his leg, limped around the
room, then requested the surgeon to apply some bandages around the leg,
and he seemed to walk sound and well. He patted the dog on the head, who
was looking alternately at him and the surgeon, desired the surgeon to
pat him, and to offer him his hand to lick, and then, holding up his
finger to the dog, and gently shaking his head, quitted the room and the
house. The dog immediately laid himself down, and submitted to a
reduction of the fracture, and the bandaging of the limb, without a
motion, except once or twice licking the hand of the operator. He was
quite submissive, and in a manner motionless, day after day, until, at
the expiration of a month, the limb was sound. Not a trace of the
fracture was to be detected, and the purchaser, who is now living, knew
nothing about it.

The employment of the Esquimaux dogs is nearly the same as those from
Newfoundland, and most valuable they are to the traveller who has to
find his way over the wild and trackless regions of the north. The
manner, however, in which they are generally treated seems ill
calculated to cause any strong or lasting attachment. During their
period of labour, they, like their brethren in Newfoundland, are fed
sparingly on putrid fish, and in summer they are turned loose to shift
for themselves until the return of the severe season renders it
necessary to their masters' interest that they should again be sought
for, and once more reduced to their state of toil and slavery.

They have been known for several successive days to travel more than 60
miles. They seldom miss their road, although they may be driven over one
untrodden snowy plain, where they are occasionally unable to reach any
place of shelter. When, however, night comes, they partake with their
master of the scanty fare which the sledge will afford, and, crowding
round, keep him warm and defend him from danger. If any of them fall
victims to the hardships to which they are exposed, their master or
their companions frequently feed on their remains, and their skins are
converted into warm and comfortable dresses.


Captain Clarke thus describes the Lapland dog:

"We had a valuable companion in a dog belonging to one of the boatmen.
It was of the true Lapland breed, and in all respects similar to a
wolf, excepting the tail, which was bushy and curled like those of the
Pomeranian race. This dog, swimming after the boat, if his master
merely waved his hand, would cross the lake as often as he pleased,
carrying half his body and the whole of his head and tail out of the
water. Wherever he landed, he scoured all the long grass by the side
of the lake in search of wild-fowl, and came back to us, bringing
wild-ducks in his mouth to the boat, and then, having delivered his
prey to his master, he would instantly set off again in search of
more." [3]

But we pass on to another and more valuable species of the dog:


The origin of the sheep-dog is somewhat various; but the predominant
breed is that of the intelligent and docile spaniel. Although it is now
found in every civilized country in which the sheep is cultivated, ii is
not coeval with the domestication of that animal. When the pastures were
in a manner open to the first occupant, and every shepherd had a common
property in them, it was not so necessary to restrain the wandering of
the sheep, and the voice of the shepherd was usually sufficient to
collect and to guide them. He preceded the flock, and they "followed him
whithersoever he went." In process of time, however, man availed himself
of the sagacity of the dog to diminish his own labour and fatigue, and
this useful servitor became the guide and defender of the flock.

The sheep-dog possesses much of the same form and character in every
country. The muzzle is sharp, the ears are short and erect, and the
animal is covered, particularly about the neck, with thick and shaggy
hair. He has usually two dew claws on each of the hind legs; not,
however, as in the one claw of other dogs, having a jointed attachment
to the limb, but merely connected by the skin and some slight cellular
substance. These excrescences should be cut off when the dog is young.
The tail is slightly turned upwards and long, and almost as bushy as
that of a fox, even in that variety whose coat is almost smooth. He is
of a black colour or black prevails, mixed with gray or brown.

Professor Grognier gives the following account of this dog as he is
found in France:

"The shepherd's dog, the least removed from the natural type of the
dog, is of a middle size; his ears short and straight; the hair long,
principally on the tail, and of a dark colour; the tail is carried
horizontally or a little elevated. He is very indifferent to caresses.
possessed of much intelligence and activity to discharge the duties
for which he was designed. In one or other of its varieties it is
found in every part of France. Sometimes there is but a single breed,
in others there are several varieties. It lives and maintains its
proper characteristics, while other races often degenerate. Everywhere
it preserves its proper distinguishing type. It is the servant of man,
while other breeds vary with a thousand circumstances. It has one
appropriate mission, and that it discharges in the most admirable way:
there is evidently a kind and wise design in this."

This account of the French sheep-dog, or of the sheep-dog everywhere, is
as true as it is beautiful. One age succeeds to another, we pass from
one climate to another, and everything varies and changes, but the
shepherd's dog is what he ever was--the guardian of our flocks. There
are, however, two or more species of this dog; the one which Professor
Grognier has described, and which guards and guides the sheep in the
open and level country, where wolves seldom intrude; another crossed
with the mastiff, or little removed from that dog, used in the woody and
mountainous countries, their guard more than their guide. [4] In Great
Britain, where he has principally to guide and not to guard the flock,
he is comparatively a small dog. He is so in the northern and open parts
of the country, where activity is principally wanted; but, in the more
enclosed districts, and where strength is often needed to turn an
obstinate sheep, he is crossed with some larger dog, as the rough
terrier, or sometimes the pointer, or now and then the bull-dog: in
fact, almost any variety that has strength and stoutness may be
employed. Thus we obtain the larger sheep-dog and the drover's dog. The
sagacity, forbearance, and kindness of the sheep-dog are generally
retained, but from these crosses there is occasionally a degree of
ferocity from which the sheep often suffer.

In other countries, where the flock is exposed to the attack of the
wolf, the sheep-dog is larger than the British drover's dog, and not far
inferior in size to the mastiff. The strength and ferocity which qualify
him to combat with the wolf, would occasionally be injurious or fatal to
those who somewhat obstinately opposed his direction; therefore, in
Denmark and in Spain, the dog is rarely employed to drive the flock. It
is the office of the shepherd, to know every individual under his
charge, to, as in olden times, "call them all by their names," and have
always some docile and tamed wether who will take the lead, almost as
subservient to his voice as is the dog himself, and whom the flock will
immediately follow.

In whatever country the dog is used, partly or principally to protect
the flock from the ravages of the wolf, he is as gentle as a lamb,
except when opposed to his natural enemy; and it is only in England that
the guardian of the sheep occasionally injures and worries them, and
that many can be found bearing the mark of the tooth. This may he
somewhat excusable (although it is often carried to a barbarous extent)
in the drover's dog; but it will admit of no apology in the shepherd's
dog. It is the result of the idleness of the boy, or the mingled
brutality and idleness of the shepherd, who is attempting to make the
dog do his own work and that of his master too. We have admired the
Prussian sheep-dog in the discharge of his duty, and have seen him pick
out the marked sheep, or stop and turn the flock, as cleverly as any
Highland colley, but he never bit them. He is a shorter, stronger, and
more compact dog than ours. He pushes against them and forces them
along. If they rebel against this mild treatment, the shepherd is at
hand to enforce obedience; and the flock is as easily and perfectly
managed as any English or Highland one, and a great deal more so than
the majority that we have seen.

Mr. Trimmer, in his work on the Merinos, speaking of the Spanish flocks,

"There is no driving of the flock; that is a practice entirely
unknown; but the shepherd, when he wishes to remove his sheep, calls
to him a tame wether accustomed to feed from his hands. The favourite,
however distant, obeys his call, and the rest follow. One or more of
the dogs, with large collars armed with spikes, in order to protect
them from the wolves, precede the flock, others skirt it on each side,
and some bring up the rear. If a sheep be ill or lame, or lag behind
unobserved by the shepherds, they stay with it and defend it until
some one return in search of it. With us, dogs are too often used for
other and worse purposes. In open, unenclosed districts, they are
indispensable; but in others I wish them, I confess, either managed,
or encouraged less. If a sheep commits a fault in the sight of an
intemperate shepherd, or accidentally offends him, it is 'dogged'
into obedience: the signal is given, the dog obeys the mandate, and
the poor sheep flies round the field to escape from the fangs of him
who should be his protector, until it becomes half dead with fright
and exhaustion, while the trembling flock crowd together dreading the
same fate, and the churl exults in this cowardly victory over a weak
and defenceless animal." [5]

If the farmer will seriously calculate the number of ewes that have
yeaned before their time, and of the lambs that he has lost, and the
accidents that have occurred from the sheep pressing upon one another in
order to escape from the dog, and if he will also take into account the
continual disturbance of the sheep while grazing, by the approach of the
dog, and the consequent interference with the cropping and the digestion
of the food, he will attach more importance to the good temper of the
dog and of the shepherd than he has been accustomed to do. There would
be no injustice, or rather a great deal of propriety, in inflicting a
fine for every tooth-mark that could be detected. When the sheep,
instead of collecting round the dog, and placing themselves under his
protection on any sudden alarm, uniformly fly from him with terror, the
farmer may he assured there is something radically wrong in the
management of the flock.

Instinct and education combine to fit this dog for our service. The
pointer will act without any great degree of instruction, and the setter
will crouch; and most certainly the sheep-dog, and especially if he has
the example of an older and expert one, will, almost without the
teaching of the master, become everything that can be wished, obedient
to every order, even to the slightest motion of the hand. There is a
natural predisposition for the office he has to discharge, which it
requires little trouble or skill to develop and perfect.

It is no unpleasing employment to study the degree in which the several
breeds of dogs are not only highly intelligent, but fitted by nature for
the particular duty they have to perform. The pointer, the setter, the
hound, the greyhound, the terrier, the spaniel, and even the bull-dog,
were made, and almost perfected, by nature chiefly for one office alone,
although they maybe useful in many other ways. This is well illustrated
in the sheep-dog. If he be but with his master, he lies content,
indifferent to every surrounding object, seemingly half asleep and half
awake, rarely mingling with his kind, rarely courting, and generally
shrinking from, the notice of a stranger; but the moment duty calls, his
sleepy, listless eye, becomes brightened; he eagerly gazes on his
master, inquires and comprehends all he is to do, and, springing up,
gives himself to the discharge of his duty with a sagacity, and
fidelity, and devotion, too rarely equalled even by man himself.

Mr. James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, living in his early days among the
sheep and their quadruped attendants, and an accurate observer of
nature, as well an exquisite poet, gives some anecdotes of the colley,
(the Highland term for sheep-dog), with which the reader will not be

"My dog Sirrah," says he, in a letter to the Editor of 'Blackwood's
Edinburgh Magazine', "was, beyond all comparison, the best dog I ever
saw. He had a somewhat surly and unsocial temper, disdaining all
flattery, and refusing to be caressed, but his attention to my
commands and interest will never again be equalled by any of the
canine race. When I first saw him, a drover was leading him with a
rope. He was both lean and hungry, and far from being a beautiful
animal; for he was almost black, and had a grim face, striped with
dark brown. I thought I perceived a sort of sullen intelligence in his
countenance, notwithstanding his dejected and forlorn appearance, and
I bought him. He was scarcely a year old, and knew so little of
herding that he had never turned a sheep in his life; but, as soon as
he discovered that it was his duty to do so, and that it obliged me, I
can never forget with what anxiety and eagerness he learned his
different evolutions; and when I once made him understand a direction,
he never forgot or mistook it."

On one night, a large flock of lambs that were under the Ettrick
Shepherd's care, frightened by something, scampered away in three
different directions across the hills, in spite of all that he could
do to keep them together. "Sirrah," said the shepherd, "they're a'

It was too dark for the dog and his master to see each other at any
considerable distance, but Sirrah understood him, and set off after
the fugitives. The night passed on, and Hogg and his assistant
traversed every neighbouring hill in anxious but fruitless search for
the lambs; but he could hear nothing of them nor of the dog, and he
was returning to his master with the doleful intelligence that he had
lost all his lambs. "On our way home, however," says he, "we
discovered a lot of lambs at the bottom of a deep ravine called the
Flesh Cleuch, and the indefatigable Sirrah standing in front of them,
looking round for some relief, but still true to his charge. We
concluded that it was one of the divisions which Sirrah had been
unable to manage, until he came to that commanding situation. But what
was our astonishment when we discovered that not one lamb of the flock
was missing! How he had got all the divisions collected in the dark,
is beyond my comprehension. The charge was left entirely to himself
from midnight until the rising sun; and, if all the shepherds in the
forest had been there to have assisted him, they could not have
effected it with greater promptitude. All that I can say is, that I
never felt so grateful to any creature under the sun us I did to my
honest Sirrah that morning."

A shepherd, in one of his excursions over the Grampian Hills to collect
his scattered flock, took with him (as is a frequent practice, to
initiate them in their future business) one of his children about four
years old. After traversing his pastures for a while, attended by his
dog, he was compelled to ascend a summit at some distance. As the ascent
was too great for the child, he left him at the bottom, with strict
injunctions not to move from the place. Scarcely, however, had he gained
the height, when one of the Scotch mists, of frequent occurrence,
suddenly came on, and almost changed the day to night. He returned to
seek his child, but was unable to find him, and concluded a long and
fruitless search by coming distracted to his cottage. His poor dog also
was missing in the general confusion. On the next morning by daylight he
renewed his search, but again he came back without his child. He found,
however, that during his absence his dog had been home, and, on
receiving his allowance of food, instantly departed. For four successive
days the shepherd continued his search with the same bad fortune, the
dog as readily coming for his meal and departing. Struck by this
singular circumstance, he determined to follow the dog, who departed as
usual with his piece of cake. The animal led the way to a cataract at
some distance from the spot where the child had been left. It was a
rugged and almost perpendicular descent which the dog took, and he
disappeared in a cave, the mouth of which was almost on a level with the
torrent. The shepherd with difficulty followed; but, on entering the
cavern, what were his emotions when he beheld the infant eating the cake
which the dog had just brought to him, while the faithful animal stood
by, eyeing his young charge with the utmost complacency! From the
situation in which the child was found, it appeared that he had wandered
to the brink of the precipice, and then either fallen or scrambled down,
the torrent preventing his re-ascent. The dog by means of his scent had
traced him to the spot, and afterwards prevented him from starving by
giving up a part, or, perhaps, the whole of his own daily allowance. He
appears never to have quitted the child night or day, except for food,
as he was seen running at full speed to and from the cottage. [6]

Mr. Hogg says, and very truly, that a single shepherd and his dog will
accomplish more in gathering a flock of sheep from a Highland farm than
twenty shepherds could do without dogs; in fact, that without this
docile animal, the pastoral life would be a mere blank. It would require
more hands to manage a flock of sheep, gather them from the hills, force
them into houses and folds, and drive them to markets, than the profits
of the whole flock would be capable of maintaining. Well may the
shepherd feel an interest in his dog; he it is indeed that earns the
family bread, of which he is himself content with the smallest morsel:
always grateful, and always ready to exert his utmost abilities in his
master's interests. Neither hunger, fatigue, nor the worst treatment
will drive him from his side, and he will follow him through every
hardship without murmur or repining. If one of them is obliged to change
masters, it is sometimes long before he will acknowledge the new owner,
or condescend to work for him with the willingness that he did for his
former lord; but, if he once acknowledges him, he continues attached to
him until death. [7]

We will add another story of the colley, and proceed. It illustrates the
memory of the dog. A shepherd was employed in bringing up some mountain
sheep from Westmoreland, and took with him a young sheep-dog who had
never made the journey before. From his assistant being ignorant of the
ground, he experienced great difficulty in having the flock stopped at
the various roads and lanes he passed in their way to the neighbourhood
of London.

In the next year the same shepherd, accompanied by the same dog, brought
up another flock for the gentlemen who had had the former one. On being
questioned how he had got on, he said much better than the year before,
as his dog now knew the road, and had kept the sheep from going up any
of the lanes or turnings that had given the shepherd so much trouble on
his former journey. The distance could not have been less than 400
miles. [8]

Buffon gives an eloquent and faithful account of the sheep-dog:

"This animal, faithful to man, will always preserve a portion of his
empire and a degree of superiority over other beings. He reigns at the
head of his flock, and makes himself better understood than the voice
of the shepherd. Safety, order, and discipline are the fruits of his
vigilance and activity. They are a people submitted to his management,
whom he conducts and protects, and against whom he never employs force
but for the preservation of good order."

"If we consider that this animal, notwithstanding his ugliness and his
wild and melancholy look, is superior in instinct to all others; that
he has a decided character in which education has comparatively little
share; that he is the only animal born perfectly trained for the
service of others; that, guided by natural powers alone, he applies
himself to the care of our flocks, a duty which he executes with
singular assiduity, vigilance, and fidelity; that he conducts them
with an admirable intelligence which is a part and portion of himself;
that his sagacity astonishes at the same time that it gives repose to
his master, while it requires great time and trouble to instruct other
dogs for the purposes to which they are destined: if we reflect on
these facts we shall be confirmed in the opinion that the shepherd's
dog is the true dog of nature, the stock and model of the whole
species." [9]

[After reading the above history of this truly valuable dog, it is
almost superfluous for us to attempt to add anything more on this head;
however, we must pause for a few moments, to call the attention of our
agriculturists and others engaged in raising sheep, to the immense
advantages to be derived from the introduction of this sagacious animal
throughout our own country.

The increased vigour that is now given for the cultivation of sheep, to
supply the necessary demands of the numerous woollen factories springing
up in every quarter, renders the services of this faithful creature
absolutely indispensable, not only as a guardian of the flocks, but as a
mere expedient of economy.

Many portions of our country, now lying idle, particularly the
mountainous ranges, are peculiarly adapted for the grazing of sheep, and
we are destined not only to supply the world with cotton, but may hope
ere long to add to our national wealth the other equally valuable staple
commodity, that of wool.

In the care of sheep, each dog not only supplies the place of two or
three men, but, as is seen in the foregoing pages, renders such
assistance as cannot be obtained from any other source.

The shepherds of Mexico lead a life not unlike the patriarchs of old,
shifting about from day to day, watching their immense flocks, attended
only by a few dogs, who have the entire control of the sheep, keeping
them from straying away, and not only defending them from the
blood-thirsty wolf, but even attacking, if necessary, the skulking

These dogs of Mexico are represented as being much larger than the
English variety, and no doubt are the descendants of the Spanish
shepherd dog, so highly prized in protecting the Merino flocks from the
wolves that infest the mountainous parts of Spain, most frequented by
the herds during the summer season.

These dogs are the same breed as those engaged by the philanthropic
monks of St. Bernard in hunting up the benumbed traveller when sinking
from exhaustion, or already overwhelmed by the sudden rushing of an
avalanche into some one of the mountain passes.

The original Spanish shepherd dog is a very powerful animal, and even
those of Mexico, when armed with spiked collars, are a sufficient match
for the largest wolves. Mr. Kendall mentions having met on the grand
prairie with a flock of sheep numbering seventeen thousand, which
immense herd was guarded by a very few men, assisted by a large number
of noble dogs, which appeared gifted with the faculty of keeping them

"There was no running about, no barking or biting in their system of
tactics; on the contrary, they were continually walking up and down,
like faithful sentinels, on the outer side of the flock, and should
any sheep chance to stray from his fellows, the dog on duty at that
particular post would walk gently up, take him carefully by the ear,
and lead him back to the fold. Not the least fear did the sheep
manifest at the approach of these dogs, and there was no occasion for
Vol. I. p. 268.

This account coincides with the remarks of Mr. Trinner upon this dog in
old Spain; and Mr. Skinner very justly remarks, that the Mexican
sheep-dog has not his equal in any part of the world, except, perhaps,
in his native country, and that the Scotch or English dog sinks into
insignificance when compared with him.

A flock of a thousand sheep in Spain requires the attendance of two men
and an equal number of dogs, who never for a moment quit their charge,
watching them without intermission day and night. The great inferiority
of the English dogs, may be attributed, perhaps, to their want of care
in training and bringing up, which is considered the most essential, and
actually the foundation of all their future usefulness with the
Mexicans. The pups when first born, are taken from the bitch, and put to
a sucking ewe, already deprived of her own lamb. For several days the
ewe is confined with the pups in the shepherd's hut, and either from
force, or an instinctive desire to be relieved of the contents of the
udder, she soon allows the little strangers to suck, and in the course
of a few days more, becomes quite reconciled to the change, and exhibits
a great degree of affection for her foster children, who, knowing no
other parentage, becomes thus early engrafted into the general
community, and returns their early kindness by every mark of affection
and fidelity hereafter; never being willing for a moment to quit their
society, but remains with them night and day, expressing a peculiar
attachment to this particular flock, and seeming able to distinguish
each member of it from all other intruders.

In the third volume of the 'American Agriculturist' will be found an
interesting article connected with this subject, and from which we might
extract much useful information, if our limits would allow of its
insertion in the present volume.

Mr. Skinner states, that in 1832 he had two of these dogs, a male and
female, both trained, but unfortunately lost the latter before obtaining
any pups from her; he also remarks, that they can be imported via Havana
and Santander, at an expense of not less than $70 or $80. We see no
reason why the same dogs might not be obtained at a much less cost by
the Santa Fe traders, who, no doubt, would be glad to bring them into
the country as companions de voyages, provided there was any demand for


bears considerable resemblance to the sheep-dog, and has usually the
same prevailing black or brown colour. He possesses all the docility of
the sheep-dog, with more courage, and sometimes a degree of ferocity,
exercised without just cause upon his charge, while he is in his turn
cruelly used by a brutal master.

There is a valuable cross between the colley and the drover's dog in
Westmoreland, and a larger and stronger breed is cultivated in
Lincolnshire; indeed it is necessary there, where oxen as well as sheep
are usually consigned to the dog's care. A good drover's dog is worth a
considerable sum; but the breed is too frequently and injudiciously
crossed at the fancy of the owner. Some drovers' dogs are as much like
setters, lurchers, and hounds, as they are to the original breed.

Stories are told of the docility and sagacity of the drover's dog even
more surprising than any that are related of the sheep-dog. The Ettrick
Shepherd says, that a Mr. Steel, butcher in Peebles, had such implicit
dependence on the attention of his dog to his orders, that whenever he
put a lot of sheep before her, he took a pride in leaving them entirely
to her, and either remained to take a glass with the farmer of whom he
had made the purchase, or travelled another road to look after bargains
or business. At one time, however, he chanced to commit a drove to her
charge, at a place called Willenslee, without attending to her
condition, which he certainly ought to have done. This farm is about
five miles from Peebles, over wild hills, and there is no regularly
defined path to it. Whether Mr. Steel chose another road is uncertain;
but, on coming home late in the evening, he was surprised to hear that
his faithful animal had not made her appearance with her flock. He and
his son instantly prepared to set out by different paths in search of
her; but, on going into the street, there was she with the flock, and
not one of the sheep missing; she, however, was carrying a young pup in
her mouth. She had been taken in travail on those hills; and how the
poor beast had contrived to manage the sheep in her state of suffering
is beyond human calculation, for her road lay through sheep-pastures the
whole way. Her master's heart smote him when he saw what she had
suffered and effected; but she was nothing daunted; and, having
deposited her young one in a place of safety, she again set out at full
speed to the hills, and brought another and another little one, until
she had removed her whole litter one by one; the last, however, was

Mr. Blaine relates as extraordinary an instance of intelligence, but not
mingled, like the former, with natural affection. A butcher and
cattle-dealer, who resided about nine miles from Alston, in Cumberland,
bought a dog of a drover. The butcher was accustomed to purchase sheep
and kine in the vicinity, which, when fattened, he drove to Alston
market and sold. In these excursions he was frequently astonished at the
peculiar sagacity of his dog, and at the more than common readiness and
dexterity with which he managed the cattle; until at length he troubled
himself very little about the matter, but, riding carelessly along, used
to amuse himself with observing how adroitly the dog acquitted himself
of his charge. At length, so convinced was he of his sagacity, as well
as fidelity, that he laid a wager that he would intrust the dog with a
number of sheep and oxen, and let him drive them alone and unattended to
Alston market. It was stipulated that no one should be within sight or
hearing who had the least control over the dog, nor was any spectator to
interfere. This extraordinary animal, however, proceeded with his
business in the most steady and dexterous manner; and, although he had
frequently to drive his charge through other herds that were grazing, he
did not lose one; but, conducting them to the very yard to which he was
used to drive them when with his master, he significantly delivered them
up to the person appointed to receive them by barking at his door. When
the path which he travelled lay through grounds in which others were
grazing, he would run forward, stop his own drove, and then, chasing the
others away, collect his scattered charge, and proceed.


The wolf-dog is no longer a native of Great Britain, because his
services are not required there, but he is useful in various parts of
the Continent, in the protection of the sheep from the attacks of the
wolf. A pair of these dogs was brought to the Zoological Society of
London in 1833, and there long remained, an ornament to the Gardens.
They appeared to possess a considerable degree of strength, but to be
too gentle to contend with so powerful and ferocious an animal as the
wolf. They were mostly covered with white or gray, or occasionally black
hair, short on the head, ears and feet, but long and silky on the body
and tail. The forehead is elevated, and the muzzle lengthened and
clothed with short hair. The attachment of this dog to his master and
the flock is very great, and he has not lost a particle of his sagacity,
but, where wolves are common, is still used as a sheep-dog.


is the sheep-dog crossed with the terrier. He has long and somewhat
deservedly obtained a very bad name, as a bully and a coward; and
certainly his habit of barking at everything that passes, and flying at
the heels of the horse, renders him often a very dangerous nuisance: he
is, however, in a manner necessary to the cottager; he is a faithful
defender of his humble dwelling; no bribe can seduce him from his duty;
and he is likewise a useful and an effectual guard over the clothes and
scanty provisions of the labourer, who may be working in some distant
part of the field. All day long he will lie upon his master's clothes
seemingly asleep, but giving immediate warning of the approach of a
supposed marauder. He has a propensity, when at home, to fly at every
horse and every strange dog; and of young game of every kind there is
not a more ruthless destroyer than the village cur.

Mr. Hogg draws the following curious parallel between the sheep-dog and
the cur:

"An exceedingly good sheep-dog attends to nothing but the particular
branch of business to which he is bred. His whole capacity is exerted
and exhausted in it; and he is of little avail in miscellaneous
matters; whereas a very indifferent cur bred about the house, and
accustomed to assist in everything will often put the more noble breed
to disgrace in these little services. If some one calls out that the
cows are in the corn or the hens in the garden, the house colley needs
no other hint, but runs and turns them out. The shepherd's dog knows
not what is astir, and, if he is called out in a hurry for such work,
all that he will do is to run to the hill, or rear himself on his
haunches to see that no sheep are running away. A well-bred sheep-dog,
if coming hungry from the hills, and getting into a milk-house, would
likely think of nothing else than filling his belly with the cream.
Not so his initiated brother: he is bred at home to far higher
principles of honour. I have known such lie night and day among from
ten to twenty pails full of milk, and never once break the cream of
one of them with the tip of his tongue, nor would he suffer cat, rat,
or any other creature to touch it. While, therefore, the cur is a
nuisance, he is very useful in his way, and we would further plead for
him, that he possesses a great deal of the sagacity and all the
fidelity of the choicest breed of dogs."

The dog who, according to the well-known and authentic story, watched
the remains of his master for two years in the churchyard of St.
Olave's, in Southwark, was a cur.

The following story is strictly authentic:

"Not long ago a young man, an acquaintance of the coachman, was
walking, as he had often done, in Lord Fife's stables at Banff. Taking
an opportunity, when the servants were not regarding him, he put a
bridle into his pocket. A Highland cur that was generally about the
stables saw him, and immediately began to bark at him, and when he got
to the stable-door would not let him pass, but bit him by the leg in
order to prevent him. As the servants had never seen the dog act thus
before, and the same young man had been often with them, they could
not imagine what could be the reason of the dog's conduct. However,
when they saw the end of a valuable bridle peeping out of the young
man's pocket, they were able to account for it, and, on his giving it
up, the dog left the stable-door, where he had stood, and allowed him
to pass." [10]


This dog was originally a cross between the greyhound and the shepherd's
dog, retaining all the speed and fondness for the chase belonging to the
one, and the superior intelligence and readiness for any kind of work
which the latter possessed. This breed has been crossed again with the
spaniel, combining the disposition to quest for game which distinguishes
the spaniel with the muteness and swiftness of the greyhound. Sometimes
the greyhound is crossed with the hound. Whatever be the cross, the
greyhound must predominate; but his form, although still to be traced,
has lost all its beauty.

The lurcher is a dog seldom found in the possession of the honourable
sportsman. The farmer may breed him for his general usefulness, for
driving his cattle, and guarding his premises, and occasionally coursing
the hare; but other dogs will answer the former purposes much better,
while the latter qualification may render him suspected by his landlord,
and sometimes be productive of serious injury. In a rabbit-warren this
dog is peculiarly destructive. His scent enables him to follow them
silently and swiftly. He darts unexpectedly upon them, and, being
trained to bring his prey to his master, one of these dogs will often in
one night supply the poacher with rabbits and other game worth more
money than he could earn by two days' hard labour.

Mr. H. Faull, of Helstone, in Cornwall, lost no fewer than fifteen fine
sheep, and some of them store sheep, killed by lurchers in January,
1824. [11]

We now proceed to the different species of dog belonging to the second
division of Cuvier, which are classed under the name of Hound; and,
first we take


The origin of this diminutive hound is somewhat obscure. There is
evidently much of the harrier and of the old southern, connected with a
considerable decrease of size and speed, the possession of an
exceedingly musical voice, and very great power of scent. Beagles are
rarely more than ten or twelve inches in height, and were generally so
nearly of the same size and power of speed, that it was commonly said
they might be covered with a sheet. This close running is, however,
considered as a mark of excellence in hounds of every kind.

There are many pleasurable recollections of the period when "the good
old English gentleman" used to keep his pack of beagles or little
harriers, slow but sure, occasionally carried to the field in a pair of
panniers on a horse's back; often an object of ridicule at an early
period of the chase, but rarely failing to accomplish their object ere
the day closed, "the puzzling pack unravelling wile by wile, maze within
maze." It was often the work of two or three hours to accomplish this;
but is was seldom, in spite of her speed, her shifts, and her doublings,
that the hare did not fall a victim to her pursuers.

The slowness of their pace gradually caused them to be almost totally
discontinued, until very lately, and especially in the royal park at
Windsor, they have been again introduced. Generally speaking, they have
all the strength and endurance which is necessary to ensure their
killing their game, and are much fleeter than their diminutive size
would indicate. Formerly, considerable fancy and even judgment used to
be exercised in the breeding of these dogs. They were curiously
distinguished by the names of "deep-flewed," or "shallow-flewed," in
proportion as they had the depending upper lip of the southern, or the
sharper muzzle and more contracted lip of the northern dogs. The
shallow-flewed were the swiftest, and the deep-flewed the stoutest and
the surest, and their music the most pleasant. The wire-haired beagle
was considered as the stouter and better dog.

The form of the head in beagles has been much misunderstood. They have,
or should have, large heads, decidedly round, and thick rather than
long; there will then be room for the expansion of the nasal membrane,
that of smell, and for the reverberation of the sound, so peculiarly
pleasant in this dog.

The beagle runs very low to the ground, and therefore has a stronger
impression of the scent than taller dogs. This is especially the case
when the scent is more than usually low.

Among the advocates for beagles, several years ago, was Colonel Hardy.
He used to send his dogs in panniers, and they had a little barn for
their kennel. The door was one night broken open, and every hound,
panniers and all, stolen. The thief was never discovered, not even

The use of beagles was soon afterwards nearly abandoned by the
introduction of the harrier, and by his yielding in his turn to the
fox-hound; but the beagles of Colonel Thornton and Colonel Molyneux will
not be soon forgotten. [12]

There is, however, a practice which fair sportsmen will never resort
to--the use of a beagle to start a hare in order to be run down by a
brace of greyhounds, or perhaps by a lurcher. The hare is not fairly
matched in this way of proceeding.


occupies an intermediate station between the beagle and the fox-hound.
It is the fox-hound bred down to a diminished size, and suited to the
animal he is to pursue. He retains, or did for a while retain, the long
body, deep chest, large bones, somewhat heavy head, sweeping ears, and
mellow voice, which the sportsman of old so enthusiastically described,
with the certainty of killing, and the pleasing prolongation of the
chase. With this the farmer used to be content: it did not require
expensive cattle, was not attended with much hazard of neck, and did not
take him far from home.

Almost every country squire used in former days to keep his little pack
of harriers or beagles. He was mounted on his stout cob-horse, that
served him alike for the road and the chase; and his huntsman probably
had a still smaller and rougher beast, or sometimes ran afoot. He could
then follow the sport, almost without going off his own land, and the
farmer's boys, knowing the country and the usual doublings of the hare,
could see the greater part of the chase, and were almost able to keep up
with the hounds, so that they were rarely absent at the death: indeed,
they saw and enjoyed far more of it than the fox-hunter or the
stag-hunter now does, mounted on his fleetest horse.

The harrier was not more than 18 or 19 inches high. He was crossed with
the fox-hound if he was getting too diminutive, or with the beagle if he
was becoming too tall.

The principal objects the sportsman endeavoured to accomplish were to
preserve stoutness, scent, and musical voice, with speed to follow the
hare sufficiently close, yet not enough to run her down too quickly, or
without some of those perplexities, and faults, and uncertainties which
give the principal zest to the chase.

The character and speed of the hound much depend on the nature of the
country. The smaller harrier will best suit a deeply enclosed country;
but where there is little cover, and less doubling greater size and
fleetness are requisite. The harrier, nevertheless, let him be as tall
and as speedy as he may, should never he used for the fox; but every dog
should be strictly confined to his own game.

Mr. Beckford, in his 'Thoughts upon Hunting', gives an account,
unrivalled, of the chase of the hare and fox. Many sporting writers have
endeavoured to tread in his steps; but they have failed in giving that
graphic account of the pleasures of the field which Mr. Beckford's essay

He says that the sportsman should never have more than 20 couple in the
field, because it would he exceedingly difficult to get a greater number
to run together, and a pack of harriers cannot be complete if they do
not. A hound that runs too fast for the rest, or that lags behind them,
should be immediately discarded. His hounds were between the large
slow-hunting harrier and the fox-beagle. He endeavoured to get as much
bone and strength in as little compass as possible. He acknowledges that
this was a difficult undertaking; but he had, at last, the pleasure to
see them handsome, small, yet bony, running well together, and fast
enough, with all the alacrity that could be desired, and hunting the
coldest scent.

He anticipates the present improvement of the chase when he lays it down
as a rule never to be departed from, that hounds of every kind should be
kept to their own game. They should have one scent, and one style of
hunting. Harriers will run a fox in so different a style from the
pursuit of a hare, that they will not readily, and often will not at
all, return to their proper work. The difference in the scent, and the
eagerness of pursuit, and the noise that accompanies fox-hunting, all
contribute to spoil a harrier.

Mr. Beckford pleasingly expresses a sportsman's consideration for the
poor animal which he is hunting to death.

"A hare," he says, "is a timorous little animal that we cannot help
feeling some compassion for at the time that we are pursuing her
destruction. We should give scope to all her little tricks, nor kill
her foully nor overmatched. Instinct instructs her to make a good
defence when not unfairly treated, and I will venture to say that, as
far as her own safety is concerned, she has more cunning than the fox,
and makes shifts to save her life far beyond all his artifice." [13]


is of a middle size, between the harrier and the stag-hound; it is the
old English hound, sufficiently crossed with the greyhound to give him
lightness and speed without impairing his scent; and he has now been
bred to a degree of speed sufficient to satisfy the man who holds his
neck at the least possible price, and with which few, except
thorough-bred horses, and not all of them, can live to the end of the
chase. The fox-hound is lighter, or as it is now called, more highly
bred, or he retains a greater portion of his original size and
heaviness, according to the nature of the country and the fancy of the
master of the pack: therefore it is difficult to give an accurate
description of the best variety of this dog; but there are guiding
points which can never be forgotten without serious injury.

He derives from the greyhound a head somewhat smaller and longer in
proportion to his size than either the stag-hound or the harrier. But
considerable caution is requisite here. The beauty of the head and face,
although usually accompanied by speed, must never be sacrificed to
stoutness and power of scent. The object of the sportsman is to
amalgamate them, or rather to possess them all in the greatest possible
degree. This will generally be brought to a great degree of perfection
if the sportsman regards the general excellence of the dog rather than
the perfection of any particular point. The ears should not,
comparatively speaking, be so large as those of the stag-hound or the
harrier; but the neck should be longer and lighter, the chest deep and
capacious, the fore legs straight as arrows, and the hind ones well bent
at the hock.

Some extraordinary accounts have been given of the speed of the
fox-hound. A match that was run over the Beacon Course at Newmarket is
the best illustration of his fleetness. The distance is 4 miles 1
furlong and 132 yards. The winning dog performed it in 8 minutes and a
few seconds; but of the sixty horses that started with the hounds, only
twelve were able to run in with them. Flying Childers had run the same
course in 7 minutes and 30 seconds.

"The size, or, as we should rather say, the height of a fox-hound, is
a point on which there has been much difference of opinion. Mr.
Chule's pack was three inches below the standard of Mr. Villebois',
and four inches below that of Mr. Warde's. The advocates of the former
assert, that they get better across a deep and strongly fenced
country, while the admirers of the latter insist on their being better
climbers of hills and more active in cover. As to uniformity in size,
it is by no means essential to the well-doing of hounds in the field,
and has been disregarded by some of our best sportsmen: Mr. Meynell
never drafted a good hound on account of his being over or under
sized. The proper standard of height in fox-hounds is from 21 to 22
inches for bitches, and from 23 to 24 for dog-hounds. Mr. Warde's
bitches, the best of the kind that our country contained, were rather
more than 23 inches. A few of his dogs were 25 inches high. The amount
of hounds annually bred will depend upon the strength of the kennel.
From sixty to eighty couples is the complement for a four days a-week
pack, which will require the breeding of a hundred couples of puppies
every year, allowing for accidents and distemper." [14]

Nimrod very properly observes, that

"Mr. Beckford has omitted a point much thought of by the modern
sportsmen, namely, 'the back-ribs', which should also be deep, as in a
strong-bodied horse, of which we say, when so formed, that he has a
good 'spur place;' a point highly esteemed in him. Nor is he
sufficiently descriptive of the hinder legs of the hound; for there is
a length of thigh discernible in first-rate hounds which, like the
well-let-down hock of the horse, gives them much superiority of speed,
and is also a great security against their laming themselves in
leaping fences, which they are more apt to do when they become blown
and consequently weak. The fore legs, 'straight as arrows,' is an
admirable illustration of perfection in those parts by Beckford; for,
as in a bow or bandy legged man, nothing is so disfiguring to a hound
as having his elbows projecting, and which is likewise a great check
to speed." [15]

Mr. Daniel gives a curious account of the prejudices of sportsmen on the
subject of colour. The white dogs were curious hunters, and had a
capital scent; the black, with some white spots, were obedient, good
hunters, and with good constitutions; the gray-coloured had no very
acute scent, but were obstinate, and indefatigable in their quest; the
yellow dogs were impatient and obstinate, and taught with difficulty.

The dog exhibits no criteria of age after the first two years. That
period having elapsed, the whiteness and evenness of the teeth soon pass
away, and the 'old' dog can scarcely be mistaken. Nimrod scarcely speaks
too positively when he says that an old hound cannot be mistaken, if
only looked in the face. At all events, few are found in a kennel after
the eighth year, and very few after the ninth.

Mr. Beckford advises the sportsman carefully to consider the size,
shape, colour, constitution, and natural disposition of the dog from
which he breeds, and also the fineness of the nose, the evident strength
of the limb, and the good temper and devotion to his master which he
displays. The faults or imperfections in one breed may be rectified in
another; and, if this is properly attended to, there is no reason why
improvements may not continually be made.

The separation of the sexes in the kennel and in the field is one of the
latest innovations in the hunting world, and generally considered to be
a good one. The eye is pleased to see a pack of hounds, nearly or quite
of a size. The character of the animal is more uniformly displayed when
confined to one sex. In consequence of the separation of the two, the
dogs are less inclined to quarrel; and the bitches are more at their
ease than when undergoing the importunate solicitations of the male. As
to their performances in the field, opinions vary, and each sex has its
advocates. The bitch, with a good fox before her, is decidedly more
off-hand at her work; but she is less patient, and sometimes overruns
the scent. Sir Bellingharn Graham has been frequently heard to say, that
if his kennels would have afforded it, he would never have taken a
dog-hound into the field. That in the canine race the female has more of
elegance and symmetry of form, consequently more of speed, than the
male, is evident to a common observer; but there is nothing to lead to
the conclusion that, in the natural endowments of the senses, any
superiority exists. [17]

The bitch should not be allowed to engage in any long and severe chase
after she has been lined. She should be kept as quiet as may be
practicable, and well but not too abundantly fed; each having a kennel
or place of retreat for herself. She should be carefully watched, and
especially when the ninth week approaches. The huntsman and the keeper
without any apparent or unnecessary intrusion, should be on the alert.

The time of pupping having arrived, as little noise or disturbance
should be made as possible; but a keeper should be always at hand in
case of abortion or difficult parturition. Should there be a probability
of either of these occurring, he should not be in a hurry; for, as much
should be left to nature as can, without evident danger, be done, and
the keeper should rarely intrude unless his assistance is indispensable.

The pupping being accomplished, the mother should be carefully attended
to. She should be liberally fed, and particularly should have her share
of animal food, and an increased quantity of milk.

The bitch should not have whelps until she has hunted two seasons; for,
before that time it will be scarcely possible to ascertain her
excellences or defects. If there are any considerable faults, she should
be immediately rejected.

When the time approaches for her to produce her puppies, she should be
allowed a certain degree of liberty, and should choose her couch and run
about a little more than usual; but, when the young ones are born, the
less they are handled the better. The constitution and appearance of the
mother will indicate how many should be kept. If two litters are born at
or about the same time, or within two or three days of each other, we
may interchange one or two of the whelps of each of them, and perhaps
increase the value of both.

When the whelps are able to crawl to a certain distance, it will be time
to mark them, according to their respective litters, some on the ear and
others on the lip. The dew-claws should be removed, and, usually, a
small tip from the tail. Their names also should be recorded.

The whelps will begin to lap very soon after they can look about them,
and should remain with the mother until they are fully able to take care
of themselves. They may then be prepared to go to quarters.

Two or three doses of physic should be given to the mother, with
intervals of four or five days between each: this will prepare her to
return to the kennel.

There is often considerable difficulty in disposing of the whelps until
they get old and stout enough to be brought into the kennel. They are
mostly sent to some of the neighbouring cottages, in order to be taken
care of; but they are often neglected and half starved there. In
consequence of this, distemper soon appears, and many of them are lost.

Whelps 'walked', or taken care of at butchers' houses, soon grow to a
considerable size; but they are apt to be heavy-shouldered and throaty,
and perhaps otherwise deformed. There is some doubt whether it might not
be better for the sportsman to take the management of them himself, and
to have a kennel built purposely for them. It may, perhaps, be feared
that the distemper will get among them: they would, however, be well
fed, and far more comfortable than they now are; and, as to the
distemper, it is a disease that they must have some time or other.

From twenty to thirty couples are quite as many as can be easily
managed; and the principal consideration is, whether they are steady,
and as nearly as possible equal of speed. When the packs are very large,
the hounds are seldom sufficiently hunted to be good. Few persons choose
to hunt every day, or, if they did, it is not likely that the weather
would permit them. The sportsman would, therefore, be compelled to take
an inconvenient number into the field, and too many must be left behind.
In the first place, too many hounds in the field would frequently spoil
the sport; and, on the other hand, the hounds that remained would get
out of wind, or become riotous, or both. Hounds, to be useful and good,
should be constantly hunted; but a great fault in many packs is their
having too many old dogs among them.

Young hounds, when first taken to the kennel, should be kept separate
from the rest of the pack, otherwise there will be frequent and
dangerous quarrels. When these do occur, the feeder hears, and
sometimes, but not so frequently as he ought, endeavours to discover the
cause of the disturbance, and visits the culprits with deserved
punishment; too often, however, he does not give himself time for this,
but rushes among them, and flogs every hound that he can get at, guilty
or not guilty. This is a shameful method of procedure. It is the cause
of much undeserved punishment: it spoils the temper of the dog, and
makes him careless and indifferent as long as he lives.

Mr. Beckford very properly remarks, that

"Young hounds are, and must be awkward at first, and should be taken
out, a few at a time, with couples not too loose. They are thus
accustomed to the usual occurrences of the road, and this is most
easily accomplished when a young and an old dog are coupled together."

A sheep-field is the next object, and the young hound, properly watched,
soon becomes reconciled, and goes quietly along with the companion of
the preceding day. A few days afterwards the dogs are uncoupled in the
field, and perhaps, at first, are not a little disposed to attack the
sheep; but the cry of "Ware sheep!" in a stern tone of voice, arrests
them, and often, without the aid of the whip; it being taken as a
principle that this instrument should be used as seldom as possible. If,
indeed, the dog is self-willed, the whip must be had recourse to, and
perhaps with some severity; for, if he is once suffered to taste the
blood of the sheep, it may be difficult to restrain him afterwards. A
nobleman was told that it was possible to break his dogs of the habit of
attacking his sheep, by introducing a large and fearless ram among them;
one was accordingly procured and turned into the kennel. The men with
their whips and voices, and the ram with his horns, soon threw the whole
kennel into confusion. The hounds and the ram were left together.
Meeting a friend soon afterwards, "Come," said he, "to the kennel, and
see what rare sport the ram is making among the hounds." His friend
asked whether he was not afraid that some of them might be spoiled.
"No," said he; "they deserve it, and let them suffer." They proceeded to
the kennel; all was quiet. The kennel-door was thrown open, and the
remains of the ram were found scattered about: the hounds, having filled
their bellies, had retired to rest.

The time of entering young hounds must vary in different countries. In a
corn country, it should not be until the wheat is carried; in grass
countries, somewhat sooner; and, in woodlands, as soon as we please.
Frequent hallooing may be of use with young hounds; it makes them more
eager; but, generally speaking, there is a time when it may be of use, a
time when it does harm, and a time when it is perfectly indifferent.

The following remarks of Mr. Beckford are worthy of their author:

"Hounds at their first entering cannot be encouraged too much. When
they begin to know what is right, it will be soon enough to chastise
them for doing wrong, and, in such case, one rather severe beating
will save a great deal of trouble. The voice should be used as well as
the whip; and the smack of the whip will often be of as much avail as
the lash to him who has felt it."

Flogging hounds in the kennel, the frequent practice of too many
huntsmen, should be held in utter abhorrence, and, if carried to a
considerable excess, is a disgrace to humanity. Generally speaking, none
but the sportsman can form an adequate conception of the perfect
obedience of the hound both in the kennel and the field. At
feeding-time, each dog, although hungry enough, will go through the gate
in the precise order in which he is called by the feeder; and, in a
well-broken pack, to chop at, or to follow a hare, or to give tongue on
a false scent, or even to break cover alone, although the fox is in
view, are faults that are rarely witnessed.

Let not this obedience, however, be purchased by the infliction of a
degree of cruelty that disgraces both the master and the menial. A young
fox-hound may, possibly, mistake the scent of a hare for that of a fox,
and give tongue. In too many hunts he will be unmercifully flogged for
this, and some have almost died under the lash. Mercy is a word totally
unknown to a great proportion of whippers-in, and even to many who call
themselves gentlemen. There can be no occasion or excuse for barbarity:
a little trouble, and moderate punishment, and the example of his
fellows, will gradually teach the wildest hound his duty.

That the huntsman, and not the hound, may occasionally be in fault, the
following anecdote will furnish sufficient proof. In drawing a strong
cover, a young bitch gave tongue very freely, while none of the other
hounds challenged. The whipper-in railed to no purpose; the huntsman
insisted that she was wrong, and the whip was applied with great
severity. In doing this, the lash accidentally struck one of her eyes
out of its socket.

Notwithstanding the dreadful pain that must have ensued, she again took
up the scent, and proved herself right; for the fox had stolen away, and
she had broken cover after him, unheeded and alone. After much delay and
cold hunting, the pack hit off the same scent.

At some distance a farmer informed the sportsmen, that they were a long
way behind the fox, for he had seen a single hound, very bloody about
the head, running breast-high, so that there was but little chance of
their getting up with her. The pack, from her coming to a check, did at
last overtake her.

The same bitch once more hit off the scent, and the fox was killed,
after a long and severe run. The eye of the poor animal, that had hung
pendent through the chase, was then taken off with a pair of scissors.


During the beginning of autumn, the hounds should be daily exercised
when the weather will permit. They should often be called over in the
kennel to habituate them to their names, and walked out among the sheep
and deer, in order that they may he accustomed perfectly to disregard

A few stout hounds being added to the young ones, some young foxes may
occasionally be turned out. If they hunt improper game, they must be
sternly checked. Implicit obedience is required until they have been
sufficiently taught as to the game which they are to pursue. No
obstinate deviation from it must ever be pardoned. The hounds should be,
as much as possible, taken out into the country which they are
afterwards to hunt, and some young foxes are probably turned out for
them to pursue. At length they are suffered to hunt their game in
thorough earnest, and to taste of its blood.

After this they are sent to more distant covers, and more old hounds are
added, and so they continue until they are taken into the pack, which
usually happens in September. The young hounds continue to be added, two
or three couple at a time, until all have hunted. They are then divided
into two packs, to be taken out alternate days. Properly speaking, the
sport cannot be said to begin until October, but the two preceding
months are important and busy ones. [18]

"It would appear, then," says Nimrod, "that the breeding of a pack of
fox-hounds, bordering on perfection, is a task of no ordinary
difficulty. The best proof of it is to be found in the few sportsmen
that have succeeded in it. Not only is every good quality obtained if
possible, but every imperfection or fault is avoided. The highest
virtue in a fox-hound is his being true to the line his game has gone,
and a stout runner at the end of the chase. He must also be a patient
hunter when there is a cold scent and the pack is at fault."

While there is no country in the world that can produce a breed of
horses to equal the English thorough-bred in his present improved state,
there are no dogs like the English fox-hound for speed, scent, and
continuance. It would seem as if there were something in the climate
favourable and necessary to the perfection of the hound. Packs of them
have been sent to other countries, neighbouring and remote; but they
have usually become more or less valueless.

As regards the employment of the voice and the horn when out with
hounds, too much caution cannot be used. A hound should never be cheered
unless we are perfectly convinced that he is right, nor rated unless we
are sure that he is wrong. When we are not sure of what is going on we
should sit still and be silent. A few moments will possibly put us in
possession of all that we wish to know. [19]

The horn should only be used on particular occasions, and a huntsman
should speak by his horn as much as by his voice. Particular notes
should mean certain things, and the hounds and the field should
understand the language. We have heard some persons blowing the horn all
the day long, and the hounds have become so careless as to render it of
no use. When a hound first speaks in cover to a fox, you may, if you
think it necessary, use 'one single' and prolonged note to get the pack
together. The same note will do at any time to call up a lost or
loitering hound; but, when the fox breaks cover, then let your horn be
marked in its notes: let it sound as if you said through it, "Gone away!
gone away! gone away! away! away! away!" dwelling with full emphasis on
the last syllable. Every hound will fly from the cover the moment he
hears this, and the sportsmen and the field will know that the fox is

It is the perfection of the horse, and the perfection of the hound, and
the disregard of trifling expense, that has given to Englishmen a
partiality for field-sports, unequalled in any other country. Mr. Ware's
pack of fox-hounds cost 2000 guineas, and the late Lord Middleton gave
the same to Mr. Osbaldeston for ten couples of his hounds.


It is time, however, to speak of the kennel, whether we regard the
sporting architecture of Mr.G. Tattersall, or the scientific inquiries
of Mr. Vyner, or a sketch of the noble buildings at Goodwood.

The lodging-rooms should be ceiled, but not plastered, with ventilators
above and a large airy window on either side. The floors should be laid
with flags or paved with bricks. Cement may be used instead of mortar,
and the kennels will then be found wholesome and dry. The doorways of
the lodging-houses will generally be four feet and a half wide, in the
clear. The posts are rounded, to prevent the hounds from being injured
when they rush out. The benches may be made of cast-iron or wood; those
composed of iron being most durable, but the hounds are more frequently
lamed in getting to them. The wooden benches must be bound with iron, or
the hounds will gnaw or destroy them. A question has arisen, whether the
benches should be placed round the kennel, or be in the centre of it,
allowing a free passage by the side. There is least danger of the latter
being affected by the damp. The walls should be wainscoted to the height
of three feet at least. This will tend very considerably to their

The floors of all the courts should be arranged in nearly the same way;
the partition walls being closed at the bottom, but with some iron work
above. The doorways should also be so contrived, that the huntsman may
be able to enter whenever he pleases. The boiling-house should be at as
great a distance from the hunting-kennel as can be managed, continuing
to give warmth to the infirmary for distempered puppies, and at the same
time being out of the way of the other courts.

Mr. Vyner gives an interesting account of the young hounds' kennel:

"This building," he says, "should be as far from the other
lodging-rooms as the arrangements of the structure will allow. There
is also an additional court, or grass-yard, an indispensable requisite
in the puppies' kennel. The size must be regulated according to the
waste land at the end of the building; but the longer it is, the
better. At the farther end of the grass-court is a hospital for such
young hounds as are distempered, so contrived as to be remote from the
other kennels, and, at the same time, within an easy distance of the
boiling-house, whence it is apparently approached by an outside door,
through which the feeder can constantly pass to attend to the sick
hounds without disturbing the healthy lots. Although this lodging room
is warmed by the chimney of the boiling-house, it must be well
ventilated by two windows, to which shutters must be attached;
ventilation and good air being quite as necessary to the cure of
distemper as warmth."


We now proceed to a most important and ill-understood subject--the
nature and treatment of 'kennel lameness'. It is a subject that nearly
concerns the sportsman, and on which there are several and the most
contrary opinions.

This is a kind of lameness connected with, or attributable to, the
kennel. According to the early opinion of Mr. Asheton Smith, who is a
good authority, it was referable to some peculiarity in the breed or
management of the hounds; but, agreeably to a later opinion, it is
dependent on situation and subsoil, and may be aggravated or increased
by circumstances over which we have no control. Some kennels are in low
and damp situations, yet the hounds are free from all complaint: and
others, with the stanchest dogs and under the best management, are
continually sinking under kennel lameness.

Mr. R. T. Vyner was one of the first who scientifically treated on this
point, and taught us that 'clay is not by any means an objectionable
soil to build a kennel upon', although so many pseudo-sportsmen are
frightened by the very name of it.

He enters at once into his subject.

"I am thoroughly convinced," says he, "from my own experience, and, I
may add, my own suffering, that the disease of kennel lameness arises
only from one cause, and that is an injudicious and unfortunate
selection of the spot for building. The kennel is generally built on a
sand-bed, or on a sandstone rock, while the healthiest grounds in
England are on a stiff clay, and they are the healthiest because they
are the least porous. Although this may be contrary to the opinion and
prejudice of the majority of sportsmen, it is a fact that cannot be

"Through a light and friable soil, such as sand and sandstone, a
vapour, more or less dense, is continually exhaling and causing a
perpetual damp, which produces that fearful rheumatism which goes by
the name of kennel lameness, while the kennels that are built on a
clay soil, a soil of an impervious nature, are invariably healthy.

"I could," he adds, "enumerate twenty kennels to prove the effect--the
invariable effect--of the existence of the disease on the one part,
and of the healthiness of the situation on the other. I turn
particularly to her Majesty's kennel at Ascot, the arches of which
were laid under the very foundation strain, and yet little at no
amendment has ever taken place in the healthiness and comfort of the
dogs. It is necessary to select a sound and healthy situation when
about to erect a kennel, and that sound and healthy situation can be
met with alone on a strong impervious clay soil. We must have no fluid
oozing through the walls or the floor of the kennel, and producing
damp and unhealthy vapours, such as we find in the sandbed."

With regard to this there can be no error.

Nimrod, in his excellent treatise on 'Kennel Lameness', asks, whether it
does not appear that this disease is on the increase. He asks,

"How is it that neither Beckford nor Somerville says one word that
clearly applies to the disease; and no one, however learned he might
be in canine pathology, has been able clearly to define the disease,
much less to discover a remedy for it?"

All that Mr. Blaine says on the matter amounts only to this:

"The healthiness of the situation on which any kennel is to be built,
is an important consideration. It is essential that it should be both
dry and airy, and it should also be warm. A damp kennel produces
rheumatism in dogs, which shows itself sometimes by weakness in the
loins, but more frequently by lameness in the shoulders, known under
the name of kennel lameness."

Mr. Blaine illustrates this by reference to his own experience.

"There is no disease, with the exception of distemper and mange, to
which dogs are so liable as to a rheumatic affection of some part of
the body. It presents almost as many varieties in the dog as it does
in man; and it has some peculiarities observable in the dog only.
Rheumatism never exists in a dog without affecting the bowels. There
will be inflammation or painful torpor through the whole of the
intestinal canal. It is only in some peculiar districts that this
occurs; it pervades certain kennels only; and but until lately there
has been little or almost no explanation of the cause of the evil."

Nimrod took a most important view of the matter, and to him the sporting
world is much indebted.

"How is it," he asks, "that, in our younger days, we never heard of
kennel lameness, or, indeed, of hounds being lame at all, unless from
accident, or becoming shaken and infirm from not having been composed
of that iron-bound material which the labours of a greyhound or a
hound require? How is it, that, in our younger days, masters of hounds
began the season with 50 or 60 couples, and, bating the casualties,
left off at the end of it equally strong in their kennels, and able,
perhaps, to make a valuable draft; whereas we now hear of one-half of
the dogs in certain localities being disabled by disease, and some
masters of hounds compelled to be stopped in their work until their
kennels are replenished."

Washing hounds when they come home after work must be injurious to them,
although it has almost become the fashion of modern times. If they are
not washed at all, and we believe it to be unnecessary, yet the kennels
in which lameness has appeared should be strictly avoided. It should be
on the day following and not in the evening of a hunting-day that
washing should take place.

Mr. Hodgson told Nimrod, that the Quorn Pack never had a case of kennel
lameness until his late huntsman took to washing his hounds after
hunting, and then he often had four or five couples ill from this cause.
He deprecated even their access to water in the evening after hunting,
and we believe that he was quite right in so doing.

The tongue of the dog, with the aid of clean straw, is his best and
safest instrument in cleansing his person; and, if he can be brought to
his kennel with tolerably clean feet, as Mr. Foljambe enables him to be
brought, he will never be long before he is comfortable in his bed,
after his belly is filled.

There is another mode, as a preventive of kennel lameness, which we have
the best authority for saying deserves particular attention, and that
is, the frequently turning hounds off their benches during the day, even
if it were to the extent of every two hours throughout the entire day.
We do not mean to deny the existence of a disease, which, being produced
in the kennel, is properly termed kennel lameness. Some kennels are, no
doubt, more unhealthy and prone to engender rheumatic affections than
others; but, by proper management, and avoiding as much as possible all
exciting causes, their effects may, at least, be very much lessened, if
not entirely obviated.


Lord Fitzhardinge's opinion of the situation of the kennel and the
management of the hounds, as given in the 'New Sporting Magazine', is
somewhat different from that which has been just given. The following is
the substance of it: [21]

He states that the kennel should be built on a dry and warm situation.
Of this there can be no doubt: the comfort and almost the existence of
the dog depend upon it. To this he adds that it must not be placed on a
gravelly or porous soil, over which vapours more or less dense are
frequently or continually travelling, and thus causing a destructive
exhalation over the whole of the building. There must be no fluid oozing
through the walls or the floor of the kennel, and producing damp and
unhealthy vapours. When we have not a deep supersoil of clay, one or two
layers of bricks or of stone may line the floor, and then, not even the
most subtile vapour can penetrate through the floor. A clean bed of
straw should be allowed every second day, or oftener when the weather is
wet. The lodging-houses should be ceiled, and there should be shutters
to the windows. A thatched roof is preferable to tiles, being warmer in
winter and cooler in summer.

Stoves in the kennels are not necessary: probably they are best avoided;
for, if dogs are accustomed to any considerable degree of artificial
heat, they are more easily chilled by a long exposure to cold. Their
teeth and the setting-up of their backs will confirm this.

Hounds, when they feel cold, naturally seek each other for warmth, and
they may be seen lying upon the straw and licking each other; and that
is by far the most wholesome way of procuring comfort and warmth.

On returning from hunting, their feet should be washed with some warm
fluid, and especially the eyes should be examined, and their food got
ready for them as soon as possible. The feeding in the morning should be
an hour, or an hour and a half, before they start for the field.

It is truly observed by the noble writer to whom we have referred, that
there is no part of an establishment of this kind that merits more
attention than the boiling and feeding house. The hounds cannot perform
their work well unless judiciously fed. Each hound requires particular
and constitutional care. No more than five of them should be let in to
feed together, and often not more than one or two. The feeder should
have each hound under his immediate observation, or they may get too
much or too little of the food.

Some hounds cannot run if they carry much flesh; others are all the
better for having plenty about them. The boilers should be of iron, two
in number,--one for meal and the smaller one for flesh. The large boiler
should render it necessary to be used not more than once in four days or
a week. The food should be stirred for two hours, then transferred to
flat coolers, until sufficiently gelatinous to be cut with a kind of
spade. By the admixture of some portion of soups it may be brought to
any thickness requisite. The flesh to be mixed with it should be cut
very small, that the greedy hounds may not be able to obtain more than
their share. Four bushels and a half of genuine old oatmeal should be
boiled with a hundred gallons of water. The flesh should he boiled every
second or third day. Too great a proportion of soup would render the
mixture of a heating nature.

Mr. Delme Radcliffe very truly observes that the feeding of hounds, as
regards their condition, is one of the most essential proofs of a
huntsman's skill in the management of the kennel. To preserve that even
state of condition throughout the pack which is so desirable, he must be
well acquainted with the appetite of every hound; for some will feed
with a voracity scarcely credible, and others will require every kind of
enticement to induce them to feed.

Mr. Meynell found that the use of dry unboiled oatmeal succeeded better
than any other thing he had tried with delicate hounds. When once
induced to take it, they would eat it greedily, and it seemed to be far
more heartening than most kinds of aliment. Other hounds of delicate
constitution might be tempted with a little additional flesh, and with
the thickest and best of the trough, but they required to be watched,
and often to be coaxed to eat.

The dog possesses the power of struggling against want of food for an
almost incredible period. One of these animals, six years old, was
missing three-and-twenty days; at length some children wandering in a
distant wood thought that they frequently heard the baying of a dog. The
master was told of it, and at the bottom of an old quarry, sixty feet
deep, and the mouth of which he had almost closed by his vain attempts
to escape, the voice of the poor fellow was recognised. With much
difficulty he was extricated, and found in a state of emaciation; his
body cold as ice and his thirst inextinguishable, and he scarcely able
to move. They gave him at intervals small portions of bread soaked in
milk and water. Two days afterwards he was able to follow his master a
short distance.

This occurrence is mentioned by M. Pinguin as a proof that neither
hunger nor thirst could produce rabies. Messrs. Majendie and F. Cousins
have carried their observations to the extent of forty days--a
disgraceful period. [22]


Sixty-five couple of hounds in full work will consume the carcases of
three horses in one week, or five in a fortnight. The annual consumption
of meal will be somewhat more than two tons per month.

In feeding, the light eaters should be let in first, and a little extra
flesh distributed on the surface of the food, in order to coax those
that are most shy. Some hounds cannot be kept to their work unless fed
two or three times a day; while others must not be allowed more than six
or seven laps, or they would get too much.

In summer an extra cow or two will be of advantage in the dairy; for the
milk, after it has been skimmed, may be used instead of flesh. There
must always be a little flesh in hand for the sick, for bitches with
their whelps, and for the entry of young hounds.[23] About Christmas is
the time to arrange the breeding establishment. The number of puppies
produced is usually from five to eight or nine; but, in one strange
case, eighteen of them made their appearance. The constitution and other
appearances in the dam, will decide the number to be preserved. When the
whelps are sufficiently grown to run about, they should be placed in a
warm situation, with plenty of fresh grass, and a sufficient quantity of
clean, but not too stimulating, food. They should then be marked
according to their respective letters, that they may be always
recognised. When the time comes, the ears of the dog should be rounded;
the size of the ear and of the head guiding the rounding-iron.

This being passed, the master of the pack takes care that his treatment
shall be joyous and playful; encouragement is always with him the word.
The dog should be taught the nature of the fault before he is corrected:
no animal is more grateful for kindness than a hound; the peculiarities
of his temper will soon be learned, and when he begins to love his
master, he will mind, from his natural and acquired affection, a word or
a frown from him more than the blows of all the whips that were ever put
into the hands of the keepers.

The distemper having passed, and the young hounds being in good health,
they should be walked out every day, and taught to follow the horse,
with a keeper who is selected as a kind and quiet person, and will bear
their occasionally entangling themselves in their couples. They are then
taken to the public roads, and there exercised, and checked from riot,
but with as little severity as possible; a frequent and free use of the
whip never being allowed. No animals take their character from their
master so much as the hounds do from theirs. If he is wild, or noisy, or
nervous, so will his hounds be; if he is steady and quick, the pack will
be the same. The whip should never be applied but for some immediate and
decided fault. A rate given at an improper time does more harm than
good: it disgusts the honest hound, it shies and prevents from hunting
the timid one, and it is treated with contempt by those of another
character who may at some future time deserve it. It formerly was the
custom, and still is too much so, when a hound 'has hung on a hare', to
catch him when he comes up, and flog him. The consequence of this is,
that he takes good care the next time he indulges in a fault not to come
out of cover at all.

We will conclude this part of our subject by a short account of the
splendid kennel at Goodwood, for which we are indebted to Lord W.
Lennox, with the kind permission of the Duke of Richmond. It is
described as one of the most complete establishments of the kind in
England. The original establishment of this building, although a little
faulty, possesses considerable interest from its errors being corrected
by the third Duke of Richmond, a man who is acknowledged to have been
one of the most popular public characters of the day, and who in more
private life extended his patronage to all that was truly honourable. It
was to the Duke's support of native talent that we may trace the origin
of the present Royal Academy. In 1758, the Duke of Richmond displayed,
at his residence in Whitehall, a large collection of original plaster
casts, taken from the finest statues and busts of the ancient sculptors.
Every artist was freely admitted to this exhibition and, for the further
encouragement of talent, he bestowed two medals annually on such as had
exhibited the best models.

We have thus digressed in order to give a slight sketch of the nobleman
by whom this kennel was built, and we do not think that we can do better
than lay before our readers the original account of it.

Early in life the Duke built what was not then common, a tennis-court,
and what was more uncommon, a dog-kennel, which cost him above L6000.
The Duke was his own architect, assisted by, and under the guidance of,
Mr. Wyatt; he dug his own flints, burnt his own lime, and conducted the
wood-work in his own shops. The result of his labours was the noble
building of which a plan is here given.

The dog-kennel is a grand object when viewed from Goodwood. The front is
handsome, the ground well raised about it, and the general effect good;
the open court in the centre adds materially to the noble appearance of
the building.

The entrance to the kennel is delineated in the centre with a flight of
stairs leading above. The huntsman's rooms, four in number first present
themselves, and are marked in the plan before us by the letter C; each
of them is fifteen feet four inches, by fourteen feet six inches.

At each end of the side towards the court is one of the feeding-rooms,
twenty-nine feet by fourteen feet four inches, and nobly constructed
rooms they are; they are designated by the letters B. At the back of the
feeding-rooms, are one set of the lodging-rooms, from thirty-five feet
six inches, to fourteen feet four inches, and marked by the letters A,
and at either extremity is another lodging-room, thirty-two feet six
inches in length, and fourteen feet six inches in width: this is also
marked by the letter A.

Coming into the court we find the store-room twenty-four feet by
fourteen and a half, marked by the letter D, and the stable, of the same
dimensions, by the letter E.

At the top of the buildings are openings for the admission of cold air,
and stoves to warm the air when too cold. There are plentiful supplies
of water from tanks holding 10,000 gallons; so that there is no
inconvenience from the smell, and the whole can at any time be drained,
and not be rendered altogether useless.

Round the whole building is a pavement five feet wide; airy yards and
places for breeding, &c., making part of each wing. For the huntsman and
whipper-in there are sleeping-rooms, and a neat parlour or kitchen.

Soon after the kennel was erected, it would contain two packs
of hounds.


The largest of the English hounds that has been lately used, is devoted,
as his name implies, to the chase of the deer. He is taller than the
fox-hound, and with far more delicate scent, but he is not so speedy. He
answers better than any other to the description given of the old
English hound, so much valued when the country, less enclosed, and the
forests, numerous and extensive, were the harbours of the wild deer. The
deer-hound and the harrier were for many centuries the only
hunting-dogs. The fox-hound has been much more recently bred.

The most tyrannic and cruel laws were enforced for the preservation of
this species of game, and the life of the deer, except when sacrificed
in the chase, and by those who were privileged to join in it, was
guarded with even more strictness than the life of the human being.
When, however, the country became more generally cultivated, and the
stag was confined to enclosed parks, and was seldom sought in his lair,
but brought into the field, and turned out before the dogs, so much
interest was taken from the affair, that this species of hunting grew
out of fashion, and was confined to the neighbourhood of the scattered
forests that remained, and enjoyed only by royalty and a few noblemen,
of whose establishment a kennel of deer-hounds had, from time
immemorial, formed a part.

Since the death of George III, who was much attached to this sport,
stag-hunting has rapidly declined, and the principal pleasure seems now
to consist in the concourse of people brought together to an appointed
place and hour, to witness the turning out of the deer. There is still
maintained a royal establishment for the continuance of this noble
sport, but, unless better supported than it has of late years been, it
will gradually decline.

The stag-hounds are now a part of the regular Crown establishment. The
royal kennel is situated upon Ascot Heath, about six miles from Windsor.

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