The Dog by William Youatt

Produced by Clytie Siddall, Joshua Hutchinson and Distributed Proofreaders THE DOG, BY WILLIAM YOUATT. WITH ILLUSTRATIONS EDITED, WITH ADDITIONS, BY E. J. LEWIS, M.D. Member of the Academy of Natural Science of Philadelphia; of the Philadelphia Medical Society; of the Parisian Medical Society, &c. &c. 1852. Entered, according to the Act of Congress, in the
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  • 1845
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Produced by Clytie Siddall, Joshua Hutchinson and Distributed Proofreaders

[Illustration: THE SOUTHERN HOUND.]




[Illustration: HEAD OF BLOODHOUND]



Member of the Academy of Natural Science of Philadelphia; of the Philadelphia Medical Society; of the Parisian Medical Society, &c. &c.


Entered, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1846, by


in the clerk’s office of the District Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

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The Editor, having been called upon by the American publishers of the present volume to see it through the press, and add such matter as he deemed likely to increase its value to the sportsman and the lover of dogs in this country, the more readily consented to undertake the task, as he had previously, during the intervals of leisure left by professional avocations, paid much attention to the diseases, breeding, rearing, and peculiarities of the canine race, with a view to the preparation of a volume on the subject.

His design, however, being in a great measure superseded by the enlarged and valuable treatise of Mr. Youatt, whose name is a full guarantee as to the value of whatever he may give to the world, he found that not much remained to be added. Such points, however, as he thought might be improved, and such matter as appeared necessary to adapt the volume more especially to the wants of this country, he has introduced in the course of its pages. These additions, amounting to about sixty pages, will be found between brackets, with the initial of the Editor appended. He trusts they will not detract from the interest of the volume, while he hopes that its usefulness may be thereby somewhat increased.

With this explanation of his connexion with the work, he leaves it in the hope that it may prove of value to the sportsman from its immediate relation to his stirring pursuits; to the general reader, from the large amount of curious information collected in its pages, which is almost inaccessible in any other form; and to the medical student, from the light it sheds on the pathology and diseases of the dog, by which he will be surprised to learn how many ills that animal shares in common with the human race.

The editor will be satisfied with his agency in the publication of this volume, if it should be productive of a more extended love for this brave, devoted, and sagacious animal, and be the means of improving his lot of faithful servitude. It is with these views that the editor has occasionally turned from more immediate engagements to investigate his character, and seek the means of ameliorating his condition.

PHILADELPHIA, October, 1846.

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I. The Early History and Zoological Classification of the Dog

II. The Varieties of the Dog.–First Division

III. The Varieties of the Dog.–Second Division

IV. The Varieties of the Dog.–Third Division

V. The Good Qualities of the Dog;
the Sense of Smell;
Moral Qualities;

VI. Description of the Skeleton.
Diseases of the Nervous System: Fits; Turnside;
Rheumatism and Palsy

VII. Rabies

VIII. The Eye and its Diseases

IX. The Ear and its Diseases

X. Anatomy of the Nose and Mouth;
and Diseases of the Nose and other parts of the Face. The Sense of Smell;
the Tongue;
the Lips;
the Teeth;
the Larynx;
Phlegmonous Tumour

XI. Anatomy and Diseases of the Chest: the Diaphragm;
the Pericardium;
the Heart;
Spasmodic Cough

XII. Anatomy of the Gullet,
Stomach, and Intestines:
Calculus in the Intestines;
the Liver;
the Spleen and Pancreas;
Inflammation of the Kidney;
Inflammation of the Bladder;
Rupture of the Bladder;
Fistula in the Anus

XIII. Bleeding;
and some Diseases Connected with the Organs of Generation

XIV. The Distemper

XV. Small-pox;
Fungus Haemotodes;
Sore Feet

XVI. Fractures

XVII. Medicines used in the Treatment of the Diseases of the Dog

Appendix. New Laws of Coursing


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The Dog, next to the human being, ranks highest in the scale of intelligence, and was evidently designed to be the companion and the friend of man. We exact the services of other animals, and, the task being performed, we dismiss them to their accustomed food and rest; but several of the varieties of the dog follow us to our home; they are connected with many of our pleasures and wants, and guard our sleeping hours.

The first animal of the domestication of which we have any account, was the sheep. “Abel was a keeper of sheep.” [1] It is difficult to believe that any long time would pass before the dog–who now, in every country of the world, is the companion of the shepherd, and the director or guardian of the sheep–would be enlisted in the service of man.

From the earliest known history he was the protector of the habitation of the human being. At the feet of the ‘lares’, those household deities who were supposed to protect the abodes of men, the figure of a barking dog was often placed. In every age, and almost in every part of the globe, he has played a principal part in the labours, the dangers, and the pleasures of the chase.

In process of time, man began to surround himself with many servants from among the lower animals, but among them all he had only one friend–the dog; one animal only whose service was voluntary, and who was susceptible of disinterested affection and gratitude. In every country, and in every time, there has existed between man and the dog a connection different from that which is observed between him and any other animal. The ox and the sheep submit to our control, but their affections are principally, if not solely, confined to themselves. They submit to us, but they can rarely be said to love, or even to recognise us, except as connected with the supply of their wants.

The horse will share some of our pleasures. He enjoys the chase as much as does his rider; and, when contending for victory on the course, he feels the full influence of emulation. Remembering the pleasure he has experienced with his master, or the daily supply of food from the hand of the groom, he often exhibits evident tokens of recognition; but that is founded on a selfish principle–he neighs that he may be fed, and his affections are easily transferred.

The dog is the only animal that is capable of disinterested affection. He is the only one that regards the human being as his companion, and follows him as his friend; the only one that seems to possess a natural desire to be useful to him, or from a spontaneous impulse attaches himself to man. We take the bridle from the mouth of the horse, and turn him free into the pasture, and he testifies his joy in his partially recovered liberty. We exact from the dog the service that is required of him, and he still follows us. He solicits to be continued as our companion and our friend. Many an expressive action tells us how much he is pleased and thankful. He shares in our abundance, and he is content with the scantiest and most humble fare. He loves us while living, and has been known to pine away on the grave of his master.

[It is stated that the favourite lap-dog of Mary, Queen of Scots, that accompanied her to the scaffold, continued to caress the body after the head was cut off, and refused to relinquish his post till forcibly withdrawn, and afterwards died with grief in the course of a day or two.

The following account is also an authentic instance of the inconsolable grief displayed by a small cur-dog at the death of his master:–A poor tailor in the parish of St. Olave, having died, was attended to the grave by his dog, who had expressed every token of sorrow from the instant of his master’s death, and seemed unwilling to quit the corpse even for a moment. After the funeral had dispersed, the faithful animal took his station upon the grave, and was with great difficulty driven by the sexton from the church ground; on the following day he was again observed lying on the grave of his master, and was a second time expelled from the premises. Notwithstanding the harsh treatment received on several succeeding days by the hands of the sexton, this little creature would persist in occupying this position, and overcame every difficulty to gain access to the spot where all he held most dear was deposited. The minister of the parish, learning the circumstances of the case, ordered the dog to be carried to his house, where he was confined and fed for several days, in hopes of weaning him by kind treatment to forget his sorrow occasioned by the loss of his master. But all his benevolent efforts were of no utility, as the dog availed himself of the first opportunity to escape, and immediately repaired to his chosen spot over the grave.

This worthy clergyman now allowed him to follow the bent of his own inclinations; and, as a recompense for true friendship and unfeigned sorrow, had a house built for him over this hallowed spot, and daily supplied him with food and water for the space of two years, during which time he never wandered from his post, but, as a faithful guardian, kept his lonely watch day and night, till death at last put an end to his sufferings, and laid him by the side of his long-expected master.–L.]

As an animal of draught the dog is highly useful in some countries. What would become of the inhabitants of the northern regions, if the dog were not harnessed to the sledge, and the Laplander, and the Greenlander, and the Kamtschatkan drawn, and not unfrequently at the rate of nearly a hundred miles a day, over the snowy wastes? In Newfoundland, the timber, one of the most important articles of commerce, is drawn to the water-side by the docile but ill-used dog; and we need only to cross the British Channel in order to see how useful, and, generally speaking, how happy a beast of draught the dog can be.

[Large mongrel dogs are very extensively used on the Continent in pulling small vehicles adapted to various purposes. In fact, most of the carts and wagons that enter Paris, or are employed in the city, have one of these animals attached to them by a short strap hanging from the axle-tree. This arrangement answers the double purpose of keeping off all intruders in the temporary absence of the master, and, by pushing himself forward in his collar, materially assists the horse in propelling a heavy load up-hill, or of carrying one speedily over a plain surface. It is quite astonishing to see how well broken to this work these dogs are, and at the same time to witness with what vigour and perseverance they labour in pushing before them, in that way, enormous weights.–L.]

Though, in our country, and to its great disgrace, this employment of the dog has been accompanied by such wanton and shameful cruelty, that the Legislature–somewhat hastily confounding the abuse of a thing with its legitimate purpose–forbade the appearance of the dog-cart in the metropolitan districts, and were inclined to extend this prohibition through the whole kingdom, it is much to be desired that a kindlier and better feeling may gradually prevail, and that this animal, humanely treated, may return to the discharge of the services of which nature has rendered him capable, and which prove the greatest source of happiness to him while discharging them to the best of his power.

In another and very important particular,–as the preserver of human life,–the history of the dog will be most interesting. The writer of this work has seen a Newfoundland dog who, on five distinct occasions, preserved the life of a human being; and it is said of the noble quadruped whose remains constitute one of the most interesting specimens in the museum of Berne, that forty persons were rescued by him from impending destruction.

When this friend and servant of man dies, he does not or may not cease to be useful; for in many countries, and to a far greater extent than is generally imagined, his skin is useful for gloves, or leggings, or mats, or hammercloths; and, while even the Romans occasionally fattened him for the table, and esteemed his flesh a dainty, many thousands of people in Asia, Africa, and America, now breed him expressly for food.

If the publication of the present work should throw some additional light on the good qualities of this noble animal; if it should enable us to derive more advantage from the services that he can render–to train him more expeditiously and fully for the discharge of those services–to protect him from the abuses to which he is exposed, and to mitigate or remove some of the diseases which his connection with man has entailed upon him; if any of these purposes be accomplished, we shall derive considerable “useful knowledge” as well as pleasure from the perusal of the present volume.

Some controversy has arisen with regard to the origin of the dog. Professor Thomas Bell, to whom we are indebted for a truly valuable history of the British quadrupeds, traces him to the wolf. He says, and it is perfectly true, that the osteology of the wolf does not differ materially from that of the dog more than that of the different kinds of dogs differs; that the cranium is similar, and they agree in nearly all the other essential points; that the dog and wolf will readily breed with each other, and that their progeny, thus obtained, will again mingle with the dog. [The relative length of the intestines is a strong distinctive mark both as to the habits and species of animals; those of a purely carnivorous nature are much shorter than others who resort entirely to an herbaceous diet, or combine the two modes of sustenance according to circumstances. The dog and wolf have the intestines of the same length. (See Sir Everard Home on Comparative Anatomy.)–L.] There is one circumstance, however, which seems to mark a decided difference between the two animals; the eye of the dog of every country and species has a circular pupil, but the position or form of the pupil is oblique in the wolf. Professor Bell gives an ingenious but not admissible reason for this. He attributes the forward direction of the eyes in the dog to the constant habit, “for many successive generations, of looking towards their master, and obeying his voice:” but no habit of this kind could by possibility produce any such effect. It should also be remembered that, in every part of the globe in which the wolf is found this form of the pupil, and a peculiar setting on of the curve of the tail, and a singularity in the voice, cannot fail of being observed; to which may be added, that the dog exists in every latitude and in every climate, while the habitation of the wolf is confined to certain parts of the globe.

There is also a marked difference in the temper and habits of the two. The dog is, generally speaking, easily manageable, but nothing will, in the majority of cases, render the wolf moderately tractable. There are, however, exceptions to this. The author remembers a bitch wolf at the Zoological Gardens that would always come to the front bars of her den to be caressed as soon as any one that she knew approached. She had puppies while there, and she brought her little ones in her mouth to be noticed by the spectators; so eager, indeed, was she that they should share with her in the notice of her friends, that she killed them all in succession against the bars of her den as she brought them forcibly forward to be fondled.

M.F. Cuvier gives an account of a young wolf who followed his master everywhere, and showed a degree of affection and submission scarcely inferior to the domesticated dog. His master being unavoidably absent, he was sent to the menagerie, where he pined for his loss, and would scarcely take any food for a considerable time. At length, however, he attached himself to his keepers, and appeared to have forgotten his former associate. At the expiration of eighteen months his master returned, and, the moment his voice was heard, the wolf recognised him, and lavished on his old friend the most affectionate caresses. A second separation followed, which lasted three years, and again the long-remembered voice was recognised, and replied to with impatient cries; after which, rushing on his master, he licked his face with every mark of joy, menacing his keepers, towards whom he had just before been exhibiting fondness. A third separation occurred, and he became gloomy and melancholy. He suffered the caresses of none but his keepers, and towards them he often manifested the original ferocity of his species.

These stories, however, go only a little way to prove that the dog and the wolf have one common origin. [There are some naturalists that even go so far as to state that the different varieties of dogs are sprung from, or compounded of, various animals, as the hyaena, jackal, wolf, and fox. The philosophic John Hunter commenced a series of experiments upon this interesting subject, and was forced to acknowledge that “the dog may be the wolf tamed, and the jackal may probably be the dog returned to his wild state.”

The ancient Cynegetical writers were not only acquainted with the cross between the wolf and dog, but also boasted the possession of breeds of animals, supposed to have been derived from a connection with the lion and tiger. The Hyrcanian dog, although savage and powerful beast, was rendered much more formidable in battle, or in conflict with other animals, by his fabled cross with the tiger. In corroboration of this singular, but not less fabulous belief, Pliny states that the inhabitants of India take pleasure in having dog bitches lined by the wild tigers, and to facilitate this union, they are in the habit of tieing them when in heat out in the woods, so that the male tigers may visit them. (See L. 8, c. xl.)

There is, however, but little doubt that the wolf and dog are varieties of the same family, as they can he bred together, and their offspring continuing the cross thus formed, will produce a race quite distinct from the original. French writers do not hesitate at all upon this point, but even assert that it is very difficult to take a she-wolf with male dogs during the period of oestrum, parceque la veulent saillir et covrir comme une chienne.

Baudrillart, in the “dictionaire des chasses,” further remarks that the mongrels produced by this connection are very viciously disposed and inclined to bite.

The period of utero-gestation, and the particular mode of copulation in the wolf, is the same as that of the canine family, which two circumstances are certainly very strong presumptive evidences of the similarity of the species. The dogs used by our northern Indians resemble very much, in their general appearance, the wolves of that region, and do not seem very far removed from that race of animals, notwithstanding they have been in a state of captivity, or domestication, beyond the traditionary chronicles of this rude people.

Another strong circumstance in favour of the common origin of these two quadrupeds, is the existence in our own country of the Canis Latrans, or prairie wolf, who whines and barks in a manner so similar to the smaller varieties of dogs, that it is almost impossible to distinguish his notes from those of the terrier.

Major Long remarks that “this animal which does not seem to be known to naturalists, unless it should prove to be the Mexicanus, is most probably the original of the domestic dog, so common in the villages of the Indians of this region, some of the varieties of which still remain much of the habit and manners of this species.” (Vol. i, page 174.)

If further proof be necessary to establish the identity of the dog and wolf, the circumstances related by Captain Parry in his first voyage of discovery, ought to be sufficient to convince every mind that the wolf, even in its wild state, will seek to form an alliance or connection with one of our domestic dogs.

“About this time it had been remarked that a white setter dog, belonging to Mr. Beverly, had left the Griper for several nights past at the same time, and had regularly returned after some hours absence. As the daylight increased we had frequent opportunities of seeing him in company with a she-wolf, with whom he kept up an almost daily intercourse for several weeks, till at length he returned no more to the ships; having either lost his way by rambling to too great a distance, or what is more likely, perhaps, been destroyed by the male wolves. Some time after a large dog of mine, which was also getting into the habit of occasionally remaining absent for some time, returned on board a good deal lacerated and covered with blood, having, no doubt, maintained a severe encounter with a male wolf, whom we traced to a considerable distance by the tracks on the snow. An old dog, of the Newfoundland breed, that we had on board the Hecla, was also in the habit of remaining out with the wolves for a day or two together, and we frequently watched them keeping company on the most friendly terms.”
(Page 136, 1st voyage.)

[In volume 1st, page 111, of the Menageries, it is stated that Mr. Wombwell exhibited in October, 1828, two animals from a cross between the wolf and the domestic dog, which had been bred in that country. They were confined in the same den with a female setter, and were likely again to multiply the species. Mr. Daniel remarks that Mr. Brook, famous for his menagerie, turned a wolf to a Pomeranian bitch at heat; the congress was immediate, and, as usual between the dog and bitch, ten puppies were the produce. These animals strongly resembled their sire both in appearance and disposition, and one of them being let loose at a deer, instantly caught at the animal’s throat and killed it. (See Daniel’s Rural Sports, vol. i, page 14.)–L.]

It may appear singular that in both the Old Testament and the New the dog was spoken of almost with abhorrence. He ranked among the unclean beasts. The traffic in him and the price of him were considered as an abomination, and were forbidden to be offered in the sanctuary in the discharge of any vow. [2]

One grand object in the institution of the Jewish ritual was to preserve the Israelites from the idolatry which at that time prevailed among every other people. Dogs were held in considerable veneration by the Egyptians, from whose tyranny the Israelites had just escaped. Figures of them appeared on the friezes of most of the temples, [3] and they were regarded as emblems of the Divine Being. Herodotus, speaking of the sanctity in which some animals were held by the Egyptians, says that the people of every family in which a dog died, shaved themselves–their expression of mourning–and he adds, that “this was a custom existing in his own time.” [4]

The cause of this attachment to and veneration for the dog is, however, explained in a far more probable and pleasing way than many of the fables of ancient mythology. The prosperity of Lower Egypt, and almost the very subsistence of its inhabitants, depended on the annual overflowing of the Nile; and they looked for it with the utmost anxiety. Its approach was announced by the appearance of a certain star–SIRIUS. As soon as that star was seen above the horizon, they hastened to remove their flocks to the higher ground, and abandoned the lower pastures to the fertilizing influence of the stream. They hailed it as their guard and protector; and, associating with its apparent watchfulness the well-known fidelity of the dog, they called it the “dog-star,” and they worshipped it. It was in far later periods and in other countries that the appearance of the dog-star was regarded as the signal of insufferable heat or prevalent disease.

One of the Egyptian deities–Anubis–is described as having the form and body of a man, but with a dog’s head. These were types of sagacity and fidelity.

[“Who knows not that infatuate Egypt finds Gods to adore in brutes of basest kinds? This at the crocodile’s resentment quakes, While that adores the ibis, gorged with snakes! And where the radiant beam of morning rings On shattered Memnon’s still harmonious strings; And Thebes to ruin all her gates resigns, Of huge baboon the golden image shines! To _mongrel curs_ infatuate cities bow, And cats and fishes share the frequent vow!”

Juvenal, ‘Sat. xv’.–Badham’s Trans.–L.]

In Ethiopia, not only was great veneration paid to the dog, but the inhabitants used to elect a dog as their king. He was kept in great state, and surrounded by a numerous train of officers and guards. When he fawned upon them, he was supposed to be pleased with their proceedings: when he growled, he disapproved of the manner in which their government was conducted. These indications of his will were implicitly obeyed, or rather, perhaps, dictated.

[Among the many strange and wonderful things mentioned by Pliny as being discovered in Africa, is a people called Ptoembati or Ptremphanae, whose principal city is Aruspi, where they elect a dog for their king and obey him most religiously, being governed entirely by the different motions of his body, which they interpret according to certain signs. (See Pliny, lib. vi, c. xxx.)–L.]

Even a thousand years after this period the dog was highly esteemed in Egypt for its sagacity and other excellent qualities; for, when Pythagoras, after his return from Egypt, founded a new sect in Greece, and at Croton, in southern Italy, he taught, with the Egyptian philosophers, that, at the death of the body, the soul entered into that of different animals. He used, after the decease of any of his favourite disciples, to cause a dog to be held to the mouth of the dying man, in order to receive his departing spirit; saying, that there was no animal that could perpetuate his virtues better than that quadruped.

It was in order to present the Israelites from errors and follies like these, and to prevent the possibility of this species of idolatry being established, that the dog was afterward regarded with utter abhorrence among the Jews. [5] This feeling prevailed during the continuance of the Israelites in Palestine. Even in the New Testament the Apostle warns those to whom he wrote to “beware of dogs and evil-workers;” [6] and it is said in The Revelations that “without are dogs and sorcerers,” &c. [7] Dogs were, however, employed even by the Jews. Job says, “Now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock.” [8] Dogs were employed either to guide the sheep or to protect them from wild beasts; and some prowled about the streets at night, contending with each other for the offal that was thrown away.

To a certain degree this dislike of the dog continues to the present day; for, with few exceptions, the dog is seldom the chosen companion of the Jew, or even the inmate of his house. Nor was it originally confined to Palestine. Wherever a knowledge of the Jewish religion spread, or any of its traditions were believed, there arose an abhorrence of the dog. The Mohammedans have always regarded him as an unclean animal, that should never be cherished in any human habitation–belonging to no particular owner, but protecting the street [9] and the district rather than the house of a master.

The Hindoos regard him likewise as unclean, and submit to various purifications if they accidentally come in contact with him, believing that every dog was animated by a wicked and malignant spirit, condemned to do penance in that form for crimes committed in a previous state of existence. If by chance a dog passed between a teacher and his pupil during the period of instruction, it was supposed that the best lesson would be completely poisoned, and it was deemed prudent to suspend the tuition for at least a day and a night. Even in Egypt, dogs are now as much avoided as they were venerated. In every Mohammedan and Hindoo country, the most scurrilous epithet bestowed on a European or a Christian is–“a dog!” [10]

This accounts for the singular fact that in the whole of the Jewish history there is not a single allusion to hunting with dogs. Mention is made of nets and snares, but the dog seems to have been never used in the pursuit of game.

In the early periods of the history of other countries this seems to have been the case even where the dog was esteemed and valued, and had become the companion, the friend, and the defender of man and his home. So late as the second century of the Christian era, the fair hunting of the present day needed the eloquent defence of Arrian, who says that “there is as much difference between a fair trial of speed in a good run, and ensnaring a poor animal without an effort, as between the secret piratical assaults of robbers at sea, and the victorious naval engagements of the Athenians at Artemisium and at Salamis.” [11] The first hint of the employment of the dog in the pursuit of other animals is given by Oppian in his Cynegeticus, who attributes it to Pollux, about 200 years after the promulgation of the Levitical law.

Of the precise species of dog that prevailed or was cultivated in Greece at this early period, little can with certainty be affirmed. One beautiful piece of sculpture has been preserved, and is now in the possession of Lord Feversham at Duncombe Hall. It is said to represent the favourite dog of Alcibiades, and to have been the production of Myson, one of the most skillful artists of ancient times. It differs but little from the Newfoundland dog of the present day. He is represented as sitting on his haunches, and earnestly looking at his master. Any one would vouch for the sagacity and fidelity of that animal.

The British Museum contains a group of greyhound puppies of more recent date, from the ruins of the villa of Antoninus, near Rome. One is fondling the other; and the attitude of both, and the characteristic puppy-clumsiness of their limbs, which indicate, nevertheless, the beautiful proportions that will soon be developed, are an admirable specimen of ancient art.

[Illustration of ancient sculpture of greyhounds]

The Greeks, in the earlier periods of their history, depended too much on their nets; and it was not until later times that they pursued their prey with dogs, and then not with dogs that ran by sight, or succeeded by their swiftness of foot, but by beagles very little superior to those of modern days [12]. Of the stronger and more ferocious dogs there is, however, occasional mention. The bull-dog of modern date does not excel the one (possibly of nearly the same race) that was presented to Alexander the Great, and that boldly seized a ferocious lion, or another that would not quit his hold, although one leg and then another was cut off.

It would be difficult and foreign to the object of this work fully to trace the early history of the dog. Both in Greece and in Rome he was highly estimated. Alexander built a city in honour of a dog; and the Emperor Hadrian decreed the most solemn rites of sepulture to another on account of his sagacity and fidelity.

The translator of Arrian imagines that the use of the ‘pugnaces’ (fighting) and the ‘sagaces’ (intelligent)–the more ferocious dogs, and those who artfully circumvented and caught their prey–was known in the earlier periods of Greek and Roman history, but that the ‘celeres’, the dogs of speed, the greyhounds of every kind, were peculiar to the British islands, or to the western and northern continents of Europe, the interior and the produce of which were in those days unknown to the Greeks and Romans. By most authors who have inquired into the origin of these varieties of the dog, the ‘sagaces’ have been generally assigned to Greece–the ‘pugnaces’ to Asia–and the ‘celeres’ to the Celtic nations.

[The vertragi, ‘canes celeres’, or dogs that hunted by sight alone, were not known to the ancients previous to the time of the younger Xenophon, who then describes them as novelties just introduced into Greece:

“But the swift-footed Celtic hounds are called in the Celtic tongue [Greek: oueztragoi]; not deriving their name from any particular nation, like the Cretan, Carian, or Spartan dogs, but, as some of the Cretans are named [Greek: diaponoi] from working hard, [Greek: itamai] from their keenness, and mongrels from their being compounded of both, so these Celts are named from their swiftness. In figure, the most high-bred are a prodigy of beauty; their eyes, their hair, their colour, and bodily shape throughout. Such brilliancy of gloss is there about the spottiness of the parti-coloured, and in those of uniform colour, such glistening over the sameness of tint, as to afford a most delightful spectacle to an amateur of coursing.”

It is probable these dogs were carried, about this time, into the southern parts of Europe by the various tribes of Celts who over-ran the continent, and also occupied Ireland, Britain, and the other western islands, and ultimately took possession of Gaul.–L.]

Of the aboriginal country of the latter there can be little doubt; but the accounts that are given of the English mastiff at the invasion of Britain by the Romans, and the early history of the English hound, which was once peculiar to this country, and at the present day degenerates in every other, would go far to prove that these breeds also are indigenous to our island.

Oppian thus describes the hunting dog as he finds him in Britain:

“There is, besides, an excellent kind of scenting dogs, though small, yet worthy of estimation. They are fed by the fierce nation of painted Britons, who call them ‘agasoei’. In size they resemble worthless greedy house-dogs that gape under tables. They are crooked, lean, coarse-haired, and heavy-eyed, but armed with powerful claws and deadly teeth. The ‘agasoeus’ is of good nose and most excellent in following scent [13].”

Among the savage dogs of ancient times were the Hyrcanian, said, on account of their extreme ferocity, to have been crossed with the tiger [14],–the Locrian, chiefly employed in hunting the boar,–the Pannonian, used in war as well as in the chase, and by whom the first charge on the enemy was always made,–and the Molossian, of Epirus, likewise trained to war as well as to the honours of the amphitheatre and the dangers of the chase. This last breed had one redeeming quality–an inviolable attachment to their owners. This attachment was reciprocal; for it is said that the Molossi used to weep over their faithful quadruped companions slain in war.

[Of all the dogs of the ancients, those bred on the continent of Epirus were the most esteemed, and more particularly those from a southern district called Molossia, from which they received their name.

These animals are described as being of enormous size, great courage and powerful make, and were considered worthy not only to encounter the wolf, bear, and boar, but often overcame the panther, tiger, and lion, both in the chase and amphitheatre. They also, being trained to war, proved themselves most useful auxiliaries to this martial people.

The learned translator of Arrian states that

“the fabled origin of this breed is consistent with its high repute; for, on the authority of Nicander, we are told by Julius Pollux, that the Epirote was descended from the brazen dog which Vulcan wrought for Jupiter, and animated with all the functions of canine life.”

These were not the only dogs fashioned by the skilful hands of the Olympic artist, as we find Alcinous, king of the Phaeacians, possessing golden dogs also wrought at the celestial forge.

Pliny states that a dog of enormous magnitude was sent as a present by the king of Albania to Alexander the Great when on his march to India; and “that this monarch being delighted at the sight of so huge and fair a dog, let loose unto him first bears, then wild boars, and lastly fallow deer, all of which animals he took no notice of, but remained perfectly unconcerned. This great warrior being a man of high spirit and wonderful courage, was greatly displeased at the apparent cowardice and want of energy in so powerful an animal, and ordered him to be slain. This news was speedily carried to the king of Albania, who thereupon sent unto him a second dog, stating that he should not make trial of his courage with such insignificant animals, but rather with a lion or elephant, and if he destroyed this one also, he need not expect to obtain any other of this breed, as these two were all he possessed.

Tanta: suis petiere ultra fera semina sylvis, Dat Venus accessus, et blando foedere jungit. Tunc et mansuetis tuto ferus erat adulter In stabulis, ultroque gravis succedere tigrim Ausa canis, majore tulit de sanguine foetum.

‘Gratii Falisci Cyneget.,’ liv. 1. v. 160.

Alexander being much surprised, made immediate preparations for a trial, and soon saw the lion prostrate, with his back broken, and his body torn in pieces by the noble dog. Then he ordered an elephant to be produced; and in no fight did he take more pleasure than in this. For the dog, with his long, rough, shaggy hair, that covered his whole body, rushed with open mouth, barking terribly, and thundering, as it were, upon the elephant. Soon after he leaps and flies upon him, advancing and retreating, now on one side, now on the other, maintaining an ingenious combat; at one time assailing him with all vigour, at another shunning him. So actively did he continue this artificial warfare, causing the huge beast to turn around so frequently on every side to avoid his attacks, that he ultimately came down with a crash that “made the earth tremble with his fall”. Book viii. chap. 40.

The Molossian dogs were at a later period much esteemed by the Romans as watch dogs, not only of their dwellings, but also to guard their flocks against the incursions of wild animals. Horace, in the following lines, passes a just tribute to the worth of this animal, when referring to his watchfulness, and the ardour with which he pursues those wild animals, even ‘per altas nives,’ that threaten the flocks entrusted to his care.

“Quid immerentes, hospites vexas canis, Ignarus adversum lupos?
Quin huc inanes, si potes, vertis minas, Et me remorsurum petis?
Nam, qualis aut Molossus, aut fulvus Lacon, Amica vis pastoribus,
Agam per altas aure sublata nives, Quaecunpue praecedet fera.”

‘Epode’ vi.–L.]

AElian relates that one of them, and his owner, so much distinguished themselves at the battle of Marathon, that the effigy of the dog was placed on the same tablet with that of his master.

Soon after Britain was discovered, the ‘pugnaces’ of Epirus were pitted against those of our island, and, according to the testimony of Gratius, completely beaten. A variety of this class, but as large and as ferocious, was employed to guard the sheep and cattle, or to watch at the door of the house, or to follow the owner on any excursion of business or of pleasure. Gratius says of these dogs, that they have no pretensions to the deceitful commendation of form; but, at the time of need, when courage is required of them, most excellent mastiffs are not to be preferred to them.

The account of the British ‘pugnaces’ of former times, and also of the ‘sagaces’ and ‘celeres’, will be best given when treating of their present state and comparative value. In describing the different breeds of dogs, some anecdotes will be related of their sagacity and fidelity; a few previous remarks, however, may be admissible.

A young man lost his life by falling from one of the precipices of the Helvellyn mountains. Three months afterwards his remains were discovered at the bottom of a ravine, and his faithful dog, almost a skeleton, still guarding them. Sir Walter Scott beautifully describes the scene:

Dark-green was the spot, ‘mid the brown mountain heather, Where the pilgrim of nature lay stretched in decay; Like the corpse of an outcast, abandoned to weather, Till the mountain winds wasted the tenantless clay; Nor yet quite deserted, though lonely extended, For, faithful in death, his mute favourite attended, The much loved remains of her master defended, And chased the hill-fox and the raven away. How long didst thou think that his silence was slumber? When the wind waved his garments, how oft didst thou start? How many long days and long weeks didst thou number Ere he faded before thee, the friend of thy heart?

Burchell, in his Travels in Africa, places the connexion between man and the dog, and the good qualities of this animal, in an interesting point of view. A pack of dogs of various descriptions formed a necessary part of his caravan, occasionally to provide him with food, but oftener to defend him from wild beasts or robbers.

“While almost every other quadruped fears man as his most formidable enemy,” says this interesting traveller, “there is one who regards him as his companion, and follows him as his friend. We must not mistake the nature of the case. It is not because we train him to our use, and have made choice of him in preference to other animals, but because this particular species of animal feels a natural desire to be useful to man, and, from spontaneous impulse, attaches himself to him. Were it not so, we should see in various countries an equal familiarity with other quadrupeds, according to their habits, and the taste or caprices of different nations; but, everywhere, it is the dog only that takes delight in associating with us, and in sharing our abode. It is he who knows us personally, watches over us, and warns us of danger. It is impossible for the naturalist not to feel a conviction that this friendship between creatures so different from each other must be the result of the laws of nature; nor can the humane and feeling mind avoid the belief that kindness to those animals, from which he derives continued and essential assistance, is part of the moral duty of man.

“Often in the silence of the night, when all my people have been fast asleep around the fire, have I stood to contemplate these faithful animals watching by their side, and have learned to esteem them for their social inclination towards mankind. When, wandering over pathless deserts, oppressed with vexation and distress at the conduct of my own men, I have turned to these as my only friends, and felt how much inferior to them was man when actuated only by selfish views.”

Of the stanchness and incorruptible fidelity of the dog, and his disregard of personal inconvenience and want, when employed in our service, it is impossible to entertain a doubt. We have sometimes thought that the attachment of the dog to its master was increased, or, at least, the exhibition of it, by the penury of the owner. At all events one fact is plain enough, that, while poverty drives away from us many a companion of our happier hours, it was never known to diminish the love of our quadruped friend.

The early history of the dog has been described, and the abomination in which he was held by the Israelites. At no great distance of time, however, we find him, almost in the neighbourhood of Palestine, in one of the islands of the Ionian Sea, the companion and the friend of princes, and deserving their regard. The reader will forgive a somewhat abbreviated account of the last meeting of Ulysses and his dog.

Twenty years had passed since Argus, the favourite dog of Ulysses, had been parted from his master. The monarch at length wended his way homewards, and, disguised as a beggar, for his life would have been sacrificed had he been known, stood at the entrance of his palace-door. There he met with an old dependant, who had formerly served him with fidelity and who was yet faithful to his memory; but age and hardship and care, and the disguise which he now wore, had so altered the wanderer that the good Eumaeus had not the most distant suspicion with whom he was conversing; but:

Near to the gates, conferring as they drew, Argus the dog his ancient master knew,
And, not unconscious of the voice and tread Lifts to the sound his ears, and rears his head. He knew the lord, he knew, and strove to meet; In vain he strove to crawl and kiss his feet; Yet, all he could, his tail, his ears, his eyes Salute his master, and confess his joys. [15]

[Lord Byron, who had much experience and acquaintance with the canine family, was rather sceptical as regards the memory of this animal, having been, on one occasion, entirely forgotten by a favourite dog from whom he was separated some considerable time, and in fact was most savagely assailed by him, when on his return he attempted to caress him as he was wont to do in former times.

This unkind reception at Newstead Abbey, on the part of his pampered pet, may have given rise to the poet’s feelings as embodied in the following misanthropic lines:–

“And now I’m in the world alone,
Upon the wide, wide sea:
But why should I for others groan, When none will sigh for me?
Perchance my dog will whine in vain, Till fed by stranger hands;
But long ere I come back again,
He’d tear me where he stands.”–L.]

In Daniel’s Rural Sports, the account of a nobleman and his dog is given. The nobleman had been absent two years on foreign service. On his return this faithful creature was the first to recognise him, as he came through the court-yard, and he flew to welcome his old master and friend. He sprung upon him; his agitation and his joy knew not any bounds; and at length, in the fulness of his transport, he fell at his master’s feet and expired.

[An interesting circumstance, strongly exhibiting canine fidelity and attachment in a large mastiff, came under the Editor’s own eye during his childhood, and which, from its striking character, deserves to be recorded on the page of history as another testimony to the high moral worth of these useful animals.

A gentleman of Baltimore, with his family, lived during a portion of the year a short distance in the country, and was in the habit of returning to the city late in the fall to pass the winter. On his estate there was a fine young mastiff, who though extremely cross to strangers, exhibited at all times a great degree of tenderness and affection for the younger branches of the family;–more particularly for the younger son, his most constant companion, and who would often steal secretly away to share his daily meal with this affectionate participator in his childish sports: or, when fatigued with romping together, would retire to the well-kept kennel, and recruit his limbs in a refreshing sleep, while reclining upon the body of the faithful dog. If the little truant should now be missed by those having him in charge, the most natural question to ask was, “Where is Rolla?” knowing full well that wherever this honest brute was, there might his young master be found also. On such occasions, however, this trusty guardian would refuse all solicitations to abandon his post, and express great dissatisfaction at any attempt to arouse or carry off his young charge, whom he continued to watch over till he awoke, refreshed from his slumber and eager again to resume their frolics.

The period of returning to the city at last arrived, and the dog exhibited marked signs of uneasiness, while the bustling preparations for this end were going on, as if conscious of the separation that was about to take place between his young master and himself, as also the other children, who had been his constant companions for so many joyful months.

Everything being completed, the childish group bid an affectionate adieu to the downcast Rolla, whom they left standing on the hill-top, watching the carriage as it disappeared in the wood. A few days after their departure, and when this poor animal was forgotten in the new scenes around them, a communication was received from the overseer of the farm, in which he stated that the favourite dog appeared much grieved since the family had left for the city, and was fearful that he might die if he continued in the same condition. Little attention, however, was given to these remarks, all imagining that the dog’s melancholy was only the result of temporary distress, owing to his secluded life, so different from that which he had led when surrounded by the various members of a large family. Little did any one suppose that this poor neglected brute was suffering the acutest pangs of mental distress, even sufficient to produce death.

Two weeks had now elapsed since the separation from Rolla, when another message came from the overseer, stating that the dog would surely die with grief, if not removed to the city, as he had refused all sustenance for several days, and did nothing but wander about from place to place, formerly frequented by the children, howling and moaning in the most piteous manner.

Orders were now given, much to the children’s delight, for the conveyance of the favourite to the city; but, alas! this arrangement came too late, as the poor creature sank from exhaustion, while in the wagon on his way to join those beloved companions whose short absence had broken his heart and grieved him even unto death.–L.]

We will not further pursue this part of our subject at present. We shall have other opportunities of speaking of the disinterested and devoted affection which this noble animal is capable of displaying when he occupies his proper situation, and discharges those offices for which nature designed him. It may, however, be added that this power of tracing back the dog to the very earliest periods of history, and the fact that he then seemed to be as sagacious, as faithful, and as valuable as at the present day, strongly favour the opinion that he descended from no inferior and comparatively worthless animal,–that he was not the progeny of the wolf, the jackal, or the fox, but he was originally created, somewhat as we now find him, the associate and the friend of man.

If, within the first thousand years after the Deluge, we observe that divine honours were paid to him, we can scarcely be brought to believe his wolfish genealogy. The must savage animals are capable of affection for those to whom they have been accustomed, and by whom they have been well treated, and therefore we give full credit to several accounts of this sort related of the wolf, the lion, and even the cat and the reptile: but in no other animal–in no other, even in the genus ‘Canis’–do we find the qualities of the domestic dog, or the slightest approach to them.

“To his master he flies with alacrity,” says the eloquent Buffon, “and submissively lays at his feet all his courage, strength, and talent. A glance of the eye is sufficient; for he understands the smallest indications of his will. He has all the ardour of friendship, and fidelity and constancy in his affections, which man can have. Neither interest nor desire of revenge can corrupt him, and he has no fear but that of displeasing. He is all zeal and obedience. He speedily forgets ill-usage, or only recollects it to make returning attachment the stronger. He licks the hand which causes him pain, and subdues his anger by submission. The training of the dog seems to have been the first art invented by man, and the fruit of that art was the conquest and peaceable possession of the earth.”

“Man,” says Burns, “is the God of the dog; he knows no other; and see how he worships him. With what reverence he crouches at his feet–with what reverence he looks up to him–with what delight he fawns upon him, and with what cheerful alacrity he obeys him!”

If any of the lower animals bear about them the impress of the Divine hand, it is found in the dog: many others are plainly and decidedly more or less connected with the welfare of the human being; but this connexion and its effects are limited to a few points, or often to one alone. The dog, different, yet the same, in every region, seems to be formed expressly to administer to our comforts and to our pleasure. He displays a versatility, and yet a perfect unity of power and character, which mark him as our destined servant, and, still more, as our companion and friend. Other animals may be brought to a certain degree of familiarity, and may display much affection and gratitude. There was scarcely an animal in the menagerie of the Zoological Society that did not acknowledge the superintendent as his friend; but it was only a casual intercourse, and might be dissolved by a word or look. At the hour of feeding, the brute principle reigned supreme, and the companion of other hours would be sacrificed if he dared to interfere; but the connexion between man and the dog, no lapse of time, no change of circumstances, no infliction of evil can dissolve. We must, therefore, look far beyond the wolf for the prototype of the dog.

Cuvier eloquently states that the dog exhibits the most complete and the most useful conquest that man has made. Each individual is entirely devoted to his master, adopts his manners, distinguishes and defends his property, and remains attached to him even unto death; and all this springing not from mere necessity, or from constrain, but simply from gratitude and true friendship. The swiftness, the strength, and the highly developed power of smelling of the dog, have made him a powerful ally of man against the other animals; and, perhaps, these qualities in the dog were necessary to the establishment of society. It is the only animal that has followed the human being all over the earth.

There is occasionally a friendship existing between dogs resembling that which is found in the human being. The author pledges himself as to the accuracy of the following little anecdote. Two dogs, the property of a gentleman at Shrewsbury, had been companions for many years, until one of them died of old age. The survivor immediately began to manifest an extraordinary degree of restless anxiety, searching for his old associate in all his former haunts, and refusing every kind of food. He gradually wasted away, and, at the expiration of the tenth day, he died, the victim of an attachment that would have done honour to man.

The Dog, belongs to the division of animals termed VERTEBRATED, (see ‘The Horse’, 2d edition, page 106), because it has a cranium or skull, and a spine or range of VERTEBRAE proceeding from it. It ranks under the ‘class’ MAMMALIA, because it has teats, by which the female suckles her young; the ‘tribe’ UNGUICULATA, because its extremities are armed with nails; the ‘order’ DIGITIGRADES, because it walks principally on its toes. The ‘genus’ CANIS has two tubercular teeth behind the large carnivorous tooth in upper jaw; and the ‘sub-genus familiaris’, the DOG, has the pupils of the eye circular, while those of the wolf are oblique, and those of the fox upright and long.

There has been some dispute whether the various species of dogs are of different origin, or sprung from one common source. When we consider the change that climate and breeding effect in the same species of dog, and contrast the rough Irish or Highland greyhound with the smoother one of the southern parts of Britain, or the more delicate one of Greece, or the diminutive but beautifully formed one of Italy, or the hairless one of Africa or Brazil–or the small Blenheim spaniel with the magnificent Newfoundland; if also we observe many of them varied by accident, and that accidental variety diligently cultivated into a new species, altogether different in form or use, we shall find no difficulty in believing that they might be derived from one common origin.

One of the most striking proofs of the influence of climate on the form and character of this animal, occurs in the bull-dog. When transported to India he becomes, in a few years, greatly altered in form, loses all his former courage and ferocity, and becomes a perfect coward.

It is probable that all dogs sprang from one common source, but climate, food, and cross-breeding caused variations of form, which suggested particular uses; and these being either designedly or accidentally perpetuated, the various breeds of dogs thus arose, and they have become numerous in proportion to the progress of civilization. Among the ruder, or savage tribes, they possess but one form; but the ingenuity of man has devised many inventions to increase his comforts: he has varied and multiplied the characters and kinds of domestic animals for the same purpose, and hence the various breeds of horses, and cattle, and dogs.

The parent stock it is now impossible to trace; but the wild dog, wherever found on the continent of Asia, or Northern Europe, has nearly the same character, and bears no inconsiderable resemblance to the British fox-dog, while many of those from the Southern Ocean can scarcely be distinguished from the English lurcher. There is, however, no more difficulty in this respect with regard to the dog, than any other of our domesticated animals. Climate, or chance, produced a change in certain individuals, and the sagacity of man, or, perhaps, mere chance, founded on these accidental varieties numerous breeds possessed of certain distinct characteristic properties. The degeneracy of the dog, also, in different countries, cannot for a moment be disputed.

The most natural arrangement of all the varieties of the dog is according to the development of the frontal sinus and the cerebral cavity, or, in other words, the power of scent, and the degree of intelligence. This classification originated with M.F. Cuvier, and has been adopted by most naturalists. He reckoned three divisions of the dog:

I. Those having the head more or less elongated, and the parietal bones of the skull widest at the base, and gradually approaching towards each other as they ascend, the condyls of the lower jaw being on the same line with the upper molar teeth. The _Greyhound_ and all its varieties belong to this class.

II. The head moderately elongated, and the parietals diverging from each other for a certain space as they rise upon the side of the head, enlarging the cerebral cavity and the frontal sinus. To this class belong our most valuable dogs,–the _Spaniel_, _Setter_, _Pointer_, _Hound_, and the _Sheep-dog_.

III. The muzzle more or less shortened, the frontal sinus enlarged, and the cranium elevated, and diminished in capacity. To this class belong some of the _Terriers_, and a great many dogs that might very well be spared.

This division of the different species of the dog is adopted here as being the most simple, intelligible, and satisfactory.

[Footnote 1: Gen. iv. 2.]

[Footnote 2: Deut. xxiii. 18.]

[Footnote 3: In some of Belzoni’s beautiful sketches of the frieze-work of the old Egyptian temples, the dog appears, with his long ears and broad muzzle, not unlike the old Talbot hound.]

[Footnote 4: Herodotus, lib. ii. c. 66.]

[Footnote 5: No dog was suffered to come within the precincts of the Temple at Jerusalem. [Greek: Ex_o kunes] was a prevalent expression among the Jews. Byrant’s ‘Mythology’, vol. ii. p. 42.]

[Footnote 6: Phil. iii. 2.]

[Footnote 7: Rev. xxii. 15.]

[Footnote 8: Job xxx. 1. See also Isaiah lvi, 10, 11.]

[Footnote 9: Psalm lix. 6.]

[Footnote 10: Carpenter’s ‘Scripture Natural History’, p.109. It is a remarkable fact that from this faithful animal, the companion of man, and the guardian of his person and property, should originate as many terms of reproach as “dog,” “cur,” “hound,” “puppy,” “dog-cheap,” “a dog’s trick,” “dog sick,” “dog-weary,” “to lead the life of a dog,” “to use like a dog.” All this probably originated in the East, where the dog was held in abhorrence as the common scavenger of the streets.]

[Footnote 11: Arrian’s ‘Cynegeticus’, cap 26.]

[Footnote 12: ”New Sporting Magazine, vol. xiv. p. 97.]

[Footnote 13: Oppian’s ‘Cynegeticus’, lib. i. v. 468-480.]

[Footnote 14:

[“At contra faciles, magnique Lycaones armis. Sed non Hyrcanae satis est vehementia genti.”]]

[Footnote 15: Pope’s ‘Odyssey’, xvii.]

* * * * *




The head more or less elongated, the parietal bones widest at the base and gradually approaching to each other as they ascend, and the condyls of the lover jaw being on the same line with the upper molar teeth.

To this division belong the greater number of the


The wild dog, as existing in considerable numbers or communities, seems to be nearly extirpated in the southern parts of Europe; but there are several cases on record, of dogs having assumed native independence. A black greyhound bitch, belonging to a gentleman in Scarisbrick, in Lancashire, though she had apparently been well broken in, and always well used, ran away from the habitation of her master, and betook herself to the woods. She killed a great number of hares and made free with the sheep, and became an intolerable nuisance to the neighbourhood. She was occasionally seen, and the depredations that were committed were brought home to her. Many were the attempts made to entrap or destroy her, but in vain: for more than six months she eluded the vigilance of her pursuers. At length she was observed to creep into a hole in an old barn. She was caught as she came out, and the barn being searched three whelps were found, which, very foolishly, were destroyed.

The bitch evinced the utmost ferocity, and, although well secured, attempted to seize every one who approached her. She was, however, dragged home and treated with kindness. By degrees her ferocity abated. In the course of two months, she became perfectly reconciled to her original abode, and, a twelve-month afterwards (1822), she ran successfully several courses. There was still a degree of wildness in her appearance; but, although at perfect liberty, she seemed to be altogether reconciled to a domestic life.

In 1784 a dog was left by a smuggling vessel on the coast of Northumberland. He soon began to worry the sheep for his subsistence, and did so much mischief that he caused very considerable alarm. He was frequently pursued by hounds and greyhounds; but when the dogs came up he lay upon his back as if supplicating for mercy, and in that position they would never hurt him. He therefore lay quietly until the hunters approached, when he made off without being followed by the hounds until they were again excited to the pursuit. He one day led them 30 miles in this way. It was more than three months before he was caught and was then shot [1].

A dog with every character of the wild one has occasionally been seen in some of the forests of Germany, and among the Pyrenean mountains; but he has rarely been found gregarious there. In the country on the eastern side of the Gulf of Venice wild dogs are more frequent. They increase in the Austrian and Turkish dominions, and are found on almost every part of the coast of the Black Sea, but even there they rarely gather in flocks: they do not howl in concert, as the wolf; nor are they the precursors of other and larger beasts, like the jackal. Most of these dogs have the muzzle and head elongated, the ears erect, triangular, and small, the body and neck large and muscular, and the tail short, but with a brush of crisped hair. In many parts of Arabia the wild dog–or ‘dakhun’–is occasionally found. In Persia, they are most decidedly congregated together, and still more so in almost every part of India [2].

Mr. Hodgson has favoured the Zoological Society with an account of


the ‘buansu’, and, finding it more or less prevailing through the whole of Northern India, and even southward of the coast of Coromandel, he thought that he had discovered the primitive race of the dog. This is a point that can never be decided.

“These dogs hunt their prey by night, as well as by day, in packs of from six to ten individuals, maintaining the chase more by the scent than by the eye, and generally succeeding by dint of strength and perseverance. While hunting, they bark like the hound, yet the bark is peculiar, and equally unlike that of the cultivated breeds of dogs, and the cries of the jackal and the fox.”

Bishop Heber gives the following account of them.

“They are larger and stronger than a fox, which in the circumstances of form and fur they much resemble. They hunt, however, in packs, give tongue like dogs, and possess an exquisite scent. They make of course tremendous havoc among the game in these hills; but that mischief they are said amply to repay by destroying wild beasts, and even tigers.” [3]

Wild dogs are susceptible of certain social combinations. In Egypt, Constantinople, and throughout the whole of the East, there are in every village troops of wandering dogs who belong to no particular person. Each troop has its own quarter of the place; and if any wander into a quarter which does not belong to him, its inhabitants unite together and chase him out. At the Cape of Good Hope there are many dogs half-starved. On going from home the natives induce two or more of these animals to accompany them, warn them of the approach of any ferocious animal, and if any of the jackals approach the walls during the night, they utter the most piercing cries, and at this signal every dog sallies out, and, uniting together, put the jackals to speedy flight. [4]

The wild Nepal dogs caught when at an adult age make no approach towards domestification; but a young one, which Mr. Hodgson obtained when it was not more than a month old, became sensible to caresses, and manifested as much intelligence as any sporting dog of the same age. [5]

Captain T. Williamson gives an interesting account of the ferocious character of some of these wild dogs.

“They have considerable resemblance to the jackal in form. They are remarkably savage, and frequently will approach none but their ‘doonahs’ or keepers, not allowing their own masters to come near them. Some of them are very fleet; but they are not to be depended upon in coursing; for they are apt suddenly to give up the chase when it is a severe one, and, indeed, they will too often prefer a sheep or a goat to a hare. In hog-hunting they are more valuable. It seems to suit their temper, and they appear to enjoy the snapping and the snarling, incident to that species of sports.”

He says that many persons affect to treat the idea of degeneration in quadrupeds with ridicule; but all who have been any considerable time resident in India must be satisfied that dogs of European breed become, after every successive generation, more and more similar to the pariah, or indigenous dog of that country. The hounds are the most rapid in their decline, and, except in the form of their ears, they are very much like many of the village curs. Greyhounds and pointers also rapidly decline, although with occasional exceptions. Spaniels and terriers deteriorate less, and spaniels of eight or nine generations, and without a cross from Europe, are not only as good as, but far more beautiful than, their ancestors. The climate is too severe for mastiffs, and they do not possess sufficient stamina; but, crossed by the East Indian greyhound, they are invaluable in hunting the hog [6].

Colonel Sykes, at one of the meetings of the Zoological Society, produced a specimen of


or Deccan, a part of India far to the south of Nepal, and gave the following description of this supposed primitive dog:

“Its head is compressed and elongated, but its muzzle not very sharp. The eyes are oblique, the pupils round, and the ‘irides’ light-brown. The expression of the countenance is that of a coarse ill-natured Persian greyhound, without any resemblance to the jackal, the fox, or the wolf. The ears are long, erect, and somewhat rounded at the top. The limbs remarkably large and strong in relation to the bulk of the animal. The size is intermediate between the wolf and the jackal. The neck long, the body elongated, and the entire dog of a red-brown colour. None of the domesticated dogs of Dakhun are common in Europe, but those of Dakhun and Nepal are very similar in all their characters. There is also a dog in Dakhun with hair so short as to make him appear naked. It is called the ‘polugar’ dog.”


possesses a similar conformation; and the fact is, that the East Indian wild dog is essentially the same in every part of that immense extent of country. There is no more reason, however, for concluding that it was the primitive dog, than for conferring on the Indian cattle the same honour among the ruminants. The truth of the matter is that we have no guide what was the original breed in any country. The lapse of 4000 years would effect strange alterations in the breeds. The common name of this dog, in the track lying between South Bahar and the Mahratta frontier towards Maghore, is


the ‘Chryseus Scylex’ of Hamilton Smith.

Captain Williamson, in his Oriental Field Sports, gives the following account of the Dholes:

“They are to be found chiefly, or only, in the country from Midnapore to Chamu, and even there are not often to be met with. They are of the size of a small greyhound. Their countenance is enlivened by unusually brilliant eyes. Their body, which is slender and deep-chested, is thinly covered by a coat of hair of a reddish-brown or bay colour. The tail is dark towards its extremity. The limbs are light, compact, and strong, and equally calculated for speed and power. They resemble many of the common pariah dogs in form, but the singularity of their colour and marks at once demonstrates an evident distinction.

“These dogs are said to be perfectly harmless if unmolested. They do not willingly approach persons; but, if they chance to meet any in their course, they do not show any particular anxiety to escape. They view the human race rather objects of curiosity, than either of apprehension or enmity. The natives who reside near the Ranochitty and Katcunsandy passes, in which vicinity the ‘dholes’ may frequently be seen, describe them as confining their attacks entirely to wild animals, and assert that they will not prey on sheep, goats, &c.; but others, in the country extending southward from Jelinah and Mechungunge, maintain that cattle are frequently lost by their depredations. I am inclined to believe that the ‘dhole’ is not particularly ceremonious, but will, when opportunity offers, and a meal is wanting, obtain it at the expense of the neighbouring village.

“The peasants likewise state that the ‘dhole’ is eager in proportion to the size and powers of the animal he hunts, preferring the elk to every other kind of deer, and particularly seeking the royal tiger. It is probable that the ‘dhole’ is the principal check on the multiplication of the tiger; and, although incapable individually, or perhaps in small numbers, to effect the destruction of so large and ferocious an animal, may, from their custom of hunting in packs, easily overcome any smaller beast found in the wilds of India.

“They run mute, except that they sometimes utter a whimpering kind of note, similar to that sometimes expressed by dogs when approaching their prey. This may be expressive of their own gratification, or anxiety, or may serve as a guide to other ‘dholes’ to join in the chase. The speed of the ‘dhole’ is so strongly marked in his form as to render it probable no animal in the catalogue of game could escape him for any distance. Many of the ‘dholes’ are destroyed in these contests; for the tiger, the elk, and the boar, and even many of the smaller classes of game are capable of making a most obstinate defence. Hence the breed of the ‘dholes’ is much circumscribed.”


Mr. Bennett, in his scientific and amusing description of the Zoological Gardens, gave the best account we have of this noble dog, and our portrait is a most faithful likeness of him. He is bred in the table-land of the Himalaya mountains bordering on Thibet. The Bhoteas, by whom many of them are carefully reared, come down to the low countries at certain seasons of the year to sell their borax and musk. The women remain at home, and they and the flocks are most sedulously guarded by these dogs. They are the defenders of almost every considerable mansion in Thibet. In an account of an embassy to the court of the Teshoo Llama in Thibet, the author says, that he had to pass by a row of wooden cages containing a number of large dogs, fierce, strong, and noisy. They were natives of Thibet, and, whether savage by nature or soured by confinement, they were so impetuously furious that it was unsafe even to approach their dens. Every writer who describes these dogs, speaks of their noble size, and their ferocity, and antipathy to strangers.

It is said, however, that the Thibet dog rapidly degenerates when removed from its native country, and certainly the specimens which have reached the Zoological Gardens exhibited nothing of ferocity. The one that was in that menagerie had a noble and commanding appearance; but he never attempted to do any injury.

The colour of the Thibet dog is of a deep black, slightly clouded on the sides, his feet alone and a spot over each eye being of a full tawny or bright brown hue. He has the broad short truncated muzzle of the mastiff, and the lips are still more deeply pendulous. There is also a singular general looseness of the skin on every part of him.


There are several varieties of this dog. There is a wild breed very numerous in the jungles and in some of the lower ranges of the Himalaya mountains. They usually hunt in packs, and it is not often that their prey escapes them. They generally are very thin, and of a reddish-brown colour, with sharp-pointed ears, deep chest, and tucked-up flanks. Many persons hunt with these dogs singly, and they are very useful. They bring the hog to bay, or indicate the course that he has taken, or distract his attention when the sportsman is at hand.

There is also in every inhabited part of the country the poor desolate pariah,–unowned by any one,–daring to enter into no house, but wandering about, and picking up a living in any way that he can. He is, however, of a superior race to the wild dog, and belongs to the second class of the dog, although mentioned here in order that we may altogether quit the dog of India. They are neglected by the Hindoos; but the Mohammedans of India, and other strangers, consider it an act of charity to throw out occasionally a morsel of food to them. They are most of them mongrels; but the benevolent Bishop Heber does them no more than justice when he says that he

“was forcibly struck at finding the same dog-like and amiable qualities in these neglected animals as in their more fortunate brethren in Europe.”

Colonel Sykes says of these outcasts that among the pariahs is frequently found the turnspit-dog. There is also a small petted variety of the pariah, usually of a white colour, and with long silky hair. This animal is taught to carry flambeaux and lanterns.

According to Captain Williamson, in some of the ditches of the Carnatic forts, alligators are purposely kept, and all the pariah dogs found in the forts are thrown into the ditches as provision for these monsters. Some persons who have kept tigers in cages have adopted the same means of supply for their royal captives, putting the poor pariah through an aperture made for the purpose in the cage; and they justify themselves by asserting that they thus get rid of a troublesome breed of curs, most of which are unappropriated, and which being numerous are very troublesome to passengers, often wantonly biting them, and raising a yelling noise at night, that sets all attempts to rest at defiance.

It did not always happen that the tiger killed the pariah put into his cage.

“I knew an instance,” says Captain Williamson, “of one that was destined for the tiger’s daily meal, standing on the defensive in a manner that completely astonished both the tiger and the spectator. He crept into a corner, and whenever the tiger approached seized him by the lip or the neck, making him roar most piteously. The tiger, however, impelled by hunger,–for all supply of food was purposely withheld,–would renew the attack. The result was ever the same. At length the tiger began to treat the dog with more deference, and not only allowed him to partake of the mess of rice and milk furnished daily for his subsistence, but even refrained from any attempt lo disturb him. The two animals at length became reconciled to each other, and a strong attachment was formed between them. The dog was then allowed ingress and egress through the aperture; and, considering the cage as his own, he left it and returned to it just as he thought proper. When the tiger died he moaned the loss of his companion for a considerable period.”

A wild variety exists in Sumatra. It is described by Cuvier as

“possessing the countenance of a fox, the eyes oblique, the ears rounded and hairy, the muzzle of a foxy-brown colour, the tail bushy and pendulous, very lively, running with the head lifted high, and the ears straight.”

This animal can scarcely be rendered tractable, and even when he is apparently tamed can rarely be depended upon.

As we proceed through the Indian Archipelago, towards Australasia, we skirt the coast of Java. Every Javanese of rank has large packs of dogs with which he hunts the muntjak, the deer of that country. The dogs are led in strings by the attendants until they scent the prey: they are then unloosed, while the sportsmen follow, but not at the speed which would distinguish the British sportsman. The animal is generally found at bay. The male muntjak usually exhibits considerable courage, and probably several of the dogs have been wounded by his tusks. As soon as they come up every gun is discharged, and the animal almost immediately drops. At other times the mounted sportsmen attack them with a spear or sword. Generally, the muntjak does not go off like the stag in any direct track, but takes a circular course, and soon returns to the spot whence it was started. It perhaps makes several of these circles, and at length entangles itself in a thicket, where it is secured.

These dogs are the indigenous breed of the island, the body lank, the ears erect, ferocious in their disposition, and with very little attachment to their masters. Such is the account given of them by Dr. Horsfield.


The newly discovered southern continent was, and some of it still continues to be, overrun by the native wild dogs. Dampier describes them, at the close of the last century, as

“beasts like the hungry wolves, lean like so many skeletons, and being nothing but skin and bone.”

It was not until the publication of Governor Phillip’s voyage to Botany Bay, that any accurate description or figure of this dog could be obtained. He approaches in appearance to the largest kind of shepherd’s dog. The head is elongated, the forehead flat, and the ears short and erect, or with a slight direction forwards. The body is thickly covered with hair of two kinds–the one woolly and gray, the other silky and of a deep yellow or fawn colour. The limbs are muscular, and, were it not for the suspicious yet ferocious glare of the eye, he might pass for a handsome dog. The Australasian dog, according to M. Desmarest, resembles in form and in the proportion of his limbs the common shepherd’s dog. He is very active and courageous, covered in some parts with thick hair woolly and gray, in other parts becoming of a yellowish-red colour, and under the belly having a whitish hue. When he is running, the head is lifted more than usual in dogs, and the tail is carried horizontally. He seldom barks. Mr. Bennett observes that

“dogs in a state of nature never bark. They simply whine, howl, or growl. The explosive noise of the bark is only found among those that are domesticated.”

Sonini speaks of the shepherds’ dogs in the wilds of Egypt as not having this faculty; and Columbus found the dogs which he had previously carried to America, almost to have lost their propensity to bark.

He does, however, occasionally bark, and has the same kind of snarling voice which the larger dogs generally have. The Australasian dogs that have been brought to Europe have usually been of a savage and untractable disposition.

There are several of the Australasian dogs in the gardens of the Zoological Society of London. One of them has been an inmate of that establishment nine years, others more than five years; but not an individual has acquired the bark of the other dogs by which they are surrounded. When a stranger makes his appearance, or when the hour of feeding arrives, the howl of the Australasian is the first sound that is heard, and it is louder than all the rest.

If some of them have thrown off a portion of their native ferocity, others retain it undiminished. A bitch and two of her whelps, nearly half grown–a male and female–had inhabited the same cage from the time that the young ones were born. Some cause of quarrel occurred on a certain night, and the two bitches fell upon the dog and perfectly destroyed him. There was not a limb left whole. A stronger instance of the innate ferocity of this breed could scarcely be given. Even in their native country all attempts perfectly to domesticate them have failed; for they never lose an opportunity to devour the poultry or attack the sheep. Every domesticated dog coming within their reach was immediately destroyed. One that was brought to England broke his chain–scoured the surrounding country–and, before dawn, had destroyed several sheep; and another attacked, and would have destroyed, an ass, if he had not been prevented.

Mr. Oxley, Surveyor-General of New South Wales, however, gives an interesting account of the mutual attachment between two of the native and wild New Holland dingos.

“About a week ago we killed a native dog, and threw his body on a small bush. On returning past the same spot to-day, we found the body removed three or four yards from the bush, and the female in a dying-state lying close beside it: she had apparently been there from the day the dog was killed. Being now so weakened and emaciated as to be unable to move on our approach, it was deemed a mercy to despatch her.”

When Van Diemen Land began to be colonized by Europeans, the losses sustained by the settlers by the ravages of the wild dogs were almost incredible. The districts infested by these animals were principally those appropriated to sheep, and there was scarcely a flock that did not suffer. It was in vain to double the number of shepherds, to watch by night and by day, or to have fires at every quarter of the fold; for these animals would accomplish their object by stratagem or by force. One colony lost no fewer than 1200 sheep and lambs in three months; another colony lost 700.

The ravagers were either the native wild dogs of the island, or those that had escaped from their owners. They seemed to have apportioned the country into different districts, each troop having its allotted range. At length the evil became so great that a general meeting of the colonists was convened. The concluding sentences of the speech of Lieutenant Hill forcibly express the extent of the evil.

“The country is free from bush-rangers: we are no longer surrounded and threatened by the natives. We have only one enemy left in the field; but that enemy strikes at the very root of our welfare, and through him the stream of our prosperity is tainted at its very source.”

The colonists were then few, but they cordially united in the endeavour to extirpate this formidable enemy; and, although the wild dog is still found in the interior of the island, he is comparatively seldom seen, and his ravages have nearly ceased.


A tradition exists in New Zealand of this dog having been given to the natives two or three centuries ago by a number of divinities who made their descent on these shores, probably Juan Fernandez and his companions. The sagacious animal has, however, dwindled down to the lowest rank of his family, but ill usage has not altogether destroyed his worth. In New Zealand he is the safeguard of every village. Should the slightest alarm exist, he is the first to ascertain the cause of it, and many families have saved themselves by flight, or have taken arms in self-defence against the incursions of predatory bands. The New Zealanders are therefore kind in their treatment of the dog, except that they occasionally destroy him for his hide.

The name formerly given to the New Zealand dog was ‘pero’, which in some measure substantiates the supposition of Juan Fernandez having visited the country–‘perro’, in the Spanish language, being the name of a dog.

We will now turn to the northern parts of America. The races of wild dogs are there considerably limited, both in number and the districts which they occupy.

In the elevated sandy country north of the source of the Missouri, inhabited by the “Stone” and the “Black Foot” Indians, is a doubtful species of dogs–wolves they used to be called–who hunt in large packs and are exceedingly swift; whose bark is similar to that of the domestic dog, but who burrow in the ground, and eagerly run to their holes, when the gun of the hunter is heard.

[Our author evidently, in the above remarks, confounds the Louisiana marmot, Arctomys Ludovicianus or Prairie dog, with the Canis Latrans of Say, as he certainly would not make us believe that such harmless animals as the marmot should associate themselves in packs to hunt the deer or other quadrupeds; neither would he tell us that so different an animal as the Canis Latrans could burrow in the ground and retreat to their holes when surprised by the hunter. The Louisiana Marmot, improperly called Prairie dog, is about sixteen inches long, and lives in extended villages or excavations surmounted by mounds. These communities often comprise several thousand inhabitants, whose sole food consists in the scanty herbage surrounding the settlement, as they seldom extend their excursions beyond a half-mile from their burrows for fear of the wolves, and many other enemies.

The Canis Latrans, on the other hand, is quite a large and savage animal, and frequently unites in bands to run down deer or buffalo calves, but as for living under ground in burrows, it is quite out of reason to suppose such a thing possible with this quadruped, who secretes himself in the depths of the forest, and appears on the open plain only when in pursuit of game.–L.] The habit of selecting large, open, sandy plains, and burrowing there, extends to the greater part of the American wild dogs.

[We have been credibly informed by several gentlemen, familiar with the country of Mexico, that there is a diminutive species of dog running wild, and burrowing in the ground as rabbits, in the neighbourhood of Santa Fe and Chihuahua. A gentleman who has seen these animals, states that there is no doubt as to their identity, having met with them in a state of domestication, when they exhibited all the actions and manners of a French lap dog, such as come from Cuba or other West India Islands.

They are of every variety of hue, and resort to their burrows whenever disturbed in their natural haunts. What they subsist on it is difficult to say, as they are too harmless and insignificant to attack any other animal beyond a mouse or a snail. They are represented as being very difficult to tame, but when domesticated show no disposition to return to their former mode of life. The lady of the Mexican Minister, when in this city, had one of these dogs as a boudoir pet; it was lively and barked quite fiercely. We have not been able to ascertain whether they bark in their natural state. The breed of dog cultivated in China for food alone, are fed entirely upon rice meal and other farinaceous articles, having no relish whatever for flesh or other strong aliment.–L.]

In some parts of North America whole troops of horses are guarded and kept together by dogs. If any of the troop attempt to steal away, the dog will immediately fly after the horse, head him, and bring him back to his companions.

[To show the necessity of having dogs for this purpose, as well as to guard the flocks of sheep, we need only mention that it is no uncommon thing for a Mexican to own several thousand horses, besides an immense number of cattle.

Mr. Kendall, in his Santa Fe expedition, states that the proprietress of one hacienda, a widow, and comparatively poor when the wonderful wealth of her ancestors is considered, now owns fifty thousand horses and mules, beside herds of cattle and sheep, and that the pasture ground extended for fifty miles on either side of the road.

One of the former owners of this immense estate, a short time previous to the revolution, sent as a present to a Spanish colonel, just arrived with his regiment of dragoons, a thousand white horses, nearly all of the same age, and every one raised on this prolific hacienda.–L.]

The wild dogs abound in many parts of South America. In some of the forests on the banks of the Oronoko they multiply to an annoying degree. The Cayotte of Mexico, described by some as a wolf, and bearing no slight resemblance to that animal, belongs to the South American wild dogs, as do also the Aguara dogs of every kind. These wanderers of the woods are, however, diminished in numbers in every part of that continent, and are replaced by other kinds, many of which have been imported from Europe and domesticated.

[There is no country in the world more cursed with worthless curs than that of Mexico and the other southern republics; the cities and villages actually swarm with these animals, and produce no little vexation to travellers, who speak of their eternal yelping and barking in the most indignant terms.

Mr. Kendall, on entering San Antonio, says,

“From every house some half dozen Mexican curs would jump forth and greet us with a chorus of yelps and barks, and before we had fairly entered the town the canine hue and cry was general. Those who have for the first time entered a Mexican town or city must have been struck with the unusual number of dogs, and annoyed by their incessant barking; but the stranger soon learns that they spend all their courage in barks–they seldom bite.”–L.]

Many of the Indian tribes have succeeded in reclaiming the dog of the woods, and have made him a useful although not a perfectly attached servant.

The dogs of the Falkland Islands, and the Indian North American dogs generally, are brown or gray-coloured varieties of the wild dog; but as they are nearly exterminated, will occupy little space. It has already been stated that in Egypt and in Nubia we have the first records of the dog. Many superstitious notions were connected with him, and divine honours were paid to him. Those times are passed away, and he is regarded with aversion by the Moslem of the present day. He is an outcast. He obtains a scanty living by the offal which he gathers in the towns, or he is become a perfect wild dog, and scours the country for his prey. His modern name is the ‘deab’. He is of considerable size, with a round muzzle, large head, small erect ears, and long and hairy tail, spotted with black, white, and yellow, and having a fierce wolfish aspect. These dogs are not, however, numerous; but the mischief which they do is often great, whether in pairs they burrow in the earth, or associate with others and hunt in troops. [7]

In Nubia is a smaller dog of the same kind, which never burrows. It lives on small animals and birds, and rarely enters any of the towns. A similar dog, according to Colonel Hamilton Smith, inhabits the neighbourhood of the Cape, and particularly the Karroo or Wilderness. It is smaller than either of the others, and lives among bushes or under prominent rocks. Others, although not identified with the jackal, yet associating with him, inhabit the Uplands of Gambia and Senegal.

On the Gold Coast, the dog is used and prized as an article of food. He is fattened and driven to market as the European drives his sheep and hogs. The dog is even more valued than the sheep for human subsistence, and is deemed the greatest luxury that can be placed even on the royal table.

In Loango, or Lower Guinea, is a town from which the African wild dogs derive their name–the ‘dingo’. They hunt in large packs. They fearlessly attack even the elephant, and generally destroy him. In the neighbourhood of the Cape, the country is nearly cleared of wild beasts; but in Cape Town there are a great number of lean and miserable dogs, who howl about the streets at night, quitting their dens and lurking-places, in quest of offal. No great while ago, the wolves and hyaenas used to descend and dispute the spoil with the dogs, while the town resounded with their hideous howlings all the night long.

This will be a proper place to refer to the numerous accounts that are given both in ancient and modern times of the immolation of dogs, and of their being used for food. They were sacrificed at certain periods by the Greeks and Romans to almost all their deities, and particularly to Mars, Pluto, and Pan, to Minerva, Proserpine, and Lucina, and also to the moon, because the dog by his barking disturbed all charms and spells, and frightened away all spectres and apparitions. The Greeks immolated many dogs in honour of Hecate, because by their baying the phantoms of the lower world were disturbed. A great number of dogs were also destroyed in Samothrace in honour of the same goddess. Dogs were periodically sacrificed in February, and also in April and in May; also to the goddess Rubigo, who presided over the corn, and the Bona Dea, whose mysterious rites were performed on Mount Aventine. The dog Cerberus was supposed to be watching at the feet of Pluto, and a dog and a youth were periodically sacrificed to that deity. The night when the Capitol had nearly been destroyed was annually celebrated by the cruel scourging of a dog in the principal public places, even to the death of the animal.

[As on a certain occasion, the dogs who had the Capitol in custody, did not bark and give warning when the Gauls attempted to scale the wails, there is a custom annually observed at Rome, to transfix certain dogs to forks, and thus crucified, hang them on an elder tree as examples of justice. (Book 29, chap. IV. Pliny.)-L.]

Many of the Greek and Roman epicures were strangely fond of the flesh of the dog, and those who ought to have known much better encouraged the use of this food. Galen speaks of it in the strongest terms of praise. Hippocrates says that the meat of old dogs is of a warm and dry quality, giving strength to the eater. Ananias, the poet, speaks of dog’s flesh served up with that of the hare and fox. Virgil recommends that the fatted dog should be served up with whey or butter; and Dioscorides, the physician, says that they should be fed on the whey that remains after the making of cheese.

[Independent of the many useful and interesting qualities that necessarily endeared this animal to the ancients, he had yet stronger claims upon them, in the prophylactic properties of different portions of his body. Pliny, Hippocrates, Aristotle and others, speak of various preparations made of his flesh, for the cure of many distempers. The first-mentioned writer observes, that the ashes of burnt dogs, made into a liniment, with oil, will make an excellent application to the eye-brows, to turn them black. We doubt not that an analogous compound, if proved to be really efficacious, might he introduced to the notice of the belles of our own time, or meet with extensive sale for dyeing the pagoties and mustachios of the modern dandy. This quaint philosopher also recommends the same substance as a healing salve, for malignant wounds, and the internal use of the same article as a preventive or cure of hydrophobia and other distempers. (Book 28, chap, XI. and X.)–L.]

Before Christianity was established among the Danes, on every ninth year at the winter solstice, a monstrous sacrifice of 99 dogs was effected. In Sweden the sacrifice was still worse. On each of 9 successive days, 99 dogs were destroyed. This sacrifice of the dog, however, gave way to one as numerous and as horrible. On every 9th year, 99 human victims were immolated, and the sons of the reigning tyrant among the rest, in order that the life of the monarch might be prolonged. [8]

On the other hand, the dog was frequently the executioner; and, from an early period, whether in the course of war or the mock administration of justice, thousands of poor wretches were torn to pieces by animals trained to that horrible purpose.

Many of the Indians of North America, and almost of the present day, are fond of the flesh of the dog.

Captain Carver, in his Travels in North America in 1766, 1767, and 1768, describes the admission of an Indian into one of the horrible societies of that country.

“The dishes being brought near to me,” says he, “I perceived that they consisted of dog’s flesh, and I was informed that at all their grand feasts they never made use of any other food. The new candidate provides fat dogs for the festival, if they can be procured at any price. They ate the flesh; but the head and the tongue were left sticking on a pole with the front towards the east. When any noxious disease appeared among them, a dog was killed, the intestines were wound between two poles, and every man was compelled to pass between them.”

The Nandowepia Indians also eat dog’s flesh as an article of luxury, and not from any want or scarcity of other animal food; for they have the bear, buffalo, elk, deer, beaver, and racoon.

Professor Keating, in his interesting work on the expedition to Peter’s River, states that he and a party of American officers were regaled in a large pavilion on buffalo meat, and ‘tepsia’, a vegetable boiled in buffalo grease, and the flesh of three dogs kept for the occasion, and without any salt. They partook of the flesh of the dogs with a mixture of curiosity and reluctance, and found it to be remarkably fat, sweet, and palatable, divested of any strong taste, and resembling the finest Welsh mutton, but of a darker colour. So strongly rooted, however, are the prejudices of education, that few of them could be induced to eat much of it.

The feast being over, great care was taken to replace the bones in their proper places in the dish, after which they were carefully washed and buried, as a token of respect to the animals generally, and because