Page images
PDF
EPUB

courageous dog will often tremble at the sudden rustle of, without assistance. The sheep-dog of Europe is generally a leaf. While the possession of such faculties has rendered i classed among the wolf-like dogs, owing to the erect or him fit above all other animals for the companionship of semi-erect character of its ears, its pointed nose, and shagg man, the physical and intellectual qualities characteristic covering ; and Buffon, for such reasons, regarded it as of the various breeds have been seized upon and de nearest to the primitive type of the domestic dog. It is veloped to their utmost by man, so as to enable him to more reasonable to suppose with Martin (History of the use the dog for a great variety of purposes; what these | Dog) that those points “ only indicate purity of breed are will appear in the following necessarily brief account unalloyed by admixture with other varieties." The fact of the more important breeds of dogs.

that its life is spent almost entirely out of doors. and that According to Professor Fitzinger, there are at least 189 | it has little or no opportunity of mixing with dogs other distinct varieties of the domestic dog, and when it is con- than of its own kind, would tend to preserve uniformity in sidered that the origin of many if not most of these is un- external appearance ; while its high cerebral development certain, it is not surprising that considerable difference of and intelligence prove beyond a doubt that the breed of opinion should exist as to the most natural mode of group- sheep-dogs is one of the most highly improved, and in this ing them together. Their arrangement into the following respect remotest from the primitive type. Its whole six races, founded to a certain extent on the form and de- intellect is devoted to the one duty of tending its master's velopment of the ears, probably affords an approximation flocks, and in the performance of 'this it is equally to a natural classification, viz., WOLF-DOGS, GREYHOUNDA, sagacious, vigilant, and patient. At a word, or even a look, SPANIELS, HOUNDS, MASTIFFS, and TERRIERS.

from its master, it will gather the sheep, scattered for miles I. WOLF-DOGS.—Throughout the northern regions of around, to one place. During and after the snowstorms to both hemispheres there are several breeds of semi-domesti- which highland districts are so frequently exposed, the cated wolf-like dogs having nearly erect ears, and long sheep-dog is invaluable in saving its master's property from woolly hair; these include among others the dogs of the almost total destruction. Without it the Highlands of ScotEsquimaux and the Kamtchadales. The Esquimaux Dog land would be almost useless for sheep-farming purposes. is usually of a black and white colour, nearly as large as a “ It would require," says the Ettrick Shepherd, “more mastiff, with a fine bushy tail, and sharp pointed muzzle. hands to manage a stock of sheep, gather them from the It is of the greatest value to the inhabitants of the boreal hills, force them into houses and folds, and drive them to regions of America in hunting the seal, bear, and reindeer; markets, than the profits of the whole stock would while it is equally useful as a beast of burden, carrying be capable of maintaining.” The sheep-dog stands about loads on its back—a kind of work for which dogs are by no means well suited—and drawing sledges over the snow. On a good road half a dozen of these dogs will draw, it is said, from 8 to 10 cwts., at the rate of 7 miles an hour; and Kane, the Arctic traveller, tells how that number of dogs, well worn by previous travel, carried him with a fully burdened sledge, between seven and eight hundred miles during the first fortnight after leaving his ship-& mean rate of 57 miles a day. According to the same authority, the training of these dogs is of the most ungracious sort. “I never heard,” he says, “a kind accent from the Esquimaux to his dog. The driver's whip of walrus hide, some 20 feet long, a stone or a lump of ice skilfully directed, an imprecation loud and sharp, made emphatic by the fist or foot, and a grudged ration of seal's meat, make up the winter's entertainment of an Esquimaux team." Owing to the ill-treatment to which they are thus babitually

Fra. 1.-Sheep Dog. subjected, they are highly irritable and difficult to manage, and in sleighing it is necessary to have a well-trained dog 15 inches high, is covered with long shaggy hair of a black 28 leader, to whom the driver speaks, and by whom the colour varied with dark grey or fulvous brown, and its tail other dogs in the team are guided. They readily relapse is of moderate length, slightly recurved and bushy. In disinto the wild state, and have been known thus to hunt the position it is quiet; and although not quarrelsome, it shows reindeer in packs like wolves. These dogs have borne a great courage in defending its charge. It will not wantonly prominent part in Arctic exploration, and much of the attack a stranger, but evidently regards him with suspicion, difficult work done in this field would have been well-nigh and rejects all friendly advances. There are three varieties impossible without them. The Kamtchatka dogs are also of the sheep-dog found in Great Britain, viz.—the Scottish used for sledging, and are famed for their swiftness and Collie, standing only from 12 to 14 inches high, and regarded endurance. During summer they run at large and cater | as the purest and most intelligent; the Southern Sheep-dog, for themselves, returning in winter to their masters, who of larger size, but with shorter fur, and having the tail often feed them principally with the heads of dried fish.

very short-a peculiarity which, according to Bell, “ appears The Sheep-dog.-In Eastern countries where the sheep to be perpetuated from parents whose tails have been cut ;" follow the shepherd, the duties that fall upon the dog are and the Drover's Dog or Cur, generally black and white in simpler, and require less intelligence, than those performed colour, and taller in its limbs than the others. It is by the European breeds. Their task is chiefly to defend employed in driving sheep and cattle to the city markets, the flocks and herds from wild beasts and robbers, and for and in the discharge of this duty shows intelligence quite this purpose the wolf-like Turkoman Watch-dog and the equal to that of the other vareties ; although in the treatSheep-dog of Natolia are, by their great strength and ment of the herds under its charge, it often displays a more courage, eminently fitted. The former is described by Sir | savage disposition. The sheep-dogs of South America are J. M'Neill as a shaggy animal, nearly as large as the New- 80 trained as to unite in themselves the duties of dog and foundland dog, and very fierce and powerful, the dam of shepherd. “When riding,” says Darwin, “it is a common the specimen he describes having killed a full-grown wolf thing to meet a large flock of sheep, guarded by one or two dogs, at the distance of some miles from any house | even in confinement such cases are altogether exceptional. or man." And on inquiry he found out the method by This breed is supposed by some not to be indigenous to which this friendship between dog and sheep had been North America, but to have been introduced either on the established. The dog when a puppy is removed from its first discovery of Newfoundland by the Norwegians about mother, and is no longer allowed to associate with other the year 1000, or on its re-discovery by Cabot in 1497. dogs, or even with the children of the family. It is kept The Norwegians, according to Martin, have dogs closely in the sheep pen, and suckled by a ewe. Generally also it resembling the Newfoundland breed, which are used in is castrated and thus has little or no community of feeling hunting bears and wolves, and which are armed with spiked with its kind. Brought up among the sheep it shows no collars in order to protect them from the wolves which seek desire to leave the flock, but assumes the position of to seize them by the throat. The Great St Bernard Dog leader. “It is amusing,” says the above writer,“ to of the present day is a powerful animal, as large as å observe, when approaching a flock, how the dog immedi- mastiff, with close short hair and pendulous ears, and ately advances barking, and the sheep all close in his rear varying in colour, in one case being described as "sandy as if round the oldest ram.” It comes home daily for food, red or tawny" with black muzzle, in another as “more or on receipt of which it immediately returns to the flock; less marked with grey, liver colour, and black clouds." and this it is often taught to bring home in the evening. Previous to 1820 thero existed another breed of these dogs,

[graphic]
[graphic]

The Newfoundland and Great St Bernard or Alpine Dogs closely allied in forin and size to the Newfoundland, but occupy an uncertain position, forming, acoording to some in that year the greater portion of them died of an authors, a group by themselves, and being classed by epidemic, which necessitated the introduction of the present others among the wolf-like dogs, although in their large and variety. These dogs are kept by the monks of the Hospice pendulous ears they differ widely from the typical forms of St Bernard, in their convent, situated on one of the most already noticed.

dangerous passes between Switzerland and Italy, near the The Newfoundland Dog is believed to have been brought top of the Great St Bernard, where they are trained to the to England from the island to which it owes its name, but work of rescuing travellers who, overtaken by the snowprobably owing to partial crossing, it differs somewhat from storm, may have lost their way, or sunk benumbed by the the original American breed, the latter being smaller cold. On such occasions these sagacious and powerful in size, with the muzzle less blanted, and almost totally dogs set out from the convent in pairs, one bearing a flask black in colour. In Newfoundland and Labrador these of spirits attached to his neck, the other with a cloak. dogs are used as beasts of burden, drawing considerable Should they come upon the baffled yet struggling traveller, loads of wood and provisions on sledges. The feet are they conduct him to the convent; but should he have partially webbed, and consequently they are unrivalled as succumbed and be covered by the snow, their keen scent water-dogs, and although their weakness of scent and com detects his presence although buried several feet beneath parative slowness of foot renders them useless to the hunter, the surface. By loud barking-and a young dog of this yet in a country of fens and morasses, the sportsman finds breed kept many years ago in the suburbs of Edinburgh them of the greatest service in rescuing birds that have was able to make itself heard & mile away—they Opprise fallen into the water; nor do they hesitate in their eager- the monks of the need of succour, while with their feet ness for retrieving to make their way through the roughest they attempt to clear away the snow from the body. In cover. The English variety of Newfoundland Dog is a this way these dogs are instrumental in saving many lives noble creature, standing 30 inches high at the shoulders, every year, although often at the sacrifice of their own ;

one dog which thus met its death bore a medal stating that it had been the means of saving twenty-two lives.

IL GREYHOUNDS.-Representations on Egyptian monuments prove the existence.of the greyhound race of dogs at least 3000 years ago, and the silky-haired breeds existing in Egypt, Arabia, and Persia at the present day are probably the slightly modified descendants of those ancient forms. The numerous varieties of this race may be conveniently grouped into the wire-haired and smooth-haired breeds, of the first of which the Irish Greyhound or Wolfdog is an example. In former times this magnificent breed was employed in Ireland in hunting the wolf and the stag, but the extirpation of these beasts of chase led to the neglect and consequent degeneracy of the breed, and it has now become extinct in that country. It was probably introduced from the sister isle into Scotland, where its

modified descendant, the Scottish Deerhound, in hunting Fig. 2. -Newfoundland Dog.

the stag still bears testimony to the great strength and

agility of its progenitor. The Old English Greyhound was its hair waved or curly and of a black and white colour in only allowed to be kept by the nobles and princes, and the nearly equal proportions, its tail massive and bushy and killing of it was, under the old game laws, a felony punishcurled upwards at the extremity. Equally noble in dis- able by death. It was employed in counsing the red deer position, it does not allow the annoyance of smaller dogs to and fallow deer, and Queen Elizabeth is seid to have disturb its serenity, while its patience with children is not witnessed, on one occasion, the pulling down of 16 bucka readily exhausted. In defence of its master's property it by greyhounds. These must have been much more powerwill fly with bull-dog ferocity at any intruder, while it will ful animals than the modern English breed, whicb, howbattle with the waters to save him from drowning. Its over, is regarded as the finest of the smooth-haired grey services in the saving of life are well known. When kept hounds. In speed and wind it is unrivalled, all other in confinement its temper is more variable, and in a fit of points having been sacrificed to these by breeders. It has irritation these dogs have been known to attack those for thus almost lost the power of scent, and is the only dog whom they have previously shown the greatest regard; but I that hunts by sight alone, hence probably the name gaze

[ocr errors]

hound formerly applied to it. According to Daniel, its purposely concealed, is truly remarkable. The Setter is speed on flat ground is little inferior to that of a racehorse, also a favourite with sportsmen, its habit of crouching when

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

Fig. 3.—Greyhound while on hilly ground it is probably superior to it. Every part of its body is suggestive of activity and speed—the long and pointed muzzle, the narrow head, thin neck, chest

Fig. 4.-Setter. deep and flanks contracted, long slender legs, and the tail narrow and curved upwards. It is exceedingly docile. it has scented game rendering it specially serviceable. good-tempered, and affectionate.

pete.

The colour varies in

The colon orice in This habit, like that of pointing, is probably, as Darwin different breeds, and even in individuals of the same breed, suggests, “merely the exaggerated pause of an animal Bell suggests that the greyhound may owe its name to the about to spring on its prey.” It is generally white in prevailing colour of the original stock; while others, with

th colour, with large liver-coloured spots. more probability, derive it from the ancient British grech

IV. HOUNDS.-Hounds are those dogs with long or grea, a dog. The Italian greyhound is a small but pendulous ears, close hair, and long deep muzzle which exceedingly elegant and delicate breed, relegated in this hunt by scent.

in this hunt by scent.

They in

They include the Bloodhound, Staghound, country to the parlour as a ladies' pet. The Larcher is Foxhound, Harrier or Beagle, and Pointer. supposed to be the result of a cross between the rough

The Bloodhound, regarded by many as the original stock greyhound and the sheep-dog, having the sharp, pointed

from which all the other varieties of British hounds have muzzle of the former, and owing its diminished height but

been derived, is now rarel, to be met with in entire purity. greater stoutness to the latter. It resembles the sheep-dog

Its distinguishing features are long, smooth, and pendulous still more in its great intelligence, and in devotion to its

ears, from 8 to 9 inches in length, full muzzle, broad master. That master is usually the poacher, and in his

breast, muscular limbs, and a deep sonorous voice. The illegal pursuit of game, tbe keeness of scent, the cunning,

prevailing colour is a reddish tan, darkening towards tho and the absolute silence of this dog render it the most

upper part, and often varied with large black spots. It suitable of all for such nocturnal work. It waylays the

stands about 28 inches high. The bloodhound is remarkrabbit returning to its burrow, its cunning circumvents the

able for the acuteness of its scent, its discrimination in hare where its speed would not avail, and it has strength

keeping to the particular scent on which it is first laid, and sufficient to pull down the fallow deer. According to

the intelligence and pertinacity with which it pursues its Colonel Smith these dogs sometimes run wild when their

object to a successful issue. These qualities have been owners are captured and imprisoned, and when thus cater

taken advantage of not only in the chase, but also in ing for themselves they have been regularly hunted with

pursuit of felons and fugitives of every kind. According hounds.

to Strabo, these dogs were used in an attack upon the III. SPANIELS. — The spaniels are characterized by large

Gauls. In the clan feuds of the Scottish Highlands, and pendulous ears, long silky hair often curled and shaggy,

in the frequent wars between England and Scotland, they and acute scent. In cerebral development, and, con

were regularly employed in tracking fugitive warriors, and Bequently in intelligence, they are probably superior to all

were thus employed, according to early chroniclers, in other dogs, while they are unrivalled in docility and in

pursuit of Wallace and Bruce. The former is said to have devotion to man's service. They include the Common

I put the Sleuth-hound, as it was called, off the scent by Spaniel, the Water Dog, and the Setter, besides numerous

killing a suspected follower, on whose corpse the hound fancy varieties, as King Charles's Spaniel, the Blenheim

stood,

"Nor farther moved fra time she found the blood." Spaniel, and the Maltese Dog. The Spaniel is the favourite of the sportsman, entering more than any other dog into

For a similar purpose captives were often killed. Bruce is his master's feelings, and seeming to enjoy the sport for its

said to have baffled his dogged pursuer as effectually, own sake. It is elegant in form, with remarkably long though less cruelly, by weding some distance down a stream, ears, and beautifully waved hair, usually of a red and white and then ascending a tree by a branch which overhung the colour. It takes readily to the water, and has been known water, and thus breaking the scent. In the histories of to exhibit a remarkable propensity, as well as great border feuds these dogs constantly appear as employed in dexterity, in fish-catching. The Water Dog is larger than the pursuit of enemies, and the renown of the warrior was the spaniel, and is covered with abundant curly hair. Its great who, colour is generally a mixture of black and white. From

"By wily turns and desperate bounds, its aquatic habits it is of great service to the water-fowl

Had baffled Percy's best bloodhounas." sportsman as & retriever. It is readily taught to fetch and In suppressing the Irish rebellion in the time of Queen carry, and the sagacity which it shows in finding any article Elizabeth, the earl of Essex had, it is said, 800 of these it has once seen, but which has afterwards been lost or animals accompanying the army, while in later times they

became the terror of deer-stealers, and for this purpose were | III., who was himself ardently attached to the sport of kept by the earis, oi Buccieuch so late as the 18th century, stag-hunting, packs of theso dogs were maintained in and even at the present time their remarkable power of several parts of the country, but since the death of that scous is occasionally employed with success in the detection | monarch this form of hunting has declined, and the total oi morder. The Cubar. Bloodhound is of Spanish descent, extinction of these dogs at no distant date seems probable. and differs considerably in form from the English variety, The Foxhound is the hunting-dog upon which the breeder having small, though pendulous ears, with the nose more has bestowed the greatest pains, and, according to Bell pointe:., and with a more ferocious appearance. Its (British Quadrupeds), his efforts have been rewarded “by empicymeri in the capture of runaway slaves, and in the the attainment of the highest possible degree of excellence cruelties connected with the suppression of negro insurrec. | in the union of fine scent, fleetness, strengti, perseverance, tions, has brought the animal into the evil repute which and temper." It stands usually from 20 to 22 inches high more properly belongs to the inhuman masters, who thus į at the shoulders, and is of a white colour, marked with prostituted the courage, sagacity, and pertinacity of this large clouds of black and tan. Its speed is such that a fosnoble dog to such revolting purposes.

hound has been known to get over 4 miles in 7 minutes, The Staghound has been generally regarded as the while its endurance has been shown in such cases as the 10 result of a cross between the slow-paced old southern bound hours' continuous run performed by the duke of Richmond's

hounds in 1738 before killing the fox, during which many of the sportsmen tired three horses, and several of the latter died during the chase. The Harrier is smaller

[graphic]
[graphic]

FIG. 5.-Staghound. and the fleeter foxhound; but it has been objected that the breed was known in England long before the foxhound was made use of, and indeed before there was an animal at

Fig. 7.—Harrier. all resembling the one which is now known by that term, than the foxhonnd, not exceeding 18 inches in height at the and those who maintain this view regard the staghound shoulders, and is exclusively used, as the name shows, in as a bloodhound crossed with some lighter dog, as a grey hunting the hare. Of late years it has been greatly im. bound or a lurcber. However produced, it is a majestic proved, so as to be almost Řterally & ioxhound in minia

[graphic]
[graphic]

Fig. 6. — Foxhound.

FIG. 8.-Beagle. dog, of great strength and considerable swiftness, besides ture. According to Beckford, to whom much of the possessing in common with the bloodhound, and with it improvement in the breed is owing, “harriers, to be good, alone, the property of unerringly tracing the scent it is first like all other hounds, must be kept to their own game. If laid upon among a qundred others. In the reign of George you run fox with them you spoil them ; hounds cannot be

VII.- 42

perfect unless used to one scent and one style of hunting." | inches high at the shoulders, with thick muzzle, poudulous À still smaller hound is the Beagly from 12 to 14 inches lips, and heavy expression, its ears small and drooping high, the most diminutive of the hunting dogs. It was and the tail well developed. It is usually of a buff colour, formerly a great favourite, being used in hunting the hare, with ears and muzzle darker. Although fierce iu combat, but in this it has been almost wholly superseded by the harrier. It is much slower than the foxhound or harrier, but in spite of this its exquisite scent and its perseverance seldom fail to secure for it the object of its chase, although it may be after a leisurely hunt of 3 or 4 hours. The voice of the beagle is highly musical, and on this account & certain number of them were formerly added to each pack of hounds as a band now is to a regiment of soldiers. Diminutive packs, from 9 to 10 inches high, have been kept, and O'Connell used to beguile his winter leisure with a dozen of these tiny favourites. The Pointer is related to. the hounds, and is supposed to be derived from an old Spanish breed. It is a beautiful, smooth-haired dog, coloured somewhat like a foxhound, active in its movement, and patient of fatigue. It owes its name to its babit of standing fixed at the scent of game, and this, like the crouching of the setter, whether due to long-continued training alone, or to the modification and exaggeration by man of the instinctive start of surprise common to all dogs, when first aware of their prey, is now inherited, the puppy

FIQ. 10.–Mastiff. pointing before his training has begun. The strength of this pointing propensity was never more signally shown

it does not attack without considerable provocation, and it than in the case, told by Daniel, of two pointers which

bears - the teasings of children with the greatest good stood immovable as statues during the hour and a quarter

nature. When in former times, it entered into combat occupied in sketching them. The Dalmatian Dog is a |

with wild animals, it has been known to engage a bear, a remarkably handsome breed, apparently intermediate

leopard, and a lion, and pull each of them down in succes- . between hoand and pointer It is of a white colour, thickly

sion. At the present time the breed is rarely met with
pure, and is chiefly useful as a watch-dog, its sagacity and
fidelity in this capacity being well known. While he shows
great attachment to man when made his companion, the
temper of the mastiff becomes soured by confinement, and he
is then dangerous to strangers. The Thibet Mastiff is larger
than the English breed, and its countenance is still heavier,
It is the watch-dog of the tribes inbabiting Thibet and the
Central Asian table-land, to whom it is strongly attached,
although exceedingly savage towards strangers. There is
a huge mastiff figured on an Assyrian sculpture, 640 R.C.,
and Sir H. Rawlinson states that similar dogs are still
imported into that country. The Bull-dog is the least
sagacious, as well as the most ferocious and obstinate, of
the dog tribe. It is smaller than the mastiff, but is strongly
built. Its broad, thick head, the projection of the lower jaw
beyond the upper disclosing the incisor teeth, the sudden rise

of the head from the face, and the scowling expression of the Fig. 9.—Dalmatian Dog.

eyes, combine to make the countenance of the bull-dog

terrible. Bell points out, in his History of British Quamarked with rounded black spots, but it is not sufficiently drupeds, the resemblance in the deep chest, the narrow loins, keen scented or sagacious to be of use in hunting. It has muscular limbs, and stiff tapering tail of the bull-dog to the accordingly been relegated to the stables, where it receives elegant form of the greyhound. The chief difference the training necessary to a coach-dog. It is known in appears in the muzzle, a variation which may have France as the Brague de Bengale, and is supposed to be suddenly arisen in a single individual, and been perpetuated an Indian variety.

in its progeny. The ears of the bull-dog are short and V. MASTIFFS.—The Mastiff race of dogs is characterized semi-erect, and the nostrils distended; the colour varies, by extreme shortness and breadth of muzzle, enormous being brindled in some, and black and white i others. It strength of jaws, and general robustness of form. It in- is essentially a fighting-dog, and was formerly bred for the cludes the Mastiff, the Bull-dog, and the Pug.

brutal sport of bull-baiting, in which its terrible obstinacy The Mastiff equals in courage, while in strength, in- usually gained for it the victory. It differs from other telligence, and mildness of disposition it excels, its near dogs in giving no warning of its attack by preliminary ally the bull-dog. It is commonly supposed to have been barking, and when once it has fixed its teeth into tho the breed of large dogs abundant in Britain during Roma? object of attack, no amount of torture will cause it to relax times, which were exported in large numbers. to Rome its hold. Colonel Smith states that he has seen ons for the purpose of fighting in the Amphitheatre, although “ pinning down an American bison and holding his nose Colonel Smith believes that these early British dogs were down tiil the animal gradually brought forward its hind only bull-dogs of a larger size than the present breed, and feet, and, crushing the dog to death, tore his jauzzle out of that the mastiff was introduced into Britain from the cold the fangs, most dreadfully mangled ;" and there is an regions of Central Asia. It is a large dog, standing 30 | instance on record of its returning to the attack on a buil,

[graphic]
[graphic]
« EelmineJätka »