Robert Leighton

The Bloodhound was much used in olden times in hunting and in the pursuit of fugitives; two services for which his remarkable acuteness of smell, his ability to keep to the particular scent on which he is first laid, and the intelligence and pertinacity with which he follows up the trail, admirably fit him. The use and employment of these dogs date back into remote antiquity.

This dog, one would think, ought, by the dignified title which he bears, to be considered a representative national terrier, forming a fourth in the distinctively British quartette whose other members are the Scottish, the Irish, and the Welsh Terriers. Possibly in the early days when Pearson and Roocroft bred him to perfection it was hoped and intended that he should become a breed typical of England.

Few of the many breeds of foreign dogs now established in England have attained such a measure of popularity in so short a time as the Pekinese. Of their early history little is known, beyond the fact that at the looting of the Summer Palace of Pekin, in 1860, bronze effigies of these dogs, known to be more than two thousand years old, were found within the sacred precincts. The dogs were, and are to this day, jealously guarded under the supervision of the Chief Eunuch of the Court, and few have ever found their way into the outer world.

The Otterhound is a descendant of the old Southern Hound, and there is reason to believe that all hounds hunting their quarry by nose had a similar source. Why the breed was first called the Southern Hound, or when his use became practical in Great Britain, must be subjects of conjecture; but that there was a hound good enough to hold a line for many hours is accredited in history that goes very far back into past centuries.

The Black and Tan, or Manchester, Terrier as we know him to-day is a comparatively new variety, and he is not to be confounded with the original terrier with tan and black colouring which was referred to by Dr. Caius in the sixteenth century, and which was at that time used for going to ground and driving out badgers and foxes.

No doubt has been cast upon the belief that the small, white, silky Canis Melitaeus is the most ancient of all the lap dogs of the Western world. It was a favourite in the time of Phidias; it was an especial pet of the great ladies of Imperial Rome. It appears to have come originally from the Adriatic island of Melita rather than from the Mediterranean Malta, although this supposition cannot be verified.

by Robert Leighton


It is now some thirty years since an important controversy was carried on in the columns of The Live Stock Journal on the nature and history of the great Irish Wolfhound. The chief disputants in the discussion were Captain G. A. Graham, of Dursley, Mr. G. W. Hickman, Mr. F. Adcock, and the Rev. M. B.

The Bull-terrier is now a gentlemanly and respectably owned dog, wearing an immaculate white coat and a burnished silver collar; he has dealings with aristocracy, and is no longer contemned for keeping bad company. But a generation or two ago he was commonly the associate of rogues and vagabonds, skulking at the heels of such members of society as Mr. William Sikes, whom he accompanied at night on darksome business to keep watch outside while Bill was within, cracking the crib.

Away back in the 'seventies numbers of miners in Yorkshire and the Midlands are said to have possessed little wiry-coated and wiry-dispositioned red dogs, which accompanied their owners to work, being stowed away in pockets of overcoats until the dinner hour, when they were brought out to share their masters' meals, perchance chasing a casual rat in between times.

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