Animals

The Schipperke may fitly be described as the Paul Pry of canine society. His insatiate inquisitiveness induces him to poke his nose into everything; every strange object excites his curiosity, and he will, if possible, look behind it; the slightest noise arouses his attention, and he wants to investigate its cause. There is no end to his liveliness, but he moves about with almost catlike agility without upsetting any objects in a room, and when he hops he has a curious way of catching up his hind legs.

There can hardly have been a time since the period of the Norman Conquest when the small earth dogs which we now call terriers were not known in these islands and used by sporting men as assistants in the chase, and by husbandmen for the killing of obnoxious vermin. The two little dogs shown in the Bayeux tapestry running with the hounds in advance of King Harold's hawking party were probably meant for terriers. Dame Juliana Berners in the fifteenth century did not neglect to include the “Teroures” in her catalogue of sporting dogs, and a hundred years later Dr.

In the fourth chapter of Macaulay's History of England we read of King Charles II. that “he might be seen before the dew was off the grass in St. James's Park, striding among the trees playing with his Spaniels and flinging corn to his ducks, and these exhibitions endeared him to the common people, who always like to see the great unbend.”

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

 

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