Pets

The history of the St. Bernard dog would not be complete without reference being made to the noble work that he has done in Switzerland, his native land: how the Hospice St. Bernard kept a considerable number of dogs which were trained to go over the mountains with small barrels round their necks, containing restoratives, in the event of their coming across any poor travellers who had either lost their way, or had been overcome by the cold.

There is plenty of proof that Foxhounds were the very first of the canine races in Great Britain to come under the domination of scientific breeding. There had been hounds of more ancient origin, such as the Southern Hound and the Bloodhound; but something different was wanted towards the end of the seventeenth century to hunt the wild deer that had become somewhat scattered after Cromwell's civil war. The demand was consequently for a quicker hound than those hitherto known, and people devoted to the chase began to breed it.

The dare-devil Irish Terrier has most certainly made his home in our bosom. There is no breed of dog more genuinely loved by those who have sufficient experience and knowledge to make the comparison. Other dogs have a larger share of innate wisdom, others are most aesthetically beautiful, others more peaceable; but our rufous friend has a way of winning into his owner's heart and making there an abiding place which is all the more secure because it is gained by sincere and undemonstrative devotion. Perhaps one likes him equally for his faults as for his merits.

PRIVILEGES OF FIRST BITE

It is popularly, but rather erroneously, supposed that every dog is entitled to one bite. Perhaps it would be more accurate to state that every dog may with impunity have one snap or one intended bite, but only dogs of hitherto irreproachable character are permitted the honour of a genuine tasteful bite.

The dogs which take their name from the island of Newfoundland appeal to all lovers of animals, romance, and beauty. A Newfoundland formed the subject of perhaps the most popular picture painted by Sir Edwin Landseer; a monument was erected by Byron over the grave of his Newfoundland in proximity to the place where the poet himself hoped to be buried, at Newstead Abbey, and the inscription on his monument contains the lines so frequently quoted:

The Harrier is a distinct breed of hound used for hunting the hare—or rather it should be said the Association of Masters of Harriers are doing their utmost to perpetuate this breed; the Harrier Stud Book bearing witness thereto: and it is to be deplored that so many Masters of Harriers ignore this fact, and are content to go solely to Foxhound kennels to start their packs of Harriers, choosing, maybe, 20 inch to 22 inch Foxhounds, and thenceforth calling them Harriers.

This breed is near akin to the wire-hair Fox-terrier, the principal differences being merely of colour and type. The Welsh Terrier is a wire-haired black or grizzle and tan. The most taking colouring is a jet black body and back with deep tan head, ears, legs, belly, and tail. Several specimens have, however, black foreheads, skulls, ears, and tail, and the black will frequently be seen also extending for a short way down the legs.

The origin of the Great Dane, like that of many other varieties of dogs, is so obscure that all researches have only resulted in speculative theories, but the undoubted antiquity of this dog is proved by the fact that representatives of a breed sufficiently similar to be considered his ancestors are found on some of the oldest Egyptian monuments.

It has never been made quite clear in history why the Spaniards had a dog that was very remarkable for pointing all kinds of game. They have always been a pleasure-loving people, certainly, but more inclined to bull-fighting than field-craft, and yet as early as 1600 they must have had a better dog for game-finding than could have been found in any other part of the world.

The Scottish Terrier as a show dog dates from about 1877 to 1879. He seems almost at once to have attained popularity, and he has progressed gradually since then, ever in an upward direction, until he is to-day one of the most popular and extensively owned varieties of the dog.

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