Pets

Before the Kennel Club found it necessary to insist upon a precise definition of each breed, the Dalmatian was known as the Coach Dog, a name appropriately derived from his fondness for following a carriage, for living in and about the stable, and for accompanying his master's horses at exercise. As an adjunct to the carriage he is peculiarly suitable, for in fine weather he will follow between the wheels for long distances without showing fatigue, keeping easy pace with the best horses.

It is obviously useless to shoot game unless you can find it after it has been wounded or killed, and from the earliest times it has been the habit of sportsmen to train their dogs to do the work which they could not always successfully do for themselves. The Pointers, Setters, and Spaniels of our forefathers were carefully broken not only to find and stand their game, but also to fetch the fallen birds.

The breed of terrier now known as the Dandie Dinmont is one of the races of the dog which can boast of a fairly ancient lineage.

The townsman who knows the shepherd's dog only as he is to be seen, out of his true element, threading his confined way through crowded streets where sheep are not, can have small appreciation of his wisdom and his sterling worth.

I. THE SPANIEL FAMILY.—The Spaniel family is without any doubt one of the most important of the many groups which are included in the canine race, not only on account of its undoubted antiquity, and, compared with other families, its well authenticated lineage, but also because of its many branches and subdivisions, ranging in size from the majestic and massive Clumbers to the diminutive toys which we are accustomed to associate with fair ladies' laps and gaily-decked pens at our big dog shows.

That the Skye Terrier should be called “the Heavenly Breed” is a tribute to the favour in which he is held by his admirers. Certainly when he is seen in perfection he is an exceedingly beautiful dog. As certainly there is no breed more affectionate, more faithful, or more lovable. Among his characteristics are a long-enduring patience, a prompt obedience, and a deep-hearted tenderness, combined with fearless courage.

Intelligent and picturesque, workmanlike and affectionate, the Old English Sheepdog combines, in his shaggy person, the attributes at once of a drover's drudge and of an ideal companion. Although the modern dog is seen less often than of old performing his legitimate duties as a shepherd dog, there is no ground whatever for supposing that he is a whit less sagacious than the mongrels which have largely supplanted him. The instincts of the race remain unchanged; but the mongrel certainly comes cheaper.

The Basset was not familiarly known to British sportsmen before 1863, in which year specimens of the breed were seen at the first exhibition of dogs held in Paris, and caused general curiosity and admiration among English visitors. In France, however, this hound has been used for generations, much as we use our Spaniel, as a finder of game in covert, and it has long been a popular sporting dog in Russia and Germany.

The most devout lover of this charming and beautiful terrier would fail if he were to attempt to claim for him the distinction of descent from antiquity. Bradford, and not Babylon, was his earliest home, and he must be candidly acknowledged to be a very modern manufactured variety of the dog. Yet it is important to remember that it was in Yorkshire that he was made—Yorkshire, where live the cleverest breeders of dogs that the world has known.

The Chow Chow is a dog of great versatility. He is a born sportsman and loves an open-air life—a warrior, always ready to accept battle, but seldom provoking it. He has a way of his own with tramps, and seldom fails to induce them to continue their travels. Yet withal he is tender-hearted, a friend of children, an ideal companion, and often has a clever gift for parlour tricks. In China, his fatherland, he is esteemed for another quality—his excellence as a substitute for roast mutton.

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