Many people are deterred from keeping dogs by the belief that the hobby is expensive and that it entails a profitless amount of trouble and anxiety; but to the true dog-lover the anxiety and trouble are far outbalanced by the pleasures of possession, and as to the expense, that is a matter which can be regulated at will. A luxuriously appointed kennel of valuable dogs, who are pampered into sickness, may, indeed, become a serious drain upon the owner's banking account, but if managed on business principles the occupation is capable of yielding a very respectable income. One does not wish to see dog-keeping turned into a profession, and there seems to be something mean in making money by our pets; but the process of drafting is necessary when the kennel is overstocked, and buying and selling are among the interesting accessories of the game, second only to the pleasurable excitement of submitting one's favourites to the judgment of the show-ring. The delights of breeding and rearing should be their own reward, as they usually are, yet something more than mere pin-money can be made by the alert amateur who possesses a kennel of acknowledged merit, and who knows how to turn it to account. A champion ought easily to earn his own living: some are a source of handsome revenue.

Occasionally one hears of very high prices being paid for dogs acknowledged to be perfect specimens of their breed. For the St. Bernard Sir Belvidere sixteen hundred pounds were offered. Plinlimmon was sold for a thousand, the same sum that was paid for the Bulldog Rodney Stone. For the Collies Southport Perfection and Ormskirk Emerald Mr. Megson paid a thousand sovereigns each. Size is no criterion of a dog's market value; Mrs. Ashton Cross is said to have refused two thousand pounds for her celebrated Pekinese Chu-Erh, and there are many lap-dogs now living that could not be purchased for that high price. These are sums which only a competent judge with a long purse would dream of paying for an animal whose tenure of active life can hardly be more than eight or ten years, and already the dog's value must have been attested by his success in competition. It requires an expert eye to perceive the potentialities of a puppy, and there is always an element of speculative risk for both buyer and seller. Many a dog that has been sold for a song has grown to be a famous champion. At Cruft's show in 1905 the Bulldog Mahomet was offered for ten pounds. No one was bold enough to buy him, yet eighteen months afterwards he was sold and considered cheap at a thousand. Uncertainty adds zest to a hobby that is in itself engaging.

Thanks to the influence of the Kennel Club and the institution of dog shows, which have encouraged the improvement of distinct breeds, there are fewer nondescript mongrels in our midst than there were a generation or so ago. A fuller knowledge has done much to increase the pride which the British people take in their canine companions, and our present population of dogs has never been equalled for good quality in any other age or any other land.

The beginner cannot easily go wrong or be seriously cheated, but it is well when making a first purchase to take the advice of an expert and to be very certain of the dog's pedigree, age, temper, and condition. The approved method of buying a dog is to select one advertised for sale in the weekly journals devoted to the dog. A better way still, if a dog of distinguished pedigree is desired, is to apply direct to a well-known owner of the required breed, or to visit one of the great annual shows, such as Cruft's, Manchester, The Ladies' Kennel Association, The Kennel Club (Crystal Palace, in October), The Scottish Kennel Club, or Birmingham, and there choose the dog from the benches, buying him at his catalogue price.

In determining the choice of a breed it is to be remembered that some are better watchdogs than others, some more docile, some safer with children. The size of the breed should be relative to the accommodation available. To have a St. Bernard or a Great Dane galumphing about a small house is an inconvenience, and sporting dogs which require constant exercise and freedom are not suited to the confined life of a Bloomsbury flat. Nor are the long-haired breeds at their best draggling round in the wet, muddy streets of a city. For town life the clean-legged Terrier, the Bulldog, the Pug, and the Schipperke are to be preferred. Bitches are cleaner in the house and more tractable than dogs. The idea that they are more trouble than dogs is a fallacy. The difficulty arises only twice in a twelvemonth for a few days, and if you are watchful there need be no misadventure.

If only one dog, or two or three of the smaller kinds, be kept, there is no imperative need for an outdoor kennel, although all dogs are the better for life in the open air. The house-dog may be fed with meat-scraps from the kitchen served as an evening meal, with rodnim or a dry biscuit for breakfast. The duty of feeding him should be in the hands of one person only. When it is everybody's and nobody's duty he is apt to be neglected at one time and overfed at another. Regularity of feeding is one of the secrets of successful dog-keeping. It ought also to be one person's duty to see that he has frequent access to the yard or garden, that he gets plenty of clean drinking water, plenty of outdoor exercise, and a comfortable bed.

For the toy and delicate breeds it is a good plan to have a dog-room set apart, with a suitable cage or basket-kennel for each dog.

Even delicate Toy dogs, however, ought not to be permanently lodged within doors, and the dog-room is only complete when it has as an annexe a grass plot for playground and free exercise. Next to wholesome and regular food, fresh air and sunshine are the prime necessaries of healthy condition. Weakness and disease come more frequently from injudicious feeding and housing than from any other cause. Among the free and ownerless pariah dogs of the East disease is almost unknown.

For the kennels of our British-bred dogs, perhaps a southern or a south-western aspect is the best, but wherever it is placed the kennel must be sufficiently sheltered from rain and wind, and it ought to be provided with a covered run in which the inmates may have full liberty. An awning of some kind is necessary. Trees afford good shelter from the sun-rays, but they harbour moisture, and damp must be avoided at all costs. When only one outdoor dog is kept, a kennel can be improvised out of a packing-case, supported on bricks above the ground, with the entrance properly shielded from the weather. No dog should be allowed to live in a kennel in which he cannot turn round at full length. Properly constructed, portable, and well-ventilated kennels for single dogs are not expensive and are greatly to be preferred to any amateurish makeshift. A good one for a terrier need not cost more than a pound. It is usually the single dog that suffers most from imperfect accommodation. His kennel is generally too small to admit of a good bed of straw, and if there is no railed-in run attached he must needs be chained up. The dog that is kept on the chain becomes dirty in his habits, unhappy, and savage. His chain is often too short and is not provided with swivels to avert kinks. On a sudden alarm, or on the appearance of a trespassing tabby, he will often bound forward at the risk of dislocating his neck. The yard-dog's chain ought always to be fitted with a stop link spring to counteract the effect of the sudden jerk. The method may be employed with advantage in the garden for several dogs, a separate rope being used for each. Unfriendly dogs can thus be kept safely apart and still be to some extent at liberty.

There is no obvious advantage in keeping a watch-dog on the chain rather than in an enclosed compound, unless he is expected to go for a possible burglar and attack him. A wire-netting enclosure can easily be constructed at very little expense. For the more powerful dogs the use of wrought-iron railings is advisable, and these can be procured cheaply from Spratt's or Boulton and Paul's, fitted with gates and with revolving troughs for feeding from the outside.

Opinions differ as to the best material for the flooring of kennels and the paving of runs. Asphalte is suitable for either in mild weather, but in summer it becomes uncomfortably hot for the feet, unless it is partly composed of cork. Concrete has its advantages if the surface can be kept dry. Flagstones are cold for winter, as also are tiles and bricks. For terriers, who enjoy burrowing, earth is the best ground for the run, and it can be kept free from dirt and buried bones by a rake over in the morning, while tufts of grass left round the margins supply the dogs' natural medicine. The movable sleeping bench must, of course, be of wood, raised a few inches above the floor, with a ledge to keep in the straw or other bedding. Wooden floors are open to the objection that they absorb the urine; but dogs should be taught not to foul their nest, and in any case a frequent disinfecting with a solution of Pearson's or Jeyes' fluid should obviate impurity, while fleas, which take refuge in the dust between the planks, may be dismissed or kept away with a sprinkling of paraffin. Whatever the flooring, scrupulous cleanliness in the kennel is a prime necessity, and the inner walls should be frequently limewashed. It is important, too, that no scraps of rejected food or bones should be left lying about to become putrid or to tempt the visits of rats, which bring fleas. If the dogs do not finish their food when it is served to them, it should be removed until hunger gives appetite for the next meal.

Many breeders of the large and thick-coated varieties, such as St. Bernards, Newfoundlands, Old English Sheepdogs, and rough-haired Collies, give their dogs nothing to lie upon but clean bare boards. The coat is itself a sufficient cushion, but in winter weather straw gives added warmth, and for short-haired dogs something soft, if it is only a piece of carpet or a sack, is needed as a bed to protect the hocks from abrasion.

With regard to feeding, this requires to be studied in relation to the particular breed. One good meal a day, served by preference in the evening, is sufficient for the adult if a dry dog-cake or a handful of rodnim be given for breakfast, and perhaps a large bone to gnaw at. Clean cold water must always be at hand in all weathers, and a drink of milk coloured with tea is nourishing. Goat's milk is particularly suitable for the dog: many owners keep goats on their premises to give a constant supply. It is a mistake to suppose, as many persons do, that meat diet provokes eczema and other skin troubles; the contrary is the case. The dog is by nature a carnivorous animal, and wholesome flesh, either cooked or raw, should be his staple food. Horseflesh, which is frequently used in large establishments, is not so fully to be relied upon as ordinary butcher meat. There is no serious objection to bullocks' heads, sheeps' heads, bullocks' tripes and paunches and a little liver given occasionally is an aperient food which most dogs enjoy. But when it can be afforded, wholesome butcher's meat is without question the proper food. Oatmeal porridge, rice, barley, linseed meal, and bone meal ought only to be regarded as occasional additions to the usual meat diet, and are not necessary when dog cakes are regularly supplied. Well-boiled green vegetables, such as cabbage, turnip-tops, and nettle-tops, are good mixed with the meat; potatoes are questionable. Of the various advertised dog foods, many of which are excellent, the choice may be left to those who are fond of experiment, or who seek for convenient substitutes for the old-fashioned and wholesome diet of the household. Sickly dogs require invalid's treatment; but the best course is usually the simplest, and, given a sound constitution to begin with, any dog ought to thrive if he is only properly housed, carefully fed, and gets abundant exercise.