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into a prolonged combat. The cat thus flies at the dog, or uses such threatening aspect as she thinks likely to intimidate him from attacking her. I do not wish to impeach the courage of the Newfoundland further than placing it in, as I think, a right point of view. We know he will faithfully protect his master, and in his cause will attack with considerable courage; but I have proof, from personal experience, that his attack could be repelled ; whereas in the same predicament with a game dog I should probably have gotten by far the worst of it.
Be these dogs' attributes wliat they may, I shall much further surprise many when I unhesitatingly affirin that the noble-looking animals we frequently see in our streets, and called " Newfoundlands, are not Newfoundlands at all. T'he true breed are seldom larger than a very large setter, but stronger made, and are in most cases black. The enormous dogs we see have possibly originally descended from them, but have been forced by early and constant high feeding into the size we see. They have been crossed with some dog of a large size; and hence, and from the effect of climate, their change in point of colour, as well as size. The Pomeranian and Siberian dog at one time found his way
into this country. His form is well known. His pricked ears—a feature in all dogs of a northern latitude, or indeed of the very far southspeak at once his country; as does his tail, curling over his back. Independent of the latter peculiarity, he is not altogether to be called an unsigbtly specimen of the canine race; but, unlike most of the species, he wants the fidelity and attachment so leading a feature in the character of dogs. Moreover, he is a sulky, snappish, ill.disposed animal. Doubtless, his treatment in his native country is not such as to produce any attachment to, or continence in, man: hence, perhaps, a morose disposition has been perpetuated. He is, moreover, a useless animal in this country: he is a bad and useless house-dog, and his courage (which is very questionable) is only called forth when he is personally provoked, but is in no way excited by the wishes, or in defence, of his master. As a sporting dog, he is perfectly useless. With these drawbacks in his characteristics, his reign here was a very
We next come to that nearly as useless animal, the pug. conceive no earthly excuse for keeping one, still less for perpetuating the breed. I am quite ready to admit that “ de gustibus non est disputandum ;” but, supposing any one to have the very questionable taste to admire a pug, the most that could be said in his favour is,
qu'il est joli à force d'être laid.” Without pretending to ridiculous or overstrained delicacy, I cannot but think that, as a pet, bis tail curling over his back is (having so short a coat), to say the least, an objection to him ; while, again, I do not think there is a dog living, with this curled-up tail, that in any point of goodness is worth a farthing. I admit, we do see occasionally a foxhound carry his tail arched over his back ; but this is not a naturally-curled tail
. He can “ a tail unfold,” and does so as soon as he goes to work in earnest. In point of disposition, there is nothing, that I am aware of, to be averred against the pug: he is about as good and watchful a night guard as any other little cur that yelps all over a house, from sheer
fright, when no one but itself would hear or see anything to be frightened at. I grant such an animal to be held in detestation by the housebreaker, as awakening the family; but it is not pleasant to be roused from a sound sleep, from no other cause of alarm than some one having, in a drunken frolic, given the door or area-railings a salutation from his stick in passing by. Madame is "sure there is somebody in the house," by " Beau," "Belle," or "Bijou" barking and racing about; so poor Pill Garlic is turned out, to find the great cause of alarm to have been some one harmlessly talking to a policeman near the street-door. Bijou has, meantime, very wisely hid himself beneath his mistress's bed, by which he escapes feeling his master's slippered foot beneath his accursed little curledup tail. So great is the force of prejudice and idea, that a lady who would hold the features of the handsomest bull-dog as frightful, would think those of her pug pretty; though, if seen alone, they would be the supposed prototype of those of an imp of darkness. I should be sorry to deprive a lady of the pleasure of possessing any dog she thought pretty, cur though he might be. In truth, I must admit that, as animals, many curs are very prepossessing in appearance; and some have attributes not to be by any means despised, as my lord's hares and other game could testify: but the pug is, fortunately, all but a solitary specimen of uselessness. If all useful dogs were plain in looks, we should stand quite excused in encouraging a breed of any sort more to be admired as house-pets; but, though I have admitted many curs to be pretty and useful too, while pure-bred dogs are so also, spurious breeds, or breeds of a bad sort, should not be encouraged.
We now come to a far different sort of animal, and which it is the intention of the proposed Exhibition to encourage. It has been sug gested by some that having a trial of the several kinds of dogs would be desirable. This idea has with perfect good sense been repudiated by others, as impossible. It is absolutely and totally so; independ ent of which, it would defeat the great end and aim of the proposed undertaking, which is, to form an exhibition of the choicest and most perfect animals as regards shape and make, size, and general indications of superior abilities as regards the several purposes for which each class of dog is intended: this to be irrespective of the actual merit or superior performance each dog may possess; for it is not at all impossible that a very unsporting-looking cross-made pointer might, from nature, chance, or education, or ali combined, be by far the cleverest performer there; but it would be against all intents of the Exhibition, to award him the first prize, or indeed any prize at all, for possessing attributes for which, after all, he may be mainly indebted to the patience, judgment, and superior abilities of his
We all know that dogs bred from a certain strain seem to have an intuitive aptness for the duties required of them. This saves often a vast amount of trouble in the breaking, and saves the poor animal from many an undeserved chastisement, at the hands of perhaps a brutal gamekeeper-a species of animal that, if exhibited with the dogs, we should find specimens of those possessing desirable attributes far more rare than among the canine race. I may be thought
to be somewhat prejudiced against gamekeepers. I admit my being
I believe the generality of them to be the greatest brutes in existence, with no small spice of the rogue in him. I will com. pare a keeper with a whip to a pack of foxhounds. We have no right to suppose the one to be naturally inore merciful or more brutally disposed than the other; but the one has greater opportunity for practising his brutality, if so disposed, than has the other. The whip has the eyes of the field, those of his master, and also of the huntsman on him ; so he is not permitted to vent his bad temper or ignorant rage on a hound: but the poor pointer, alone with a keeper, is in a far more pitiable case. He has no one to interfere in his cause. He may be virtually flayed alive; and if, as usually is the case, he appears to show terror of his tyrant, this is accounted for by his being “naturally a weak, timid dog.' Keepers are usually plausible enough, and their manners good, from being accustomed to be addressed by, and to address, gentlemen. Masters will frequently have the keeper into the parlour, listen to a score of lies of all sorts, that he has ready, give him a tumbler of port, and, after he has left the room, remark, “Very superior man that. I speak from what I have seen; but, as keepers will not be exhibited, having given them a little bit of truth, I leave them.
There are some attributes, independent of outward show of perfection, that I should consider the judges at the Exhibition might be disposed to take into consideration, as regards sporting dogs. For instance, I should hold undue natural meekness a great drawback; some dogs inherit it to a degree that, figuratively speaking, prevents their learning anything, or the practising it in cases where they have learned. A very loud threatening word used to another dog, or the smack of a whip, will sometimes so intimidate an over-meek one, that he will keep close to your heels the rest of the day. Again, a very surly, sulky, ill-tempered one, besides his being a most unpleasant brute at all times, is as little diposed to be taught as to do anything else we wish him ; he will not learn willingly, and correction only seems to have the effect of making him the more sulky and obstinate. He is very different from the bold, highcouraged dog, whose wildness is only the effect of high spirits, eagerness, and fearlessness; the latter will give us a great deal of trouble, call forth all our patience, and is only to be brought to his proper level by time and judicious chastisement ; for let us bear in mind, his faults are of the best sort, and such as promise, when modified, a most superior servant and sporting companion. If a man cannot command the necessary temper and patience to break such a dog, I can only compliment him by considering him the brute of far the more censurable nature of the two.
Hounds of all sorts, from the bloodhound to the diminutive lap-dog beagle, will of course undergo the same scrutiny; for though they are all hounds, their perfections, as regards outward appearance, are so varied that it will require an intimate acquaintance with each to award merit rightly. The highbred foxhound is no more represented in miniature by the southern beagle, than is the highbred setter by the Clumber spaniel. There is one description of hound that I should think will (as Pat would say) “ bother the judges entirely." I allude to the otter hound. If what I conceive to be the case is correct, there
may be one picked bound of one pack, and another of another, and both so unlike each other as to leave the judges in a dilemma as to which to prefer. Some masters of harriers hunt otter at particular seasons with their pack. I have heard others say, a fearless, determined foxhound is the best otter-hound that can possibly be ; it is not every hound that will hunt this sort of amphibious vermin, or (par excellence) game. So I suspect ; for I am not well versed in this particular sport. Otter dogs—that is, dogs that will hunt otters—is a more appropriate name for them than hound. I once heard a gentleman say, that a bitch almost bull, was the best otter dog he had ; if so, otter hounds, or an otter pack, must be a somewhat heterogeneous lot.
I have heard the query mooted as to whether bulldogs will be admitted, or considered as a race tabooed by the judges. I should hope not; for though I would in no way encourage a breed of dogs to be used for their original legitimate purpose, yet the bull is very serviceable as a cross with others ; to this end it would be desirable to have the few wanted for such purpose as pure and handsome as can be got.
As regards other dogs, I should suppose the judges will not refuse to permit many to be exhibited, whom they may not be disposed to hold as eligible to have prizes awarded to them; for unless this is permitted, we might, and certainly should, lose the examining many dogs crossed with others, that are both more useful or more improved in looks by such
Curs, or rather mongrels, we must admit such dogs are usually held to be; yet it would be somewhat hypercritical to call a bull-terrier a cur, or not to award praise to a harrier because he had a cross of the foxhound; a retriever, because he sprang from a French poodle and a spaniel or Newfoundland; or even a very handsome and first-rate dog as to character for performance, though he might be partly setter and partly pointer. I should say the fair distinction between dogs bred from any cross, where both parents are pure breed of their sort, is—they are cross bred. The mongrel is where both parents were of no definite sort. Again, we must consider a bad cross as a decided mongrel; for instance, a pug with a spaniel or terrier; a hound with a Danish spotted coachdog ; and many others, where no good and much deterioration arises from the cross.
Define as closely as we may, and act impartially as we will, I suspect it will be found that the admission of the different dogs to the Exhibition will be attended with no small share of grumbling from the wouldbe exhibitors, if excluded ; and those admitting candidates will have anything but a sinecure as regards their share in the business. The specifications, as respects the dogs, will be found to involve considerable difficulty. If they are too stringent and exclusive, we deprive the public of a considerable share of interest and gratification ; for we are to bear in mind, not a tithe part of its visitants will be sportsmen. But again, if we do not clearly designate what is to be exhibited, and are or are not eligible for prizes, we shall be inundated by half the dog-fanciers and dog-dealers from the lowest parts of the metropolis.
More than as a pleasing amusing morning lounge, and one to gratify curiosity in some, and interest in others, I cannot see much absolute national benefit likely to accrue from the proposed Exhibition. Masters of hounds, the shot (if celebrated), and the courser, all now strive to breed to the highest perfection ; nor do I consider their efforts will be much stimulated by the prizes offered. A huntsman may feel proud if a silver horn is awarded him, for what the judges consider the bestlooking foxhound; or a keeper or trainer of greyhounds may be equally pleased with a silver-mounted drinking horn, for the best dog of the kind he has had the management and breeding of. The Quorn would not feel at all elevated because one hound from their pack was awarded the prize. The Quorn can but be the Quorn ; and being so, cannot rank higher. Aquila non captat muscas.
HARRY HIEOVER. May 2nd.
THE SA L M ON-TRO U T.
Towards the latter end of the past, and during the present month, the above fish presents itself in our estuaries. It bas been a puzzle to many to ascertain whether the subject of my remarks is a sub-species of the salmon (Salmo marinus major), or is of the trout ( Trutta) family. By some anglers in the West of England it is regarded as the " salmon peel "( Salmo marinus minor); but it is a far more delicate fish in its general complexion than the latter, nor does it run to the size or weight of that fish. It comes to us with the anthera or “sand smelt,” and may be observed, on its first arrival, to be engaged during the day in hot pursuit of these little fish. On its entry iuto the freshes, it delights to indulge in sportive sallies, leaping out of the water to some height, either with a view to prey upon some volitant insect on the wing, or to initiate itself into the practice of effecting summersaults, which it is preparing to make, on its passage to the many obstructions it is liable to meet with, in the act of surmounting locks, hatches connected with mill-ponds and other barriers, so frequently recurrent in the beds of rivers.
On being taken, at an early period after it has ventured into our streams, like its congener the salmon, it is not in its full condition, but is thin and unsettled in form, like a trout when out of season, whilst the general aspect of the fish is somewhat coarse and unseemly ; but, as soon as it has benefited by a short residence in the fresh water, it is found to improve rapidly in condition, appearance, and quality, and may be regarded as one of the most delicate and inviting samples of excellence that can be met with in the piscatorial calendar.
During my residence on the Hampshire coast, I had frequent opportunities, during several successive seasons, of making myself acquainted with the nature and habits of this migratory visitant. I have witnessed salmon-trout captured in nets, and I have taken them, on various occasions, by means of the artificial and natural fly; but I never recognized any of them exceeding four pounds and a half in weight, and this circumstance tends the more to convince me that they are quite a distinct class of the salmon or trout family.
The nearest fish of all others, I ever met with, which they closely resemble, is the “loch trout," peculiar to some of the lakes of Scotland, and those