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Title: Dog Breaking - The Most Expeditious, Certain, and Easy Method, Whether - Great Excellence or Only Mediocrity Be Required, With Odds - and Ends for Those Who Love the Dog and Gun
Author: Hutchinson, W. N. (William Nelson)
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Dog Breaking - The Most Expeditious, Certain, and Easy Method, Whether - Great Excellence or Only Mediocrity Be Required, With Odds - and Ends for Those Who Love the Dog and Gun" ***

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Transcriber's Notes: Italic text is marked _thus_; bold text is
shown =thus=. Small capitals have been changed to ALL CAPITALS.

*+* represents inverted asterism. Apparent typographical and
punctuation errors have been corrected and hyphenation standardised
except where the meaning would be affected. Original accentuation
has been retained with one exception, (see further transcriber's
notes). Original spelling has been retained with some exceptions which
are explained in the further transcriber's note at the end of the
main text. Footnotes moved to the end of the book (prior to further
transcriber's notes).



[Page Header: VARIOUS RETRIEVERS.]

[Illustration: CROSS BETWEEN WATER SPANIEL AND NEWFOUNDLAND
DOG--BETWEEN WATER SPANIEL AND SETTER DOG--BETWEEN SETTER AND
NEWFOUNDLAND DOG.]



DOG BREAKING.

  THE MOST EXPEDITIOUS, CERTAIN, AND EASY METHOD,
  WHETHER GREAT EXCELLENCE OR ONLY MEDIOCRITY BE REQUIRED,
  WITH ODDS AND ENDS FOR THOSE WHO LOVE
  THE DOG AND GUN.

BY MAJOR-GENERAL W. N. HUTCHINSON,

LATE COLONEL GRENADIER GUARDS.

_FOURTH EDITION, REVISED AND ENLARGED._

[Illustration: NEAR WALTHAM ABBEY, 1st Sept. 1847.]

LONDON:

JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET.

1865.



LONDON

R. CLAY, SON, AND TAYLOR, PRINTERS,

BREAD STREET HILL.



PREFACE TO FOURTH EDITION.


A FOURTH preface, Mr. Murray!!!

There are not sufficient materials, although there is some fresh
matter, and undeniably, many excellent sketches, thanks to the clever
artist F. W. KEYL, and the talented amateur John M----n, who, contrary
to the advice of many friends, has determined that the sword shall be
his profession rather than the pencil.

Well!--another party shall speak for me, and much surprised will he be
to find the duty his words are performing; but they advocate so good
a cause that I feel sure of his forgiveness. He writes in the third
person, for we are perfect strangers to each other.

"Captain T----r has all his life been a most enthusiastic sportsman,
but never broke a dog, until a year ago, when he happened to come
across the Major-General's work on 'Dog-breaking.' Since then he has
trained two _entirely_ on the system laid down in the book. People say
they have never before seen dogs so well broken--certainly the owner
never has."

"Always an ardent disciple of St. Hubert, Captain T----r is now
still more so from the increased gratification he derives from the
performance of animals trained entirely by himself."

Reader, why not give yourself a similar gratification?

W. N. H.

GOVERNMENT HOUSE, DEVONPORT,

_December, 1864_.



PREFACE TO THIRD EDITION.


I cannot help congratulating my canine friends, (and may I not their
masters also?), on the circulation of two large impressions of this
work; for I trust that many of the suggestions therein offered have
been adopted, and that their education has consequently been effected
in a much shorter period, and with far less punishment, than that of
their forefathers.

I have endeavoured in the present edition to render more complete the
lessons respecting Setters and Pointers. I have added somewhat on the
subject of Spaniels, Retrievers, and Bloodhounds. It has been my aim,
also, to give a few useful hints regarding the rearing and preservation
of Game; and I shall be disappointed if the youngest of my readers
does not derive, from the perusal of what I have written, an assurance
that he need not take the field wholly ignorant of all sporting
matters, or without any knowledge of the best method of "handling arms."

W. N. H.



PREFACE TO SECOND EDITION.


When Colonel Hawker, who has been styled the "Emperor of Sportsmen,"
writes to me, (and kindly permits me to quote his words), "I perfectly
agree with you in everything you have said, and I think your work
should be preached in a series of lectures to every dog-breaker in
the profession, as all these fellows are too fond of the whip, which
hardens the animal they are instructing, and the use of their own
tongues, which frighten away the birds you want to shoot," I feel
some confidence in the correctness of what I have put forth. But
there may be points that have not been noticed, and some things that
require explanation, especially as regards Spaniels and Retrievers. In
endeavouring to supply these deficiencies, I hope my additional prosing
may not send the dog-breaker to sleep, instead of helping to make him
more "wide-awake."

W. N. H.



PREFACE NO PREFACE.

(FOR FIRST EDITION.)


My respected Publisher has suggested that a Preface may be expected.
His opinion on such a subject ought to be law; but as I fear my readers
may think that I have already sufficiently bored them, I will beg them,
in Irish fashion, to refer any formalist, who considers a Preface
necessary, to the _conclusion_ of the work, where a statement will be
found of the motive which induced me to write.

W. N. H.



CONTENTS.


  CHAPTER I.
                                                                  PAGE

  PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS. QUALIFICATIONS, IN BREAKER,--IN
  DOG                                                                1

  CHAPTER II.

  INITIATORY LESSONS WITHIN DOORS. SHOOTING PONIES                   9

  CHAPTER III.

  INITIATORY LESSONS CONTINUED. SPANIELS                            20

  CHAPTER IV.

  LESSONS IN "FETCHING."--RETRIEVERS                                57

  CHAPTER V.

  INITIATORY LESSONS OUT OF DOORS.--TRICKS                          76

  CHAPTER VI.

  FIRST LESSON IN SEPTEMBER COMMENCED. RANGING                      99

  CHAPTER VII.

  FIRST LESSONS IN SEPTEMBER CONTINUED. CAUTION.--NATURE'S
  MYSTERIOUS INFLUENCES                                            111

  CHAPTER VIII.

  FIRST LESSON IN SEPTEMBER CONTINUED. CUNNING OF AGE.--RANGE
  OF FROM TWO TO SIX DOGS                                          129

  CHAPTER IX.

  FIRST LESSON IN SEPTEMBER CONTINUED. "POINT" NOT RELINQUISHED
  FOR "DOWN CHARGE"                                                150

  CHAPTER X.

  FIRST LESSON IN SEPTEMBER CONTINUED. ASSISTANT.--VERMIN          165

  CHAPTER XI.

  FIRST LESSON IN SEPTEMBER CONCLUDED. BAR.--LEG STRAP.
  --SPIKE-COLLAR                                                   176

  CHAPTER XII.

  SHOOTING HARES. COURAGE IMPARTED.--"BACKING" TAUGHT              194

  CHAPTER XIII.

  HINTS TO PURCHASERS. PRICE OF DOGS.--SHEEP KILLING               210

  CHAPTER XIV.

  A REST BEYOND "HALF-WAY HOUSE." ANECDOTES OF DOGS ON
  SERVICE AT HOME                                                  230

  CHAPTER XV.

  ANECDOTES OF DOGS ON SERVICE ABROAD. RUSSIAN SETTERS             249

  CHAPTER XVI.

  DISTINGUISHING WHISTLES. "BACKING" THE GUN. RETREAT
  FROM AND RESUMPTION OF POINT. RANGE UNACCOMPANIED
  BY GUN. HEADING RUNNING BIRDS                                    278

  CHAPTER XVII.

  SETTER TO RETRIEVE. BLOODHOUNDS. RETRIEVERS TO "BEAT."
  WOUNDED WILDFOWL RETRIEVED BEFORE THE KILLED                     294

  CHAPTER XVIII.

  BECKFORD. ST. JOHN. CONDITION. INOCULATION. VACCINATION.
  CONCLUSION                                                       307

  POSTSCRIPT: MR. L----G'S LETTER                                  322

  APPENDIX:

  COVERS, SHOOTING, LOADING                                        328

  TRAPPING.--OWL AS DECOY.--HEN HARRIER.--KEEPER'S
  VERMIN-DOGS.--STOATS                                             331

  REARING PHEASANTS.--CANTELO.--PHEASANTRIES.--MR. KNOX            335

  SETTERS.--POACHERS.--KEEPERS.--NETTING PARTRIDGES.
  --BLOODHOUNDS.--NIGHT-DOGS                                       344


  INDEX, _in which the figures refer to the numbers of the
  paragraphs, and not to the pages_                                349



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


  VARIOUS RETRIEVERS                                 _Frontispiece._

  SCENE NEAR WALTHAM ABBEY, _1st Sept. 1847_         _Title-page._

  OLD-FASHIONED ENGLISH SETTER,--RETRIEVERS, ONE A CROSS
  WITH BLOODHOUND. (Lesson VIII. Par. 141)                _Page_    25

  THE CHECK--'HOLD HARD!'                                           30

  A FOUR-LEGGED WHIPPER-IN                                          33

  CLUMBERS. (Lesson III. Par. 141)                                  43

  WILD SPANIELS. (Lesson XII. Par. 141)                             47

  IRISH WATER SPANIEL. (Lesson I. Par. 141)                         53

  INCLINED TO 'RAT'                                                 77

  BROACHING A BARREL                                                84

  DEAF TO THE VOICE OF PERSUASION                                   90

  A SOLICITOR                                                       91

  REPLETE WITH GOOD THINGS                                          95

  BACKING THE GUN AGAINST THE BIRD                                 117

  SAFELY MOORED, 'STEM' AND 'STERN'                                121

  "STIFF BY THE TAINTED GALE WITH OPEN NOSE
  OUTSTRETCHED AND FINELY SENSIBLE"                                124

  A DOG-FISH                                                       125

  "SMALL, ACTIVE POINTER." (Lesson IX. Par. 141)                   131

  "SHORT-LEGGED STRONG-LOINED SUSSEX SPANIEL." (Lesson
  XV. Par. 141)                                                    137

  "DUKE OF GORDON'S BLACK AND TAN SETTERS." (Lesson
  XIV. Par. 141)                                                   141

  LARGE HEAVY POINTER. (Lesson X. Pars. 141 and 266)               157

  CARRYING A POINT, AND CARRYING A POINTER                         173

  THE FIRST COURSE                                                 197

  FASHIONABLE (ENGLISH) SETTER, AND OLD-FASHIONED POINTER.
  (Lesson XIII. Par. 141)                                          215

  IRISH RED SETTER. (Lesson II. Par. 141)                          221

  SCENE FROM 'CRIPPLE-GAIT.'--'GAME' TO THE LAST                   237

  DOMINI AND 'DOMINOS'                                             245

  THE MIGHTY KING                                                  254

  COOL AS A CUCUMBER                                               255

  A REGULAR BORE                                                   259

  THERE ARE BOUNDS TO SPORT                                        263

  WARM GREETING OF A GREAT 'BORE'                                  266

  INVITATION TO A 'WHITE-BAIT' DINNER                              267

  BRINGING HOME THE BRUSH                                          269

  SCENE ON THE 'THLEW-ĔE-CHŌH-DEZETH'                           272

  RUSSIAN SETTER. (Lesson XI. Pars. 141 and 266)                   275

  TELL ME MY HEART (HART) IF THIS BE LOVE                          283

  DIVISION OF PROPERTY                                             297

  "EXAMPLE BETTER THAN PRECEPT"                                    303

  PORTRAIT OF BRISK                                                321

  'FOUL' FEEDING                                                   336

  A WELL-TRAINED BLOODHOUND                                        345

*+*_The Frontispiece, Vignette Title, and the Lessons, are designed and
drawn on Wood by_ F. W. KEYL. _See 4th Preface._



DOG-BREAKING.



CHAPTER I.

PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS. QUALIFICATIONS, IN BREAKER,--IN DOG.

1. Dog-breaking an Art easily acquired.--2. Most expeditious Mode
of imparting every Degree of Education. Time bestowed determines
Grade of Education. In note, Col. Hawker's opinion.--3. Sportsmen
recommended to break in their own Dogs.--4. Men of property too
easily satisfied with badly broken Dogs. Keepers have no Excuse for
Dogs being badly broken.--5. Great Experience in Dog-breaking, or
Excellence in Shooting, not necessary. Dispositions of Dogs vary.--6.
What is required in an Instructor.--7. Early in a Season any Dog will
answer, a good one necessary afterwards. Hallooing, rating Dogs,
and loud whistling spoil Sport. In note, Age and choice of birds.
Several shots fired from Stooks at Grouse without alarming them.
American Partridges and our Pheasants killed while at roost.--8. What
a well broken Dog ought to do.--9. Severity reprobated.--10. Astley's
Method of teaching his Horses.--11. Franconi's _Cirque National de
Paris_.--12. _Initiatory_ Lessons recommended--to be given when alone
with Dog--given fasting.--13. Success promised if rules be followed.
Advantages of an expeditious Education. September shooting not
sacrificed.

[Page Header: ART EASILY ACQUIRED.]

1. Dog-breaking, so far from being a mystery, is an art easily acquired
when it is commenced and continued on rational principles.

2. I think you will be convinced of this if you will have the patience
to follow me, whilst I endeavour to explain what, I am satisfied, is
the most certain and rapid method of breaking in your dogs, whether
you require great proficiency in them, or are contented with an
inferior education. No quicker system has yet been devised, however
humble the education may be. The education in fact, of the peasant,
and that of the future double-first collegian, begins and proceeds on
the same principle. You know your own circumstances, and you must
yourself determine what time you choose to devote to tuition; and, as a
consequence, the degree of excellence to which you aspire. I can only
assure you of my firm conviction, that no other means will enable you
to gain your object so quickly; and I speak with a confidence derived
from long experience in many parts of the world, on a subject that was,
for several years, my great hobby.[1]

3. Every writer is presumed to take some interest in his reader; I
therefore feel privileged to address you as a friend, and will commence
my lecture by strongly recommending, that, if your occupations will
allow it, you take earnestly and heartily to educating your dogs
yourself. If you possess temper and some judgment, and will implicitly
attend to my advice, I will go bail for your success; and much as you
may now love shooting, you will then like it infinitely more. Try the
plan I recommend, and I will guarantee that the Pointer or Setter pup
which I will, for example sake, suppose to be now in your kennel, shall
be a better dog by the end of next season (I mean a more killing dog)
than probably any you ever yet shot over.

4. Possibly, you will urge, that you are unable to spare the time which
I consider necessary for giving him a high education, (brief as that
time is, compared with the many, many months wasted in the tedious
methods usually employed), and that you must, perforce, content
yourself with humbler qualifications. Be it so. I can only condole with
you, for in your case this may be partly true; mind I only say _partly_
true. But how a man of property, who keeps a regular gamekeeper, can
be satisfied with the disorderly, disobedient troop, to which he often
shoots, I cannot understand. Where the gamekeeper is permitted to
accompany his master in the field, and hunt the dogs himself, there
can be no valid excuse for the deficiency in their education. The
deficiency must arise either from the incapacity, or from the idleness
of the keeper.

5. Unlike most other arts, dog-breaking does not require much
experience; but such a knowledge of dogs, as will enable you to
discriminate between their different tempers and dispositions (I had
almost said characters)--and they vary greatly--is very advantageous.
Some require constant encouragement; some you must never beat;
whilst, to gain the required ascendancy over others, the whip must be
occasionally employed. Nor is it necessary that the instructor should
be a very good shot; which probably is a more fortunate circumstance
for me than for you. It should even be received as a principle that
birds ought to be now and then missed to young dogs, lest some day,
if your nerves happen to be out of order, or a cockney companion be
harmlessly blazing away, your dog take it into his head and heels to
run home in disgust, as I have seen a bitch, called Countess, do more
than once, in Haddingtonshire.

[Page Header: REQUISITES IN AN INSTRUCTOR.]

6. The chief requisites in a breaker are:--Firstly, command of temper,
that he may never be betrayed into giving one unnecessary blow, for,
with dogs as with horses, no work is so well done as that which is
done cheerfully; secondly, consistency, that in the exhilaration of
his spirits, or in his eagerness to secure a bird, he may not permit
a fault to pass unreproved (I do not say _unpunished_) which at a
less exciting moment he would have noticed--and that, on the other
hand, he may not correct a dog the more harshly, because the shot has
been missed, or the game lost; and lastly, the exercise of a little
reflection, to enable him to judge what meaning an unreasoning animal
is likely to attach to every word and sign, nay to every look.

[Page Header: HALLOING SPOILS SPORT.]

7. With the coarsest tackle, and worst flies, trout can be taken in
unflogged waters, while it requires much science, and the finest gut,
to kill persecuted fish. It is the same in shooting. With almost any
sporting dog, game can be killed early in the season, when the birds
lie like stones, and the dog can get within a few yards of them; but
you will require one highly broken, to obtain many shots when they are
wild. Then any incautious approach of the dog, or any noise, would
flush the game, and your own experience will tell you that nothing so
soon puts birds on the run, and makes them so ready to take flight,
as the sound of the human voice, especially now-a-days, when farmers
generally prefer the scythe to the sickle, and clean husbandry, large
fields, and trim narrow hedges, (affording no shelter from wet) have
forced the partridge--a _short-winged_[2] bird--unwillingly to seek
protection (when arrived at maturity) in ready flight rather than in
concealment. Even the report of a gun does not so much alarm them as
the command, "Toho," or "Down charge,"[3] usually, too, as if to make
matters worse, hallooed to the extent of the breaker's lungs. There
are anglers who recommend silence as conducive to success, and there
are no experienced sportsmen who do not acknowledge its great value
in shooting. Rate or beat a dog at one end of a field, and the birds
at the other will lift their heads, become uneasy, and be ready to
take wing the moment you get near them. "Penn," in his clever maxims
on Angling and Chess, observes to this effect, "if you wish to see
the fish, do not let him see you;" and with respect to shooting, we
may as truly say, "if you wish birds to hear your gun, do not let
them hear your voice." Even a loud whistle disturbs them. Mr. O----t
of C----e says, a gamekeeper's motto ought to be,--"No whistling--no
whipping--no noise, when master goes out for sport."

[Page Header: WHAT A DOG OUGHT TO DO.]

8. These observations lead unavoidably to the inference, that no dog
can be considered perfectly broken, that does not make his point when
first he feels assured of the presence of game, and remain stationary
_where he makes it_, until urged on by you to draw nearer--that does
not, as a matter of course, lie down without any word of command the
moment you have fired, and afterwards perseveringly seek for the dead
bird in the direction you may point out,--and all this without your
once having occasion to speak, more than to say in a low voice, "Find,"
when he gets near the dead bird, as will be hereafter explained.
Moreover, it must be obvious that he risks leaving game behind him
if he does not hunt every part of a field, and, on the other hand,
that he wastes your time and his strength, if he travel twice over
the same ground, nay, over any ground which his powers of scent have
already reached. Of course, I am now speaking of a dog hunted without a
companion to share his labours.

9. You may say, "How is all this, which sounds so well in theory, to be
obtained in practice without great severity?" Believe me, with severity
it never can be attained. If flogging would make a dog perfect, few
would be found unbroken in England or Scotland, and scarcely one in
Ireland.

10. Astley's method was to give each horse his preparatory lessons
alone, and when there was no noise or anything to divert his attention
from his instructor. If the horse was interrupted during the lesson, or
his attention in any way withdrawn, he was dismissed for that day. When
perfect in certain lessons by himself, he was associated with other
horses, whose education was further advanced. And it was the practice
of that great master to reward his horses with slices of carrot or
apple when they performed well.

[Page Header: ASTLEY AND FRANCONI.]

11. Mons. A. Franconi in a similar manner rewards his horses. One
evening I was in such a position, at a performance of the _Cirque
National de Paris_, that I could clearly see, during the _Lutte des
Voltigeurs_, that the broad-backed horse held for the men to jump
over was continually coaxed with small slices of carrots to remain
stationary, whilst receiving their hard thumps as they sprang upon him.
I could not make out why the horse was sniffing and apparently nibbling
at the chest of the man standing in front of him with a rein in each
hand to keep his tail towards the spring-board, until I remarked that a
second man, placed in the rear of the other, every now and then, slily
passed his hand under his neighbour's arm to give the horse a small
piece of carrot.

12. Astley may give us a useful hint in our far easier task of
dog-breaking. We see that he endeavoured by kindness and patience to
make the horse thoroughly comprehend the meaning of certain words and
signals before he allowed him any companion. So ought you, by what
may be termed "initiatory lessons," to make your young dog perfectly
understand the meaning of certain words and signs, before you hunt him
in the company of another dog--nay, before you hunt him at all; and, in
pursuance of Astley's plan, you ought to give these lessons when you
are alone with the dog, and his attention is not likely to be withdrawn
to other matters. Give them, also, when he is fasting, as his faculties
will then be clearer, and he will be more eager to obtain any rewards
of biscuit or other food.

[Page Header: QUICK TRAINING.]

13. Be assured, that by a consistent adherence to the simple rules
which I will explain, you can obtain the perfection I have described,
(8) with more ease and expedition than you probably imagine to be
practicable; and, if you will zealously follow my advice, I promise,
that, instead of having to give up your shooting in September, (for
I am supposing you to be in England) while you break in your pup, you
shall then be able to take him into the field, provided he is tolerably
well-bred and well disposed, perfectly obedient, and, except that he
will not have a well-confirmed, judicious range, almost perfectly
made; at least so far made, that he will only commit such faults, as
naturally arise from want of experience. Let me remind you also, that
the keep of dogs is expensive, and supplies an argument for making them
earn their bread by hunting to a _useful_ purpose, as soon as they are
of an age to work without injury to their constitution. Time, moreover,
is valuable to us all, or most of us fancy it is. Surely, then, that
system of education is best which imparts the most expeditiously the
required degree of knowledge.



CHAPTER II.

INITIATORY LESSONS WITHIN DOORS. SHOOTING PONIES.

14. One Instructor better than two.--15. Age at which Education
commences.--In-door breaking for hours, better than Out-door for
weeks.--16. To obey all necessary Words of Command and all Signals
before shown Game.--17. Unreasonableness of not always giving
Initiatory Lessons--leads to Punishment--thence to Blinking.--18.
Dog to be _your_ constant Companion, not another's.--19, 21, 22.
Instruct when alone with him. Initiatory Lessons in his Whistle--in
"Dead"--"Toho"--"On"--20. All Commands and Whistling to be given in a
low Tone.--23 to 26. Lessons in "Drop"--Head between fore-legs--Setters
crouch more than Pointers.--24. Slovenly to employ right arm both
for "Drop" and "Toho."--27. Lessons in "Down charge"--Taught at
Pigeon-match--Rewards taken from Hand.--28. Cavalry Horses fed at
discharge of Pistol--Same plan pursued with Dogs.--29. Dog unusually
timid to be coupled to another.--30. Lessons at Feeding Time, with
Checkcords.--31. Obedience of Hounds contrasted with that of most
Pointers and Setters.--32. Shooting Ponies--how broken in.--33. Horse's
rushing at his Fences cured--Pony anchored.


14. It is seldom of any advantage to a dog to have more than one
instructor. The methods of teaching may be the same; but there will be
a difference in the tone of voice and in the manner, that will more or
less puzzle the learner, and retard rather than advance his education.
If, therefore, you resolve to break in your dog, do it entirely
yourself: let no one interfere with you.

15. As a general rule, let his education begin when he is about six
or seven months old,[4] (although I allow that some dogs are more
precocious than others, and bitches always more forward than dogs,)
but it ought to be nearly completed before he is shown a bird (132).
A quarter of an hour's daily in-door training--called by the Germans
"house-breaking"--for three or four weeks will effect more than a
month's constant hunting without preliminary tuition.

[Page Header: USE OF INITIATORY LESSONS.]

16. Never take your young dog out of doors for instruction, until he
has learned to know and obey the several words of command which you
intend to give him in the field, and is well acquainted with all the
signs which you will have occasion to make to him with your arms. These
are what may be called the initiatory lessons.

17. Think a moment, and you will see the importance of this preliminary
instruction, though rarely imparted. Why should it be imagined, that
at the precise moment when a young dog is enraptured with the first
sniff of game, he is, by some mysterious unaccountable instinct, to
understand the meaning of the word "Toho?" Why should he not conceive
it to be a word of encouragement to rush in upon the game, as he
probably longs to do; especially if it should be a partridge fluttering
before him, in the sagacious endeavour to lure him from her brood, or a
hare enticingly cantering off from under his nose? There are breakers
who would correct him for not intuitively comprehending and obeying
the "Toho," roared out with stentorian lungs; though, it is obvious,
the youngster, from having had no previous instruction, could have no
better reason for understanding its import, than the watch-dog chained
up in yonder farm-yard. Again he hears the word "Toho"--again followed
by another licking, accompanied perhaps by the long lecture, "'Ware
springing birds, will you?" The word "Toho" then begins to assume a
most awful character; he naturally connects it with the finding of
game, and not understanding a syllable of the lecture, lest he should
a third time hear it, and get a third drubbing, he judges it most
prudent, (unless he is a dog of very high courage) when next aware of
the presence of birds, to come in to heel; and thus he commences to be
a blinker, thanks to the sagacity and intelligence of his tutor. I do
not speak of all professional dog-breakers, far from it. Many are fully
sensible that comprehension of orders must necessarily precede all but
accidental obedience. I am only thinking of some whom it has been my
misfortune to see, and who have many a time made my blood boil at their
brutal usage of a fine high-couraged young dog. Men who had a strong
arm and hard heart to punish,--but no temper and no head to instruct.

[Page Header: DOG YOUR COMPANION.]

18. So long as you are a bachelor, you can make a companion of your
dog, without incurring the danger of his being spoiled by your wife
and children; (the more, by-the-bye, he is your own companion and no
other person's the better) and it is a fact, though you may smile at
the assertion, that all the initiatory lessons can be, and can best be,
inculcated in your own breakfast-room.

[Page Header: "LEAD."--"TOHO."--"ON."]

19. Follow Astley's plan. Let no one be present to distract the dog's
attention. Call him to you by the whistle you propose always using in
the field. Tie a slight cord a few yards long to his collar. Throw him
a small piece of toast or meat, saying, at the time, "Dead, dead."
Do this several times, chucking it into different parts of the room,
and let him eat what he finds. Then throw a piece (always as you do
so saying, "Dead"), and the moment he gets close to it, check him by
jerking the cord, at the same time saying, "Toho," and lifting up your
right arm almost perpendicularly. By pressing on the cord with your
foot, you can restrain him as long as you please. Do not let him take
what you have thrown, until you give him the encouraging word, "On,"
accompanied by a forward movement of the right arm and hand, somewhat
similar to the swing of an underhand bowler at cricket.

20. Let all your commands be given in a low voice. Consider that in the
field, where you are anxious not to alarm the birds unnecessarily, your
words must reach your dogs' ears more or less softened by distance,
and, if their influence depends on loudness, they will have the least
effect at the very moment when you wish them to have the most. For
the same reason, in the initiatory lessons, be careful not to whistle
loudly.[5]

21. After a few trials with the checkcord, you will find yourself
enabled, without touching it, and merely by using the word "Toho," to
prevent his seizing the toast (or meat), until you say "On," or give
him the forward signal. When he gets yet more perfect in his lesson,
raising your right arm only, without employing your voice, will be
sufficient, especially if you have gradually accustomed him to hear
you speak less and less loudly. If he draw towards the bread before he
has obtained leave, jerk the cord, and _drag him back to the spot from
which he stirred_. He is not to quit it until you order him, occupy
yourself as you may. Move about, and occasionally go from him, as far
as you can, before you give the command "On." This will make him less
unwilling hereafter to continue steady at his point while you are
taking a circuit to head him, and so get wild birds between him and
your gun, (265, 284.) The signal for his advancing, when you are facing
him, is the "beckon" (see 37).

22. At odd times let him take the bread the moment you throw it, that
his eagerness to rush forward to seize it may be continued, only to be
instantly restrained at your command.

[Page Header: "DROP."--"DOWN CHARGE."]

23. Your _left_ arm raised perpendicularly, in a similar manner,
should make the young dog lie down. Call out "Drop," when so holding
up the left hand, and press him down with the other until he assumes
a crouching position. If you study beauty of attitude, his fore-legs
ought to be extended, and his head rest between them. Make him lie well
down, occasionally walking round and round him, gradually increasing
the size of the circle--your eyes on his. Do not let him raise himself
to a sitting posture. If you do, he will have the greater inclination
hereafter to move about: _especially when you want to catch him, in
order to chide or correct him_. A halt is all you require for the
"Toho," and you would prefer his standing to his point, rather than his
lying down,[6] as you then would run less risk of losing sight of him
in cover, heather, or high turnips, &c. Setters, however, naturally
crouch so much more than Pointers, that you will often not be able to
prevent their "falling" when they are close to game. Indeed, I have
heard some sportsmen argue in favour of a dog's dropping, "that it
rested him." An advantage, in my opinion, in no way commensurate with
the inconvenience that often attends the practice.

24. If you are satisfied with teaching him in a slovenly manner, you
can employ your right arm both for the "Toho" and "Drop;" but that is
not quite correct, for the former is a natural stop, (being the pause
to determine exactly where the game is lying, preparatory to rushing in
to seize it,) which you prolong by art,[7] whilst the other is wholly
opposed to nature. The one affords him great delight, especially when,
from experience, he has well learned its object: the latter is always
irksome. Nevertheless, it must be firmly established. It is the triumph
of your art. It insures future obedience. But it cannot be effectually
taught without creating more or less awe, and it should create awe.
It is obvious, therefore, that it must be advantageous to make a
distinction between the two signals,--especially with a timid dog,--for
he will not then be so likely to blink on seeing you raise your right
hand, when he is drawing upon game. Nevertheless, there are breakers
so unreasonable as not only to make that one signal, but the one word
"Drop" (or rather "Down") answer both for the order to point, and the
order to crouch! How can such tuition serve to enlarge a dog's ideas?

[Page Header: USE OF CHECKCORD.]

25. To perfect him in the "Down," that difficult part of his
education,--difficult, because it is unnatural,--practise it in your
walks. At very uncertain, unexpected times catch his eye, (having
previously stealthily taken hold of the checkcord--a long, light one,)
or whistle to call his attention, and then hold up your left arm. If
he does not _instantly_ drop, jerk the checkcord violently, and, as
before, drag him back to the exact spot where he should have crouched
down. Admit of no compromise. You must have _implicit, unhesitating,
instant_, obedience. When you quit him, he must not be allowed to
crawl _an inch_ after you. If he attempt it, drive a spike into the
ground, and attach the end of the checkcord to it, allowing the line
to be slack; then leave him quickly, and on his running after you he
will be brought up with a sudden jerk. So much the better: it will
slightly alarm him. As before, take him back to the precise place he
quitted,--do this invariably, though he may have scarcely moved. There
make him again "Drop"--always observing to jerk the cord at the moment
you give the command. After a few trials of this tethering, (say less
than a dozen) he will be certain to lie down steadily, until you give
the proper order or a signal (21), let you run away, or do what you
may to excite him to move. One great advantage of frequently repeating
this lesson, and thus teaching it _thoroughly_, is, that your dog will
hereafter always feel, more or less, in subjection, whenever the cord
is fastened to his collar. He must be brought to instantly obey the
signal, even at the extreme limit of his beat.

26. Most probably he will not at first rise when he is desired. There
is no harm in that,--a due sense of the inutility of non-compliance
with the order to "Drop," and a wholesome dread of the attendant
penalty, will be advantageous. Go up to him,--pat him,--and lead him
for some paces, "making much of him," as they say in the cavalry. Dogs
which are over-headstrong and resolute, can only be brought under
satisfactory command by this lesson being indelibly implanted,--and
I think a master before he allows the keeper to take a pup into the
field to show him game, should insist upon having ocular demonstration
that he is perfect in the "Drop."

[Page Header: PUPPIES AT PIGEON MATCH.]

27. When he is well confirmed in this all-important lesson, obeying
implicitly, yet cheerfully, you may, whilst he is lying down, (in order
to teach him the "down charge,") go through the motions of loading,
on no account permitting him to stir until you give him the forward
signal, or say "On." After a few times you may fire off a copper cap,
and then a little powder, but be very careful not to alarm him. Until
your dog is quite reconciled to the report of a gun, never take him up
to any one who may be firing. I have, however, known of puppies being
familiarized to the sound, by being at first kept at a considerable
distance from the party firing, and then gradually, and by slow degrees
brought nearer. This can easily be managed at a rifle or pigeon match,
and the companionship of a made-dog would much expedite matters.
Whenever, in the lessons, your young dog has behaved steadily and well,
give him a reward. Do not throw it to him; let him take it from your
hands. It will assist in making him tender-mouthed, and in attaching
him to you.

[Page Header: LESSONS AT FEEDING TIME.]

28. In some cavalry regiments in India, the feeding-time is denoted by
the firing off of a pistol. This soon changes a young horse's first
dread of the report into eager, joyous, expectation. You might, if you
did not dislike the trouble, in a similar manner, soon make your pup
regard the report of a gun as the gratifying summons to his dinner, but
coupled with the understanding that, as a preliminary step, he is to
crouch the instant he hears the sound. After a little perseverance you
would so well succeed, that you would not be obliged even to raise your
hand. If habituated to wait patiently at the "drop," however hungry he
may be, before he is permitted to taste his food, it is reasonable to
think he will remain at the "down charge," yet more patiently before he
is allowed to "seek dead."

29. If your pupil be unusually timid, and you cannot banish his alarm
on hearing the gun, couple him to another dog which has no such foolish
fears, and will steadily "down charge." The confidence of the one, will
impart confidence to the other. Fear and joy are feelings yet more
contagious in animals than in man. It is the visible, joyous animation
of the old horses, that so quickly reconciles the cavalry colt to the
sound of the "feeding-pistol."

30. A keeper who had several dogs to break, would find the advantage
of pursuing the cavalry plan just noticed. Indeed, he might extend it
still further, by having his principal in-door drill at feeding-time,
and by enforcing, but in minuter details, that kennel discipline which
has brought many a pack of hounds to marvellous obedience.[8] He
should place the food in different parts of the yard. He should have
a short checkcord on all his pupils; and, after going slowly through
the motions of loading, (the dogs having regularly "down charged"
on the report of the gun,) he should call each separately by name,
and by signals of the hand send them successively to different, but
designated feeding-troughs. He might then call a dog to him, which
had commenced eating, and, after a short abstinence, make him go to
another trough. He might bring two to his heels and make them change
troughs, and so vary the lesson, that, in a short time, with the aid
of the checkcords, he would have them under such complete command,
that they would afterwards give him comparatively but little trouble
in the field. As they became more and more submissive, he would
gradually retire further and further, so as, at length, to have his
orders obeyed, when at a considerable distance from his pupils. The
small portion of time these lessons would occupy, compared with their
valuable results, should warn him most forcibly not to neglect them.

31. All keepers will acknowledge that, excepting a systematic beat,
there is nothing more difficult to teach a Pointer or Setter than
to refrain from "pursuing Hare." They will concede that there is a
natural tendency in the breed to stand at game; and, as a necessary
consequence, they must admit that they would have far more trouble in
weaning a young fox-hound from the habit, whose every instinct urges
him to chase. And yet these keepers may daily see not merely one hound,
but a whole pack in the highest condition, full of energy and spirits,
drawing a cover alive with Hares, not one of which a single dog will
even look at. Should not this fact convince a keeper, that if he is
often obliged to speak loudly to the brace of dogs _he calls_ broken,
there must be something radically wrong in his management? Is he
satisfied that he began their education sufficiently early, and that he
has been uniformly consistent since its commencement?

[Page Header: SHOOTING PONIES.]

32. If you have to break in a shooting pony, you must adopt some such
plan as that named in 27 and 28 to make him steady. Your object will be
never to alarm him, and gradually to render him fond of the sound of
the gun. To effect this, you will keep the pistol, or whatever arms you
use, for a long time out of his sight. Commence by burning but little
powder, and fire[9] at some distance from him. Always give him a slice
of carrot or apple immediately after he hears the report, and, if you
act judiciously and patiently, he will soon love the sound. You may
then fire in his presence (_turning your back upon him, as if he were
not a party in any way concerned_), and, by degrees, approach nearer
and nearer; but do not go quite into his stall,--that would make him
shrink or start, and you wish to banish all nervousness; the least
precipitation would undo you; therefore begin in the stable, with only
using a copper cap. Need I caution you against firing if near any straw?

[Page Header: RUSHING AT FENCES.]

33. Confidence being fully established, pursue the same plan when
you ride the pony. Again commence with a copper cap, only by slow
degrees coming to the full charge. As before, always reward him after
every discharge, and also at the moment when you pull up and throw the
reins on his neck. If he finds he gets slices of carrot when he stands
stock-still, he will soon become so anxious to be stationary that you
will have to ride with spurs to keep him to his work. By such means you
could get him to lead over fences and stand on the other side until you
remount. Many years ago I had in Ireland a chestnut which did not belie
his colour, for I purchased him far below his value on account of his
great impetuosity with hounds. He had a sad habit of rushing at his
leaps, but riding him in a smooth snaffle, and often giving him slices
of carrot, gradually cured his impatience, and he ultimately became
very gentle and pleasant. A naval officer, well known to a friend of
mine, finding he could not by other means make his pony stand when
the dogs pointed, used, sailor like, to anchor the animal by "heaving
overboard" (as he expressed it) a heavy weight to which a line from the
curb-bit was attached. The weight was carried in one of the holster
pipes,--in the other was invariably stowed away a liberal allowance of
"Grog and Prog."



CHAPTER III.

INITIATORY LESSONS CONTINUED. SPANIELS.

34, 35. Initiatory Lessons in "Dead" and "Seek," continued.--36.
In Signals to hunt to the "right"--"left"--"forward."--37. In the
"Beckon." Woodcock Shooting in America.--38. In looking to you for
instructions.--39. In "Care."--40. Always give a reward.--41. In
"Up."--saves using Puzzle-peg.--42. Dog to carry Nose high.--43.
Initiatory Lesson in "Footing" a Scent.--44. In "Heel."--45. In "Gone"
or "Away."--46. In "Fence" or "Ware fence."--47. "No" a better word
than "Ware."--48. Accustomed to couples.--49. Initiatory Lessons
in-doors with a Companion--when one "drops" the other to "drop."--50.
Makes "Backing" quickly understood.--51. Initiatory Lessons with a
Companion in the Fields.--52. Initiatory Lessons save Time--make
Dogs fond of hunting.--53. Checkcord described. Wildest Dogs possess
most energy.--54. Advantages of Checkcord explained--Spaniels
broken in by it.--55. Lad to act as Whipper-in.--56. Retriever that
acted as Whipper-in.--57. Jealousy made him act the part. Might
be taught to Retriever.--58. Instead of "down charge" coming to
"heel."--59. As Puppies kept close to you, not to "self-hunt"--"broke"
from hare.--60. Blacksmith straps Horse's Leg above Hock--Dog's
similarly confined--Shot-belt round the necks of wildest.--61.
Hunted in Gorse.--62. Age when shown Game. Example of good Spaniels
advantageous.--63. Perfected in "Drop"--taught to "seek dead"--to
"fetch"--entered at Hedge-rows and lightest Covers. Bells to
Collars.--64. To hunt further side of Hedge.--65. How Sportsmen may
aid Keeper. In note, Covers for Pheasants. Hints to Tyros on Shooting
and Loading (See _Appendix_).--66. Experienced Spaniels slacken
Pace on Game.--67. Difficult to work young ones in Silence.--68.
Spaniels that Pointed.--69. Game first accustomed to, most liked.--70.
Principal requisites in Spaniels.--71. The signal "to point with
finger."--72. Following Cockers a Young Man's work.--73. Education
differs in different Teams.--74. One and a half couple of large
Spaniels sufficient. One of the Team to retrieve.--75. Clumbers
procuring more Shots in Turnips than Pointers.--76. Lord P----n's
highly broken Team.--77. Of small Cockers three couple a Team. What
constitutes Perfection.--78. Retriever with Team. Duke of Newcastle's
Keepers.--79. Some Teams allowed to hunt Flick.--80. Rabbits shot to
a Team in Gorse. Shooting to Beagles described--81. Markers necessary
with wild Spaniels.--82. Cover beat with wildest Dogs before shot in.
Woodcocks.--83. Old Sportsmen prefer mute Spaniels.--84. Babblers best
in some Countries. Cock-shooting in Albania.--85. Hog and deer in
ditto.--86. Glorious month's sport in the Morea.--87. Handy old Setters
capital in light cover. Attention necessary when first entered.--88.
C----e's Pointers as good in cover as on the stubble.--89. Pointer that
ran to opposite side of Thicket to flush Game towards Gun.--90. Water
Spaniels, how broken.--91. Shepherd's Forward Signal best for Water
Retrievers.--92. Wildfowl reconnoitred with Telescope.--93. Qualities
required in Water Retriever. In note, Poachers in Snow. Beast or man
of one uniform colour easily detected.--94. Ducks emit a tolerable
scent--"Flint" and Mr. C----e's Setter.--95. Steady Spaniels in Rice
Lakes.

[Page Header: "DEAD."--"SEEK."--SIGNALS.]

34. When your young dog is tolerably well advanced in the lessons
which you have been advised to practise, hide a piece of bread or
biscuit. Say "Dead, dead." Call him to you. (44.) Let him remain by
you for nearly a minute or two. Then say "Find," or "Seek." Accompany
him in his search. By your actions and gestures make him fancy you are
yourself looking about for something, for dogs are observing, one might
say, imitative, creatures.[10] Stoop and move your right hand to and
fro near the ground. Contrive that he shall come upon the bread, and
reward him by permitting him to eat it.

35. After a little time (a few days I mean), he will show the greatest
eagerness on your saying, at any unexpected moment, "Dead." He will
connect the word with the idea that there is something very desirable
concealed near him, and he will be all impatience to be off and find
it; _but make him first come to you_, (for reason, see 269.)--Keep him
half a minute.--Then say "Find," and, without your accompanying him,
he will search for what you have previously hidden. Always let him be
encouraged to perseverance by discovering something acceptable.

36. Unseen by him, place the rewards (one at a time), in different
parts of the room,--under the rug or carpet, and more frequently on a
chair, a table, or a low shelf. He will be at a loss in what part of
the room to search. Assist him by a motion of your arm and hand. A wave
of the right arm and hand to the right, will soon show him that he is
to hunt to the right, as he will find there. The corresponding wave of
the left hand and arm to the left, will explain to him, that he is to
make a cast to the left. The underhand bowler's swing of the right
hand and arm, will show that he is to hunt in a forward direction.[11]
Your occasionally throwing the delicacy (in the direction you wish him
to take), whilst waving your hand, will aid in making him comprehend
the signal. You may have noticed how well, by watching the action of
a boy's arm, his little cur judges towards what point to run for the
expected stone.

37. When the hidden object is near you, but between you and the dog,
make him come towards you to seek for it, beckoning him with your right
hand. When he is at a distance at the "Drop," if you are accustomed to
recompense him for good behaviour, you can employ this signal to make
him rise and run towards you for his reward, (and, according to my
judgment, he should always join you after the "down charge," 271). By
these means you will thus familiarise him with a very useful signal;
for that signal will cause him to approach you in the field, when you
have made a circuit to head him at his point (knowing that birds will
then be lying somewhere between you and him), and want him to draw
nearer to the birds and you, to show you exactly where they are. This
some may call a superfluous refinement, but I hope _you_ will consider
it a very killing accomplishment, and being easily taught, it were a
pity to neglect it. When a Setter is employed in cock-shooting, the
advantage of using this signal is very apparent. While the dog is
steadily pointing, it enables the sportsman to look for a favourable
opening, and, when he has posted himself to his satisfaction, to sign
to the Setter (or if out of sight tell him), to advance and flush
the bird: when, should the sportsman have selected his position with
judgment, he will generally get a shot. I have seen this method very
successfully adopted in America, where the forests are usually so dense
that cocks are only found on the outskirts in the underwood.

[Page Header: LOOKING FOR INSTRUCTIONS.]

38. After a little time he will regularly look to you for directions.
Encourage him to do so; it will make him hereafter, when he is in the
field, desirous of hunting under your eye, and induce him to look to
you, in a similar manner, for instructions in what direction he is to
search for game. Observe how a child watches its mother's eye; so will
a dog watch yours, when he becomes interested in your movements, and
finds that you frequently notice him.

[Page Header: BECKON.--"CARE."]

39. Occasionally, when he approaches any of the spots where the bread
lies hidden, say "Care," and slightly raise your right hand. He will
quickly consider this word, or signal, as an intimation that he is near
the object of his search.

40. Never deceive him in any of these words and signs, and never
disappoint him of the expected reward. Praise and caress him for good
conduct; rate him for bad. Make it a rule throughout the whole course
of his education, out of doors as fully as within, to act upon this
system. You will find that caresses and substantial rewards are far
greater incentives to exertion than any fears of punishment.

41. Your pup having become a tolerable proficient in these lessons, you
may beneficially extend them by employing the word "Up," as a command
that he is to sniff high in the air to find the hidden bread or meat,
lying, say on a shelf, or on the back of a sofa. He will, comparatively
speaking, be some time in acquiring a knowledge of the meaning of the
word, and many would probably term it an over-refinement in canine
education; but I must own I think you will act judiciously, if you
teach it perfectly in the initiatory lessons; for the word "Up," if
well understood, will frequently save your putting on the puzzle-peg.
For this you would be obliged to employ, should your dog prove
disobedient and be acquiring the execrable habit of "raking" as it is
termed, instead of searching for the delicious effluvia with his nose
carried high in the air. Colonel Hawker much recommends the puzzle-peg,
but I confess I would not fetter the dog by using it, unless compelled
by his hereditary propensity to hunt-foot.

[Page Header: "UP." --NOSE CARRIED HIGH.]

42. Whenever birds can be sought for in the wind, the dog should thus
hunt the field (and the higher he carries his nose the better), for,
independently of the far greater chance of finding them, they will
allow the dog to come much nearer, than when he approaches them by the
foot: but of this more anon. (185, 186.)

43. Setters and Pointers naturally hunt with their noses sufficiently
close to the ground,--they want elevating rather than depressing.
Notwithstanding, you will do well to show your pupil a few times
out of doors, how to work out a scent, by dragging a piece of bread
unperceived by him _down wind_ through grass, and then letting him
"foot" it out. Try him for a few yards at first; you can gradually
increase the length of the drag. You must not, however, practise this
initiatory lesson too frequently, lest you give him the wretched custom
of pottering.

[Illustration: OLD-FASHIONED ENGLISH SETTER,--RETRIEVERS, ONE A CROSS
WITH BLOODHOUND.

HEEL.--"A backward low wave of the right hand."--Par. 44.]

[Page Header: "HEEL."--"GONE."]

44. The word "Heel," and a backward low wave of the right hand and arm
to the rear, (the reverse of the underhand cricket-bowler's swing,)
will, after a few times, bring the dog close behind you. Keep him there
a while and pat him, but do not otherwise reward him. The object of
the order was to make him instantly give up hunting, and come to your
heels. This signal cannot be substituted for the "beckon." The one
is an order always obeyed with reluctance (being a command to leave
off hunting), whereas the "beckon" is merely an instruction in what
direction to beat, and will be attended to with delight. The signal
"heel," however, when given immediately after loading, is an exception;
for the instructions about "Dead," in XI. of paragraph 141, will show
that without your speaking, it may be made to impart the gratifying
intelligence of your having killed. See also 277.

45. To teach him to attach a meaning to the word "Gone," or "Away,"
or "Flown,"[12] (select which you will, but do not ring the changes,)
you may now rub a piece of meat (if you have no one but your servant
to scold you) in some place where the dog is accustomed frequently to
find, and when he is sniffing at the place say "Gone," or "Away." This
he will, after some trials, perceive to be an intimation that it is of
no use to continue hunting for it.

46. You will greatly facilitate his acquiring the meaning of the
command "Fence," or "Ware fence," if, from time to time, as he is
quitting the room through the open door or garden window, you restrain
him by calling out that word.

[Page Header: "WARE FENCE."]

47. Whenever, indeed, you wish him to desist from doing anything, call
out "Ware," (pronounced "War"), as it will expedite his hereafter
understanding the terms, "Ware sheep," "Ware chase," and "Ware lark."
The last expression to be used when he is wasting his time upon the
scent of anything but game--a fault best cured by plenty of birds being
killed to him. However, the simple word "No," omitting "Chase" or
"Fence," might be substituted advantageously for "Ware." All you want
him to do is to desist from a wrong action. That sharp sound,--and when
necessary it can be clearly thundered out,--cannot be misunderstood.

[Page Header: ACCUSTOMED TO COUPLES.]

48. That your young dog may not hereafter resist the couples, yoke him
occasionally to a stronger dog, and for the sake of peace, and in the
name of all that is gallant, let it be to the one of the other sex who
appears to be the greatest favourite.

49. When he is thus far advanced in his education, and tolerably
obedient, which he will soon become if you are consistent, and
_patient, yet strict_, you can, in further pursuance of Astley's plan,
associate him in his lessons with a companion. Should you be breaking
in another youngster, (though one at a time you will probably find
quite enough, especially if it be your laudable wish to give him
hereafter a well-confirmed scientific range,) they can now be brought
together for instruction. You must expect to witness the same jealousy
which they would exhibit on the stubble. Both will be anxious to hunt
for the bread, and in restraining them alternately from so doing, you
exact the obedience which you will require hereafter in the field, when
in their natural eagerness they will endeavour, unless you properly
control them, to take the point of birds from one another; or, in their
rivalry, run over the taint of a wounded bird, instead of collectedly
and perseveringly working out the scent. You can throw a bit of toast
and make them "Toho" it, and then let the dog you name take it. In the
same way you can let each alternately search for a hidden piece, after
both have come up to you, on your saying "Dead." I would also advise
you to accustom each dog to "drop," without any command from you, the
moment he sees that the other is down.

50. Those lessons will almost ensure their hereafter instantly obeying,
and nearly instantly comprehending the object of the signal to "back"
any dog which may be pointing game.

51. When you take out two youngsters for exercise, while they are
romping about, suddenly call one into "heel." After a time again send
him off on his gambols. Whistle to catch the eye of the other, and
signal to him to join you. By working them thus alternately, while they
are fresh and full of spirits, you will habituate them to implicit
obedience. When the birds are wild, and you are anxious to send a
basket of game to a friend, it is very satisfactory to be able merely
by a sign, without uttering a word, to bring the other dogs into
"heel," leaving the ground to the careful favourite. Teach the present
lesson well, and you go far towards attaining the desired result.

52. I trust you will not object to the minutiæ of these initiatory
lessons, and fancy you have not time to attend to them. By teaching
them well, you will gain time,--much time,--and the time that is of
most value to you as a sportsman; for when your dog is regularly
hunting to your gun, his every faculty ought to be solely devoted to
finding birds, and his undisturbed intellects exclusively given to
aid you in bagging them, instead of being bewildered by an endeavour
to comprehend novel signals or words of command. I put it to you as
a sportsman, whether he will not have the more delight and ardour in
hunting, the more he feels that he understands your instructions? and,
further, I ask you, whether he will not be the more sensitively alive
to the faintest indication of a haunt, and more readily follow it up
to a sure find, if he be unembarrassed by any anxiety to make out what
you mean, and be in no way alarmed at the consequences of not almost
instinctively understanding your wishes?

[Illustration: THE CHECK--'HOLD HARD!']

[Page Header: CHECKCORD DESCRIBED.]

53. In all these lessons, and those which follow in the field, the
checkcord will wonderfully assist you. Indeed, it may be regarded as
the instructor's right hand. It can be employed so mildly as not to
intimidate the most gentle, and it can, without the aid of any whip,
be used with such severity, or, I should rather say, perseverance,
as to conquer the most wild and headstrong, and these are sure to be
dogs of the greatest travel and endurance. The cord may be from ten
to twenty-five[13] yards long, according to the animal's disposition,
and may be gradually shortened as he gets more and more under command.
Even when it is first employed you can put on a shorter cord, if you
perceive that he is becoming tired. In thick stubble, especially if cut
with a sickle, the drag will be greater, far greater than when the cord
glides over heather. The cord may be of the thickness of what some call
strong lay-cord, but made of twelve threads. Sailors would know it by
the name of log-line or cod-line. To save the end from fraying it can
be whipped with thread, which is better than tying a knot because it is
thus less likely to become entangled.

[Page Header: SPANIELS BROKEN IN.]

54. Hunted with such a cord, the most indomitable dog, when he is
_perfectly obedient to the_ "_drop_," is nearly as amenable to command,
as if the end of the line were in the breaker's hand. By no other means
can

SPANIELS

be _quickly_ broken in. The general object of the trainer is to
restrain them from ranging at a distance likely to spring game out
of gun-shot, and to make them perfect to the "down charge." If one
of these high-spirited animals will not range close when called to
by whistle or name, the breaker gets hold of the cord and jerks it;
this makes the dog come in a few paces; another jerk or two makes him
approach closer, and then the breaker, by himself retiring with his
face towards the spaniel, calling out his name (or whistling), and
occasionally jerking the cord, makes him quite submissive, and more
disposed to obey on future occasions.

55. In training a large team it is of much advantage to the keeper to
have a lad to rate, and, when necessary, give the skirters a taste of
the lash, in short, to act as whipper-in. The keeper need not then
carry a whip, or at least often use it, which will make his spaniels
all the more willing to hunt close to him.

[Illustration:

J. M.

A FOUR-LEGGED WHIPPER-IN.--Par. 56.]

[Page Header: FOUR-LEGGED WHIPPER-IN.]

56. Lord A----r's head gamekeeper was singularly aided:--he possessed
a four-legged whipper-in. A few years ago while Mr. D----s (M.P. for a
South Eastern County) was with a shooting party at his Lordship's, the
keeper brought into the field a brace of powerful retrievers, and a
team of spaniels, among which were two that had never been shot over.
On the first pheasant being killed, all the old spaniels dropped to
shot, but one of the young ones rushed forward and mouthed the bird.
The person who had fired ran on to save it, but the keeper called
aloud, and requested him not to move. The man then made a signal to one
of the retrievers to go. He did so instantly, but, instead of meddling
with the bird, he seized the spaniel, lifted him up, and shook him
well. The moment the pup could escape, he came howling to the "heels"
of the keeper, and lay down among his companions. The keeper then
confessed that a couple of the spaniels had never been shot to,--but
he confidently assured the sportsmen, they would see before the day
was over, that the pups behaved fully as steadily as the old dogs, and
explained to the party, how the retriever did all the disagreeable
work, and indeed, nearly relieved him of every trouble in breaking in
the youngsters. On the next few shots this novel schoolmaster was again
deputed to show his pupils that he would not allow his special duties
as a retriever to be interfered with. Both the young dogs, having been
thus well chastised, became more careful,--made only partial rushes
to the front, when a recollection of their punishment, and a dread
of their four-footed tutor brought them slinking back to their older
companions. As the keeper had averred, they soon learned their lesson
completely,--gave up all thoughts of chasing after shot, and quietly
crouched down with the other dogs.

[Page Header: RETRIEVER MADE BREAKER.]

57. I can easily imagine that it was a feeling of jealousy, which first
prompted the retriever to thrash some spaniel who was endeavouring to
carry off a bird, and that the clever keeper encouraged him in doing
so, instantly perceiving the value of such assistance. It is worth a
consideration whether it would not be advisable to train the retriever
employed with a team to give this assistance. A dog of a quarrelsome
disposition could be taught, by your urging him, to seize any spaniel
who might be mouthing a bird, in the same manner you would set on a
young terrier to fly at a rat.

58. Doubtless it is the _highest_ training to teach a team to
"down charge," but most breakers make their spaniels come into "heel,"
or rather gather close around them, (by the word "round") whenever
a gun is discharged. This plan, though so injudicious in the case
of pointers or setters, is but little objectionable in the case of
spaniels, for spaniels in their small sweep inwards, are not likely
to spring game while the guns are unloaded. It certainly possesses
this merit, that it is readily taught to puppies, (with the aid of
a whipper-in) by the trainer's giving them some delicacy on their
rejoining him. It may be urged, too, that the method much removes any
necessity for noise in calling to a dog,--whereas, with a team trained
to the "down charge," however highly broken, it will occasionally
happen that the keeper (or assistant) has to rate some excited skirter
for not instantly "dropping." Moreover, in thick cover an infraction
of the irksome rule to "down charge" may sometimes escape detection,
which might lead to future acts of insubordination. The lamented Prince
Albert's team of Clumbers "down charge," but the greatest attention
could be given, and was given to them. They were admirably broken, and
I might add, were shot over by a first-rate hand.

[Page Header: SPANIELS BROKEN IN.]

59. When exercising young spaniels it is a good plan to habituate them,
even as puppies, never to stray further from you than about twenty
yards. With them, even more than with other kinds of dogs trained
for the gun, great pains should be taken to prevent their having the
opportunity of "self-hunting." If it is wished to break from hare, the
method to be followed is mentioned in 334, &c., for with spaniels as
with setters (or pointers) it is always advisable to drag them back to
the spot from which they started in pursuit.

60. Occasionally you may see a country blacksmith, when preparing to
shoe the hind-legs of a cart-horse that appears disposed to make a
disagreeable use of his heels, twist the long hair at the end of his
tail,--raise the foot that is to be shod,--pass the twisted hair round
the leg immediately above the hock, and by these means press the tendon
close to the bone. The tail assists in retaining the leg in position,
and thus for the time the limb is rendered powerless. Acting much upon
this coercive principle, but discarding the aid of the tail, some
breakers _slightly_ confine a hind-leg of their most unruly spaniels
with a soft bandage, shifting it from one leg to the other about every
hour. Possibly a loop of vulcanized india-rubber, being elastic, would
best answer the purpose. Restrained in this manner a dog is less likely
to tumble about, and become injured, than if one of his fore-legs
had been passed through his collar. Other breakers when hunting many
couples together, fasten a belt with a few pounds of shot round the
necks of the wildest. But the sooner such adjuncts to discipline can
be safely discarded the better; for "brushing" a close cover is severe
work. Gorse is the most trying. Its prickles are so numerous and fine,
that the ears and eyes of every spaniel hunted in it ought to be
separately examined on returning home, and well bathed in warm water.
Their eyes are peculiarly liable to be injured by dust and gravel from
their hunting so close to the ground.

[Page Header: HUNTED IN GORSE.]

61. To give young spaniels sufficient courage to face the most
entangled cover, a judicious trainer will occasionally introduce them
to thick brakes, or gorse, early in the morning, or in the evening,
when the noise of his approach will have made the pheasants feeding in
the neighbourhood, run far into it for shelter. The effluvia of the
birds will then so excite the young dogs, especially if cheered with
good companionship, (which always creates emulation,) that they will
utterly disregard the pricks and scratches of the strongest furze.

62. If the time of year will permit it, they should be shown game when
about nine or ten months old. At a more advanced age they would be
less amenable to control. Happily the example of a riotous pup will
not be so detrimental to the discipline of the rest of the team, as
the example of an ill-conducted companion would be to a pointer (or
setter), for the influence of thoroughly steady spaniels makes the pup
curtail his range sooner than might be expected. Finding that he is not
followed by his associates he soon rejoins them.

63. A judicious breaker will regard perfection in the "drop" (23 to
26) as the main-spring of his educational system. He will teach his
young spaniels to "seek dead," (34, 35, 43) where directed by signs of
the hand. He will instruct them in "fetching," (109, 107, &c.) with
the view to some of them hereafter retrieving. He will accustom them
to hunt hedge-rows, and light open copses,--because always under his
eye,--before taking them into closer cover. Nor until they are under
some command, and well weaned from noticing vermin and small birds,
will he allow them to enter gorse or strong thickets,--and then he will
never neglect (though probably he will have used them before) to attach
bells of _different sounds_ to the collars of his several pupils (one
to each), so that his ear may at all times detect any truant straying
beyond bounds, and thus enable him to rate the delinquent by name. In
this manner, he establishes the useful feeling elsewhere spoken of
(383), that whether he be within or out of sight, he is equally aware
of every impropriety that is committed.

64. Young spaniels, when they have been steadily broken in not to hunt
too far ahead on the instructor's side of the hedge, may be permitted
to beat on the other;--and this when only one person is shooting, is
generally their most useful position, for they are thus more likely to
drive the game towards the gun.

65. If a keeper is hunting the team, while you and a friend are beating
narrow belts or strips of wood,[14] should you and he be placed, as
is usual, on the outside, a little ahead of the keeper (one to his
right, the other to his left), you would much aid him in preventing the
young spaniels from ranging wildly, were you to turn your face towards
him whenever you saw any of them getting too far in advance, for they
will watch the guns as much as they will him. They should never range
further than thirty yards from the gun.

[Page Header: EXPERIENCED SPANIELS.]

66. Among spaniels the great advantage of age and experience is more
apparent than in partridge-dogs. A young spaniel cannot keep to a
pheasant's tail like an old one. He may push the bird for forty or
fifty yards if judiciously managed. After that he is almost sure
from impatience, either to lose it, or rush in and flush out of
shot, whereas an old cocker, who has had much game shot over him, is
frequently knowing enough to slacken his pace, instead of increasing
it, when he first touches on birds, apparently quite sensible that he
ought to give the gun time to approach, before he presses to a flush.

[Page Header: DIFFICULT TO BREAK.]

67. Even good spaniels, however well-bred, if they have not had great
experience, generally road too fast. Undeniably they are difficult
animals to educate, and it requires much watchfulness, perseverance,
and attention at an early age, so to break in a team of young ones
that they shall keep within gun range, without your being compelled to
halloo or whistle to them. But some few are yet more highly trained.

68. Mr. N----n, when in France, had a lively, intelligent, liver and
white cocker, which would work busily all day long within gun-shot; and
which possessed the singular accomplishment of steadily pointing all
game that lay well, and of not rushing in until the sportsman had come
close to him. But this is a case of high breaking more curious than
useful, for spaniels are essentially _springers_, not _pointers_, and
the little animal must frequently have been lost sight of in cover. The
Messrs. W----e, alluded to in 551, had also a cocker that regularly
pointed. Our grandfathers used to apply the term springers solely to
large spaniels,--never to the Duke of Marlborough's small breed, which
was greatly prized.

[Page Header: TRUE NOSES.--COVER SHOOTING.]

69. A dog is generally most attached to that description of sport, and
soonest recognises the scent of that game, to which he has principally
been accustomed in youth. He will through life hunt most diligently
where he first had the delight of often finding. The utility therefore
is obvious of introducing spaniels at an early age to close covers and
hedge-rows, and setters and pointers to heather and stubble.

70. In spaniels, feathered sterns and long ears are much admired,
but obviously the latter must suffer in thick underwood. The chief
requisite in all kinds of spaniels, is, that they be good finders,
and have noses so true that they will never overrun a scent. Should
they do so when footing an old cock-pheasant, the chances are, that he
will double back on the exact line by which he came. They should be
high-mettled,--as regardless of the severest weather as of the most
punishing cover, and ever ready to spring into the closest thicket the
moment a pointed finger gives the command.

71. A comprehension of the signal made by the finger, (which is far
neater than the raising of the hand described in 34, but not so quickly
understood) might with advantage be imparted to all dogs trained for
the gun, in order to make them hunt close _exactly_ where directed. It
is usually taught by pointing with the fore-finger of the right hand to
pieces of biscuit, previously concealed, near easily recognised tufts
of grass, weeds, &c. It is beautiful to see how correctly, promptly,
yet quietly, some spaniels will work in every direction thus indicated.

[Page Header: COVER SHOOTING.]

72. Breasting a strong cover with cockers, is more suited to young,
than to old men. The gun must follow rapidly, and stick close when a
dog is on the road of feather. A shot will then infallibly be obtained,
if a good dog be at work; for the more closely a bird is pressed, the
hotter gets the scent. If a pheasant found in thick cover on marshy
ground near water,--a locality they much like in hot weather,--is not
closely pushed, he will so twist, and turn, and double upon old tracks,
that none but the most experienced dogs will be able to stick to him.

73. The preceding observations respecting spaniels apply to all
descriptions employed on land-service, whether of the strong kind,
the Sussex breed and the Clumber, or the smallest cockers, Blenheims
and King Charles'.[15] But whether they are to be trained not to hunt
flick,[16] (the most difficult part of their tuition, and in which
there is generally most failure), and whether they shall be bred to
give tongue, or run mute, will depend much upon the nature of the
country to be hunted, and yet more upon the taste of the proprietor.
No fixed rules can be given for a sport that varies so much as
cover shooting.

[Page Header: BELLS IN COVER.]

74. Of the large kind, most sportsmen will think a couple and a half
a sufficient number to hunt at a time. Certainly one of them should
retrieve: and they ought to be well broken in not to notice flick.
These dogs are most esteemed when they run mute. If they do, they
must be hunted with bells in very thick cover; but the less bells are
employed the better, for the tinkling sound, in a greater or smaller
degree, annoys all game. Such dogs, when good, are very valuable.

75. I once shot over a team of Clumber spaniels belonging to Mr.
D----z. The breed (the Duke of Newcastle's, taking their name from one
of his seats), are mostly white with a little lemon colour, have large
sensible heads, thick, short legs, silky coats, carry their sterns low,
and hunt perfectly mute. The team kept within twenty or twenty-five
yards of the keeper, were trained to acknowledge Rabbits, as well as
all kinds of game; and in the country Mr. D----z was then shooting over
afforded capital sport. One of the spaniels was taught to retrieve. He
would follow to any distance, and seldom failed to bring. A regular
retriever was, however, generally taken out with them. Mr. D----z told
me that they required very judicious management, and encouragement
rather than severity, as undue whipping soon made them timid. They are
of a delicate constitution. He rather surprised me by saying that his
spaniels from working quietly and ranging close, (therefore, alarming
the birds less,) procured him far more shots in turnips than his
pointers; and he had three that looked of the right sort. He explained
matters, however, by telling me, that it was his practice to make a
circuit round the outskirts of a turnip or potato field before hunting
the inner parts. This of course greatly tended to prevent the birds
breaking (401). A juvenile sportsman would rejoice in the services of
the spaniels, for many a rabbit would they procure for him without the
aid of powder and shot.

[Illustration: CLUMBERS.

"All the Clumbers dropped instantly."--Par. 76.]

76. When Colonel M----, who died in Syria, was stationed with his troop
of Horse Artillery at Pontefract, he was asked to shoot partridges at
Lord P----n's seat in Yorkshire. On meeting the gamekeeper, according
to appointment, he found him surrounded by a team of Clumber spaniels.
Colonel M----, in some surprise at seeing no setters or pointers,
remarked that he had expected some _partridge_ shooting. "I know it,"
answered the man, "and I hope to show you some sport." To the inquiry
why one of the spaniels was muzzled, the keeper said that his master
had threatened to shoot it should it again give tongue, and, as it
possessed a particularly fine nose, he (the keeper) was anxious not
to lose it. They walked on, and soon the man told M---- to be prepared,
as the spaniels were feathering. A covey rose. The Colonel, who was a
good shot, killed right and left. All the Clumbers dropped instantly.
When he was reloading, the keeper begged him to say which of the dogs
should retrieve the game. M---- pointed to a broad-headed dog lying in
the middle, when the keeper directed by name the spaniel so favoured
to be off. It quickly fetched one of the birds. The keeper then asked
M---- to choose some other dog to bring the remaining bird--a runner.
He did so, and the animal he selected to act as retriever, performed
the duty very cleverly; the rest of the team remaining quite still,
until its return.

The Colonel had capital sport, killing nearly twenty brace, and the
dogs behaved beautifully throughout the day. When afterwards relating
the circumstances, he observed that, although an old sportsman, he had
seldom been so gratified, as it was a novel scene to him, who had not
been accustomed to shoot over spaniels.

[Page Header: TEAM OF COCKERS.]

77. Of small cockers, three couples appear ample to form a team. Some
teams of small springers greatly exceed this number, and many sportsmen
shoot over more than a couple and a half of the larger spaniels; but
it is a question whether, in the generality of cases, the gun would
not benefit by the number being diminished rather than increased. The
smaller in number the team, the greater is the necessity that none of
them should stick too close to "heel." The difficulty is to make them
hunt far enough, and yet not too far. At least one of the number should
retrieve well. If they give tongue, it ought to be in an intelligible
manner; softly, when they first come on the haunt of a cock, but making
the cover ring again with their joyous melody, when once the bird is
flushed. A first-rate cocker will never deceive by opening upon an old
haunt, nor yet find the gun unprepared by delaying to give due warning
before he flushes the bird. When cocks are abundant, some teams are
broken, not only to avoid flick, but actually not to notice a pheasant,
or anything beside woodcock. Hardly any price would tempt a real lover
of cock-shooting, in a cocking country, to part with such a team.
Hawker terms the sport, "the fox-hunting of shooting." Some sportsmen
kill water-hens to young spaniels to practise them in forcing their way
through entangled covers, and get them well in hand and steady against
the all-important cocking season.

[Page Header: STRENGTH OF TEAM.]

78. When a regular retriever can be constantly employed with spaniels,
of course it will be unnecessary to make any of them fetch game,
(certainly never to lift anything which falls out of bounds), though
all the team should be taught to "seek dead." This is the plan pursued
by the Duke of Newcastle's keepers, and obviously it is the soundest
and easiest practice, for it must always be more or less difficult
to make a spaniel keep within his usual hunting limits, who is
occasionally encouraged to pursue wounded game, at his best pace, to a
considerable distance.

79. Other teams are broken no more than to keep within range, being
allowed to hunt all kinds of game, and also rabbits; they, however,
are restricted from pursuing wounded flick further than fifty or sixty
yards. Where rabbits are abundant, and outlying, a team thus broken
affords lively sport,--nothing escapes them.

80. In the large woods that traverse parts of Kent and Sussex, a
kind of hunting-shooting is followed, that affords more fun, where
there are plenty of rabbits and but few burrows, than might at first
be imagined. The dogs employed are the smallest beagles that can be
obtained. The little creatures stick to a hare, rabbit, or wounded
pheasant with greater pertinacity than most spaniels, probably because
they (the beagles) are slower, and hunt so low. Three or four couples
make most animating music in the woodlands, and procure many shots,
but they awfully disturb game. Mr. D----z has gorse covers through
which openings or rides are cut. He shoots rabbits in them to a team
of beagles trained not to notice hare. The burrows are ferreted the
preceding day, and regularly stopped. The sport is excellent and most
animating. Plenty of snap shots. An old buck rabbit once or twice
hunted becomes extremely cunning. He is soon on the move, and will work
round beyond the dogs, so as to double back upon the ground already
hunted.

[Illustration: WILD SPANIELS.--Par. 81.]

[Page Header: HUNTING-SHOOTING.]

81. Wild spaniels, though they may show you most cock, will get you
fewest shots, unless you have well-placed markers. There are sportsmen
who like to take out one steady dog to range close to them, and a
couple of wild ones to hunt on the flanks, one on each side, expressly
that the latter may put up birds for the markers to take note of.

82. Mr. O----n, who is devoted to shooting, acts upon this system,
but upon a more enlarged scale. Having previously posted his markers,
he has each cover, immediately before he shoots it, well hunted by
the wildest of the dogs: he then takes a steady animal to the several
spots pointed out, and is thus enabled to kill annually thrice as many
cock as any other man in the country. The aptness of this bird, when a
second time flushed, to return (397) to its old haunt, and when again
put up to take wing in the direction of its first flight, much tends to
its destruction.

83. An old sportsman knows _mute_ spaniels to be most killing; a young
one may prefer those which give tongue, (if true from the beginning
owning nothing but game,) because, though undeniably greater disturbers
of a cover, they are more cheerful and animating. The superiority of
the former is, however, apparent on a still calm day, when the least
noise will make the game steal away long before the gun gets within
shot. But it is not so in all countries.

84. Wild as is the woodcock with us after it has recovered from its
fatiguing migratory flight, and been a few times disturbed, there is
not, perhaps, naturally, so tame a game-bird, and one more difficult to
flush in close cover where rarely alarmed. Officers quartered at Corfu
frequently cross in the morning to the Albanian coast,--a two hours'
sail or pull,--and return the same evening, having bagged from fifty
to sixty couples to half-a-dozen good guns. Their boat is directed to
meet them at some head-land, towards which they shoot. An attendant to
carry the game, and a relay of ammunition, &c., is told off to each
sportsman, and _he_ of the party who best knows the country, is chosen
captain for the day, and walks in the centre of the line, the rest
conforming to his movements. There is generally an agreement to halt
for a minute, but not a second more, to allow a man to look for any
cock he may have knocked over; therefore the possessor of a first-rate
retriever is an envied character. The strength and density of the
bush occasionally there encountered, is more than we in England can
imagine: and in such situations, experience has shown the sportsmen
the superiority of spaniels which give tongue. On hearing the warning
cheerful music, the line halts for a few seconds, as, notwithstanding
all the noise, some little time may pass before the cock is sprung, for
he is frequently so protected by a wall of impervious thicket, (though
sure to have a clear opening overhead for unimpeded flight) that the
keenest dogs cannot immediately get at him.

85. Although the country abounds with deer and boar, it is almost
needless to observe, that the cock-shooters are too noisy a party often
to bag such noble game, unless some ambitious and bold man (for being
alone he risks having a long barrel covertly pointed at him) take up
a favourable position far in advance. Captain Best, a fellow-student
of mine, about a dozen years ago, gives a spirited account of this
shooting, in his entertaining book, entitled "Excursions in Albania."

86. In the northern part of the Morea, about twenty-five miles from
Patras (near Ali Tchelepi, a dilapidated monastery inhabited by
only three monks--near Monolada, and Pera Metochi), Mr. O----n and
Captain B----y, between the 14th of January, 1843, and the 11th of the
following month (both days inclusive), killed 862 woodcocks, 11 hares,
11 duck, and 11 snipe. Not bad sport!

[Page Header: COVERS.]

87. In very thick covers it is obvious, the height of setters being
greatly against them, that spaniels are far preferable: but in light
covers, and when the leaves are off the trees, _handy_ old setters
(if white, all the better) that will readily confine themselves to
a restricted range, and will flush their game when ordered (IV. and
VII. of 141 and 284) afford quite as much sport, if not more. Setters
do not, to the same degree, alarm birds; and there is, also, this
advantage, that they can be employed on _all_ occasions, excepting
in low gorse or the closest thickets, whereas spaniels, from their
contracted "beat," are nearly useless in the open when game is scarce.
You will be prepared, when first you hunt a setter in cover, to
sacrifice much of your sport. There must be noise; for it is essential
to make him at once thoroughly understand the very different "beat"
required of him, and this can only be effected by constantly checking
and rating him, whenever he ranges beyond the prescribed limits. He
should hunt slowly and carefully to the right and left, and never
be much in advance of the guns. In a short time he will comprehend
matters, if you are so forbearing and judicious as invariably to call
him away from every point made the least out of bounds. A less severe
test of your consistency will not suffice. The few first days will
either make or mar him as a cover-dog. You must naturally expect that
hunting him much in cover, will injure his range in the open, and make
him too fond of hedge-rows.

88. But there is a man in Yorkshire, who will not willingly admit this.
C----e, Sir George A----e's gamekeeper,--and a good one he is,--for he
has a particularly difficult country to protect, one intersected with
"rights of way" in every direction,--makes his pointers as freely hunt
the cover as the open. You never lose them, for they are sure to make
their appearance when they think they have given you ample time to go
to them if you choose. This cover work does not the least unsteady
them, but it is right to state, that C---- is an unusually good
breaker, and works his dogs with singular temper and patience. They are
very attached to him, and appear to listen anxiously to what he says
when he talks to them,--which, I own, he does more than I recommend.

89. Pointers, however, are manifestly out of place in strong cover,
though an unusually high-couraged one may occasionally be found, who
will dash forward in defiance of pricks and scratches; but it is not
fair to expect it. In a very light cover I have often shot over one
belonging to a relation of mine, which was so clever, that when I came
close to her as she was pointing, she would frequently run round to the
other side of the thicket, and then rush in to drive the game towards
me. This killing plan had in no way been taught her; she adopted it
solely of her own sagacity. Having been much hunted in cover when
young, she was so fond of it (69) as to be, comparatively speaking,
quite unserviceable on the stubbles.

[Page Header: WATER SPANIELS.]


WATER SPANIELS, (OR WATER RETRIEVERS.)

90. A young water spaniel might, with advantage, occasionally be
indulged with a duck-hunt in warm weather. It would tend to make
him quick in the water, and observant. The finishing lessons might
conclude with your shooting the bird and obliging him to retrieve it.
He should be made handy to your signals (IV. to VII. and X. of 141), so
as to hunt the fens and marshes, and "seek dead" exactly where you may
wish.

91. This obedience to the hand is particularly required; for when the
spaniel is swimming he is on a level with the bird, and therefore
is not so likely to see it,--especially if there is a ripple on the
water,--as you are, who probably may be standing many feet above him on
the shore. As you may frequently, while he is retrieving, have occasion
to direct his movements when at a considerable distance from him, you
probably would find it more advantageous to teach him the forward
signal used by shepherds (143), than the one described in IV. of 141.

92. A water spaniel should also be taught to fetch (96, 98, 106 to
109),--be accustomed to follow quietly close to your heels,--be broken
in, not to the "down charge" (27), but to the "drop" (23 to 26), the
instant you signal to him, while you are noiselessly stalking the
wild-fowl previously reconnoitered, with the aid of your Dollond, from
some neighbouring height; nor should he stir a limb, however long he
and you may have to await, ensconced behind a favouring bush, the right
moment for the destructive raking discharge of your first barrel, to
be followed by the less murderous, but still effective flying shot. On
hearing the report, it is his duty to dash instantly into the water,
and secure the slain as rapidly as possible.

[Illustration: IRISH WATER SPANIEL.

"Our good Irish friend."--Par. 95.]

93. A really good water retriever is a scarce and valuable animal.
He should be neither white nor black, because the colours are too
conspicuous, especially the former, (a hint by-the-bye for your own
costume);[17] he should be perfectly mute; of a patient disposition,
though active in the pursuit of birds; of so hardy a constitution as
not to mind the severest cold,--therefore no coddling while he is
young near a fire,--and possess what many are deficient in, viz.,
a good nose: consequently, a cross that will improve his nose, yet
not decrease his steadiness, is the great desideratum in breeding.
He should swim rapidly, for wild-fowl that are only winged, will
frequently escape from the quickest dog, if they have plenty of
sea-room and deep water. (See also 113, 553, 567.)

[Page Header: DUCK SHOOTING.]

94. Wildfowl emit a stronger scent than is, I believe, generally
supposed. At Mr. G----r's, in Surrey, Mr. L----g was shooting one day
last season, when his pointer "Flint" drew for some time towards the
river, and brought the sportsmen to the stump of an old tree. They
could see nothing, and thought the dog must be standing at a moorhen;
but on one of the beaters trying with a stick, out flew a mallard like
a shot from a gun. As Mr. L----g levelled his tubes, it is unnecessary
to observe that it fell; but probably it would have been lost had not
"Flint," when encouraged, jumped into the water and brought the bird to
land. A Mr. C----e, living near Edinburgh, whom I have the pleasure of
knowing, has a white setter that is a capital hand at finding ducks,
and sets them steadily.

[Page Header: WILD-RICE LAKES.]

95. In the wild-_rice_ lakes, as they are commonly called, of America,
a brace of highly-trained spaniels will sometimes, on a windy day,
afford you magnificent sport. The cover is so good that, if it is not
often beaten, the birds will frequently get up singly, or only a couple
at a time. The dogs should keep swimming about within gun-shot, while
you are slowly and silently paddling, or probably poling your canoe
through the most likely spots. Relays of spaniels are requisite, for it
is fatiguing work. If, by any rare chance, you are situated where you
can get much of this delightful shooting, and _you are an enthusiast in
training_, it may be worth your while to consider whether there would
not be an advantage in making the dogs perfect in the "down charge,"
as they would then cease swimming the instant you fired. But this
long digression about spaniels has led us away from your pup, which
we assumed (3) to be a pointer or setter, very unlike our good Irish
friend, well represented in the last engraving.



CHAPTER IV.

LESSONS IN "FETCHING."--RETRIEVERS.

96. Lessons in "fetching" recommended.--97. Dog not taught to retrieve
bringing dead Bird he had found.--98. Taught to deliver into your
hand; never pick up a Bird yourself; Dog which often lost winged Birds
she had lifted.--99. Colonel T----y.--100. Retriever killing one Bird
in order to carry two.--101. "Fan's" sagaciously bringing to firm
ground Bird that had fallen in a swamp.--102. "Dove's" _spontaneously_
fetching one from River, though not accustomed to retrieve.--103.
Retrievers taught to carry something soft; injudiciousness of employing
a stone.--104. How encouraged to plunge into Water; evil of deceiving
a Dog instanced.--105. Diving, how taught.--106. "Fetching" taught
with a Pincushion: with a Bunch of Keys.--107. Made to deliver
instantly.--108. Practised to carry things of the size and weight of
a Hare.--109. "Fetching," how taught at commencement.--110. Brace
of Setters taught with an old bone.--111. "Fetching" often taught
unskilfully.--112. Regular Retrievers taught to fetch Birds: to
"foot" Rabbits and Winged Game.--113. Retriever observes when a Bird
is struck: a quality particularly useful in a Water Retriever.--114.
Pigeons and small Birds shot to Retrievers.--115. Injudiciousness
of aiding a young Dog when Retrieving; makes him rely on Gun rather
than his own Nose.--116. Fatigue of carrying Hare tempts young
Retriever to drop it; taught to deliver quickly by rewards of hard
boiled liver.--117. If he taste blood, put on Wire Snaffle; how
made.--118. Retriever how taught to pursue faster; should commence
to "road" slowly, but "follow up" rapidly.--119. Why Land Retrievers
should "down charge."--120. Some Retrievers may "run on shot," but
those for sale should "down charge."--121. Fine retrieving instanced
in "Ben."--122. Anecdote showing his great sagacity.--123. Benefit
derived from a Seton; another instance of "Ben's" superior retrieving
qualities.--124. With "Ben's" good nose, certain advantage of "down
charge."--125. Retrievers not to be of a heavy build, yet strong and
thick-coated.--126. Cross between a Newfoundland and Setter makes best
Retriever; the real Newfoundland described.--127. Cross from heavy
Setter best Retriever.--128. Most Dogs can be taught more or less to
Retrieve.--129. Young Retriever to lift Woodcock and Landrail.--130.
Retrievers never to kill Rats; lift vermin, or wounded Herons, &c.

[Page Header: DOG FETCHING BIRD.]

96. Though you may not wish your young pointer (or setter) to perform
the duties of a regular retriever, (536) still you would do well to
teach him, whilst he is a puppy, to fetch and deliver into your hand
anything soft you may occasionally throw for him, or leave behind you
in some place where he will have observed you deposit it, while he
is following at your heels. In a little time you can drop something
_without_ letting him see you, and afterwards send him back for it. A
dog thus made, who is your intimate companion, becomes so conversant
with every article of your apparel, and with whatever you usually carry
about you, that, should you accidentally drop anything, the observant
animal will be almost certain to recover it. On receiving your order to
be "off and find" he will accurately retrace your footsteps for miles
and miles, diligently hunting every yard of the ground. Of course, the
distances to which you at first send your dog will be inconsiderable,
and you should carefully avoid persevering too long at a time, lest he
get sick of the lesson. Indeed, in all his lessons,--as well in-doors
as out,--but particularly in this, let it be your aim to leave off at
a moment when he has performed entirely to your satisfaction; that you
may part the best of friends, and that the last impression made by the
lesson may be pleasing as well as correct, from a grateful recollection
of the caresses which he has received. In wild-duck shooting you may
be in situations where you would be very glad if the dog would bring
your bird; and when it is an active runner in cover, I fear you will
be more anxious than I could wish (322) that the dog should "fetch."
It is probable that he will thus assist you if he be practised as I
have just advised; and such instruction may lead, years hence, to his
occasionally bringing you some dead bird which he may come across, and
which you otherwise might have imagined you had missed, for its scent
might be too cold, and consequently too changed, for the dog to have
thought of regularly pointing it.

97. When I was a boy, I recollect seeing such an instance in Kent. As a
great treat, I was permitted (but merely as a spectator) to accompany
a first-rate shot, Mr. C----h, who was trying a gun he thought of
purchasing for his keeper. The dogs soon came upon a covey. He killed
with his first barrel, but apparently missed with his second. He found
fault with the gun for not shooting strongly; and I well remember
impertinently fancying,--but I dared not say so,--that perhaps he was
as much to blame as the gun. Soon afterwards, to our mutual surprise,
we saw one of the dogs trotting up with a bird, still warm, in its
mouth; thus tacitly reproving me for not having done justice to Mr.
C----h's unerring eye and steady hand.

[Page Header: DELIVER INTO HAND.]

98. Mark my having said, "deliver into your hand," that your young
dog may not be satisfied with only dropping, within your sight, any
bird he may lift, and so, perhaps, leave it on the other side of a
trout stream, as I have seen dogs do more than once, in spite of every
persuasion and entreaty. With a young dog, who retrieves, never pick
up a bird yourself, however close it may fall to you. Invariably, make
him either deliver it into your hand or lay it at your feet. The former
is by far the better plan. If the dog has at one moment to drop the
bird at _your_ will, he is likely to fancy himself privileged to drop
it at another time for his _own_ convenience. In other respects, too,
the former is the safest method. I have a bitch now in my recollection,
who frequently lost her master slightly winged birds, (which she had
admirably recovered) by dropping them too soon on hearing the report of
a gun, or coming on other game,--for off they ran, and fairly escaped,
it being impracticable, by any encouragement, to induce her to seek for
a bird she had once lifted.

99. This error, I mean that of allowing a wounded bird to regain its
liberty, was once beautifully avoided by a pretty black retriever,
belonging to Colonel T----y, a good sportsman and pleasant companion,
who, not long since, told me the circumstance; and I am glad to be
able, on such authority, to relate an anecdote evincing so much
reflection and judgment, for I know not by what other terms to
characterise the dog's sagacity.

[Page Header: COLONEL T----Y'S VENUS.--FAN.]

100. Colonel T----y's avocations constantly take him from his neat
bachelor's cottage in Kent, to travel abroad. Shooting in Hungary
he once knocked down two partridges at a shot,--one was killed
outright, the other only slightly wounded. "Venus" soon hit off the
trail of the latter,--quickly overtook it, and, while carrying it to
her master, came upon the dead bird. She stopped, evidently greatly
puzzled; and, after one or two trials, finding she could not take it
up without permitting the escape of the winged bird, she considered a
moment,--then, deliberately murdered it, by giving it a severe crunch,
and afterwards brought away both together. It is due to the lady to
observe that she is naturally as tender-mouthed as her name would imply
her to be tender-hearted, and that this is the only known instance of
her ever having wilfully injured any game.

101. Sometimes a dog's sagacity will induce him, _however little
taught_, to assist you in your hour of need; but you must not trust
to this. An intimate friend of mine, shooting in Ireland to a
pointer bitch that was totally unaccustomed to fetch and carry, but
well instructed to seek for a dead bird, killed a snipe. It fell in
soft, boggy ground, where he could not get at it to pick it up. After
some vain efforts to approach it, he hied on the bitch, who was still
steadily "pointing dead," with "Fetch it, Fan; fetch it." The bitch
seemed for a moment puzzled at such an unusual proceeding, and looked
round, inquisitively, once or twice, as if to say, "What can you mean?"
Suddenly, my friend's dilemma seemed to flash upon her. She walked on,
took the bird, quite gently, in her mouth, and carried it to where
the ground was firm; but not one inch further would she bring it,
despite all the encouragement of her master, who now wished to make her
constantly retrieve. This was the first and last bird she ever lifted.

102. "Dove," a white setter, belonging to a near relation of mine,
(the left-hand dog in the engraving illustrating 540, is considered
extremely like her,) did, spontaneously, that which "Fan" only
consented to do after much entreaty. My relation, shooting on the banks
of the Forth, killed a partridge that was flying across the river. As
he had no retriever with him he almost regretted having fired; but,
to his surprise, "Dove" volunteered jumping into the water; made her
way to the bird with a sort of steamboat paddle action,--for I verily
believe it was the first time she had attempted to swim,--seized
it, and, returning with it to the shore, deposited it safely on the
bank. She never had retrieved before, and is not particularly good at
"seeking dead."

103. I observed it was something soft which you should teach your dog
to fetch. Probably you have seen a retriever taught to seek and bring
a stone, upon which, in a delicate manner, the tutor has spit. Does it
not stand to reason that the stone must have tended to give his pupil
a hard mouth? And what may, later in life, cause him much misery in
dashing at a bounding stone, he may split a tooth. Dogs of an advanced
age suffer more in their mouths than most of us suspect.

104. Should your pup be unwilling to enter water, on no account push
him in, under the mistaken idea that it will reconcile him to the
element,--it will but augment his fears (320). Rather, on a warm day,
throw some biscuit for him, when he is hungry, close to the edge of
the bank, where it is so shallow as merely to require his wading.
Chuck the next piece a little further off, and, by degrees, increase
the distance until he gets beyond his depth, and finds that nature has
given him useful swimming powers. On no occasion will the example of
another dog more assist you. Your youngster's diving can never be of
service; therefore throw in only what will float. Otherwise he might
have a plunge for nothing, and so be discouraged; and evidently it
should be your constant aim to avoid doing anything likely to shake his
confidence in the judiciousness of your orders.

A person I know, taught a dog many good tricks,--among others, to
extinguish the papers thrown upon the ground that had served to light
cigars. A booby of a fellow, very wittily, took in the dog, _once_, by
chucking a red-hot coal to him. "A burnt child," says the old adage,
"dreads the fire:" so does a burnt dog: and, of course, no subsequent
encouragement would induce him, ever again, to approach a lighted paper.

[Page Header: TAUGHT TO "FETCH."]

105. If you ever have occasion to teach a dog to dive and retrieve,
first accustom him, on land, to fetch something heavy, of a conspicuous
colour. When he brings it eagerly, commence your diving lesson by
throwing it into the shallowest parts of the stream. Only by slow
degrees get to deep water, and let your lessons be very short. Never
chuck in a stone. The chances are twenty to one that there are several
at the bottom not very dissimilar, and the young dog ought not to be
subjected to the temptation of picking up one of them in lieu of that
he was sent for. Should he on any occasion do so, neither scold nor
caress him; quietly take what he brings, lay it at your feet, to show
him that you want it not, and endeavour to make him renew his search
for what you threw in; do this by signs, and by encouragement with your
voice, rather than by chucking stones in the right direction, lest he
should seek for them instead of searching for what you originally sent
him.

106. Some teachers make a young dog fetch a round pin-cushion, or a
cork ball, in which needles are judiciously buried; nor is it a bad
plan, and there need be no cruelty in it, if well managed. At least
it can only be cruel once, for a dog's recollection of his sufferings
will prevent his picking up the offending object a second time. Others,
after he is well drilled into "fetching," and takes pleasure in it,
will make him bring a bunch of keys. There are few things a dog is less
willing to lift. Most probably they gave him some severe rebuffs when
first heedlessly snatching at them; and the caution thereby induced
tends to give him a careful, tender mouth. A fencing master, I knew
in France, had a spaniel, singularly enough for a Frenchman, called
"Waterloo," that would take up the smallest needle.

107. When your dog has picked up what you desired, endeavour to make
him run to you quickly. Many who teach a dog to fetch, praise and
encourage him while he is bringing what he was sent after. Clearly this
is an error. It induces the dog to loiter and play with it. He thinks
he is lauded for having it in his mouth and carrying it about. Reserve
your encomiums and caresses until he has delivered it. (see 153.)--If
you walk away, the fear of your leaving him, will induce him to hurry
after you. Let a dog retrieve ever so carelessly, still, while on the
move, he will rarely drop a bird.

[Page Header: BROUGHT TO LIFT WEIGHTS.]

108. Dogs that retrieve should be gradually brought to lift heavy,
flexible things, and such as require a large grasp, that they may not
be quite unprepared for the weight and size of a hare; otherwise they
may be inclined to drag it along by a slight hold of the skin, instead
of balancing it across their mouths. Thus capacious jaws are obviously
an advantage in retrievers.

The French gamekeepers, many of whom are capital hands at making a
retriever (excepting that they do not teach the "down charge"), stuff a
hare or rabbit skin with straw, and when the dog has learned to fetch
it with eagerness, they progressively increase its weight by burying
larger and larger pieces of wood in the middle of the straw: and to
add to the difficulty of carrying it, they often throw it to the other
side of a hedge or thick copse. If the dog shows any tendency to a hard
mouth they mix thorns with the straw.

[Page Header: TAUGHT TO "FETCH."]

109. I ought to have mentioned sooner, that you should commence
teaching a puppy to "fetch," by shaking your glove (or anything soft)
at him, and encouraging him to seize and drag it from you. Then throw
it a yard or two off, gradually increasing the distance, and the moment
he delivers it to you, give him something palatable. It is easier
to teach a dog to retrieve as a puppy than when he is older. From
teething his gums are in a state of slight irritation, and it gives
him pleasure to employ his teeth and gums. Should you, contrary to
every reasonable expectation, from his having no inclination to romp
or play with the glove, not be able to persuade him to pick it up, put
it between his teeth,--force him to grasp it by tightly pressing his
jaws together, speaking all the while impressively to him,--scold
him if he is obstinate and refuses to take hold of the glove. After a
little time retire a few paces, keeping one hand under his mouth (to
prevent his dropping the glove), while you lead or drag him with the
other. When you halt, be sure not to take the glove immediately from
him,--oblige him to continue holding it for at least a minute, (lest
he should learn to relinquish his grip too soon) before you make him
yield at the command "give;" then bestow a reward. Should he drop it
before he is ordered to deliver it, replace it in his mouth, and again
retreat some steps before ordering him to "give." He will soon follow
with it at your heels. If you have sufficient perseverance you can
thus make him earn all his daily food. Hunger will soon perfect him
in the lesson. Observe that there are four distinct stages in this
trick of carrying,--the first, making the dog grasp and retain,--the
second, inducing him to bring, following at your heels,--the third,
teaching him not to quit his hold when you stop,--the fourth, getting
him to deliver into your hands on your order. The great advantage of
a sporting dog's acquiring this trick, is, that it accustoms him to
deliver into your _hands_; and it often happens that you must thus
teach a dog to "carry" as a preparative to teaching him to "fetch." It
certainly will be judicious in you to do so, if the dog is a lively,
riotous animal; for the act of carrying the glove (or stick, &c.)
quietly at your heels will sober him, and make him less likely to run
off with it instead of delivering it when you are teaching him to
fetch. As soon as he brings the glove tolerably well, try him with
a short stick. You will wish him not to seize the end of it, lest
he should learn to "drag" instead of to "carry." Therefore fix pegs
or wires into holes drilled at right angles to each other at the
extremities of the stick. He will then only grasp it near the middle.


[Page Header: TAUGHT TO "CARRY."]

110. On one occasion I had a brace of setters to instruct, which had
come to me perfectly untaught, at far too advanced an age to make
their education an easy task; they had also been harshly treated, and
were consequently shy and timid. This obliged me to proceed with much
caution and gentleness. I soon won their confidence, I may say, their
affections; but I could not persuade them to play with my glove, nor to
lift anything I threw before them. I was hesitating how to act, when
I saw one of them find an old dry bone and bear it off in triumph. I
encouraged him in carrying it,--threw it several times for him, and
when he was tired of the fun, I brought the old bone home as a valuable
prize. Next day I tied a string to it,--I frequently chucked it to a
short distance, and when the dog had seized it I dragged it towards
me, _generally turning my back to the dog_. As soon as I regained it,
I made him attach a value to its being in my hands, by employing it
as a plate on which to offer him some delicacy. In a few days I could
dispense with the string, and I soon ventured to substitute for the
bone the string rolled up as a ball; afterwards I employed a stick.
Ultimately the dog fetched very promptly. His companion also took up
the trick from the force of good example. (See note to 34.)

111. I have dwelt thus long on "carrying" and "fetching," because they
are frequently taught so injudiciously, that the result is a complete
failure.

[Page Header: LAND RETRIEVER.]

112. This drill should be further extended if a

REGULAR LAND RETRIEVER

be your pupil. Throw dead birds of any kind for him to bring (of course
one at a time), being on the alert to check him whenever he grips them
too severely. If he persists in disfiguring them, pass a few blunted
knitting needles through them at right angles to one another. When he
fetches with a tender mouth, you will be able to follow up this method
of training still further by letting him "road" (or "foot," as it is
often termed) a rabbit in high stubble, one (or both, if a strong buck)
of whose hind-legs you will have previously bandaged in the manner
described in 60. Be careful not to let him see you turn it out, lest he
watch your proceedings and endeavour to "hunt by eye." Indeed, it might
be better to employ another person to turn it out. Keep clear of woods
for some time:--the cross scents would puzzle him. If by any chance you
have a winged pheasant or partridge, let him retrieve it. You will not,
I presume, at the commencement select a morning when there is a dry
cold wind from the north-east, but probably you will wish to conclude
his initiatory lessons on days which you judge to possess least scent.
The more he has been practised as described in 43, the better will
he work; for he cannot keep his nose too perseveringly close to the
ground. With reference to the instructions in that paragraph I will
here remark, that before you let the dog stoop to hunt, you should
have placed him by signal (35) near the spot from which you had begun
dragging the bread. In paragraph 277 an instance is given of the manner
in which a dog who retrieves should be put upon a scent; and why that
mode is adopted is explained in 271.

113. It is quite astonishing how well an old dog that retrieves
knows when a bird is struck. He instantly detects any hesitation or
uncertainty of movement, and for a length of time will watch its flight
with the utmost eagerness, and, steadily keeping his eye on it, will,
as surely as yourself, mark its fall. To induce a young dog to become
thus observant, always let him perceive that _you_ watch a wounded bird
with great eagerness; his imitative instinct will soon lead him to do
the same. This faculty of observation is particularly serviceable in a
water retriever. It enables him to swim direct to the crippled bird,
and, besides the saving of time, the less he is in the water in severe
weather, the less likely is he to suffer from rheumatism.

114. As an initiatory lesson in making him observant of the flight
and fall of birds, place a few pigeons (or other birds) during his
absence, each in a hole covered with a tile. Afterwards come upon
these spots apparently unexpectedly, and, kicking away the tiles, (or,
what is better, dragging them off by a previously adjusted string,)
shoot the birds for him to bring; it being clearly understood that he
has been previously tutored into having no dread of the gun. As he
will have been taught to search where bidden (IV. to VIII. of 141),
nothing now remains but to take him out on a regular campaign, when the
fascinating scent of game will infallibly make him search (I do not say
deliver) with great eagerness. When once he then touches upon a scent,
leave him entirely to himself,--not a word, not a sign. Possibly his
nose may not be able to follow the bird, but it is certain that yours
cannot. Occasionally you may be able to help an old retriever (544),
but rarely, if ever, a young one. Your interference, nay, probably your
mere presence, would so excite him as to make him overrun the scent.
Remain, therefore, quietly where you are, until he rejoins you.

[Page Header: WATCHES FLIGHT OF BIRDS.]

115. When we see a winged pheasant racing off, most of us are too apt
to assist a young dog, forgetting that we thereby teach him, instead of
devoting his whole attention to work out the scent, to turn to us for
aid on occasions when it may be impossible to give it. When a dog is
hunting _for_ birds, he should frequently look to the gun for signals,
but when he is _on_ them, he should trust to nothing but his own
scenting faculties.

116. If, from a judicious education, a retriever pup has had a delight
in "fetching" rapidly, it is not likely he will loiter on the way to
mouth his birds; but the fatigue of carrying a hare a considerable
distance may, perhaps, induce a young dog to drop it in order to
take a moment's rest. There is a risk that when doing so he may be
tempted to lick the blood, and, finding it palatable, be led to maul
the carcase. You see, therefore, the judiciousness of employing every
means in your power to ensure his feeling anxious to deliver _quickly_,
and I know not what plan will answer better,--though it sounds sadly
unsentimental,--than to have some pieces of hard boiled liver[18] at
hand to bestow upon him the moment he surrenders his game, until he
is thoroughly confirmed in an expeditious delivery. Never give him
a piece, however diligently he may have searched, unless he succeed
in bringing. When you leave off these rewards do so gradually. The
invariable bestowal of such dainties during, at least, the retriever's
first season, will prevent his ever dropping a bird on hearing the
report of a gun (as many do), in order to search for the later killed
game.

[Page Header: BIT FOR BLOOD-SUCKER.]

117. Should a young retriever evince any wish to assist the cook
by plucking out the feathers of a bird; or from natural vice or
mismanagement before he came into your possession,[19] show any
predisposition to taste blood, take about two feet (dependent upon the
size of the dog's head) of iron wire, say the one-eighth of an inch
in diameter, sufficiently flexible for _you_, but not for _him_, to
bend. Shape this much into the form of the letter U, supposing the
extremities to be joined by a straight line. Place the straight part in
the dog's mouth, and passing the other over his head and ears, retain
it in position by a light throat lash passed through a turn in the
wire, as here roughly represented.

The flexibility of the wire will enable you to adjust it with ease to
the shape of his head. When in the kennel he ought to be occasionally
thus bitted, that he may not fret when he is first hunted with it. It
will not injure his teeth or much annoy him, if it lies on his grinders
a little behind the tushes.

[Illustration]

118. Sometimes a retriever, notwithstanding every encouragement,
will not pursue a winged bird with sufficient rapidity. In this case
associate him for a few days with a quicker dog, whose example will to
a certainty animate him and increase his pace. It is true that when
he is striving to hit off a scent he cannot work too patiently and
perseveringly; but, on the other hand, the moment he is satisfied he
is on it, he cannot follow too rapidly. A winged bird when closely
pressed, seems, through nervousness, to emit an increasing stream of
scent; therefore, though it may sound paradoxical, the retriever's
accelerated pace then makes him (his nose being close to the ground)
the less likely to overrun it; and the faster he pursues the less
ground must he disturb, for the shorter will be the chase.

[Page Header: THE "DOWN CHARGE."]

119. Retrievers are generally taught to rush in, the instant a bird
falls. This plan, like most other things, has its advocates and its
opponents. I confess to being one of the latter, for I cannot believe
that in the long run it is the best way to fill the bag. I think it
certain that more game is lost by birds being flushed while the guns
are unloaded,[20] than could be lost from the scent cooling during
the short period the dog remains at the "down charge." Unquestionably
some retrievers have so good a nose, that the delay would not lead
to their missing any wounded game, however slightly struck (123);
and the delay has this great advantage, that it helps to keep the
retriever under proper subjection, and diminishes his anxiety to
rush to every part of the line where a gun may be fired, instead of
remaining quietly at his master's heels until signaled to take up the
scent. Moreover, a retriever, by neglecting the "down charge," sets an
example to the pointers or setters who may be his companions, which
it is always more or less difficult to prevent the dogs, if young,
from following. But I once shot over a retriever which I could hardly
wish not to have "run on shot." On a bird being hit he started off
with the greatest impetuosity, kept his eye immoveably fixed on its
flight, and possessed such speed, that a winged bird scarcely touched
the ground ere it was pinned. He would, too, often seize a slightly
injured hare before it had acquired its best pace. The pursuit so soon
terminated, that possibly less game escaped being fired at, than if the
retriever had not stirred until the guns were reloaded. On a miss he
was never allowed--indeed appeared little inclined--to quit "heel." Of
course a trainer's trouble is decreased by not breaking to the "down
charge," which may induce some to recommend the plan; though it is to
be observed, that this class of dogs is more easily than any other
perfected in it, because the breaker nearly always possesses the power
of treading upon or seizing the checkcord the instant a bird is sprung.

120. The nature of your shooting will much influence you in deciding
which of the two methods to adopt; but should you select the one which
the generality of good sportsmen consider to be most according to
rule, and to possess the greatest beauty, viz., the "down charge,"
rather lose any bird, however valuable, so long as your retriever
remains young, than put him on the "foot" a second before you have
reloaded. Undoubtedly it ought to be taught to every dog broken for
sale, as the purchaser can always dispense with it should he judge it
unnecessary:--it can soon be untaught. It is clear that not "quitting
heel" until ordered, is tantamount to the regular "down charge," but
I think the last is the easiest to enforce constantly. It is the more
decided step.

[Page Header: MR. K----G'S "BEN."]

121. Mr. K----g (mentioned in 231) had a famous retriever whose build,
close curly hair, and aquatic propensities, showed his close affinity
to the water spaniel, though doubtless there was some strain of the
Landsman. He retrieved with singular zeal and pertinacity. Indeed his
superiority over all competitors in his neighbourhood, was so generally
admitted, that his master was hardly ever asked to shoot at any place,
without a special invitation being sent to "Ben." When beating a cover,
there was a constant call for "Ben." No merely winged pheasant fell to
the ground, and no hare went off wounded but there was heard, "Ben,
Ben." On one occasion, when K----g was posted at the extremity of the
line, the dog was called away so often that his master got annoyed,
and declared that the animal should attend to no one but himself. Soon
there was a double shot, and, of course, the usual vociferations for
"Ben," but he was ordered to keep close. Louder and louder were the
cries for "Ben," but all in vain,--he obediently followed only his
master's orders. At length when the cover was beaten through, K----g
inquired into the cause of the hubbub. Young B----k told him, in no
kind humour, that his churlishness in retaining the dog had lost them a
fine hare. "If," said K----g, "you are certain you wounded it, and can
put me on the exact spot where it was when you fired, I will bet you £5
that 'Ben' shall find her." B----k observed that he knew perfectly the
precise place, having carefully marked it with a stick, but added, that
he much doubted the possibility of the dog's picking up the scent, as
more than half an hour had since elapsed. K----g, however, stuck to his
offer. They went back and found some pile, which proved that the hare
had been struck. The dog was put on the trail. He at once took it, but
was so long away, (perhaps twenty minutes,) that they thought it best
to search for him. They found him almost immediately, lying down with
the hare alongside of him. His tongue was hanging out of his mouth, and
he showed other symptoms of great distress. Evidently he had brought
the hare from a considerable distance.

[Page Header: BEN'S REFLECTIONS.]

122. "Ben" had numerous excellent qualities, but his greatest admirers,
and few dogs had so many, were obliged to admit, that he was of a
quarrelsome, pugnacious disposition. It unluckily happened that he had
taken a great dislike to a large cubbish young retriever belonging to
the aforesaid Mr. B----k, who often shot with K----g; and I am sorry to
say none of "Ben's" prejudices were removed by the kindly fellowship
and good feeling usually engendered by association in field-sports.
The day's work generally commenced by "Ben's" making a rush at his big
awkward companion, and overturning him. After this feat, upon which
he evidently greatly plumed himself, he would proceed to business. It
happened that one of the sportsmen once knocked over a pheasant which
fell outside the hedge surrounding the copse they were beating. It
proved to be a runner; "Ben," however, soon got hold of it, and was
carrying it to his master in the cover, when up came the other dog
wishing to assist. "Ben's" anger was roused,--he was anxious to punish
such intrusive interference--but how to manage it was the question,
for if he put down the winged bird it would run into the wood, where
there might be much trouble in recovering it. Quick as thought, off
ran "Ben" to the middle of the large ploughed field,--there he dropped
the bird,--then dashed at his lumbering rival, quickly gave him a
thrashing, and afterwards started in pursuit of the pheasant, which
he managed to overtake before it regained the copse. If that was not
reflection it was something very like it.

123. One more anecdote of poor "Ben." I say "poor," because he died
prematurely from a swelling under the throat which might, in all
probability, have been cured, had a long seton been run through it,
or rather under the adjacent skin,--a mode of treatment attended with
the happiest results in the case of another dog attacked in a similar
manner in the same kennel. "Ben" and an old setter were K----g's only
canine attendants when he was once pheasant shooting with a friend on
some steep banks. K----g was at the bottom, his friend on the top. A
cock-pheasant was sprung and winged by the latter. The bird not being
immediately found, there was the usual cry for "Ben." "Go along," said
K----g. Away went the dog, who soon took up the scent and dashed off,
but had not gone many yards before he started a hare; K----g had soon
an opening to fire, and wounded it. "Ben" pursued it, urged on by his
master, who felt sure the dog would be able to retrieve the pheasant
afterwards. The hare was viewed scrambling up the bank. "Ben" soon
appeared in sight and caught it. K----g's friend much abused poor
"Ben" for quitting one scent for another. "Do not put yourself out of
humour," said K----g; "you don't know the dog,--wait till he comes
back, and if he does not then get the bird, blame me." Having allowed
"Ben" a little breathing time, K----g took him to the place where the
bird fell. The dog quickly hit off the scent, K----g, now perfectly
satisfied that all was right, made his friend sit down. In little more
than a quarter of an hour "Ben" came back with the bird alive in his
mouth, it having no other wound that could be perceived than on the
pinion of one wing.

124. With such a nose as "Ben's" could there have been any harm in his
being taught to "down charge," and might there not have been much good
(119)? You see that owing to his having put up the hare while K----g's
friend was loading, it might have escaped, had it, as is usually the
case, at once taken to the hills.

125. Large retrievers are less apt to mouth their game than small
ones: but very heavy dogs are not desirable, for they soon tire. And
yet a certain medium is necessary, for they ought to have sufficient
strength to carry a hare with ease through a thicket, when balanced
in their jaws, and be able to jump a fence with her. They should run
mute. And they should be thick-coated: unless they are so,--I do not
say long-coated,--they cannot be expected to dash into close cover, or
plunge into water after a duck or snipe when the thermometer is near
zero.

[Page Header: THE TRUE NEWFOUNDLAND.]

126. From education there are good retrievers of many breeds, but it
is usually allowed that, as a general rule, the best land retrievers
are bred from a cross between the setter and the Newfoundland,--or
the strong spaniel and the Newfoundland. I do not mean the heavy
Labrador, whose weight and bulk is valued because it adds to his power
of draught, nor the Newfoundland, increased in size at Halifax and
St. John's to suit the taste of the English purchaser,--but the far
slighter dog reared by the settlers on the coast,--a dog that is quite
as fond of water as of land, and which in almost the severest part of
a North American winter will remain on the edge of a rock for hours
together, watching intently for anything the passing waves may carry
near him. Such a dog is highly prized. Without his aid the farmer would
secure but few of the many wild ducks he shoots at certain seasons of
the year. The patience with which he waits for a shot on the top of a
high cliff (until the numerous flock sail leisurely underneath) would
be fruitless, did not his noble dog fearlessly plunge in from the
greatest height, and successfully bring the slain to shore.

127. Probably a cross from the heavy, large-headed setter, who, though
so wanting in pace, has an exquisite nose; and the true Newfoundland,
makes the best retriever. Nose is the first desideratum. A breaker may
doubt which of his pointers or setters possesses the greatest olfactory
powers, but a short trial tells him which of his retrievers has the
finest nose.

128. Making a first-rate retriever is a work of time, but his being
_thoroughly_ grounded in the required initiatory lessons facilitates
matters surprisingly. Indeed after having been taught the "drop" (23,
25, 26)--to "fetch" (107 to 109)--and "seek dead" in the precise
direction he is ordered (XI. of 141), almost any kind of dog can be
made to retrieve. The better his nose is, the better of course he
will retrieve. Sagacity, good temper, quickness of comprehension, a
teachable disposition, and all cultivated qualities, are almost as
visibly transmitted to offspring as shape and action; therefore the
stronger a dog's hereditary instincts lead him to retrieve, the less
will be the instructor's trouble; and the more obedient he is made to
the signals of the hand, the more readily will he be put upon a scent.
Dogs that are by nature quick rangers do not take instinctively to
retrieving. They have not naturally sufficient patience to work out a
feeble scent. They are apt to overrun it. A really good retriever will
pursue a wounded bird or hare as accurately as a bloodhound will a deer
or man; and if he is put on a false scent, I mean a scent of uninjured
flick or feather, he will not follow it beyond a few steps:--experience
will have shown him the inutility of so doing. (545.)

[Page Header: RETRIEVE WOODCOCK.]

129. Avail yourself of the first opportunity to make a young retriever
lift a woodcock, lest in after life, from its novel scent, he decline
touching it, as many dogs have done to the great annoyance of their
masters. Ditto, with the delicate landrail.

[Page Header: NO RAT-HUNTING.]

130. The directions given about "fetching," led me to talk of
retrievers; and having touched upon the subject, I thought it right not
to quit it, until I had offered the best advice in my power. I have
but one more recommendation to add before I return to your setter (or
pointer) pup: carefully guard a young retriever (indeed any dog bred
for the gun) from being ever allowed to join in a rat-hunt. Rat-hunting
would tend to destroy his tenderness of mouth, nay possibly make him
mangle his game. But this is not all. It has often gradually led good
dogs to decline lifting hares or rabbits, apparently regarding them
more in the light of vermin than of game. Some dogs, however, that are
not bad retrievers, are capital ratters, but they are exceptions to the
general rule. Indeed, you should never permit your dog to retrieve any
kind of ground or winged vermin. If the creature were only wounded it
might turn upon him. He in self-defence would give it a grip, and he
might thus be led to follow the practice on less pardonable occasions.
Remember, that a winged bittern or heron might peck out his eye.



CHAPTER V.

INITIATORY LESSONS OUT OF DOORS.--TRICKS.

131. Lessons in Country Walks.--132. "Instruction in quartering;"
hunted where least likely to find Game; taught while young. In note,
Bitch shot over when seven months old.--133. If unreasonably long
before taking to hunting, the remedy.--134. Utility of Initiatory
Lessons; taught without punishing.--135. Self-confidence of timid
Dogs increased.--136. The more Dogs learn, the more readily they
learn.--137. Two superior Dogs better than half-a-dozen of the
ordinary sort; Action of Dogs; their Feet; Loins; dash of Fox-hound
gives endurance; cross with Bull hunts with nose too low; Reliefs
desirable; best Dog reserved for evening.--138. Immense sums spent
in shooting, yet begrudged for superior Dogs.--139. Memorandum,
never to ride through gate with gun athwart-ship; instance of Dog's
behaving admirably the first day shown Game.--140. Proves the value of
Initiatory Lessons.--141. Summary of knowledge imparted by them.--142.
Why to signal with _right_ Hand.--143. Obedience of Shepherd's Dogs to
Signals.--144. _One_ Word only of command; dogs attend to the general
_Sound_, not to the several _Words_.--145. Names of Dogs not to end
in "O;" to be easily called; to be dissimilar.--146. "Drop" better
word of command than "Down;" use words of command least likely to
be employed by others; when purchasing a Dog, ascertain what words
he is accustomed to.--147 to 149. Ladies have no control over Dogs;
the reason.--150. They possess patience and temper: could teach any
Tricks; Dogs how taught to fag at Cricket.--151. Newfoundland carrying
off lady's Parasol for a Bun.--152. He was a Physiognomist.--153.
Method of teaching "carrying," greatly differs from method of
teaching "fetching."--154. Tricks exhibited with effect.--155 to 157.
Instanced at Tonbridge Wells.--158, 159. Instanced at Gibraltar;
Game of Draughts.--160, 161. Elephant shown off.--162. Bewilderment
of Keeper of Menagerie.--163. Ladies' Pets too pampered; Shepherd's
Collies.--164. Kindness without petting.--165, 166. Instance of bad
Habit cured by perseverance. Ladies breaking in Dogs for the gun.
In note, Whale fishing at Bermuda.--167. Dog's Affections; always
gained by first attentions; win his love, that he may exert himself
to please.--Dog sleeping on poacher's clothes.--169. Esquimaux Dogs;
Esquimaux Women.

[Page Header: BUSINESS IN HAND.]

131. As I before observed, you can practise most of the initiatory
lessons in your country walks. Always put something alluring in your
pocket to reward your pupil for prompt obedience. Do not take him out
unnecessarily in bad weather. On no account let him amuse himself by
scraping acquaintance with every idle cur he meets on the way; nor
permit him to gambol about the lanes. Let him understand by your
manner that there is business in hand. Never let him enter a field
before you. _Always keep him at your heels, until you give him the
order to be off._ You will find him disposed to presume and encroach.
According to the old adage, "Give him an inch, and he will take an
ell." He will be endeavouring to lead rather than to follow, and,
should he fancy himself unobserved, he will most perseveringly steal
inch upon inch in advance. Be ever on the watch, ready to check the
_beginning_ of every act of disobedience. Implicit obedience in trifles
will insure it in things of more importance--but see par. 345.

[Illustration: INCLINED TO 'RAT.']

[Page Header: INSTRUCTION IN QUARTERING.]

132. For some time, but the period is uncertain,--say from his being
eight months old until double that age,[21]--he will merely gallop
and frisk about, and probably will take diligently to persecuting
butterflies. Let him choose what he likes. Don't think that he will
prize small beer, when he can get champagne. He will leave off noticing
inferior articles as he becomes conversant with the taste of game. It
is now your main object to get him to hunt; no matter what, so that he
is not perpetually running to "heel." And the more timid he is, the
more you must let him chase, and amuse himself as his fancy dictates.
When you see that he is really occupying himself with more serious
hunting, _eagerly_ searching for small birds, especially larks, you
must begin instructing him how to quarter his ground to the greatest
advantage, _under your constant direction_. Should any one join you,
or anything occur likely to prevent your giving him your strictest
attention, on no account permit him to range,--keep him to "heel"
until you are quite prepared to watch and control all his movements.
Hunt him where he is least likely to find game, for he will take to
quartering his ground far more regularly, under your guidance, where
his attention is least distracted by any scent. The taint of partridge
would be almost sure to make him deviate from the true line on which
you are anxious he should work. Labour now diligently, if possible
daily, though not for many hours a day; for be assured, a good method
of ranging can only be implanted when he is young: but be discreet, if
he be naturally timid, you may make him afraid to leave your heel--the
worst of faults.

133. Should your pup be so long before taking to hunting that your
patience becomes exhausted, let an old dog accompany you a few times.
When _he_ finds birds, gradually bring the young one upon them from
leeward, and let him spring them. Encourage him to sniff the ground
they have quitted, and allow him to run riot on the haunt. After that
enjoyment, the example of the old dog will most likely soon make him
range, and employ his nose in seeking a repetition of what has afforded
him such unexpected delight. If it does not, and the old dog is steady
and good-humoured enough to bear the annoyance cheerfully, couple the
young one to him. Before this he should have learned to work kindly
in couples (48). But I am getting on too fast, and swerving from the
track I had marked for myself. By-and-by I will tell you how I think
you should instruct your youngster to quarter his ground to the best
advantage. (173, &c.)

[Page Header: GAIN AFFECTION.]

134. Common sense shows that you ought not to correct your dog for
disobedience, unless you are certain that he knows his fault. Now
you will see that the initiatory lessons I recommend, must give him
that knowledge, for they explain to him the meaning of almost all the
signs and words of command you will have to employ when shooting. That
knowledge, too, is imparted by a system of rewards, not punishments.
Your object is not to break his spirit, but his self-will. With his
obedience you gain his affection. The greatest hardship admissible, in
this early stage of his education, is a strong jerk of the checkcord,
and a sound rating, given, _when necessary_, in the loudest tone and
sternest manner; and it is singular how soon he will discriminate
between the reproving term "bad" (to which he will sensitively attach a
feeling of shame), and the encouraging word "good,"--expressions that
will hereafter have a powerful influence over him, especially if he be
of a gentle, timid disposition.

135. In educating such a dog,--and there are many of the kind, likely
to turn out well, if they are judiciously managed, often possessing
noses so exquisite (perhaps I ought to say cautious), as nearly to make
up for their general want of constitution and powers of endurance:--it
is satisfactory to think that all these lessons can be inculcated
without in the slightest degree depressing his spirit. On the contrary,
increasing observation and intelligence will gradually banish his
shyness and distrust of his own powers; for he will be sensible that
he is becoming more and more capable of comprehending your wishes, and
therefore less likely to err and be punished (347).

[Page Header: FURTHER KNOWLEDGE READILY GAINED.]

136. I fear you may imagine that I am attributing too much reasoning
power to him. You would not think so if you had broken in two or
three dogs. What makes dog-teaching, if not very attractive, at least
not laborious, is the fact that the more you impart to a dog, the
more readily will he gain further knowledge. After teaching a poodle
or a terrier a few tricks, you will be surprised to see with what
increasing facility he will acquire each successive accomplishment. It
is this circumstance which, I think, should induce you not to regard
as chimerical the perfection of which I purpose to speak by-and-by,
under the head of "refinements in breaking." Indeed I only adopt
this distinction in deference to what I cannot but consider popular
prejudice; for I well know many will regard such accomplishments as
altogether superfluous. It is sad to think that an art which might
easily be made much more perfect, is allowed, almost by universal
sufferance, to stop short just at the point where excellence is within
grasp.

[Page Header: ESQUIMAUX DOGS.]

137. Far more dogs would be _well broken_, if men would but keep half
the number they usually possess. _The owner of many dogs cannot shoot
often enough over them to give them great experience._

Is it that some youngsters are fond of the _éclat_ of a large kennel?
That can hardly be, or ought not to be; for clearly it would be more
sportsmanlike to pride themselves upon the rare qualities of a few
highly-trained animals. A lover of the trigger might be excused an
occasional boast, if made with an approach to truth, that he shot
over the best broken dogs in the county. I say seriously, that if I
had a considerable bet upon the quantity of game that I was to kill
in a season, I had much rather possess two perfectly educated dogs
than half-a-dozen commonly called broken;--and even if I gave fifty
or sixty guineas for the brace, it would be more economical than to
purchase twice as many of the everyday sort; for, to say nothing of
the tax-gatherer, consider what would be the saving at the end of a
very few years between the keep of _two_, and of four or five dogs. I
suspect the difference would soon repay the large price paid for the
highly-educated favourites. Oh! yes. I anticipate what you would say;
but, keen sportsman as I am, I own I have not time or inclination to
shoot oftener than three or four out of the six working-days of the
week,--and I suspect not many men have, except just at the beginning
of a season. Moreover, in reference to what I fancy are your thoughts
respecting the insufficiency of two, I must premise that they are to
be good-hearted dogs,--good feeders after work,--probably of the sort
whose exuberant animal spirits, untiring energies, and rapture at
inhaling the exciting perfume of game, have led them to run riot in
many a lawless chase; who have consequently used up more than their
fair share of the breaker's checkcord, and consumed an undue portion of
his time. They must not be those whose constitutions have been injured
in their growth by excessive work; for dogs vary as much as horses in
the quantity of labour they are able to perform, both from diversity
of natural capabilities, and from the greater or less care bestowed
upon them while progressing towards maturity. The Esquimaux, who from
anxious observation must be a competent judge,--his very existence
depending upon the powers and endurance of his dogs,--not only
occasionally crosses them with the wolf (the progeny is prolific) to
increase their strength and hardiness,--I do not say sagacity,--but he
is so impressed with the necessity of not overtasking them until they
have attained their full stamina and vigour, that although he breaks
them into harness before they are quite a twelvemonth old, when their
immediate services would be convenient, he yet abstains from putting
them to severe labour until they are nearly three years of age. My
supposed dogs must, too, have as united a gallop as a good hunter, and
have small, round, hard feet; for this I hold to be a more certain test
of endurance in the field, than any other point that you can name.
Rest assured, that the worst loined dogs with good feet[22] are capable
of more fatigue in stubble or heather, than the most muscular and best
loined, with fleshy "understandings." The most enduring pointers I have
ever seen hunted, had more or less of the strain of the fox-hound; but
doubtless they were proportionately hard to break, for their hereditary
bias on one side of the house must have given them an inclination to
chase and carry their heads low. I have shot over a cross with the
bull-dog. The animal showed great courage, perseverance, and nose, but
he hunted with his head so near the ground, that he hit off no game
unless he came upon its run. The strongest heather could not have cured
such a sad carriage. It would be quite unreasonable to expect that dogs
so bred (from either fox-hound or bull-dog), would have acted like Mr.
M----t's, (see 280) the first day they were shown game. Remember also
that I do not expect to lose any shots from the birds being scared by
my being forced to call or whistle to the dogs, and that I confidently
hope to shoot more coolly and collectedly, from not being worried
and annoyed by their misconduct; I allow, however, that in any open
country more than two dogs are desirable; and I especially admit, that
whenever I might have the good luck to get away to the moors, I should
be unwilling to start with no more than a brace; but even in this case,
as I should hope for better society than my own, have I not a right
to calculate upon the probable contingent to be brought by my friend?
and if his turned out superior to mine, we should always reserve his
for our evening's beat, which ought to be the best feeding ground, and
towards which it would be our endeavour throughout the day to drive
the birds; for, unlike the partridge, the later it is, _early in the
season_, the better grouse lie. Many dogs are desirable, not that they
may be hunted together, but that they may be hunted in reliefs. But
some possess so much power and bottom, that their owners need seldom
think about reliefs in partridge-shooting.

[Illustration:

BROACHING A BARREL.

"The extremities of the gun caught the side-posts."--Par. 139.]

[Page Header: GOOD DOGS ULTIMATELY CHEAPEST.]

138. In enlarging a kennel, it ought always to be remembered, that the
companionship of one disorderly cur nominally cheap, but in reality
dear, soon leads astray the better disposed. Men who spare no expense
in preserving their grounds, in rearing and feeding birds, &c. will
often be found to begrudge a few extra pounds in the purchase of a dog,
however good. This appears odd, but it is too true. If they would but
sum up the rent they pay for the right of shooting, (or what is the
same thing, its value, if they choose to let it), the wages of men, the
cost of breeding game, taxes, and all other attendant expenses, they
would find that they wreck themselves at last for _comparatively_ a
trifle.

[Page Header: IRELAND GROUSE-SHOOTING.]

139. I am, however, wandering from our immediate subject. Let us
return to the lecture, and consider how much knowledge your pupil will
have acquired by these preliminary instructions. We shall find that,
with the exception of a systematically confirmed range, really little
remains to be learned, save what his almost unaided instinct will tell
him.

I will give you an instance of what I mean in the conduct of a young
pointer I saw shot over the first day he was ever shown game. You know
that in Ireland grouse-shooting does not commence before the 20th of
August,--a date far more judicious than ours. I well remember that day
at Clonmel in the year 1828. Long before any glimmering of light, one
of our party had fractured the stock of a favourite double barrel, by
carelessly letting it hang across his body at the moment a skittish cob
he was riding rushed through a narrow gateway. The extremities of the
gun caught the side-posts, and if it had not given way, he must have
parted company with his nag. I believe we each made a memorandum, never
whilst riding through a gate to let our guns get athwart-ship. The
morning turned out so dreadfully wet that, after remaining for hours in
a hovel at the foot of the Galtee Mountains, we were forced to return
home. The following day we made a fresh start. Being sadly in want of
dogs, we took out a young pointer who had never seen a bird, but was
tolerably _au fait_ in the initiatory lessons which I have described.
In a short time he began to hunt,--made several points in the course of
the day,--and though _every_ thing was strange to him, (for it was the
first time he had been associated in the field with other dogs,--nay,
almost the first time of his being hunted at all,) yet, from his
comprehension of the several orders that he received, and perfect
obedience, he acquitted himself so creditably, that he was allowed,
not only to be one of the best, but nearly the very best _broken_ dog
of the party. Indeed, the sportsmen who accompanied the owner (for
three guns shot together--a mal-arrangement attributable to accidental
circumstances, not choice) could hardly be persuaded that the dog had
not been shot over the latter end of the preceding season.

140. I name this instance, and I can vouch for its truth, not as an
example to be followed, for it was most injudicious to have so soon
taken out the youngster with companions, but to prove to you how
much you can effect by initiatory instruction; indeed, afterwards,
you will have little else to do than teach and confirm your dog in a
judicious range,--his own sagacity and increasing experience will be
his principal guides,--for, consider how much you will have taught him.

[Page Header: RULES KNOWN.]

141. He will know--

I. That he is to pay attention to his whistle,--the whistle that you
design always to use to him. I mean that, when he hears _one_ low blast
on his whistle he is to look to you for orders, but not necessarily run
towards you, unless he is out of sight, or you continue whistling (19).

II. That "Toho," or the right arm raised nearly perpendicularly, means
that he is to stand still (19 to 22).

III. That "Drop," or the left arm raised nearly perpendicularly, or the
report of a gun, means that he is to crouch down with his head close
to the ground, between his feet, however far off he may be ranging.
Greater relaxation in the position may be permitted after he has been a
little time shot over (23 to 27).

IV. That "On," (the short word for "hie on",) or the forward underhand
swing of the right hand, signifies that he is to advance in a forward
direction (the direction in which you are waving). This signal is
very useful. It implies that you want the dog to hunt ahead of you.
You employ it also when you are alongside of him at his point, and
are desirous of urging him to follow up the running bird or birds,
and press to a rise. If he push on too eagerly, you restrain him by
slightly raising the right hand--XII. of this paragraph (19 to 22).

V. That a wave of the right arm and hand (the arm being fully extended
and well to the right) from left to right, means that he is to hunt to
the right. Some men wave the left hand across the body from left to
right, as a direction to the dog to hunt to the right; but that signal
is not so apparent at a distance as the one I have described (36).

VI. That a wave of the left arm from right to left (the arm being fully
extended and well to the left), means that he is to hunt to the left
(36).

VII. That the "Beckon," the wave of the right hand towards you,
indicates that he is to hunt towards you (37). See also 71.

VIII. That the word "Heel," or a wave of the right hand to the rear
(the reverse of the underhand cricket-bowler's swing), implies that he
is to give up hunting, and go directly close to your heels (44).

IX. That "Fence" means that he is not to leave the place where you are.
After being so checked a few times when he is endeavouring to quit the
field, he will understand the word to be an order not to "break fence"
(46, 47).

X. That "Find," or "Seek," means that he is to search for something
which he will have great gratification in discovering. When he is in
the field he will quickly understand this to be game (34, 35).

XI. That "Dead" (which it would be well to accompany with the signal to
"Heel") means that there is something not far off, which he would have
great satisfaction in finding. On hearing it, he will come to you, and
await your signals instructing him in what direction he is to hunt for
it. When, by signals, you have put him as near as you can upon the spot
where you think the bird has fallen, you will say, "Find;" for, until
you say that word, he ought to be more occupied in attending to your
signals than in searching for the bird. When you have shot a good many
birds to him, if he is within sight, in order to work more silently,
omit saying "Dead," only signal to him to go to "Heel" (19, 34, 35, 44).

XII. That "Care" means that he is near that for which he is hunting.
This word, used with the right hand slightly raised (the signal for the
"Toho," only not exhibited nearly so energetically), will soon make
him comprehend that game is near him, and that he is therefore to hunt
cautiously. You will use it when your young dog is racing too fast
among turnips or potatoes (39).

XIII. That "Up" means that he is to sniff with his nose high in the air
for that of which he is in search (41).

XIV. That "Away" (or "Gone," or "Flown") is an indication that the
thing for which he was hunting, and of which he smells the taint, is no
longer there. This word is not to be used in the field until your young
dog has gained some experience (45).

XV. That "Ware" (pronounced "War") is a general order to desist from
whatever he may be doing. "No" is perhaps a better word: it can be
pronounced more distinctly and energetically. If the command is
occasionally accompanied with the cracking of your whip, its meaning
will soon be understood (47).

XVI. He will also know the distinction between the chiding term "Bad"
and the encouraging word "Good;" and, moreover, be sensible, from your
look and manner, whether you are pleased or angry with him. Dogs, like
children, are physiognomists (40, end of 134).

142. You will perceive that you are advised to use the right hand more
than the left. This is only because the left hand is so generally
employed in carrying the gun.

[Page Header: SHEPHERD'S DOG.]

143. By often and uniformly employing the signals I have named, you
will find it more easy to place your pupil, and make him hunt _exactly_
where you wish, than you may at first suppose. In an open country
the movements of sheep are entirely controlled by dogs; and if you
never have had the opportunity of observing it, you would be no less
surprised than interested at witnessing with what accuracy a shepherd,
standing on a hill side, can, by the motions of his hand and arm,
direct his dog to distant points in the valley below. If you could see
it, you would be satisfied it was not by harsh means that he obtained
such willing, cheerful obedience. His signals to the right, left,
and inwards, are very similar to those just described. He, however,
instructs his dog to go further ahead, by using his hand and arm as in
the action of throwing, but keeping an open palm towards the animal
(the arm raised high): a signal undeniably more visible at a distance
than the one named in IV. of 141, though not generally so well suited
to the sportsman.

144. You will also observe, that when the voice is employed (and
this should be done only when the dog will not obey your signals), I
have recommended you to make use of but _one_ word. Why should you
say, "Come to heel," "Ware breaking fence," "Have a care?" If you
speak in sentences, you may at times unconsciously vary the words of
the sentence, or the emphasis on any word; and as it is only by the
sound that you should expect a dog to be guided, the more defined and
distinct in sound the several commands are, the better.

[Page Header: NAMES DISSIMILAR IN SOUND.]

145. This consideration leads to the remark that, as, by nearly
universal consent, "Toho" is the word employed to tell a dog to point,
the old rule is clearly a judicious one, never to call him "Ponto,"
"Sancho," or by any name ending in "o." Always, too, choose one
that can be hallooed in a sharp, loud, high key. You will find the
advantage of this whenever you lose your dog, and happen not to have a
whistle. Observe, also, if you have several dogs, to let their names be
dissimilar in sound.

[Illustration: DEAF TO THE VOICE OF PERSUASION.--Par. 148.]

[Page Header: "DROP" BETTER THAN "DOWN."]

146. I have suggested your employing the word "Drop," instead of the
usual word "Down," because it is less likely to be uttered by any one
on whom the dog might jump or fawn; for, on principle, I strongly
object to any order being given which is not strictly enforced. It
begets in a dog, as much as in the nobler animal who walks on two legs,
habits of inattention to words of command, and ultimately makes greater
severity necessary. If I felt certain I should never wish to part with
a dog I was instructing, I should carry this principle so far as to
frame a novel vocabulary, and never use any word I thought he would be
likely to hear from others. By-the-bye, whenever you purchase a dog, it
would be advisable to ascertain what words of command, and what signals
he has been accustomed to.

[Page Header: A SOLICITOR.]

147. The fair sex, though possessing unbounded and most _proper_
influence over us, notoriously have but little control over their
canine favourites. This, however, solely arises from their seldom
enforcing obedience to the orders which they give them.

148. If a lady takes a dog out for a walk, she keeps constantly calling
to it, lest it should go astray and be lost. The result is, that ere
long, the dog pays not the slightest attention to her, his own sagacity
telling him that he need not trouble himself to watch her, as she will
be sure to look after him. But she can plead a charming authority
for her weakness,--Charles Lamb--who felt obliged to follow wherever
"Dash" chose to lead; for "Dash" soon found out that he might take what
liberties he pleased with "Elia."

[Illustration: A SOLICITOR.]

149. There is also a varying in the manner, tone of voice, and words
of command, which generally prevents the success of ladies in teaching
a four-footed pet any tricks beyond the art of begging. This feat they
accomplish because they cannot well deviate from the beaten path. They
naturally hold the animal in a proper position while they say, "Beg;
beg, sir, beg;" and do not give him the reward until he has obeyed
orders more or less satisfactorily.

[Page Header: PARASOL EXCHANGED FOR BUN.]

150. Honesty compels us to give them credit for more temper and
patience than fall to the lot of the sterner sex; and if they would but
pursue one steady, uniform, consistent plan, they might (sitting in a
begging attitude not being naturally an agreeable position for a dog)
quite as easily teach him to dance,--hold a pipe in his mouth,--stand
up in a corner,--give the right or left paw,--shut the door,--pull
the bell rope,--leap over a parasol,--or drag forth his napkin, and
spread it as a table-cloth at dinner-time,[23] &c.; and, by following
the method elsewhere explained (96, 107, 109,) seldom lose anything in
their walks, as their faithful companion would almost invariably be on
the alert to pick up and carry to them whatever they might drop. It
is in this manner that dogs are sometimes made very useful assistants
at cricket. A golf-ball maker at St. Andrew's, A----n R----n, employs
his dog yet more usefully--at least more profitably. He has taught
the animal to search the links by himself for balls, and to take
home all he finds. Until the introduction of the universally applied
gutta percha, the price of golf-balls was two shillings each. It may,
therefore, be easily imagined that the diligent little fellow paid
liberally for his board and lodging. But the trick of carrying has been
made as serviceable to the dog as to his master.

151. A cousin of one of my brother officers, Colonel A----n, was taking
a walk in the year '49, at Tonbridge Wells, when a strange Newfoundland
made a snatch at the parasol she held loosely in her hand, and quietly
carried it off. His jaunty air and wagging tail plainly told, as he
marched along, that he was much pleased at his feat. The lady civilly
requested him to restore it. This he declined, but in so gracious a
manner, that she essayed, though ineffectually, to drag it from him.
She therefore laughingly, albeit unwillingly, was constrained to follow
her property rather than abandon it altogether. The dog kept ahead,
constantly looking round to see if she followed, and was evidently
greatly pleased at perceiving that she continued to favour him with
her company. At length, he stepped into a confectioner's, where the
lady renewed her attempts to obtain possession of her property; but as
the Newfoundland would not resign it, she applied to the shopman for
assistance, who said that it was an old trick of the dog's to get a
bun; that if she would give him one, he would immediately return the
stolen goods. She cheerfully did so, and the dog as willingly made the
exchange.

152. I'll be bound the intelligent animal was no mean observer of
countenances, and that he had satisfied himself, by a previous
scrutiny, as to the probability of his delinquencies being forgiven.

[Page Header: TRICKS ABLY PERFORMED.]

153. "Carrying" is a pretty--occasionally, as we see, a useful--trick,
but it does not further any sporting object. "Carrying" and "fetching"
are essentially different. The object chiefly sought in the latter is
to make the dog deliver _expeditiously_ (107),--in the former, to make
him carry _perseveringly_ for miles and miles. To inculcate carrying,
always make him suppose that you greatly regard what is confided to his
charge. Many a good carrier is spoiled by children picking up any stick
and giving it to him. He has the sense to know that it is valueless,
and when he is tired of the fun, he drops it _unrebuked_, and, after
a time, is supplied with another. If you practise a pup in carrying a
stick, show more discretion than to let it be so long that it must jar
against his teeth by trailing on the ground, or hitting the walls.

154. Being on the subject of tricks, as several ladies have done me the
unexpected but highly appreciated honour of reading what I have said
respecting their four-footed attendants, I think it as well to observe,
should they be tempted to teach a favourite any accomplishments, that
these should be practised occasionally, or they may be forgotten,
(all the sooner, like more serious studies, the more easily they were
acquired;) and that the exhibition of them might be made much more
effective and striking by a little exercise, on the ladies' part, of
the address and tact with which Dame Nature has so liberally endowed
them.

155. Quite a sensation was created many years ago, at Tonbridge Wells,
by the Hon. C. D----s, who possessed a dog which had been taught by a
former master, for very unlawful purposes, to fetch, when ordered, any
article to which his owner had slily directed the animal's attention.

156. The gentleman was walking up and down the crowded Pantiles,
listening to the public band, and playing the agreeable to a titled
lady, whom he subsequently married; when, bowing to some passing
acquaintance, he casually observed, "How badly my hat has been
brushed!" at the same time giving the private signal to the dog, who
instantly ran off to one of the adjacent toy-shops, and brought away
the hat-brush which his master had pointed out to him about a quarter
of an hour before.

157. As Mr. D----s kept his own counsel, the lady and many of their
friends, as well as the pursuing shopman, fancied the dog had
sufficient intelligence to understand what had been said, and had, from
his own sagacity, volunteered fetching what he conceived was required.

158. The barrack-rooms at Gibraltar used not to be furnished with
bells. An officer of the Artillery, quartered on the Rock while I was
there, and, by-the-bye, so good a player at draughts, that he used to
aver--and his unusual skill seemed to prove the correctness of the
assertion--that, if he had the first move, he could win to a certainty,
was accustomed to summon his servant by sending his dog for him. On
getting the signal, away the Maltese poodle would go, not much impeded
by closed doors in that hot climate, and, by a bark, inform the man
that he was wanted.

159. The daily routine of a quiet bachelor's life is so unvaried
in those barracks, that the servant could generally guess what was
required; and visitors were often surprised at hearing the officer
(Major F----e) say to his dog, "Tell John to bring my sword and cap,"
or "the breakfast," &c. and still more surprised at seeing that such
orders were punctually obeyed.

[Page Header: ELEPHANT'S TRICKS.]

160. But for exhibiting tricks with effect doubtless my old
warm-hearted friend K----g, (elsewhere mentioned 450,) bears off the
palm. He brought two young elephants to England from Ceylon; one he
secured when it was a mere baby, and would not quit the side of its
dam after he had shot her. The other was about seven feet high. He
had taught them several tricks before they embarked, and during the
long voyage home, passed on deck, they had learned many others from
the sailors, and, when needed, would usefully help in giving "a long
pull,--a strong pull,--and a pull all together."

161. General B----g having spoken to the Duchess of Y----k about the
little animals, she happened to say she would like to possess the
smallest; of course K----g was too gallant a man not to send it at once
to Oatlands. George the Fourth heard of the other; and on some of his
staff mentioning that it would be acceptable to His Majesty, it went to
the Pavilion at Brighton. It was kept there until they were tired of
it, when it was transferred to the Tower. Hearing of its being there,
K----g one morning went into the menagerie. An officer of the Guards,
on duty at the Tower, was at the moment seeing the animals with a party
of ladies; K----g was in a hurry, and inquired where the elephant was,
saying he had come expressly to have a look at him and nothing else.
The officer very good-humouredly observed that it mattered not what
beasts they saw first, so the party adjourned to the elephant. K----g
urged the keeper to go into the den to show him off, but the man said
the animal had so recently arrived there that he was afraid. K----g
offered to go in. The man refused leave, stating it was more than his
situation was worth to permit it. K----g pressed to be allowed. The
officer warmly urged the keeper to comply, "as the gentleman felt so
confident," and the keeper wavering, K----g, without saying another
word, squeezed himself through the massive oak bars, went up boldly
to the elephant, put his hand on his shoulder as he used to do in old
days; the sagacious brute at once obeyed the signal and lay down, got
up again when desired, salaamed to the ladies, held a foot out for
K----g to stand on, then raised it up to aid K----g in getting on his
back, and afterwards lay down to enable his old master to dismount
conveniently. K----g then tickled him to make him kick, which the
awkward looking beast did in a very laughable manner, and the laugh of
the spectators was not diminished by his squeezing K----g so close into
a corner, that he could only escape by slipping under the creature's
belly. K----g finished the exhibition by making him turn round, and
again salaam the company.

162. I will not swear that K----g, who has much quiet humour, did not
propose going into any other den and show off all the lions and tigers
in a similar manner, but he found, of course unexpectedly, on looking
at his watch, that he was obliged to hurry off instantly. The delighted
and bewildered keeper entreated him to reveal the secret by which such
marvellous feats were performed. K----g promised to do so on his return
to London; and he would have kept his word, had not the poor elephant
soon afterwards died in cutting his tusks. So the man to this day,
for all I know to the contrary, thinks my friend little less than a
necromancer.

[Illustration: REPLETE WITH GOOD THINGS.]

[Page Header: LADIES' DOGS OVERFED.]

163. It is to be observed that ladies' dogs are generally so pampered
and overfed that a common reward does not stimulate them to exertion
in the same degree it does dogs less favoured. I should speak more
correctly if I said less _fed_; for I am ungallant enough to fancy,
that an _unpacked_ canine jury would consider the good health, high
spirits, and keen appetite of the latter, a fair set-off against the
delicacies and caresses bestowed by the prettiest and most indulgent of
mistresses. Though the collie is the shepherd's constant companion, the
shepherd well knows that always petting the dog would spoil him. Sir
J----s M----e, a Highlander, observed to his gamekeeper, that he never
saw the shepherds coaxing and caressing their collies. "True," the man
replied, "but you never saw one strike his dog; he is always kind to
them." Hear this, ye ladies, who would be right glad that your pretty
pets were a hundred times more obedient than you find them.

[Page Header: TROUT TAMED.]

164. There are few animals whose confidence, if not attachment, may not
be gained by constant kindness without petting. One summer's morning
I walked from Ross to breakfast with Mr. C----s at his picturesque
old-fashioned house, built near a small tributary to the Wye. I was
specially invited to see some tame trout, whose timidity Mr. C----s
had overcome by feeding them regularly every day. Until he made his
appearance near the waters, not a fish was visible; and it was very
interesting to watch the perfect confidence they evinced, I might
add pleasure, whenever he approached the banks. He said he felt sure
he could get them to feed out of his hands, if he chose to devote
sufficient time to them. There was one fine fellow for whom all the
rest most respectfully made way. He weighed close upon 5 lbs. This was
proved; for a party, whose name I dare not mention, secretly caught
the animal in order to weigh it, and though he immediately replaced
it in the water perfectly uninjured, yet its old distrust was so much
re-awakened that it hid itself for four or five months. Mr. C----s
naturally thought that it had been captured by some poacher, and had
met with the same unlucky fate as a former favourite, of still larger
dimensions, which a newly-hired cook had contrived to secure whilst it
was basking in the shallows; and had served up at dinner-time, in the
full expectation of receiving much commendation for her piscatory skill.

165. Judicious perseverance,--in other words, consistency,--will not
only teach accomplishments, but correct bad manners. The oldest friend
I possess used to allow a favourite dog to sleep in his bed-room. The
animal, though he had a very short, clean coat, was always more or
less annoyed by those nimblest of tormentors[24] to be found in most
countries, particularly in warm ones; and there being no carpet in the
room, his scratching at night, as you may well imagine, made a loud,
disagreeable thumping against the boards, which _invariably_ awoke my
friend (a very light sleeper), and he as _invariably_ scolded the dog.
This undeviating consistency made the dog at length entirely relinquish
the obnoxious practice, until his master was fairly awake, or at least
had begun to stretch and yawn.

[Page Header: JUDICIOUS PERSEVERANCE.]

166. Now, I want you to observe, that had the noise but only
_occasionally_ awakened my friend, however much he might then have
scolded, the dog would not have given up the habit; he would constantly
have entertained the hope that he might endeavour to remove his tiny
persecutors unreproved, and the temptation would have outweighed the
risk. It would have been inconsistent to have frequently but not
always checked him. I know a lady, possessing great perseverance and
temper, who has taught even cats many tricks--nay, since the last
edition of this book was printed I have heard of several ladies having
most successfully educated dogs for the field. A very pleasant girl,
Miss G----h, almost a stranger to me, who sat next to me at a large
dinner-party about a year ago, asked me in the course of conversation
whether I was related to the author of "Dog-Breaking,"--and then
greatly gratified me by saying that her sister had broken in several
Pointers for her brother, a M.F.H. She spoke of one particular 1st of
September, when her sister was rather nervous as a well-known keen
sportsman had been invited to shoot, and a young well-bred dog, solely
tutored by herself, was to bear his first shot--but at dinner-time she
was amply recompensed for all the trouble she had taken by having the
delight of learning that her pupil had performed admirably, and had
understood and been attentive to every signal. I asked how it was that
the youngster was not alarmed at the report of the gun. She replied
that it was doubtless attributable to his perfect confidence that he
should not be hurt, as he had never undergone any punishing during the
whole course of his training.

[Page Header: WIN AFFECTION.]

167. Ladies' pets are a proof that dogs can, as easily as children,
be effectually spoiled by injudicious kindness; but canine nature
contrasts with infant nature in this, that no petting or spoiling will
withdraw a dog's affection from the individual to whom he first becomes
attached in a new home, provided that person continues but decently
civil to him. And be this a caution to you. If ever you have a stranger
to instruct, let no one but yourself associate with or feed him for
many days after his arrival. You may then feel assured of afterwards
possessing his unrivalled affections, especially if to you alone he is
to be grateful for his enjoyment in the field; and you must win his
affection, or he will not strive to his utmost to assist you.

168. A well-known poaching character,--though ostensibly, and by
_profession_, a dog-breaker,--was remarkable for the fondness
immediately evinced for him by all dogs placed under his care. He was
not particular about his dress; and it at length transpired that it was
his custom to make up a bed, for all new comers, in his room, of the
clothes he had just taken off. This so habituated the dogs to the scent
of his person, by night as well as by day, that they became unwilling
to quit it, especially as the man was naturally good-tempered, and
always treated them with great kindness.

169. Captain Parry relates of the Esquimaux dogs, that they are far
more attached,--from kindnesses received in youth,--to the women,
than to the men; and that, consequently, the latter, in all cases
of difficulty, are obliged to apply to their wives to catch the
almost woolly animals, and coax them to draw unusually heavy loads.
The beloved voice of the women will control and animate the dogs to
exertion, at a time when the words of the men would be powerless, and
their blows only produce irritation or obstinacy.



CHAPTER VI.

FIRST LESSON IN SEPTEMBER COMMENCED. RANGING.

170. Regular Breakers make Dogs "point" paired birds in Spring; tends
to blinking.--171. Better not to see Game until shot over; taken out
alone on a fine day in September.--172. Perpetually whistling to
animate dogs, injudicious.--173. Beat largest Fields, and where least
likely to find Game.--174. Commence from leeward; Scent bad in a calm
or gale; observations on Scent; it differently affects Pointers and
Setters; see Note.--175 to 179. Instructions in "ranging."--180. Kept
from hedge; Range greater on moors than stubble.--181. Distance between
Parallels dependent on tenderness of nose.--182. A point at Partridge a
hundred yards off.--183. At Grouse a hundred and fifty yards off; Mr.
L----g's opinion of distance at which Dogs wind birds.--184. If the
Dog is to hunt with another, the Parallels to be further apart.--185.
No interruption when winding birds, yet not allowed to puzzle; Nose
to gain experience.--186. Birds lie well to Dog that "winds," not
"foots" them.--187. White Dogs most visible to _birds_ and to _you_; a
disadvantage and advantage; white Feet often not good; feet of Setters
better than of Pointers.--188. Inattentive to Whistle, made to "drop,"
&c.; when rating or punishing, the disregarded order or signal to
be often repeated; Whip to crack loudly.--189. The attainment of a
scientific Range difficult, but of surpassing value; the best ranger
must in the end find most game.

[Page Header: "BREAKING" IN PAIRING SEASON.]

170. A keeper nearly always breaks in his young dogs to point, (or
"set" as some term it) if their ages permit it, on favourable days
in Spring, when the partridges have paired.[25] He gets plenty of
points, and the birds lie well. But I cannot believe it is the best
way to attain great excellence, though the plan has many followers: it
does not cultivate the intelligence of his pupils, nor enlarge their
ideas by making them sensible of the object for which such pains are
taken in hunting them. Moreover, their natural ardour (a feeling that
it should be his aim rather to increase than weaken) is more or less
damped by having often to stand at game, before they can be rewarded
for their exertions by having it killed to them,--it prevents, rather
than imparts, the zeal and perseverance for which Irish dogs are so
remarkable (565). Particularly ought a breaker, whose pupil is of
a nervous temperament, or of too gentle a disposition, to consider
well that the want of all recompense for finding paired birds, must
make a timid dog far more likely to become a "blinker," when he is
checked for not pointing them, than when he is checked for not pointing
birds, which his own impetuosity alone deprives him of every chance of
rapturously "touseling." (See also end of 280.) The very fact that "the
birds lie well" frequently leads to mischief; for, if the instructor
be not very watchful, there is a fear that his youngsters may succeed
in getting too close to their game before he forces them to come to a
stanch point. A keeper, however, has but little choice, (and it is not
a bad time to teach the back,) if his master insist upon shooting over
the animals the first day of the season, and expect to find them what
some call "perfectly broken in." But I trust some few of my readers
may have nobler ends in view, and that they will cheerfully sacrifice
a little of their shooting the first week of the season, to ensure
super-excellence in their pupils at its close. Remember, I do not
object to spring drilling, (vide 131) but to much spring pointing.

171. I will suppose your youngster to have been well grounded in his
initiatory lessons, and that you take him out when the crops are nearly
off the ground (by which time there will be few squeakers) on a fine
cool day in September, (alas! that it cannot be an August day on the
moors,) to show him birds for the first time. As he is assumed to be
highly-bred, you may start in the confident expectation of killing
partridges over him, especially if he be a pointer. Have his nose moist
and healthy. Take him out when the birds are on the feed, and of an
afternoon in preference to the morning, (unless from an unusually dry
season there be but little scent,) that he may not be attracted by
the taint of hares or rabbits. Take him out alone, if he evince any
disposition to hunt, which, at the age we will presume him to have
attained this season, we must assume that he will do, and with great
zeal. Be much guided by his temper and character. Should he possess
great courage and dash, you cannot begin too soon to make him point.
You should always check a wild dog in racing after pigeons and small
birds on their rising; whereas you should encourage a timid dog (one
who clings to "heel") in such a fruitless but exciting chase. The
measures to be pursued with such an animal are fully detailed in 132,
133.

[Page Header: CONSTANT LOW WHISTLE INJUDICIOUS.]

172. I may as well caution you against adopting the foolish practice of
attempting to cheer on your dog with a constant low whistle, under the
mistaken idea that it will animate him to increased zeal in hunting.
From perpetually hearing the monotonous sound, it would prove as little
of an incentive to exertion as a continued chirrup to a horse; and yet
if habituated to it, your dog would greatly miss it whenever hunted by
a stranger. Not unregarded, however, would it be by the birds, to whom
on a calm day it would act as a very salutary warning.

173. Though you have not moors, fortunately we can suppose your fields
to be of a good size. Avoid all which have been recently manured.
Select those that are large, and in which you are the least likely
to find birds until his spirits are somewhat sobered, and he begins
partly to comprehend your instructions respecting his range. There is
no reason why he should not have been taken out a few days before this,
_not to show him birds_, but to have commenced teaching him how to
traverse his ground. Indeed, if we had supposed him of a sufficient age
(132), he might by this time be somewhat advanced towards a systematic
beat. It is seeing many birds early that is to be deprecated, not his
being taught how to range.

[Page Header: SCENT INEXPLICABLE.]

174. _Be careful to enter every field at the leeward_[26] side (about
the middle), that he may have the wind to work against. Choose a day
when there is a breeze, but not a boisterous one. In a calm, the scent
is stationary, and can hardly be found unless accidentally. In a gale
it is scattered to the four quarters.[27] You want not an undirected
ramble, but a judicious traversing beat under your own guidance, which
shall leave no ground unexplored, and yet have none twice explored.

[Page Header: INSTRUCTIONS IN RANGING.]

175. Suppose the form of the field, as is usually the case, to approach
a parallelogram or square, and that the wind blows in any direction
but diagonally across it. On entering at the leeward side send the dog
from you by a wave of your hand or the word "On." You wish him, while
you are advancing up the middle of it, to cross you at right angles,
say from right to left,--then to run up wind for a little, parallel to
your own direction, and afterwards to re-cross in front of you from
left to right, and so on until the whole field is regularly hunted. To
effect this, notwithstanding your previous preparatory lessons, you
will have to show him the way, as it were (setting him an example in
your own person), by running a few steps in the direction you wish him
to go (say to the right), cheering him on to take the lead. As he gets
near the extremity of his beat, when he does not observe you, you can
steal a small advance in the true direction of your own beat, which is
directly up the middle of the field, meeting the wind. If perceiving
your advance he turns towards you, face him,--wave your right hand to
him, and while he sees you, run on a few paces in his direction (that
is _parallel_ to his true direction). As he approaches the hedge (the
one on your right hand, but be careful that he does not get close
to it, lest, from often finding game there, he ultimately become a
potterer and regular hedge-hunter) face towards him, and on catching
his eye, wave your left arm. If you cannot succeed in catching his eye,
you must give one low whistle,--the less you habituate yourself to use
the whistle, the less you will alarm the birds,--study to do all, as
far as is practicable, by signals. You wish your wave of the left arm
to make the dog turn to the left (his head to the wind), and that he
should run parallel to the side of the hedge for some yards (say from
thirty to forty) before he makes his second turn to the left to cross
the field; but you must expect him to turn too directly towards you
on your first signal to turn. Should he by any rare chance have made
the turn (the first one) correctly, and thus be hunting up wind, on no
account interrupt him by making any signals until he has run up the
distance you wish, (the aforesaid thirty or forty yards,)--then again
catch his eye, and, as before (not now, however, faced towards him and
the hedge, but faced towards your true direction), by a wave of the
left arm endeavour to make him turn to the left (across the wind). If,
contrary to what you have a right to suppose, he will not turn towards
you on your giving a whistle and wave of your hand, stand still, and
continue whistling--eventually he will obey. But you must not indulge
in the faintest hope that all I have described will be done correctly;
be satisfied at first with an approach towards accuracy; you will daily
find an improvement, if you persevere steadily. When you see that there
is but little chance of his turning the way you want, at once use the
signal more consonant to his views, for it should be your constant
endeavour to make him fancy that he is always ranging according to the
directions of your hands. Be particular in attending to this hint.

176. His past tuition (38) most probably will have accustomed him to
watch your eye for directions, therefore it is not likely, even should
he have made a wrong turn near the hedge (a turn down wind instead
of up wind, which would wholly have prevented the required advance
parallel to the hedge), that he will cross in rear of you. Should he,
however, do so, retreat a few steps, (or face about if he is far in the
rear,) in order to impress him with the feeling that all his work must
be performed under your eye. Animate him with an encouraging word as he
passes. When he gets near the hedge to the left, endeavour, by signals
(agreeably to the method just explained) (175), to make him turn to
the (his) right, his head to the wind, and run up alongside of it for
the thirty to forty yards, if you can manage it, before he begins to
re-cross the field, by making a second turn to the right. If you could
get him to do this, he would cross well in advance of you.

177. Though most likely his turn (the first--the turn up wind) will
be too abrupt (too much of an acute angle instead of the required
right angle), and that consequently, in order to get ahead of you, he
will have to traverse the field diagonally, yet after a few trials it
is probable he will do so, rather than not get in front of you. This
would be better than the former attempt (not obliging you to face
about),--express your approval, and the next turn near the hedge may
be made with a bolder sweep. Remember your aim is, that no part be
unhunted, and that none once commanded by his nose be again hunted.
He ought to cross, say thirty yards in front of you, but _much_ will
depend upon his nose.

[Page Header: TO WATCH FOR SIGNALS.]

178. Nearly on every occasion of catching his eye, except when he is
running up wind parallel to the hedge, give him some kind of signal.
This will more and more confirm him in the habit of looking to you,
from time to time, for orders, and thus aid in insuring his constant
obedience. After a while, judging by the way in which your face is
turned, he will know in what direction you purpose advancing, and will
guide his own movements accordingly. Should he, as most probably he
will for some time, turn too sharply towards you when getting near the
hedge, I mean at too acute an angle, incline or rather face towards
him. This, coupled with the natural wish to range unrestrained, will
make him hunt longer parallel to the hedge, before he makes his second
turn towards you.

179. You may at first strive to correct your dog's turning too
abruptly inwards (the first turn), by pushing on in your own person
further ahead on your own beat; but when he has acquired if merely
the slightest idea of a correct range, be most careful not to get in
advance of the ground he is to hunt. Your doing so might habituate him
to cross the field diagonally (thereby leaving much of the sides of the
fields unhunted), in order to get ahead of you; and, moreover, _you_
might spring birds which you are anxious _he_ should find. Should he,
on the other hand, be inclined to work too far upward before making his
turn to cross the field, hang back in your own person.

[Page Header: RANGE GREATER ON MOORS.]

180. Though you may be in an unenclosed country, let him range at first
from no more than from seventy to eighty yards on each side of you.
You can gradually extend these lateral beats as he becomes conversant
with his business--indeed, at the commencement, rather diminish than
increase the distances just named, both for the length of the parallels
and the space between them. Do not allow the alluring title "a fine
wide ranger" to tempt you to let him out of leading-strings. If he be
once permitted to imagine that he has a discretionary power respecting
the best places to hunt, and the direction and length of his beats, you
will find it extremely difficult to get him again well in hand. On the
moors his range must be far greater than on the stubbles, but still the
rudiments must be taught on this contracted scale, or you will never
get him to look to you for orders. Do _you_ keep entire control over
his beats; let _him_ have almost the sole management of his drawing
upon birds, provided he does not puzzle, or run riot too long over an
old haunt. Give him time, and after a little experience his nose will
tell him more surely than your judgment can, whether he is working
on the "toe" or "heel" of birds, and, whether he diverges from or
approaches the strongest and most recent haunt,--do not flurry or hurry
him, and he will soon acquire that knowledge.

[Page Header: POWERS OF SCENT VARY.]

181. As the powers of scent vary greatly in different dogs, the depth
of their turns (or parallels) ought to vary also, and it will be
hereafter for you to judge what distance between the parallels it
is most advantageous for your youngster ultimately to adopt in his
general hunting. The deeper his turns are, of course, the more ground
you will beat within a specified time. What you have to guard against
is the possibility of their being so wide that birds may be passed
by unnoticed. I should not like to name the distance within which
good _cautious_ dogs that carry their heads high, will wind game on a
favourable day.

182. I was partridge-shooting the season before last with an intimate
friend. The air was soft and there was a good breeze. We came upon a
large turnip-field, deeply trenched on account of its damp situation.
A white setter, that habitually carried a lofty head, drew for awhile,
and then came to a point. We got up to her. She led us across some
ridges, when her companion, a jealous dog (a pointer), which had at
first backed correctly, most improperly pushed on in front, but, not
being able to acknowledge the scent, went off, clearly imagining the
bitch was in error. She, however, held on, and in beautiful style
brought us direct to a covey. My friend and I agreed that she must have
been but little, if at all, less than one hundred yards off when she
first winded the birds; and it was clear to us that they could not have
been running, for the breeze came directly across the furrows, and she
had led us in the wind's eye. We thought the point the more remarkable,
as it is generally supposed that the strong smell of turnips diminishes
a dog's power of scenting birds.

[Page Header: SCENT ONE HUNDRED YARDS.]

183. R----t T----n, a gamekeeper, once assured me he had seen a point
at grouse which were at the least one hundred and fifty yards off. The
dogs were on the edge of a valley--the pack on a little hillock from
which direction the wind blew--an intervening wall near the top of
the hillock separated them from the dogs; and as intermediately there
was no heather, the man was satisfied that the birds had not run over
the ground. When I was talking one day to Mr. L----g, the well-known
gunmaker in the Haymarket, about the qualities of dogs' noses,--and
from his long experience he ought to be a judge of such matters,--he
told me, before I had said a word respecting distances, that he thought
he had seen more than once a dog point at one hundred and fifty yards
from his game.

184. If you design your pupil, when broken in, to hunt with a
companion, and wish both the dogs, as is usual, to cross you, you will,
of course, habituate him to make his sweeps (the space between the
parallels) wider than if you had intended him to hunt without any one
to share his labours.

185. I need hardly warn you to be careful not to interrupt him whenever
he appears to be winding birds. However good his nose may be by nature,
it will not gain experience and discrimination, unless you give him a
certain time to determine for himself whether he has really touched
upon a faint scent of birds, and whether they are in his front or rear,
or gone away altogether. Like every other faculty, his sense of smell
will improve the more it is exercised. But on the other hand, as I
observed before, do not let him continue puzzling with his nose close
to the ground,--urge him on,--make him increase his pace,--force him to
search elsewhere, and he will gradually elevate his head, and catching
the scent of other particles, will follow up these with a nose borne
aloft, unless he is a brute not worth a twentieth part of the pains
which you think of bestowing upon him; for,

186. Besides the greatly decreased chance of finding them, birds that
to a certainty would become uneasy, and make off if pursued by a dog
tracking them, will often lie well to one who finds them by the wind.
They are then not aware that they are discovered, and the dog, from the
information his nose gives him, can approach them either boldly or with
great wariness, according as he perceives them to be more or less shy.

[Page Header: FIND BY WIND.--WHITE DOGS.]

187. It is rather foreign to our immediate subject, but I will here
observe, that it is generally thought white dogs cannot approach shy
birds[28] as closely as dogs of a dark colour can (93); but there
is a set-off to this supposed disadvantage in _your_ being able to
distinguish the light ones more readily at a distance,--a matter of
some moment on heather. If you have not your eye on a steady brown
setter at the moment he drops on grouse, you may spend half an hour
most vexatiously in searching for him. When you expect to find the
birds wild, should your kennel allow you the choice, you ought to take
out those of a sombre hue. Light coloured dogs have not generally
such well-shaped feet as their darker brethren. It is curious that
white feet in dogs as well as in horses should often be objectionable.
As a rule, setters have harder, tougher feet than pointers. This is
very apparent in a flinty country or in frosty weather, and is partly
attributable to their being better defended with hair round the ball,
and between the toes.

188. If, being unable to catch the dog's eye, you are forced to use the
whistle frequently, and he continues inattentive to it, notwithstanding
his previous tuition, stand still,--make him lie down (by the word
"drop," if he will not obey your raised left arm)--go up to him,--take
hold of his collar, and rate him, saying, "Bad, bad," cracking your
whip over him (let the whip be one that will crack loudly, not for
present purposes, but that, when occasion requires, he may hear it at
a distance) and whistling softly. This will show him (should you beat
him, you would confuse his ideas) that he is chidden for not paying
attention to the whistle. Indeed, whenever you have occasion to scold
or punish him, make it a constant rule, while you rate him, to repeat
many times the word of command, or the signal which he has neglected to
obey. There is no other way by which you will make him understand you
_quickly_.

[Page Header: SYSTEMATIC RANGE.]

189. You must expect that your young dog will for some time make sad
mistakes in his range;--but be not discouraged. Doubtless there is no
one thing,--I was going to say, that there are no dozen things,--in
the whole art of dog-breaking, which are so difficult to attain, or
which exact so much labour, as a high, well-confirmed, systematic
range. Nature will not assist you:--you must do it all yourself; but
in recompense there is nothing so advantageous when it is at length
acquired. It will abundantly repay months of persevering exertion. It
constitutes the grand criterion of true excellence. Its attainment
makes a dog of inferior nose and action far superior to one of much
greater natural qualifications who may be tomfooling about, galloping
backwards and forwards sometimes over identically the same ground,
quite uselessly exerting his travelling powers; now and then, indeed,
arrested by the suspicion of a haunt, which he is not experienced
enough, or sufficiently taught, to turn to good account,--and
occasionally brought to a stiff point on birds accidentally found right
under his nose. It is undeniable, _cæteris paribus_, that the dog who
hunts his ground most according to rule must in the end find most game.



CHAPTER VII.

FIRST LESSONS IN SEPTEMBER CONTINUED. CAUTION.--NATURE'S MYSTERIOUS
INFLUENCES.

190. Dog to be hunted alone.--191. Many Breakers exactly reverse this;
it expedites an inferior education, but retards a superior.--192.
Turnips, Potatoes, &c., avoided. Range of Dogs broken on moors most
true.--193. In Turnips, &c., young Dogs get too close to birds.--194.
_Cautious_ Dogs may with advantage be as fast as wild ones; the two
contrasted; in Note, injudiciousness of teaching A Puppy to "point"
Chickens.--195. Instance of a Dog's running to "heel," but not
"blinking," on finding himself close to birds.--196. A Dog's Nose
cannot be improved, but his _caution_ can, which is nearly tantamount;
how effected.--197. How to make fast Dogs cautious.--198. The cause
why wild Dogs ultimately turn out best.--199. Dog tumbling over and
pointing on his Back.--200. Dog pointing on top of high-log Fence
at quail in tree; in Note, Militia Regiment that sought safety by
taking to Trees.--201. The day's Beat commenced from leeward.--202.
Wondrous Dogs, which find Game without hunting.--203. Colonel T----y's
opinion.--204 to 209. His dog "Grouse," that walked up direct to her
Game.--210. "Grouse's" portrait.--211 to 213. Probable solution of
"Grouse's" feat; in Note, why high nose finds most game.--214. Reason
why Dogs should be instructed separately, and allowed Time to work
out a Scent; young dogs generally too much hurried.--215. Mysterious
Influences.--216. Retriever that runs direct to hidden object.--217.
Not done by nose.--218. Newfoundland that always swam back to his
own Ship.--219. Another that did the same.--220. Now belongs to the
Duke of N----k.--221. Cats and Dogs carried off in baskets, finding
their way back; Nature's Mysteries inexplicable. In Note, instance of
extraordinary memory in a Horse.


190. If it is your fixed determination to confirm your dog in the
truly-killing range described in the last Chapter, do not associate
him for months in the field with another dog, however highly broken.
It would be far better to devote but two hours per diem to your pupil
exclusively, than to hunt him the whole day with a companion.

[Page Header: OLD DOG LEADER.]

191. Many breakers do exactly the reverse of this. They take out an
old steady ranger, with the intention that he shall lead the young
dog, and that the latter, from imitation and habit, shall learn how
to quarter his ground. But what he gains by imitation will so little
improve his intellects, that, when thrown upon his own resources, he
will prove a miserable finder. On a hot, dry day he will not be able
to make out a feather, nor on any day to "foot" a delicate scent. I
grant that the plan expedites matters, and attains the end which _most_
professional trainers seek; but it will not give a dog self-confidence
and independence, it will not impart to him an inquiring nose, and
make him rely on its sensitiveness to discover game, rather than to
his quickness of eye to detect when his friend touches upon a haunt;
nor will it instruct him to look from time to time towards the gun
for directions. It may teach him a range, but not to hunt where he is
ordered; nor will it habituate him to vary the breadth of the parallels
on which he works, according as his master may judge it to be a good or
bad scenting day.

[Page Header: RANGE EASIEST TAUGHT ON MOORS.]

192. To establish the rare, noble beat I am recommending,--one not
hereafter to be deranged by the temptation of a furrow in turnips or
potatoes,--you must have the philosophy not to hunt your dog in them
until he is accustomed in his range to be guided entirely by the wind
and your signals, and is in no way influenced by the nature of the
ground. Even then it would be better not to beat narrow strips across
which it would be impossible for him to make his regular casts. Avoid,
too, for some time, if you can, all small fields (which will only
contract his range), and all fields with trenches or furrows, for he
will but too naturally follow them instead of paying attention to his
true beat. Have you never, in low lands, seen a young dog running down
a potato or turnip trench, out of which his master, after much labour,
had no sooner extracted him than he dropped into the adjacent one? It
is the absence of artificial tracks which makes the range of nearly
all dogs _well_ broken on the moors so much truer than that of dogs
hunted on cultivated lands.

193. Moreover, in turnips, potatoes, clover, and the like thick
shelter, birds will generally permit a dog to approach so closely,
that if he is much accustomed to hunt such places, he will be sure
to acquire the evil habit of pressing too near his game when finding
on the stubbles (instead of being startled as it were into an
instantaneous stop the moment he first winds game), and thus raise many
a bird out of gun-shot that a _cautious_ dog,--one who slackens his
pace the instant he judges that he is beating a likely spot,--would not
have alarmed.

[Page Header: SEARCHING NOSE.]

194. "A _cautious_ dog"! Can there well be a more flattering
epithet?[29] Such a dog can hardly travel too fast[30] in a tolerably
open country, where there is not a superabundance of game, _if_
he really hunt with an inquiring nose;--but to his master what an
all-important "if" is this! It marks the difference between the
sagacious, wary, patient, yet diligent animal, whose every sense
and every faculty is absorbed in his endeavour to make out birds,
not for himself but for the gun, and the wild harum-scarum who
blunders up three-fourths of the birds he finds. No! not _finds_, but
frightens,--for he is not aware of their presence until they are on the
wing, and seldom points unless he gets some heedless bird right under
his nose, when an ignoramus, in admiration of the beauty of the dog's
sudden attitude, will often forget the mischief which he has done.

195. Nature gives this caution to some dogs at an early age. A
clergyman of my acquaintance, Mr. G. M----t, a keen sportsman in his
younger days, told me that when he was partridge-shooting once in
Essex, a favourite pointer of his, that was ranging at a rapid pace
alongside a thick hedge, coming suddenly upon an opening where there
should have been a gate, instantly wheeled round and ran to heel, and
then commenced carefully advancing with a stiffened stern towards the
gap; and so led his master up to live birds which were lying close to
it, but on the further side. Evidently the _cautious_ dog,--for he was
no blinker,--on so unexpectedly finding himself in such close vicinity
to the covey, must have fancied that his presence would alarm them,
however motionless he might remain.

196. Though you cannot improve a dog's nose, you can do what is really
tantamount to it--you can increase his caution. By watching for the
slightest token of his feathering, and then calling out "Toho," or
making the signal, you will gradually teach him to look out for the
faintest indication of a scent, and _point the instant he winds it_,
instead of heedlessly hunting on until he meets a more exciting
effluvia. (See 259 to 261, also 329.) If from a want of animation in
his manner you are not able to judge of the moment when he first winds
game, and therefore are unable to call out "Toho" until he gets close
to birds, quietly pull him back from his point "dead to leeward" for
some paces, and there make him resume his point. Perseverance in this
plan will ultimately effect your wishes, unless his nose be radically
wrong. A dog's pointing too near his game more frequently arises from
want of caution,--in other words, from want of good instruction,--than
from a defective nose.

[Page Header: CAUTION TAUGHT.]

197. Slow dogs readily acquire this caution; but fast dogs cannot be
taught it without great labour. You have to show them the necessity of
diminishing their pace, that their noses may have fair play. If you
have such a pupil to instruct, when you get near birds you have marked
down, signal to him to come to "heel." _Whisper_ to him "Care," and
let him see by your light, slow tread your anxiety not to alarm the
game. If he has never shown any symptoms of blinking, you may, a few
times, thus spring the birds yourself while you keep him close to you.
On the next occasion of marking down birds, or coming to a very likely
spot, bring him into "heel," and after an impressive injunction to
take "care," give him two or three very limited casts to the right or
left, and let _him_ find the game while you instruct him as described
in 329. As there will be no fear of such a dog making false points,
take him often to the fields where he has most frequently met birds.
The expectation of again coming on them, and the recollection of the
lectures he there received, will be likely to make him cautious on
entering it. I remember a particular spot in a certain field that early
in the season constantly held birds. A young dog I then possessed never
approached it afterwards without drawing upon it most carefully, though
he had not found there for months. At first I had some difficulty in
preventing the "draw" from becoming a "point."

198. I have elsewhere observed that fast dogs, which give most trouble
in breaking, usually turn out best. Now if you think for a moment you
will see the reason plainly. A young dog does not ultimately become
first-rate because he is wild and headstrong, and regardless of
orders, but because his speed and disobedience arise from his great
energies,--from his fondness for the sport; from his longing to inhale
the exhilarating scent and pursue the flying game. It is the possession
of these qualities that makes him, in his anxious state of excitement,
blind to your signals and deaf to your calls. These obviously are
qualities that, _under good management_,[31] lead to great excellence
and superiority,--that make one dog do the work of two. But they are
not qualities sought for by an idle or incompetent breaker. He would
prefer the kind of dog mentioned in 280, and boast much of the ability
he had displayed in training him. These valuable qualities in the fast
dog, must, however, be accompanied by a searching nose. It is not
enough that a dog be always apparently hunting, that is to say, always
on the gallop--his nose should always be hunting. When this is the case
(and you may be pretty certain it is if, as he crosses the breeze, his
nose has intuitively a bearing to windward), you need not fear that he
will travel too fast, or not repay you ultimately for the great extra
trouble caused by his high spirits and ardour for the sport.

[Page Header: CAUTIOUS DOGS.]

199. The Rev. Mr. M----t (spoken of in 195) had one of these valuable,
fast, but cautious dogs. The dog, in leaping over a stile that led
from an orchard and crowned a steep bank, accidentally tumbled head
over heels. He rolled to the bottom of the bank, and there remained
motionless on his back. Mr. M----t went up in great distress, fancying
his favourite must have been seriously injured. However, on his
approaching the dog, up sprung some partridges, which, it appears, the
_careful_ animal must have winded, and fearing to disturb, would not
move a muscle of his body, for happily he was in no way hurt by the
fall.

[Illustration:

"He rolled to the bottom of the bank, and there lay motionless on his
back." Par. 199]

[Page Header: QUAILS TREEING.]

200. I was shooting in the upper provinces of Canada over a young dog,
who suddenly checked himself and came to a stiff "set" on the top of a
high zigzag log fence. I could not believe that he was cunning enough
to do this for the purpose of deceiving me, because I was rating him
for quitting the field before me; and yet why should he be pointing in
mid-air as rigidly as if carved in stone? On my going up the enigma was
solved, by a bevy of quail flying out of a neighbouring tree.[32] It
is said they often take to them in America: but this was the only
instance I ever saw. But we will now hark back to your pup, which, for
your sake, I wish may turn out as cautious a dog.

201. You have been recommended invariably to enter every field by the
leeward side. This you can generally accomplish with ease, if you
commence your day's beat to leeward. Should circumstances oblige you to
enter a field on the windward side, make it a rule, as long as your dog
continues a youngster, to call him to "heel," and walk down the field
with him until you get to the opposite side (the leeward),--then hunt
him regularly up to windward.

202. I have read wondrous accounts of dogs, who, without giving
themselves the trouble of quartering their ground, would walk straight
up to the birds if there were any in the field. It has never been my
luck, I do not say to have possessed such marvellous animals, but even
to have been favoured with a sight of them. I therefore am inclined
to think that, let your means be what they may, you would find it
better not to advertise for creatures undoubtedly most rare, but to
act upon the common belief that, as the scent of birds, more or less,
impregnates the air, no dog, let his nose be ever so fine, can, except
accidentally, wind game unless he seek for the taint in the air,--and
that the dog who regularly crosses the wind must have a better chance
of finding it, than he who only works up wind,--and that down wind he
can have little other chance than by "roading."

[Page Header: "GROUSE."--COL. T----Y'S BITCH.]

203. Thus had I written, for such was my opinion, but Colonel T----y,
mentioned in 99, having seen the preceding paragraph, in the first
edition, spoke to me on the subject, and, as he thinks such a dog
occasionally may be found, and gave good reasons for so believing, I
begged him to commit the singular facts to paper; for I felt it a kind
of duty to give my readers the most accurate information in my power on
a matter of such interest. He writes:--

204. "I should like to show you the portrait of a favourite old pointer
of mine, who certainly had the gift of walking up straight to her birds
without, apparently, taking the trouble of looking for them, and about
which I see you are naturally somewhat sceptical. It was in this wise:--

205. "I had gone down into Wales, with my Norfolk pointers, in order
to commit great slaughter upon some packs of grouse frequenting the
moors belonging to my brother-in-law; my dogs, I think, were fair
average ones, but the three did not find so many birds, I was going
to say, in a week as old 'Grouse' (the pointer alluded to) did in a
day. She had been, previous to my arrival, a sort of hanger-on about
the stables,--gaining a scanty subsistence by foraging near the
house,--until she was four years old, without ever having been taken to
the adjoining moor, at least, in a regular way.

[Illustration: SAFELY MOORED 'STEM' AND 'STERN.' Page 119, Note.]

206. "One morning as I was riding up to the moor she followed me;
happening to cast my eyes to the right I saw her pointing very steadily
in a batch of heather not far from a young plantation. I rode up, and
a pack of grouse rose within twenty yards. This induced me to pay more
attention to my four-footed companion; and the result was, that in
a week's time the Norfolk pointers were shut up in the kennel, and
the neglected 'Grouse' became my constant associate. A more eccentric
animal, however, cannot well be conceived. She hunted just what ground
she liked--paid no attention whatever to call or whistle--would have
broken the hearts of a dozen Norfolk keepers, by the desperate manner
in which she set all rules for quartering at defiance,--but she found
game with wonderful quickness, and in an extraordinary manner. She
seemed, in fact, to have the power of going direct to where birds lay,
without taking the preliminary trouble of searching for them; and, when
the packs of grouse were wild, I have seen her constantly leave her
point, make a wide circuit, and come up in such direction as to get
them between herself and me.

"She was, in every way, a most singular creature. No one did she
regard as her master:--no one would she obey. She showed as little
pleasure when birds fell, as disappointment when they flew away; but
continued her odd, eccentric movements until she became tired or birds
scarce, and then quietly trotted home, totally regardless of my softest
blandishments or my fiercest execrations.

208. "She was beautifully-shaped, with round well-formed feet, her
forehead prominent, and her nostrils expanded more, I think, than I
ever saw in any dog.

209. "I bred from her, but her offspring were not worth their salt,
although their father was a good dog, and had seen some service in
Norfolk turnips."

210. As a horse-dealer once said to me, "I'd ride many a mile, and pay
my own pikes," to see such an animal; but, "Grouse," being, unhappily,
no longer in the land of the living, I was forced to content myself
with merely looking at her portrait. This, however, afforded me much
pleasure; I therefore obtained the owner's permission to have it
engraved. He says that she always much arched her loins when at a
point close to game, and that the artist has most happily hit off her
attitude. She is the darker dog of the two, and stands, as soldiers
say, on the "_proper_ left." Her companion, "Juno," was far from a bad
bitch.

[Page Header: "GROUSE'S" FEAT EXPLAINED.]

211. Might not this singular feat of "Grouse's" be thus explained?--

212. The longer the time that has elapsed since the emission of
particles of scent, the more feeble is that scent, on account of
the greater dispersion of the said particles; but, from the greater
space[33] they then occupy, a dog would necessarily have a greater
chance of meeting some of them, though, possibly, his nose might not be
fine enough to detect them.

213. Now, my idea is, that "Grouse's" exquisite sense of smell made her
often imagine the possible vicinity of game from the very faintest
indications,--that her sagacity led her not to abandon hastily such
tokens, however feeble, but rather to seek patiently for a confirmation
or disproval of her surmises,--that these fancies of hers often ending
in disappointment, her manner did not exhibit any excitement that could
have induced a spectator to guess what was passing in her mind,--that
he, therefore, noticed nothing unusual until after the removal of her
hesitation and doubts, when he observed her walking calmly direct up
to her birds,--and that he thus was led to regard as an unexplained
faculty what really ought to have been considered as simply an evidence
of extreme sensitiveness of nose combined with marvellous caution,--a
caution it is the great aim of good breaking to inculcate. If I am
right in my theory, extraordinary "finder" as "Grouse" was, she would
have been yet more successful had she been taught to range properly.

[Illustration:

"Stiff by the tainted gale with open nose, Outstretched and finely
sensible."--THOMSON'S SEASONS.

Par. 210.]

214. It is heedlessness,--the exact opposite of this extreme
caution,--that makes young dogs so often disregard and overrun a slight
scent; and since they are more inclined to commit this error from
the rivalry of companionship, an additional argument is presented in
favour of breaking them separately, and giving them their own time,
quietly and methodically, to work out a scent, _provided the nose be
carried high_. I am satisfied most of us hurry young dogs too much.
Observe the result of patience and care, as exhibited in the person of
the old Dropper, noticed in 228.

[Illustration:

A DOG-FISH.--Par. 218.]

215. But, doubtless, there are mysterious influences and instincts of
which the wisest of us know but little.

[Page Header: HON. F. C----H'S RETRIEVER.]

216. An old brother officer of mine, the Hon. F. C----h, has a very
handsome black retriever that possesses the extraordinary gift of being
able to run direct to any game, or even glove, you may leave behind
you, however tortuous may be your subsequent path. C----h told me that
he has, in the presence of keepers, frequently dropped a rabbit within
sight of the dog, and then walked in a circle, or rather semicircle,
to the other side of a low hill--a distance, possibly, of nearly a
mile--before he desired the dog to fetch it; yet, on receiving the
order, the animal invariably set off in an undeviating line straight
to the rabbit, unless his attention had been drawn away by playing
with other dogs--a license C----h sometimes designedly allowed. The
retriever would then shuffle about a little before he went off, but
when he started it would be in as direct a line to the object as usual.

217. No one could explain by what sense or faculty he performed this
feat. It appears not to have been by the aid of his olfactory powers,
for C----h (who is a keen sportsman, and capital shot, by-the-bye)
would often purposely manage that the dog, when he was desired to
"fetch" the object, should be immediately to windward of it; and in the
most unfavourable position, therefore, for deriving any advantage from
the exercise of his nasal organs.

218. Capt. G----g, R.N. mentioned to me, that a ship, in which he had
served many years ago in the Mediterranean, seldom entered a port that
the large Newfoundland belonging to her did not jump overboard the
instant the anchor was dropped, swim ashore, and return, after an hour
or two's lark, direct to his own ship, though she might be riding in a
crowd of vessels. He would then bark, anxiously, until the bight of a
rope was hove to him. Into this he would contrive to get his fore-legs,
and, on his seizing it firmly with his teeth, the sailors, who were
much attached to him, would hoist him on board.

219. Mr. W----b, of S----a, had a young Newfoundland that from very
puppyhood took fearlessly to water, but acquired as he grew up such
wandering propensities on land, that his master determined to part with
him, and accordingly made him a present to his friend Lieut. P----d,
R.N. then in command of H.M. Cutter "Cameleon." "Triton," however,
was so attached to his old roving habits, that whenever the cutter
went into port he would invariably swim ashore of his own accord, and
remain away for several days, always managing, however, to return on
board before the anchor was weighed. Such, too, was his intelligence
that he never seemed puzzled how to pick out his own vessel from amidst
forty or fifty others. Indeed, Lieut. P----d, (he lately commanded
the "Vulcan,") to whom the question, at my request, was expressly
put, believes, (and he has courteously permitted me to quote his name
and words,) that, on one occasion, "Triton" contrived to find his own
vessel from among nearly a hundred that were riding at anchor in Poole
harbour. The dog's being ever so well acquainted with the interior of
the craft does not explain why he should be familiar with her external
appearance. Did he judge most by the hull or the rigging?

220. The Duke of N----k so much admired the magnificent style in which
"Triton" would spring into the strongest sea, that Lieut. P----d gave
the fine animal to his Grace, who, for all I know to the contrary,
still possesses him.

[Page Header: INSTINCT.]

221. Who can account for the mode in which a dog or cat, carried a
long journey from home, in a covered basket, instinctively, finds
its way back?--yet, numerous are the well authenticated instances of
such occurrences.[34] But, enough of this,--fortunately I have not
undertaken to attempt an elucidation of any of Nature's many mysteries,
but simply to show how some of the faculties she has bestowed upon the
canine race may easily be made conducive to our amusements.



CHAPTER VIII.

FIRST LESSON IN SEPTEMBER CONTINUED. CUNNING OF AGE.--RANGE OF FROM TWO
TO SIX DOGS.

222. Your dog not to "break fence;" how taught; birds often sprung
while you are scrambling over hedge.--223. Turning one's back upon a
dog to bring him away; stooping down, &c. to make him hunt close.--224.
Dog, when fatigued, not to be hunted; leads to false points.--225.
Sent home, brushed, and allowed a warm berth; not to follow all
day at "heel."--226. Instance of longevity and vigour; flapper
shooting.--227. Value of good old dogs.--228. Exemplified in an old
dropper on the moors.--229. Young dogs get thrown out; cunning of old
birds exemplified in a Grouse.--230. Annual "fall" of underwood in
Kent.--231. Mr. K----g, good fisherman; in Note, anecdote of voracity
of pike. Wheatley's "Rod and Line."--232. Extraordinary chase after
a wounded pheasant.--233. Singular appearance of the pheasant on
its capture.--234. Description of the Spaniel "Dash."--235. Evil of
"fetching," not having been taught in youth exemplified.--236. Another
instance of the cunning of an old Pheasant. In Note, how to choose
and tell age of Pheasants.--237. The last Duke of Gordon; his black
setters; his shooting over _old_ dogs.--238 to 240.--Beat of two dogs;
how regulated.--241. Whatever number be hunted, all should look to the
gun for orders; Mr. Herbert's opinion in his "Field Sports in United
States."--242, 243. Beat of three dogs.--244. Of four dogs.--245 to
247. Of five or six dogs.--248. Great precision impracticable, but the
necessity of a system maintained; System particularly essential where
game is scarce; dogs to be brigaded not employed as a pack.--249.
When each keeper hunts a brace.--250. Major B----d's highly broken
pointers.--251, 252. His making six alternately "road;" their running
riot when ordered.--253. Not a good shot, which shows excellence
in shooting not to be essential in a breaker.--254. A brigade of
fine rangers worth from fifty to sixty guineas a brace.--255. Bad
rangers afford some sport where game is plentiful; Captain R----s'
dogs on Quail.--256. Fastest walkers do not necessarily beat most
country.--257. Nor do always the fastest dogs.--258. How slow dogs may
hunt more ground than faster.

[Page Header: "BREAKING FENCE."]

222. Of course, you will not let your pupil "break fence," or get out
of your sight. If he be a small, active pointer or setter he may be out
of sight before you are aware of it. Be on the watch to whistle or call
out "Fence," the instant you perceive that he is thinking of quitting
the field. Do not wait until he is over; check him by anticipating his
intentions. Should he, unperceived, or in defiance of your orders,
get into a field before you, call him back (by the same opening, if
practicable, through which he passed, the more clearly to show him
his folly); and do not proceed further until he has obeyed you. A
steady adherence to this rule will soon convince him of the inutility
of not exercising more patience, or at least forbearance; then signal
to him "away" in the direction _you_ choose, not in the direction
_he_ chooses. It is essential that you should be the first over every
fence. In the scramble, birds, at which you ought to have a shot,
are frequently sprung. If he is not obedient to your orders make him
"drop," and rate him as described in 188.

223. A dog from his own observation so much feels,--and in a greater or
less degree, according to his education,--the necessity of watching in
what direction you are walking, that if he is habituated to work under
your eye,--I mean, is never allowed to hunt behind you,--by turning
your back upon him when he is paying no attention to your signals, you
will often be able to bring him away from a spot where he is ranging
(perhaps down wind) against your wishes, at a time when you are afraid
to whistle, lest you should alarm the birds. Waving your hand backwards
and forwards near the ground, and stooping low while walking slowly
about, as if in search of something, will often attract the attention
of an ill-taught self-willed dog; and his anxiety to participate in the
find, and share the sport which he imagines you expect, will frequently
induce him to run up, and hunt alongside of you for any close lying
bird.

[Illustration: "Small, active Pointer."--Par. 222.]

[Page Header: TIRED DOGS.]

224. Never be induced to hunt your young dog, (nor indeed, any dog),
when he is tired. If you do, you will give him a slovenly carriage and
habits, and lessen his zeal for the sport. In order to come in for a
sniff, at a time when he is too fatigued to search for it himself,
he will crawl after his companion, watching for any indication of his
finding. As they become wearied you will have a difficulty in keeping
your old well broken dogs separate--much more young ones, however
independently they may have ranged when fresh. You may also, to a
certainty, expect false points; but what is of far more consequence, by
frequently overtasking your young dog, you will as effectually waste
his constitution as you would your horse's by premature work.

225. If he is very young when first entered, two or three hours' work
at a time will be sufficient. When he is tired, or rather before he
is tired, send him home with the man who brings you a relief. Do not
fancy your dog will be getting a rest if he be allowed to follow at
your heels for the remainder of the day, coupled to a companion. His
fretting at not being allowed to share in the sport he sees, will take
nearly as much out of him as if you permitted him to hunt. If you can
persuade John always to rub him down, and brush and dry him--nay even
to let him enjoy an hour's basking in front of the fire--before he
shuts him up in the kennel, you will add years to his existence; and
remember that one old experienced dog, whose constitution is uninjured,
is worth two young ones.

[Page Header: VIGOUR IN OLD AGE.]

226. A gentleman in Eyrecourt, County Galway, gave me, as a valuable
present, a black setter thirteen years of age. And most valuable was
the setter to my friend, who had carefully reared him from a puppy,
and had him well under command; but with me he was so _wild_,--I make
use of the term most advisedly,--that he did me more harm than good
the only season I shot over him. He was stolen from me, and his teeth
were so sound, and he bore so little the appearance of age, that I
have no doubt he was sold as a tolerably young dog. He was the best
specimen I ever saw of the vigour that may be retained for old age by
judicious treatment in youth. The excellence of his constitution was
the more remarkable, from the fact of his having always been extremely
fond of the water. Few dogs could equal him for flapper shooting, that
vilest of sports, if followed before the unfortunate birds get strong
on the wing--as unprofitable, too, for the table, as unsatisfactory to
the real sportsman. Sir J----s M----e, of Perthshire, told me that he
had shot grouse over an Oxfordshire pointer bitch (the best he ever
possessed and the founder of his kennel-stock) until she was eighteen
years of age, when she could do no more than crawl up the side of a
hill, occasionally, to gain time, making false points. Once, however,
on the top, she would work merrily downwards,--no false points then.

227. But canine veterans, of however invalided a constitution, if
they have been really first-rate in their youth, are not always to be
despised. Occasionally you may come across one who will, from his past
experience and superior nose, prove a more valuable auxiliary in the
field, than many a campaigner of greater activity and vigour.

228. Many years ago I went from the south of England for some
grouse-shooting in Scotland. When arranging with my companion (Captain
S----s, a connexion of the kind-hearted old warrior, whose crowning
victory was Goojerat,) what dogs should accompany us, he remarked, that
it would be useless to take his old Dropper (one far more resembling
a pointer than a setter), as he was too aged to undergo any work. I
observed, that he could do us no harm if he did us no good; and, as he
had been an admirable animal, I advised his being taken. Off he went
to the North; and frequently did we afterwards congratulate ourselves
upon this decision, for the old fellow, apparently grateful for the
compliment seemed to feel that he ought to make us some return, and
that the less ground he could traverse with his legs the more he was
bound to traverse with his nose. The result was, that while he was
slowly pottering about, (the season being unusually hot and dry, there
was but little scent) he was constantly finding us birds which his
more flashy companions had passed over; and before we left Scotland we
agreed that none of our dogs had procured us so many shots as the slow,
careful old gentleman.

229. Old birds become very cunning; they are quite sensible of the
danger they incur by rising, and to escape from the dog, and puzzle
him, have as many wiles and twists as a hunted hare. It may be that as
old age advances, their decreasing bodily powers warn them to add to
their security by the exercise of their wits. It is often remarked,
that if ever we kill any of their natural enemies, whether winged or
four-footed, we are sure to find them in fair condition. This condition
makes it obvious, that they must have gained with years the experience
which enables them to obtain a good livelihood by craft, at a time
of life when their failing strength would prevent their procuring a
single meal by a direct pursuit.[35] If then we argue from analogy, we
shall think it almost impossible for any unpractised dog, however
highly-bred, to procure us so many shots as one who has been hunted
for several seasons. And such is really the case. A young dog will
not keep to the trail of an old bird for more than about forty yards;
after that he will give it up altogether, or rush in. It is when he is
"roading" one of these knowing aged patriarchs, that you become aware
of the great value of experience in a dog. You may have seen a young
one bewildered in the devious intricacies of the broken hags, sought
as a refuge by an old cock-grouse, and have probably imagined that the
youngster had only been following a recent haunt, and that the game was
gone. Not so, the dog was right at first. He "footed" it out admirably
until he came to the dark bush, which you must have wondered to see
growing in such a situation; there the sly bird doubled, then turned
short to the right for nearly a hundred yards before it resumed its
course down wind. A dog more up to his work would have again hit off
the scent, and an old stager, probably, never have lost it.

[Page Header: "FALLS" OF UNDERWOOD.]

230. In order to be generally understood, I will preface the following
anecdote by mentioning that in the large Kentish woods, where the
annual falls of underwood take place to the extent of forty or fifty
acres, it is usual to drain the land by digging water-courses, or
as they are commonly called, Grips. The first year's growth of the
underwood is called yearling Fall (or Spring); the second, two-year old
Fall (or Spring); and so on.

231. Mr. K----g, a good sportsman, and so successful an angler,[36]
that he is familiarly called by his friends "the King-fisher," to
distinguish him from others who bear his name, was pheasant shooting
in the winter of 1848-9, in two-year old springs, where, with all
acknowledged partiality for Kent, it must be admitted that birds are
not so plentiful as in certain preserves in Norfolk, though probably
foxes are fully as numerous. It has been remarked, by-the-bye, that
where foxes abound, old pheasants are very cunning; doubtless from
having been often put to their shifts to escape from their wily
adversaries.

[Illustration: "Short-legged, strong-loined, Sussex Spaniel."--Par.
236.]

[Page Header: EXTRAORDINARY CHASE.]

232. K----g sprung a splendid cock-pheasant, which, although a long
way off, he shot at and dropped. Judging from the manner in which it
fell that it was a runner, and well knowing the racing propensities of
the old cocks, he hastened to the spot where it tumbled, and, giving
his gun to the marker, prepared for a sharp burst, though he little
expected the extraordinary chase that was to follow. He found, as he
had anticipated, some breast feathers, but no bird. After fruitlessly
trying in every direction, for nearly a quarter of an hour, to put
"Dash" on the scent, K----g's eyes rested on one of the grips just
spoken of: it ran close to where the bird had fallen, and the thought
struck him that possibly the cunning creature might have taken refuge
in it, and thus have thrown out the spaniel. K----g got into it, and
though finding fully six inches of water, he persevered in following
it. It brought him to a high wood about one hundred yards off, and
towards which the pheasant had been flying when shot at, but "Dash"
could not obtain the least scent of the bird. As a last resource,
K----g then returned to the spot where he had left the marker with
his gun, being determined to try the grip in the opposite direction,
notwithstanding its leading exactly contrary to the point for which
the bird had been making. He did so, and by calling energetically to
"Dash," he endeavoured to make the dog believe that at length the bird
was in view. The plan succeeded. "Dash," who had become slack from
disappointment, hunted with renewed animation, and, after pursuing the
grip for some time, took the scent full cry across the springs until
he came to an old waggon-road, along which he went at speed. Feeling
assured that all was now right, K----g gladly moderated his pace, for
he was much out of breath. When at length he overtook "Dash," instead
of seeing him in possession of the bird, he only found him completely
at fault, trying up and down the well-indented wheel-ruts. On the
other side of the road there was another grip. Into it K----g jumped,
followed the plan he had before adopted, and with like success; for
on running up the grip for about sixty yards, the spaniel again hit
off the scent, and after taking it away at a right angle (so far that
K----g could only now and then catch a faint tingle of the bell),
brought it back to the same grip, but some 200 yards higher, where he
suddenly "threw up." For the fourth time in went K----g. "Dash" now
seemed thoroughly to understand matters, and kept trying both sides
of the grip for the scent. At length he found it, and went full cry
across a yearling fall, which was everywhere very bare, except here and
there an occasional patch of high strong grass. At one of these K----g
found him again at fault. The dog seemed quite done; but still it was
evident, from his excited manner, that he thought the pheasant was
not far distant. After a time he began scratching at the long grass.
K----g went up, and, on putting the stalks aside, fancied he perceived
the end of some tail feathers. He thrust in his arm, and ultimately
succeeded in dragging forth the well-hunted bird, quite alive, out of
the deep wheel-track in which it had buried itself. The coarse grass
had grown so closely over the rut, that the bird had been able to creep
in for three or four yards.

233. A more miserable appearance than the poor creature presented,
cannot easily be conceived. Its feathers were so completely sopped, and
stuck so close to its body, that it looked a mere skeleton; and yet it
was a noble bird, measuring three feet and an inch from the tip of its
bill to the extremity of its tail, and weighed 3 lbs. 6 oz.

234. As "Dash" plays so conspicuous a part in the foregoing history, it
appears right that a few words should be given to describe him. He is a
low, strong-limbed, broad-backed nearly thorough-bred Sussex spaniel,
with an extremely intelligent-looking head, but a sadly mean stern. His
colour is black. K----g generally hunts him with a bell, especially
where the underwood is thick. If he is sharply called to when he is
on game he will slacken his pace, look round for his master, and not
"road" keenly until the gun approaches him; he will then rush in with
a bark to flush, though at other times hunting mute. The intelligent
animal seems, however, perfectly to know when the cover is too high
or strong for K----g to follow, for he then invariably runs full cry
from first touching on a scent. He never deceives the sportsman, for he
never gives one of his eloquent looks unless he is certain of being on
game; and his nose is so good, and he hunts so true, that he invariably
"pushes" his pheasant, however much it may turn or double.

235. He is also undeniable at "seeking dead," but unluckily was not
taught as a youngster to fetch. Much time is, therefore, often lost in
finding him after he has been sent for a winged bird; but when he is at
length discovered it is sure to be with him.

[Page Header: SAGACITY OF A PHEASANT.]

236. I was told of a farmer in Kent--one of her fine yeomen, of whom
England has such cause to feel proud, (pity that in some other counties
the class is not as distinctly preserved!)--who was shooting with
an old short-legged, strong-loined, Sussex spaniel. The dog, after
"roading" a pheasant along many a tortuous path, led the farmer to the
edge of a shallow brook, up the middle of which, far away to his right,
he was lucky enough to see the animal running, obviously with the
design of throwing out the dog. A light pair of heels soon brought the
sportsman within shot, and enabled him to bag the heaviest and richest
feathered bird he had ever seen. The sharp long spurs[37] showed it to
be at least five years of age, and its sagacity would probably have
borne it triumphantly through another campaign or two, had not the
farmer's quick eye detected its adroit manoeuvre,--one that forcibly
calls to mind Cooper's descriptions of the stratagems employed by the
North American Indians to baffle pursuit by leaving no indication of
their trail.

[Page Header: AGE IN DOGS ADVANTAGEOUS.]

237. Must there not be experience on the part of dogs to contend
successfully with such wiliness as this? So much was the last Duke of
Gordon convinced of its necessity,--and he is well known to have been a
capital sportsman, and to have paid great attention to his fine breed
of black setters,--that he would never allow one of them to accompany
him to the moors that had not been shot over five or six seasons--and
"small blame" to his Grace "for that same," as he had a choice from
all ages. But it must be acknowledged, that however excellent[38] in
many respects,--and when in the hands of the breaker their indomitable
energies would cause the bunch of heather, fastened to the end of their
checkcords, to dance merrily over the mountains from morning until
night-fall,--most of them were a wild set in their youth, and required
constant work to keep them in order. Every experienced sportsman in the
Highlands is aware that young dogs will romp (for it cannot be termed
hunting), with their noses here, there, and everywhere, obtaining but
few points over ground on which knowing old dogs will immediately
afterwards keep the gun-barrels at an exhilarating temperature.

238. When you hunt a brace of dogs, to speak theoretically, they should
traverse a field in opposite directions, but along parallel lines, and
the distance between the lines should be regulated by you according as
it is a good or a bad scenting day, and according to the excellence
of the dogs' noses. Mathematical accuracy is, of course, never to be
attained, but the closer you approach to it the better.

[Illustration: "Duke of Gordon's fine breed of Black Setters."--Par.
237.]

[Page Header: BEAT OF TWO DOGS.]

239. You should attempt it (on entering the field to _leeward_, as
before directed) by making one dog go straight ahead of you to the
distance which you wish the parallel lines to be apart from each other,
before you cast him off (say) to the right; then cast off his companion
to the left. If the dogs are nearly equal in pace, the one ahead, so
long as he does not fancy he winds game, should continue to work on a
parallel more advanced than the other.

240. Should you not like to relinquish, for the sake of this formal
precision, the chance of a find in the neglected right-hand corner of
the field, cast off one dog to the right, the other to the left on
entering it, and make the one that soonest approaches his hedge take
the widest sweep (turn), and so be placed in the _advanced_ parallel.

241. With regard to hunting more than a brace--when your difficulties
wonderfully multiply--your own judgment must determine in what manner
to direct their travelling powers to the greatest advantage. Much will
depend upon the different speed of the dogs; the number you choose,
from whim or otherwise, to hunt; the kind of country you beat; and the
quantity and sort of game you expect to find. It is, however, certain
you must wish that each dog be observant of the direction in which
your face is turned, in order that he may guide his own movements by
yours;--that he from time to time look towards you to see if you have
any commands;--and that he be ever anxious to obey them.

Herbert writes as follows, in his work on shooting in the United
States:[39] his words ought to have influence, for manifestly he
is a good sportsman; but I own I cannot quite agree with him as to
the _facility_ with which a range can be taught: "It is wonderful
how easily dogs which are always shot over by the same man--he being
one who knows his business--will learn to cross and re-quarter their
ground, turning to the slightest whistle, and following the least
gesture of the hand. I have seen old dogs turn their heads to catch
their master's eye, if they thought the whistle too long deferred; and
I lately lost an old Irish setter, which had been stone deaf for his
last two seasons, but which I found no more difficulty in turning than
any other dog, so accurately did he know when to look for the signal."

[Page Header: BEAT OF THREE DOGS.]

242. To beat your ground _systematically_ with three dogs you should
strive to make them cross and re-cross you, each on a different
parallel, as just described for two dogs; but each dog must make a
proportionately bolder sweep (turn); or,

243. If you have plenty of space, you can make one dog take a distinct
beat to the right, another a separate beat to the left, and direct
the third (which ought to be the dog least confirmed in his range) to
traverse the central part,--and so be the only one that shall cross
and re-cross you. If one of your dogs is a slow potterer, and you
prefer this method to the one named in 242, give him the middle beat,
and let his faster companions take the flanks. In our small English
fields you have not space enough, but on our moors, and in many parts
of the Continent, it cannot be want of room that will prevent your
accomplishing it. To do this well, however, and not interfere with
each other's ground, how magnificently must your dogs be broken! In
directing their movements, the assistance that would be given you by
each dog's acknowledging his own particular whistle, and no other
(505), is very apparent.

[Page Header: BEAT OF FOUR OR FIVE DOGS.]

244. It is difficult enough to make three dogs traverse across you
on tolerably distinct parallels, and at a judicious distance between
the parallels; you will find it hopeless to attempt it with more
than three; and one can hardly imagine a case in which it would be
advantageous to uncouple a greater number of good rangers. If,
however, the scarcity of game, and the extensiveness of your beat, or
any peculiar fancy, induce you habitually to use four dogs, hunt one
brace to the right, the other to the left; and, so far as you can,
let those which _form a brace be of equal speed_.[40] Your task will
be facilitated by your always keeping the same brace to one flank,--I
mean, by making one brace constantly hunt to your right hand; the
other brace to your left. The same reasoning holds with regard to
assigning to each dog a particular side when hunting three, according
to the mode described in last paragraph. It should, however, be borne
in mind, that constantly hunting a dog in this manner on one and the
same flank, tends to make him range very disagreeably whenever employed
single-handed.

245. If you hunt five dogs, four of them ought to work by braces to the
right and left, and the fifth (the dog whose rate of speed most varies
from the others) should have a narrow beat assigned him directly in
advance of you.

246. If three brace are to be used, let the third brace hunt the
central ground, as recommended for the fifth dog,--or they could be
worked in leashes, one on the right of the gun, the other on the left.

247. These are the correct _theoretical_ rules, and the more closely
you observe them, the more truly and killingly will your ground be
hunted.

[Page Header: BRIGADES,--NOT PACKS.]

248. Probably you will think that such niceties are utterly
impracticable. They must be impracticable, if you look for mathematical
precision; but if you are determined to hunt many dogs and hope to
shoot over more than a mere rabble, you should work upon _system_. If
you do not, what can you expect but an unorganized mob?--an undrilled
set, perpetually running over each other's ground,--now scampering
in this part, now crowded in that,--a few likely spots being hunted
by all (especially if they are old dogs), the rest of the field by
none of them; and to control whose unprofitable wanderings, why not
employ a regular huntsman and a well-mounted whip? Doubtless it would
be absurd to hope for perfect accuracy in so difficult a matter as
a systematic range in a brigade of dogs; but that you may approach
correctness, take a true standard of excellence. If you do not keep
perfection in view, you will never attain to more than mediocrity. I
earnestly hope, however, that it cannot be your wish to take out a
host of dogs,--but should you have such a singular hobby, pray let
them be regularly brigaded, and not employed as a pack. In my opinion,
under no circumstances can more than relays of leashes be desirable;
but I should be sorry in such matters to dispute any man's right to
please himself; I only wish him, whatever he does, to strive to do it
correctly.

249. Some men who shoot on a grand scale make their keepers hunt each
a distinct brace of dogs,--the gun going up to whatever dog points. It
is the most killing plan to adopt; but that is not the matter we were
considering. The question was, what method a man ought to pursue who
had a fancy to himself hunt many dogs at a time.

[Page Header: MAJOR B----D'S BRIGADE.]

250. The late Major B----d, of B----d, in Lancashire, had this fancy.
The moors over which he shot were by no means well-stocked with game;
but the wonderful control he obtained over his pointers showed, in the
strongest manner, the high grade of education that can be imparted to
dogs by gentle and judicious treatment.

251. He was accustomed to hunt three brace at a time. Each dog when he
was ranging would take up his separate ground, without interfering
with that of his companions. The Major's raising his arm was the signal
for all to drop.

252. If one of the dogs was pointing, the Major would go up perhaps to
the dog furthest off, and make him approach the dog that was standing;
and in October (when grouse run much) he has thus brought all six dogs
in a line, one following the other, and made each in succession take
the lead, and "foot" the birds for a short distance. The same dogs, on
the same day, at a given signal, would run riot; scamper over the moor;
chase hares, sheep, or anything they came across; and at the well-known
signal again would drop, and, as if by magic, resume their perfect
obedience.

253. Major B----d was quite one of the old school; used flint and
steel; and looked with ineffable contempt at the detonators of the
youngsters. He was not remarkable for being a good shot, capital
sportsman as he undoubtedly was in the highest sense of the word,
showing the truth of what was said in the fifth paragraph, that
excellence in shooting, though of course advantageous, is not a
necessary qualification in a breaker.

254. If a professional breaker could show you a brigade of dogs well
trained to quarter their ground systematically, and should ask from
fifty to sixty guineas[41] a brace for them, you ought not to be
surprised. What an extent of country they could sweep over in an hour
and not leave a bird behind! And consider what time and labour must
have been spent in inculcating so noble a range. He would have been
far better paid, if he had received less than half the money as soon
as they "pointed steadily," both at the living and the dead; "down
charged;" "backed;" and were broken from "chasing hare," or noticing
rabbits.

255. The great advantage of fine rangers is not much considered where
game is abundant. A friend of mine, a capital shot (though far inferior
to his namesake, Captain R----s of sporting celebrity), with whom I
have enjoyed some pleasant quail shooting in America, used constantly
to hunt a leash of pointers, "Jem," "Beau," and "Fag,"--the last a
regular misnomer, for the dog was incorrigibly idle. It was curious to
watch how pertinaciously, like sheep, they herded together,--seldom did
one wind a bird that would not have been found a few seconds afterwards
by the others. R----s, long before I knew him, had relinquished all
attempts at making them beat separately--indeed, I am not positive
that he was fully sensible of its utility. As they all "backed"
promptly--instantly "down charged," and had not a shade of jealousy,
they did little harm; and sometimes on a broiling day "Beau," who
generally took the lead, was not the first to come on a dead bird.
Where game is plentiful, as bad rangers as the trio belonging to my
old friend, will afford you sport; but it is certain that they will
pass by many birds, unless you undergo the fatigue of walking over
most of the ground yourself, and it is clear if you do, that you will
not be able to hunt half as many acres in a day, as you could if you
kept to your general central direction while the dogs hunted according
to rule. Few Frenchmen agree with us respecting a fine range. They
make their pointers and setters hunt almost as close as spaniels.
They prefer bitches to dogs, saying that they are more affectionate
("plus fidèles"), and therefore range nearer. In England, in old days,
when our dogs were far heavier and slower than they are now, and, in
consequence, could not run over so much ground, they were taught to
traverse little more than from thirty to sixty yards on each side of
the gun.

[Page Header: FAST WALKING NOT MOST HUNTING.]

256. Some men fancy that the faster they walk, the more country they
hunt. This is far from being always the case. Dogs travel at one rate,
whether you walk fast or slow, and the distance between the parallels
on which they work, (being determined by the fineness of their noses,
and the goodness of the scent,) ought not to be affected by your pace.
Suppose, therefore, that you shoot in an unenclosed country, whether
you walk quickly, or merely crawl along, the only difference in the
beat of your dogs _ought_ to be that, in the latter case, they range
further to the right and left. You thus make up in your _breadth_ what
you lose in your _length_ of beat.

[Page Header: FINER NOSE BEATS QUICKER HEELS.]

257. Nor do the fastest dogs, however well they may be broken, always
truly hunt the most ground. The slower dogs have frequently finer
olfactory nerves than their fleeter rivals,--therefore the parallels
on which the former work, may correctly be much wider apart than the
parallels of the latter. The finer nose in this manner commands so much
more ground, that it beats the quicker heels out and out.

258. You will see, then, how judicious it is to show forbearance and
give encouragement to the timid, but high-bred class[42] of dogs
described in 116; for it is obvious that, though they may travel
slower, yet they may really hunt _properly_, within a specified time,
many more acres of ground than their hardier and faster competitors:
and it is certain that they will not so much alarm the birds. Dogs that
are most active with their heels are generally least busy with their
noses.



CHAPTER IX.

FIRST LESSON IN SEPTEMBER CONTINUED. "POINT" NOT RELINQUISHED FOR "DOWN
CHARGE."

259. Affection makes Dog anxious to please--when he rushes in to be
dragged back.--260. Rule pressed.--261. Reason for Rule--Experience
anticipated.--262. To "stand" far off--Pointer procuring shots at black
game, but raising Grouse.--263. Patience enjoined--Not to part as
enemies.--264. The first good point--Remain yourself stationary.--265.
"Heading" Dog--Your circle to be wide. The first bird killed.--266.
Finding dead bird, it being to Leeward.--267. Pointing it--Blinking
it--The cause.--268. Woodcock lost from Dog not "pointing dead."--269.
Bird killed, the Dog to go to "heel."--270. Supposed objection.--271.
Answered.--272. Temptation to run after fallen bird greater than to
run to "heel."--273. Dog pointing one bird, and after "down charge"
springing the others. The cause.--274. The preventive. Dog never to
discontinue his point in order to "down charge." How taught.--275. Its
advantages exemplified.--276. Decide whether Dog goes direct to bird,
or first to you.--277. Dog which performed well. Snipe-shooting on
banks of Richlieu.--278. Coolness recommended. Inconsistency deprecated.


259. To proceed, however, with our imaginary September day's work.
I will suppose that your young dog has got upon birds, and that
from his boldness and keenness in hunting you need not let him run
riot on a haunt, as you were recommended (in 132), when you wished
to give courage and animation to a timid dog. You must expect that
his eagerness and delight will make him run in and flush them, even
though you should have called out "Toho" when first you perceived his
stern begin feathering, and thence judged that his olfactory nerves
were rejoicing in the luxurious taint of game. Hollo out "Drop" most
energetically. If he does not immediately lie down, crack your whip
loudly to command greater attention. When you have succeeded in making
him lie down, approach him quietly: be not angry with him, but yet
be stern in manner. Grasping the skin of his neck, or what is better,
putting your hand within his collar (for he ought to wear a light one),
quietly drag him to the precise spot where you think he was _first_
aware of the scent of the birds. There make him stand, (if stand he
will, instead of timidly crouching), with his head directed towards the
place from which the birds took wing, and by frequently repeating the
word "Toho," endeavour to make him understand that he ought to have
pointed at that identical spot. Do not confuse him by even threatening
to beat him. The chances are twenty to one that he is anxious to
please you, but does not yet know what you wish. I assume also that
he is attached to you, and his affection, from constantly inducing
him to exert himself to give satisfaction, will greatly develop his
observation and intelligence.

[Page Header: FIRST FIND.]

260. Consider it a golden rule never to be departed from (for I must
again impress upon you a matter of such importance), invariably to
drag a dog who has put up birds incautiously, or wilfully drawn too
near them, and so sprung them (or, what is quite as bad,--though young
sportsmen will not sufficiently think of it,--_endangered_ their rising
out of shot), to the exact spot at which you judge he ought to have
pointed at first, and awaited your instructions.

[Page Header: POINT TOO NEAR GAME.]

261. Think for one moment what could be the use of chiding (or beating,
as I have seen some * * * * * do) the poor animal at the spot where he
flushed the birds. You are not displeased with him (or ought not to
be) because the birds took wing,--for if they had remained stationary
until he was within a yard of them, his fault would have been the
same: nor are you angry with him because he did not catch them (which
interpretation he might, as naturally as any other, put upon your
rating him at the spot where he flushed them),--you are displeased with
him for _not having pointed_ at them steadily the moment he became
sensible of their presence. This is what you wish him to understand,
and this you can only teach him by dragging him, as has been so often
said, to the spot at which he ought to have "toho-ed" them. Your object
is to give the young dog by instruction, the caution that most old
dogs have acquired by experience. Doubtless experience would in time
convince him of the necessity of this caution; but you wish to _save_
time,--to anticipate that experience; and by a judicious education
impart to him knowledge which it would take him years to acquire
otherwise. What a dog gains by experience is not what you teach him,
but what he teaches himself.

262. Many carelessly-taught dogs will on first recognising a scent
make a momentary point, and then slowly crawl on until they get within
a few yards of the game,--if it be sufficiently complaisant to allow
of such a near approach,--and there "set" as steady as a rock by the
hour together. Supposing, however, that the birds are in an unfriendly
distant mood, and not willing to remain on these neighbourly terms,
"your game is up," both literally and metaphorically,--you have no
chance of getting a shot. This is a common fault among dogs hastily
broken in the spring.

I speak feelingly on the subject from a still unpleasant recollection
of my extreme vexation on a certain 20th of August,[43] when shooting
over a young pointer bitch of excellent natural capabilities, but who
had been injudiciously allowed, during her tuition in the spring, to
stand too close to her birds. She was a quick ranger,--carried a high
diligent nose,--had much endurance, and procured me several shots at
young black game, but not one, if I remember right, at grouse. I was
always aware when she first found, for her attitudes were fine and
marked, but, in defiance of all my signals, and occasional calls,
she would persist in creeping nearer, a proximity the grouse would
not endure. As a violent jerk would not have been necessary, often
did I wish that day, whenever she approached a likely spot, that it
was in my power to attach to her collar a stiff thin checkcord about
100 yards long,[44]--such a one as would have been handed to me at a
fishing-tackle shop on my asking for a strong hemp salmon line,--the
kind used in former days after being soaked for weeks in oil,--now,
however, considered heavy and unmanageable. A mild spiked collar
applied as described in 302 to 304, would, I think, have noiselessly
reclaimed her, without injuring my shooting.

[Page Header: MUST NOT BE IN A HURRY.]

263. But to resume our supposed lesson. You must not be in a
hurry--keep your dog for some time--for a long time, where he should
have pointed. You may even sit down alongside him. Be patient; you have
not come out so much to shoot, as to break in your dog. When at length
you give him the wave of the hand to hie him on to hunt, you must not
part as enemies, though I do not say he is to be caressed. He has
committed a fault, and he is to be made sensible of it by your altered
manner.

264. Suppose that, after two or three such errors, all treated in
the way described, he makes a satisfactory point. Hold up your right
hand, and the moment you catch his eye, remain quite stationary, still
keeping your arm up. Dogs, as has been already observed, are very
imitative; and your standing stock-still will, more than anything else,
induce him to be patient and immovable at his point. After a time (say
five minutes if, from the hour of the day and the dog's manner, you
are convinced that the birds are not stirring), endeavour to get up to
him so quietly as not to excite him to move. Whenever you observe him
inclined to advance,--of which his lifting a foot or even raising a
shoulder, or the agitation of his stern will be an indication,--stop
for some seconds, and when by your raised hand you have awed him into
steadiness, again creep on. Make your approaches within his sight,
so that he may be intimidated by your eye and hand. If you succeed
in getting near him without unsettling him, actually stay by him, as
firm as a statue, for a quarter of an hour by one of Barwise's best
chronometers. Let your manner, which he will observe, show great
earnestness. Never mind the loss of time. You are giving the dog a
famous lesson, and the birds are kindly aiding you by lying beautifully
and not shifting their ground.[45]

[Page Header: THE FIRST BIRD KILLED.]

265. Now attempt a grand _coup_, in which if you are successful, you
may almost consider your dog made staunch for ever. Keeping your eye
on him, and your hand up (of course the right one), make a circuit,
so that the birds shall be between him and you. Be certain that your
circle is sufficiently wide,--if it is not, the birds may get up behind
you, and so perplex him, that at his next find he will feel doubtful
how to act. Fire at no skirter, or chance shot. Reserve yourself for
the bird or birds at which he points; a caution more necessary on
the moors than on the stubbles, as grouse spread while feeding. When
you have well headed him, walk towards him and spring the birds. Use
straight shooting-powder. Take a cool aim well forward, and knock down
one. Do not flurry the dog by firing more than a single barrel, or
confuse him by killing more than _one_ bird. If you have been able to
accomplish all this without his stirring (though, to effect it, you
may have been obliged to use your voice), you have every right to
hope, from his previous education, that he will readily "down charge"
on hearing the report of your gun. Do not hurry your loading:--indeed,
be unnecessarily long, with the view of making him at all such times
patient and steady. If, in spite of all your calls and signals, he
gives chase to the sprung birds, make him "drop,"--instantly if
possible,--and proceed much as described in 259, dragging him back to
the place where he should have "down charged."

[Page Header: POINTING DEAD.]

266. When you have loaded, say, "Dead,"[46] in a low voice, and
signalling to "heel" make him come up to you, yourself keeping still.
By signs (XI. of 141) place him as near as you can, _but to leeward_
of the dead bird. Then, and not till then, say, "Find;" give him no
other assistance. Let him have plenty of time to make out the bird. It
is not to be find and _grip_, but find and _point_,[47] therefore the
moment you perceive he is aware that it is before him, make him (by
word of command) "toho:"--go up to him, stay for a while alongside him,
then make a small circuit to head him, and have the bird between you
and him; approach him. If he attempt to dash in, thunder out "No," and
greet him with at least the sound of the whip: slowly pick up the dead
bird; call the dog to you; show him the bird; but on no account throw
it to him, lest he snatch at it; lay it on the ground, encourage him
to sniff it; let him (for reason why see 313) turn it over with his
nose,--teeth closed,--say to him, "Dead, dead;" caress him; sit down;
smooth the feathers of the bird; let him perceive that you attach much
value to it; and after a while loop it on the game-bag, allowing him
all the time to see what you are doing. After that, make much of him
for full five minutes: indeed with some dogs it would be advisable to
give a palatable reward, but be not invariably very prodigal of these
allurements; you may have a pupil whose attention they might engross
more than they ought. Then walk about a little time with him at your
heels. All this delay and caressing will serve to show him that the
first tragedy is concluded, and has been satisfactorily performed. You
may now hie him on to hunt for more birds.

[Illustration: LARGE HEAVY POINTER.]

[Page Header: BLINKING DEAD.]

267. Pray mind what is said about making your youngster point the dead
bird staunchly, the moment you perceive that he first scents it. Should
he be allowed to approach so near as to be able to touch it (instead
of being made to point the instant he finds), the chances are, that,
if hard-mouthed he will give it a crunch, if tender-mouthed a fumbling
of the feathers; and either proceeding satisfying him, that he will
quit it, and not further aid you in a search. As "pointing" is only
a natural pause (prolonged by art) to determine exactly where the
game is lying, preparatory to rushing forward to seize, it would be
unreasonable to expect him willingly to make a second point at game he
has not only found but mouthed:--the evil, however, does not rest here.
There is such a disagreeable thing as blinking a dead bird, no less
than blinking a sound one. For mouthing the bird you may possibly beat
the dog, or for nosing it and not pointing you may rate him harshly,
either of which, if he be not of a bold disposition, may lead, on the
next occasion, to his slinking off after merely obtaining a sniff.
You ought, in fact, to watch as carefully for your pupil's first
"feathering" upon the dead bird, as you did (259) upon his first coming
upon the covey. You see, then, that your teaching him to "point dead"
is absolutely indispensable; unless, indeed, you constantly shoot
with a retriever. Pointing at a live bird or at a dead one, should
only differ in this, that in the latter case the dog makes a nearer
point. _Begin_ correctly, and you will not have any difficulty; but
you may expect the greatest, if you let your dog go up to one or two
birds and mouth them, before you commence making him point them. The
following season, should you then permit him to lift his game (538),
it will be time enough to dispense with his "pointing dead." I dwell
upon this subject because many excellent dogs, from not having been
properly taught to "point dead," often fail in securing the produce of
a successful shot, while, on the contrary, with judiciously educated
dogs it rarely happens that any of the slain or wounded are left on the
field. Moreover, the protracted search and failure (as an instance see
314) occasions a lamentable loss of time. Were a sportsman who shoots
over dogs not well broken to "point dead" (or retrieve) to calculate
accurately, watch in hand, he would, I think, be surprised to find how
many of his best shooting hours are wasted in unprofitable searching
for birds, of the certainty of whose untimely fate his dogs had
probably long before fully convinced themselves.

[Page Header: WOODCOCK LOST.]

268. I was shooting some seasons back where woodcocks, being scarce,
are considered great prizes. If one is sprang, the pheasants are
immediately neglected, and every exertion is made to secure the rara
avis. We flushed one; at length it was killed; it fell in thick
cover,--was found by a setter (a feather or two in his mouth betraying
him); but as the dog had not been properly taught to "point dead," we
were obliged to leave the bird behind, after spending nearly half an
hour in a fruitless search.

[Page Header: BIRD KILLED,--DOG TO "HEEL."]

269. As to the word "Dead," whether you choose to continue using it
immediately after loading, or, as I have recommended (XI. of 141),
_after a time_ omit it, and merely let the signal to "heel" intimate
that you have killed, always make your dog go to you before you allow
him to seek for the fallen bird.

270. Some may say, "As a dog generally sees a bird fall, what is the
use of calling him to you before you let him seek?--and even if he does
not see the bird, why should any time be lost? Why should not you and
he go as direct to it as you can?"

[Page Header: DEAD BIRDS LEFT ON GROUND.]

271. Provided you have no wish that the "finder" (see 541), rather than
any of his companions, should be allowed the privilege of "seeking
dead," I must admit that in the cultivated lands of England, when a
dog "sees a bird fall," he might in nine cases out of ten go direct
to it without inconvenience. Even here, however, there are occasions
when intervening obstacles may prevent your observing what the dog is
about; and in cover, so far from being able to give him any assistance
by signaling, you may be ignorant whether or not he has seen the bird
knocked over, or is even aware of the general direction in which he
ought to seek. But in the oft-occurring cases in which "he does not
see the bird fall," it is obvious (particularly when he happens to be
at the extremity of his beat), that you will far more quickly place
him where you wish, if you make him, at first, run up to you, and then
advance from you, straight to the bird, by your forward signal (277).
These good results at least will follow, if you remain stationary, and
make him join you. You do not lose sight of the spot where you marked
that the bird or birds fell. The foil is not interfered with by your
walking over the ground (a matter of much importance, especially on
bad scenting days). The dog, if habituated to "seek" without your
companionship, will readily hunt morasses and ravines, where you might
find it difficult to accompany him. He will feel the less free to
follow his own vagaries; and this consciousness of subjection will
dispose him to pay more watchful attention to your signals. He will the
more patiently wait at the "down charge;" and when you are reloaded
will not be so tempted to dash recklessly after the bird, regardless
whether or not he raises others on the way. If he is dragging a cord,
you can the more easily take hold of its end, in order to check him,
and make him point when he first winds the dead bird,--and should you
be shooting over several dogs, by none of them being permitted to run
direct to the fallen bird, they will the less unwillingly allow you to
select the one who is to approach close to you before "seeking dead."

272. The opponents of this method argue, that the practice may give the
dog the bad habit of running immediately after the "down charge" to the
gun, instead of recommencing to hunt; particularly if he is shot over
by a first-rate performer. Granted; but is not the temptation to bolt
off in search of a dead bird still stronger? To check the former evil,
endeavour to make the coming to "heel" an act of obedience rather than
a voluntary act, by never failing, as soon as you are reloaded, to give
the customary signal (VIII. of 141) when you have killed, or the signal
to "hie on" should you have missed.

273. Moreover, you will sometimes meet with a dog who, when a bird has
been fired at, though it be the first and only one sprung of a large
covey, commences "seeking dead" immediately after the "down charge,"
apparently considering that his first duty. This sad, sad fault--for
it frequently leads to his raising the other birds out of shot--is
generally attributable to the dog's having been allowed to rush at the
fallen bird, instead of being, accustomed to the restraint of having
first to run up to the gun.

274. To prevent your pupil from ever behaving so badly, often adopt the
plan of not "seeking dead" immediately after loading, especially if
the birds are lying well. Mark accurately the spot where your victim
lies, and closely hunt for others, endeavouring to instil great caution
into the dog, much in the manner (being guided by his disposition and
character) described in 196, 197, and 329. As long as any of the covey
remain unsprung, you ought not to pick up one dead bird, though you
should have a dozen on the ground. Your dog ought not even to "down
charge" after you have fired, if he is fully aware that more birds are
before him. To impart to him the knowledge that, _however important is
the "down charge," his continuing at his point is still more so_, you
may, when the birds are lying well and he is at a fixed point, make
your attendant discharge a gun at a little distance while you remain
near the dog, encouraging him to maintain his "toho." If you have no
attendant, and the birds lie like stones, fire off a barrel yourself
while the dog is steadily pointing.[48] He will fancy you see birds
which he has not noticed, and, unless properly tutored and praised by
you, will be desirous to quit those he has found, to search for the
bird he conceives you have shot.

275. It is a fine display of intelligence in the dog, and of judicious
training in the breaker (may it be your desert and reward ere long to
witness it in your pupil), when a pointer (or setter) in goodly turnips
or strong potatoes draws upon birds which obligingly rise one after
the other, while by continuing his eloquent attitude he assures you
that some still remain unsprung, to which he is prepared to lead you,
if you will but attend to them and him, and, instead of pot-hunting
after those you have killed, wait until his discriminating nose informs
him that having no more strangers to introduce, he is at liberty to
assist you in your search.

[Page Header: POINT CONTINUED.]

276. To revert, however, to the point particularly under discussion,
viz., whether you prefer that your dog go direct to the fallen bird, or
(as I strongly recommend) that he first join you, pray be consistent;
exact which you will, but always exact the same, if you are anxious to
obtain cheerful unhesitating obedience.

[Page Header: GOOD TRAINING EXEMPLIFIED.]

277. I have seen the advantage of the latter method very strikingly
exemplified in America, in parts of which there is capital
snipe-shooting. In the high grass and rushes on the banks of the
Richelieu, many a bird have I seen flushed and shot at, of which the
liver and white pointer, ranging at a little distance, has known
nothing. As he was well broken in, he, of course, dropped instantly,
on hearing the report of the gun. If the bird had fallen, his master,
after reloading, used invariably to say "Dead,"[49] in a low tone of
voice, on which the dog would _go up to him_; and then his master,
without stirring from the spot where he had fired, directed him by
signals to the place where the bird fell, to reach which the dog often
had to swim the stream. His master then said "Find." At that word,
and not before it, his intelligent four-footed companion commenced
searching for the bird, nor did he ever fail to find and bring; and
so delicate was his mouth that I have often seen him deliver up a
bird perfectly alive, without having deranged a feather, though,
very probably, he had swam with it across one of the many creeks
which intersect that part of the country. If the shot was a miss, his
master's silence after reloading, and a wave of his arm to continue
hunting (or the command to "Hie on," if the dog was hidden by the
rushes--perhaps a low whistle would have been better), fully informed
his companion of the disappointment. He was quite as good on the large
quail, and small woodcock found in Canada, which latter makes a ringing
noise on rising, not unlike the sound of a distant soft bell; but
reminiscences of that capital old dog are leading me away from your
young one.

278. For some days you cannot shoot to your pupil too steadily and
quietly--I had well-nigh said too slowly. By being cool, calm, and
collected yourself, you will make him so. I am most unwilling to think
that you will be too severe, but I confess I have my misgivings lest
you should occasionally overlook some slight faults in the elation of a
successful right and left. Filling the game-bag must be quite secondary
to education. Never hesitate to give up any bird if its acquisition
interfere with a lesson. Let all that you secure be done according to
rule, and in a sportsmanlike manner.



CHAPTER X.

FIRST LESSON IN SEPTEMBER CONTINUED. ASSISTANT.--VERMIN.

279. Some Dogs will not point readily--Breeding in and in, error
of.--280. Instance of two young, _untaught_, highly-bred Pointers,
behaving well first day shown Game--Dogs more inclined to point at
first than afterwards.--281. Checkcord employed--spike attached to
it.--282. With wild dog assistant useful--Signals to.--283. How
particularly useful with a badly broken Dog--Range of Stoat--Traps
better than Guns. In Note, Hen-harrier feeding her young--Decoy Owl for
Winged-Vermin--Keeper to possess Dog that hunts Vermin--Account of a
capital Bull-Terrier--Destructiveness of Stoats. (See Appendix).--284.
Shy birds, how intercepted between Guns and dog. Cheeta driven near
Antelopes by cart circling and never stopping. In Note, Cheeta always
selects the Buck. Cheeta how trained.--285. "Heading" Dog at his
point--not practised too often--Dog to acquire a knowledge of his
distance from Game.--286. Beautiful instance of Pointer correcting
his Distance.--287. Constantly "Heading" Dog may make him too
immoveable.--288. A fault often caused by over-punishment.--289. Mr.
C----t's Bitch, which persisted three times in taking up the same
point.--290 to 292. Instance of fine "roading" in a young Dog.--293.
False points caused by over-punishment--Self-confidence and experience
only cures for over-caution.--294. Dog's manner shows position of
birds.--295. Curiously instanced in a Dog of Lord M----d's.--296. Also
shows species of Game--Pointer on Rabbits.--297. Young Dog drawing upon
his first Blackcock.--298. Terrier pointing four kinds of game, and
each in a different attitude.


279. It is proper you should be warned that you must not always expect
a dog will "toho" the first day as readily as I have described, though
most will, and some (especially pointers) even more quickly, if they
have been previously well drilled, and have been bred for several
generations from parents of pure blood.

I do not say bred in and in. Breeding in and in, to a certainty, would
enfeeble their intellects as surely as their constitutions. In this
way has many a kennel been deprived of the energy and endurance so
essential in a sportsman's dog.

[Page Header: EDUCATION BEFORE GAME-BAG.]

280. The late Lord Harris gave Mr. M----t (mentioned in 195), then
residing in Essex, two young, very highly-bred pointer pups, a brother
and sister. Mr. M----t, after some months, carried them into Kent, and,
without their having had the least preliminary instruction, or ever
having seen a bird, took them out partridge-shooting. He had no older
dog to set them a good example, and as they were wholly unbroken, he
feared they would bolt for home the moment he squibbed off his gun;
but, though they seemed much astonished and extremely nervous at the
report, great caressing and encouragement induced them to remain.
After awhile the dog went forward, and sniffed about,--then he began
to hunt,--at length he did so very assiduously; but his sister not so
keenly, for she did little more than follow in his wake. Generally
it is otherwise, bitches being usually the earliest in the field. At
length the dog came to a stiff point at the edge of some turnips. The
bitch perceived him and timidly backed. Mr. M----t hastened up--birds
arose--one fell, fortunately killed outright--the dog dashed at it,
and, tremulous with a world of new and pleasurable emotions, nosed and
fumbled it about in a very excited manner, but did not attempt to gripe
it. Mr. M----t, lest he should damp the youngster's ardour, refrained
from rating, or even speaking to him, but left him entirely to himself.
After a time, singular to say,--for he had not been taught as a puppy
to "fetch,"--he lifted the partridge, and carried it to his master,--a
practice he was afterwards allowed to pursue. Is it not clear that,
if he had been well instructed in the initiatory lessons, Mr. M----t
would have found him perfectly made with the exception of having no
systematic range? He turned out extremely well, and constantly showed
himself superior to his sister, who always wanted mettle.

As in the present instance, it often occurs that a dog is less inclined
to dash in at first than when he is more acquainted with birds. He is
suddenly arrested by the novelty of the scent, and it is not until he
is fully assured from what it proceeds that he longs to rush forward
and give chase. In autumnal breaking the dog gets his bird--it is
killed for him--he is satisfied--and therefore he has not the same
temptation to rush in as when he is shown birds in the spring.

281. If you find your dog, from excess of delight and exuberance of
spirits, less under general command than from his initiatory education
you had expected, and that he will not "toho" steadily at the exact
spot at which you order him, at once attach a checkcord to his collar.
It will diminish his pace, and make him more cautious and obedient. The
moment you next see him begin to feather, get up quickly, _but without
running_, to the end of the cord, and check him with a sudden jerk
if you are satisfied that game is before him and that he ought to be
pointing. If from his attitude and manner you are _positive_ that there
is game, drive a spike (or peg) into the ground, and tie the cord to
it. I only hope the birds will remain stationary. If they do, you can
give him a capital lesson by remaining patiently alongside of him, and
then heading him and the birds in the manner before described (264,
265).

[Page Header: SIGNALS TO ATTENDANT.]

282. As a general rule, an attendant or any companion cannot be
recommended, because he would be likely to distract a young dog's
attention (10); but an intelligent fellow who would readily obey your
signals, and not presume to speak, would, doubtless, with a very wild
dog, be an advantageous substitute for the spike. You could then employ
a longer and slighter cord than usual, and, on the man's getting hold
of the end of it, be at once free to head and awe the dog. Whenever you
had occasion to stand still, the man would, of course, be as immoveable
as yourself.

Your signals to him might be:--

  The gun held up,--"Get near the dog."
  Your fist clenched,--"Seize the rope."
  Your fist shaken,--"Jerk the cord."
  Your hand spread open,--"Let go the cord."

Or any signs you pleased, so that you understood each other without the
necessity of speaking.

[Page Header: RANGE OF STOAT.]

283. Should it ever be your misfortune to have to correct in a dog
evil habits caused by past mismanagement, such an attendant, if an
active, observant fellow, could give you valuable assistance, for he
sometimes would be able to seize the cord immediately the dog began
"feathering," and generally would have hold of it before you could have
occasion to fire. But the fault most difficult to cure in an old dog
is a bad habit of ranging. If, as a youngster, he has been permitted
to beat as his fancy dictated, and _has not been instructed in looking
to the gun for orders_, you will have great, very great difficulty in
reclaiming him. Probably he will have adopted a habit of running for a
considerable distance up wind, his experience having shown him that it
is one way of finding birds, but not having taught him that to seek for
them by crossing the wind would be a better method.

Curiously enough, nature has given this systematic range to the
stoat,[50] though, happily for the poor rabbits, it cannot carry a high
nose, and therefore the parallels on which it hunts are necessarily not
far apart. This interesting proceeding is occasionally witnessed by
those keepers who injudiciously prefer their game-disturbing guns to
their vermin-destroying traps.[51]

[Page Header: CHEETA AND ANTELOPES.]

284. The great advantage of teaching a dog to point the instant he is
sensible of the presence of birds (260), and of not creeping a foot
further until he is directed by you, is particularly apparent when
birds are wild. While he remains steady, the direction of his nose will
lead you to give a tolerable guess as to their "whereabouts," and you
and your companion can keep quite wide of the dog (one on each side),
and so approach the birds from both flanks. They, meanwhile, finding
themselves thus intercepted in three directions, will probably lie so
close as to afford a fair shot to, at least, one gun, for they will
not fail to see the dog and be awed by his presence. Raise your feet
well off the ground, to avoid making a noise. Walk quickly, but with
no unnecessary flourish of arms or gun. They may fancy that you intend
to pass by them:--a slow cautious step often raises their suspicions.
(Most sportsmen in the Highlands prefer a low cap, or a wide-awake, to
a hat; one of the motives for this choice being that the wearer is less
conspicuous,--not appearing so tall. It is because he will not appear
so tall that he thinks he can get nearer to a pack by approaching the
birds up hill, rather than by coming down upon them from a height. Many
an old sportsman crouches when approaching wild birds.) As soon as
you and your friend are in good positions, you can motion to the dog
to advance and flush the birds. You should on no account halt on the
way, for the moment you stop they will fancy they are perceived, and
take wing. It is by driving round and round, constantly contracting
the circle, and _never stopping_, that the bullock-cart, carrying
the trained cheeta, is often brought within 100 yards of the herd of
antelopes, amidst which is unsuspiciously browsing the doomed dark
buck.[52] Driven directly towards the herd, the cart could not approach
within thrice that distance. In Yorkshire, very late in the season,
when the grouse are so scared that they will not allow a dog or man
to get near them, it often happens that a good bag is made by the gun
keeping just ahead of a cart and horse. Here, however, no circuit is
made. The birds are found by chance. The only dog employed is the
retriever, kept in the cart until he is required to fetch.

285. You must not, however, too often try to work round and head your
pupil when he is pointing. Judgment is required to know when to do it
with advantage. If the birds were running, you would completely throw
him out, and greatly puzzle and discourage him, for they probably
would then rise out of shot, behind you, if they were feeding up
wind,--behind him, if they were feeding down wind.[53] Far more
frequently make him work out the scent by his own sagacity and nose,
and lead you up to the birds, every moment bristling more and more, at
a pace[54] entirely controlled and regulated by your signals. These
being given with your right hand will be more apparent to him if you
place yourself on his left side. It is in this manner that you give him
a lesson which will _hereafter_ greatly aid him in recovering slightly
winged birds,--in pressing to a rise the slow-winged but nimble-heeled
rail,--or in minutely following the devious mazes through which an
old cock-pheasant, or yet more, an old cock-grouse, may endeavour to
mislead him. And yet this lesson should not be given before he is
tolerably confirmed at his point, lest he should push too fast on
the scent; and make a rush more like the dash of a cocker than the
sober, convenient "road" of a setter. As his experience increases
he will thus acquire the valuable knowledge of the position of his
game:--he will lead you to the centre of a covey, or what is of greater
consequence--as grouse spread--to the centre of a pack, (instead
of allowing himself to be attracted to a flank by some truant from
the main body), and thus get you a good double shot, and enable you
effectually to separate the birds:--he will, moreover, become watchful,
and sensible of his distance from game--a knowledge all-important, and
which, be it remarked, he never could gain in turnips or potatoes, or
any thick cover.

286. Mr. C----s R----n, well known in Edinburgh, told me that a black
and tan pointer of his (Admiral M----y's breed) gave, on one occasion,
a very clever proof of his knowledge of the distance at which he
ought to stand from his game. He was ranging in thick stubble. Some
partridge, being slightly alarmed, rose a little above the ground, and
then dropped very near the dog,--upon which the sagacious creature
instantly crouched close to the ground, his head between his fore-legs,
and in that constrained position _ventre-à-terre_, pushed himself
backwards until he had retreated to what he conceived to be a judicious
distance from the covey, when he stood up and pointed boldly.

[Page Header: VEXATIOUS STANCHNESS.]

287. There is another and yet stronger reason why you should not
consider it a rule always to head your young dog at his point. You
may--although at first it seems an odd caution to give--make him
too stanch. This, to be sure, signifies less with partridges than
with most birds; but if you have ever seen your dog come to a fixed
point, and there, in spite of all your efforts, remain provokingly
immoveable--plainly telling you of the vicinity of birds, but that you
must find them out for yourself--your admiration of his steadiness has,
I think, by no means reconciled you to the embarrassing position in
which it has placed you. I have often witnessed this vexatious display
of stanchness, although the owner cheered on the dog in a tone loud
enough to alarm birds two fields off.

288. A keeper will sometimes praise his dog for such stanchness; but
it is a great fault, induced probably by over-severity for former
rashness,--and the more difficult to be cured, if the animal is a
setter, from the crouching position which he often naturally assumes
when pointing.

[Page Header: INSTANCES OF FINE ROADING.]

289. A friend of mine was told by Mr. C----t (to whom those interested
in the prosperity of the Edinburgh Zoological Gardens ought to feel
much indebted), that a little pointer bitch of his came, on a hot, dry,
bad scenting day, to a fixed point. He could not persuade her to move,
nor could he or his friend spring any game; and two not bad-nosed dogs
that were hunting with her would not acknowledge the scent, even when
they were brought close to the bitch. As she would neither advance nor
retire, he actually had her carried off in a boy's arms. When she was
put down, away she ran and resumed her point. After another ineffectual
attempt to raise birds, again she was borne off, but only to take up
for a _third_ time her point. At length, after a yet closer search--in
which, however, she still refused to join,--a young blackcock was
perceived closely buried under a thick piece of heather. The very
excellence of the bitch's nose, and her admirable perseverance, made
it the more vexatious that she had not been taught the meaning of
the signals to advance. One grieves that anything should have been
neglected in the education of so superior a creature.

290. I advised (285) your practising your young dog in "footing" out
a scent. Though it occurred many years ago, I remember as if it were
but yesterday (from my annoyance at shooting so execrably, when it was
peculiarly incumbent on me not to miss), my nearly making a sad mistake
with a very young dog, who was following up a retreating bird most
magnificently.

[Illustration: CARRYING A POINT, AND CARRYING A POINTER.--Par. 289.]

291. I was looking for grouse where I thought that there might be some,
but was sure there could not be many. After beating for a considerable
time unsuccessfully, the youngest of the dogs that were hunting made
a stanch point. I got up to him;--nothing rose. I encouraged him to
press on. He did so, and at a convenient pace which allowed me to keep
parallel with him. He so seldom stopped, and bristled so little, that
I thought he was making a fool of me. Still, as he now and then looked
round sagaciously, as if to say "There really is game ahead," I did not
like to tell him of my suspicions. Though my patience was sorely tried,
for he led me a distance which I dare not name, I resolved to let him
have his own way, and to see what would be the result, satisfied that
undue precipitance on my part might effect more evil than could arise
from an erroneous participation in his proceedings. At length, when
my good resolutions were all but exhausted, and I was thinking of
chiding the dog for his folly, we approached a bare spot, free from
heather:--up sprung a noble cock-grouse, challenging splendidly.

292. I had been so perplexed, and was, I am ashamed to say, so
unnerved, that, though the bird went off in a line directly from
me, I missed him with both barrels; I don't know when I was more
vexed:--nothing but my bungling lost the young dog the reward he so
richly deserved.

[Page Header: OVER-CAUTION.]

293. I recount this story, though it is little in my favour, to warn
you against the too common error of fancying that a young dog is making
false points if birds do not get up directly. They may have taken
leg-bail, and thus have puzzled him in his inexperience. Dogs not
cowed by punishment will, after a little hunting, seldom make false
points, while they are unfatigued. To a certainty they will not draw
upon a false point for any distance: therefore, never punish what is
solely occasioned by over-caution. Your doing so would but increase the
evil. Self-confidence and experience are the only cures for a fault
that would be a virtue if not carried to excess. Even a good dog will
occasionally make a point at larks from over-caution when birds are
wild; but see the first note to 194.

294. After you have shot over a dog a short time, his manner and
attitude will enable you to guess pretty accurately whether birds are
really before him; whether they are far off or near; and whether or
not they are on the move. Generally speaking, the higher he carries
his head, and the less he stiffens his stern, the further off are the
birds. If he begin to look nervous, and become fidgety, you will seldom
be wrong in fancying they are on the run. But various, and at times
most curious, are the methods that dogs will adopt, _apparently_ with
the wish to show you where the birds are, and _certainly_ with the
desire to get you a shot.

295. A pointer, belonging at the present moment to a nobleman in
Perthshire, Lord M----d, (from whose lips my informant heard the
strange story), has quite a novel mode of telling that birds are on the
move. While they continue quiet, he points them in the usual manner,
with his head towards them, but so soon as they begin to walk off,
he directly faces about, very disrespectfully presenting his stern
to them,--whether to express contempt for their want of courtesy, or
to warn his lordship to look out for a long shot, I will leave you
to decide.[55] I particularly inquired if he did this indifferently,
whether the birds were running up or down wind. This my informant
could not positively tell. All he knew was that his lordship had said,
in a general way, that the singularly mannered animal invariably
repeated this eccentric proceeding whenever the birds moved.

296. Not only will a dog's manner often show you whether or not birds
are on the move, but his carriage, when you are accustomed to him, will
frequently tell you what species of game is before him. I know an old
pointer that is capital in light cover. His owner shoots rabbits over
him, and whenever the dog finds one, though he points steadily, his
tail vibrates as regularly as a pendulum.

[Page Header: FIRST BLACKCOCK.]

297. Years ago, when I was shooting in the North, I was crossing some
land which the encroachments of husbandry had converted from wild
heather to profitable sheep-walks; suddenly a young dog that was with
me came to a more rigid point than I had ever seen him make--every
muscle appeared distended--I was puzzled--I felt satisfied that he had
winded something very unusual, but what to expect I could not imagine,
for there seemed not cover for a tomtit. When I got up to him he was
so nervously anxious that I had some difficulty in making him advance,
but at length he slowly brought me towards a small bush, to which he
nailed his nose. Further he would not proceed. I kicked the bush; when,
to my great gratification, up gradually rose a young blackcock, which
went off to killing distance with a flight not more rapid than that of
the florikin. It was the first black game that the dog had ever seen.
It was also the first that I had ever seen on the wing, and this may
account for all the attendant circumstances being so strongly impressed
upon my memory.

298. Colonel C----n, on the staff of the Duke of C----e, told me that
about ten years ago he heard a gentleman, then living on the Mall at
Birr, make a bet of a pony (he offered to wager a much larger sum)
that his terrier bitch would point all the kinds of game found in the
neighbouring bog--and further, that before it was sprung he would name
what description of game the dog was pointing. The gentleman won his
bet handsomely, though they found snipe, woodcock, grouse, hare, and
something else,--as well as Colonel C----n now remembers,--a duck. It
was soon evident to the spectators, that the attitude of the clever
animal--short-eared, with a considerable cross of the bull-dog--varied
according to the nature of the game she came across. To an English
ear shooting on a bog does not sound very attractive,--but though the
walking is generally difficult, the sport is often interesting, from
the variety of game the sportsman frequently meets with.



CHAPTER XI.

FIRST LESSON IN SEPTEMBER CONCLUDED. BAR.--LEG STRAP.--SPIKE-COLLAR.

299. Bar cure for too high spirits. A leg strapped up. Why these
remedies are better than starvation and excessive work.--300. The
regular Spike-Collar described. French Spike-Collar.--301. One less
objectionable.--302 to 305. How, in extreme cases, the Spike-collar
might be employed.--306. Dog springing Birds without noticing them; how
to be treated.--307. The first Birds fired at to be killed outright;
the Search for winged Birds, Dog being to leeward.--308. Had the Dog
seized. Firing at running Bird.--309. The Search for winged Bird,
Dog being to windward.--310. "Lifting" a Dog, when recommended.
"Footing" a scent. In Note, speed of Red-legged Partridge.--311.
Evil of a Young Sportsman always thinking his birds killed outright;
often calls away Dog improperly.--312. Loss of dead bird discouraging
to Dog.--313. Perseverance in Seeking, how fostered.--314. "Nosing"
Bird allowed.--315. Its advantage instanced in Sir W----m F----n's
dogs.--316. Error of picking up winged bird before Loading. In Notes,
ingenious Argument in its favour; Bird picked up in the Evening;
rejoins Covey.--317. If winged bird be a fast runner, and out of
shot.--318. Dog that was devoted to "seeking dead," would retrieve
Snipe she would not point; probable cause of her fondness for
retrieving.--319. Dog which kept his paw on winged bird; how taught.
"Beppo" in Africa.--320. Blenheim, which hated Water, yet would always
retrieve Wildfowl.--321. If dog rashes forward yet yields to menaces
and stops.--322. If he seizes the dead bird; if he has torn it.--323.
How to administer Punishment.--324. Part good friends. Your own temper
not to be ruffled.--325. He is no Breaker who cannot always get hold
of Dog.--326. Be certain of Dog's guilt before punishing.--327. Dog's
Ears not to be pulled violently.--328. To "drop" whenever Bird or Hare
rises.--329. Lesson in Turnips.--330. Real Lesson in "Gone" or "Flown"
given _after_ dog has had some experience; reason why.


299. After a few trials you will, I hope, be able to dispense with the
peg recommended in 281, and soon after with the checkcord also. But if
your dog possesses unusually high spirits, or if he travels over the
ground at a pace which obviously precludes his making a proper use of
his nose, it may be advisable to fasten to his collar a bar, something
like a diminutive splinter-bar, that it may, by occasional knocking
against his shins, feelingly admonish him to lessen his stride. If he
gets it between his legs and thus finds it no annoyance, attach it to
both sides of his collar from points near the extremities. One of his
fore-legs might occasionally be passed through the collar; but this
plan is not so good as the other; nor as the strap on the hind-leg
(60). These means (to be discarded, however, as soon as obedience is
established) are far better than the _temporary_ ascendancy which some
breakers establish by low diet and excessive work, which would only
weaken his spirits and his bodily powers, without eradicating his
self-will, or improving his intellects. You want to force him, when
he is in the highest health and vigour, to learn by experience the
advantage of letting his nose dwell longer on a feeble scent.

[Page Header: BAR. FRENCH SPIKE-COLLAR.]

300. I have made no mention of the spiked-collar, because it is a
brutal instrument, which none but the most ignorant or unthinking would
employ. It is a leather collar into which nails, much longer than the
thickness of the collar have been driven, with their points projecting
inwards. The French spike-collar is nearly as severe. It is formed of
a series of wooden balls,--larger than marbles,--linked (about two and
a half inches apart) into a chain by stiff wires bent into the form of
hooks. The sharp pointed hooks punish cruelly when the checkcord is
jerked.

[Page Header: ENGLISH SPIKED-COLLAR.]

301. We have, however, a more modern description of collar, which is
far less inhuman than either of those I have mentioned, but still I
cannot recommend its adoption, unless in extreme cases; for though
not so severely, it, likewise, punishes the unfortunate dog, more or
less, by the strain of the checkcord he drags along the ground: and it
ought to be the great object of a good breaker as little as is possible
to fret or worry his pupil, that all his ideas may be engaged in an
anxious wish to wind birds. On a leather strap, which has a ring at
one end, four wooden balls (of about two inches diameter) are threaded
like beads, at intervals from each other and the ring, say, of two
inches (the exact distance being dependent on the size of the dog's
throat). Into each of the balls sundry short thickish pieces of wire
are driven, leaving about one-sixth of an inch beyond the surface. The
other end of the strap (to which the checkcord is attached) is passed
through the ring. This ring being of somewhat less diameter than the
balls, it is clear, however severely the breaker may pull, he cannot
compress the dog's throat beyond a certain point. The effect of the
short spikes is rather to crumple than penetrate the skin.

302. I have long been sensible of the aid a spiked-collar would afford
in reclaiming headstrong, badly educated dogs, if it could be used
at the moment--and only at the precise moment--when punishment was
required; but not until lately did it strike me how the collar could be
carried so that the attached cord should not constantly bear upon it,
and thereby worry, if not pain the dog. And had I again to deal with an
old offender, who incorrigibly crept in after pointing, or obstinately
"rushed into dead," I should feel much disposed to employ a slightly
spiked collar in the following manner.

303. That the mere carrying the collar might not annoy the dog, I would
extract or flatten the nails fixed on the _top_ of the collar, on the
part, I mean, that would lie on the animal's neck. This collar I would
place on his neck, in front of his common light collar. I would then
firmly fasten the checkcord, in the usual way, to the spiked-collar;
but, to prevent any annoyance from dragging the checkcord, at about
five or six inches from the fastening just made I would attach it to
the common collar, with very slight twine--twine so slight that,
although it would not give way to the usual drag of the checkcord,
however long, yet it would readily break on my having to pull strongly
against the wilful rush of an obstinate dog, when, of course, the
spikes would punish him, as the strain would then be borne by the
spiked-collar alone.

304. Guided by circumstances, I would afterwards either remove the
spiked-collar, or, if I conceived another bout necessary, refasten the
checkcord to the common collar with some of the thin twine, leaving,
as before, five or six inches of the checkcord loose between the two
collars.

305. If you should ever consider yourself forced to employ a
spiked-collar, do not thoughtlessly imagine that the same collar will
suit all dogs. The spikes for a thin-coated pointer ought to be shorter
than for a coarse-haired setter! You can easily construct one to punish
with any degree of severity you please. Take a common leather collar;
lay its inner surface flat on a soft deal board: through the leather
drive with a hammer any number of tacks or flat-headed nails: then get
a cobbler to sew on another strap of leather at the back of the nails,
so as to retain them firmly in position.

[Page Header: DOG NOT NOTICING BIRDS.]

306. I have supposed that your dog has _scented_ the birds before they
rose, but if he spring them without having previously noticed them (as
in some rare cases happens even to well-bred dogs) you _must_ bring him
back to the spot at which you feel assured that he ought to have been
sensible of their presence, and _there_ make him "Toho." Afterwards
endeavour to make him aware of the haunt by encouraging him to sniff
at the ground that the birds have just left. The next time watch very
carefully for the _slightest_ indication of his feathering and then
instantly call out "Toho." After a few times he will, to a certainty,
understand you.

[Page Header: BIRD RUN TO WINDWARD.]

307. You should kill outright the few first birds at which you fire.
I would infinitely prefer that you should miss altogether, than that
one of the two or three first birds should be a runner. Afterwards you
have full leave to merely wing a bird; but still I should wish it not
to be too nimble. This is a good trial of _your_ judgment as well as
the dog's. I hope he is to leeward of the bird, and that it will not
catch his eye. See he touches on the haunt. Do not let him work with
his nose to the ground. "Up, up," must be your encouraging words (or
"On, on," according to circumstances), whilst with your right hand
(IV. of 141) you are alternately urging and restraining him, so as to
make him advance at a suitable pace. From his previous education, not
being flurried by any undue dread of the whip, he will be enabled to
give his undisturbed attention, and devote all his faculties to follow
unerringly the retreating bird. But from inexperience he may wander
from the haunt. On perceiving this, bring him, by signals, back to the
spot where he was apparently last aware of the scent. He will again hit
it off. If you view the bird ever so far ahead, on no account run. I
hope you will at length observe it lie down. Head it, if possible, and
strike it with your whip, if you think you will be unable to seize it
with your hand. Endeavour to prevent its fluttering away;--it is too
soon to subject the youngster to such a severe trial of his nerves and
steadiness. Then, (having put the poor creature out of its misery, by
piercing its skull, or rapping its head against your gun,) as before
(266), show your dog the gratifying prize which your combined exertions
have gained.

308. Should he unluckily have caught sight of the running bird,
and, in spite of all your calls, have rushed forward and seized it,
you ought to have proceeded as described in 322. Clearly, however,
you would not have dragged the dog back to the place where he "down
charged," but merely to the spot from which he had made his unlawful
rush. If the bird had been very active, it would have been far better
to have fired at it a second time (while it was running), than to
have incurred the risk of making your dog unsteady by a wild pursuit.
Suppose that it was not winged, but rose again on your approaching it,
and fluttered off,--a hard trial for the young dog,--you must, however,
have made him bear it, and obey your loud command to "drop,"--you would
(or should) have taken another shot, and have proceeded in exactly the
same manner as if this had been your first find (265, 266).

[Page Header: BIRD RUN TO LEEWARD.]

309. As the wounded bird was to windward of the dog, the course to
follow was obvious,--it was plain sailing; but the case would have
varied greatly if the dog had been to windward. Had you pursued the
usual plan, he must have roaded the bird by the "foot;" and the danger
is, that in allowing him to do so you may create in him the evil habit
of hunting with his nose close to the ground, which is above all things
to be deprecated. You have another mode--you can "lift" the dog (I
suppose you know the meaning of that hunting term), and make him take
a large circuit, and so head the bird, and then proceed as if it had
fallen to windward.

[Page Header: PERSEVERE IN SEEKING.]

310. The latter plan would avoid all risk of your making him a
potterer, and it is, I think, to be recommended if you find him
naturally inclined to hunt low. But the former method, as a lesson in
"footing," must be often resorted to, that he may learn unhesitatingly
to distinguish the "heel" from the "toe," and how to push an old
cock-grouse, or to flush a pheasant running through cover, or the
red-legged, I was nearly saying, the everlasting-legged partridge;[56]
and, indeed, generally, how to draw upon his birds, and with confidence
lead you to a shot when they are upon the move and running down wind.
(See end of 115; and for further directions, and for "seeking dead"
with two dogs, look at 544). The heavy Spanish pointer, from his
plodding perseverance and great olfactory powers, was an excellent hand
at retrieving a slightly injured bird on a broiling, bad scenting day.

311. When I advised you (266) to let the dog "have plenty of time to
make out the bird," I spoke from personal experience, and from a vivid
recollection of errors committed in my novitiate. A young hand is
too apt to imagine that every bird which falls to his gun is killed
outright, and lying dead on the spot where it fell. He will, therefore,
often impatiently, and most injudiciously, call away the dog who, at a
little distance, may have hit off the trail of the winged bird, and be
"footing" it beautifully.

312. If in these lessons you should fail in obtaining one or two
wounded birds, though it might not be a matter of any moment to
yourself personally, it would be extremely vexatious on the dog's
account, because, in this early stage of his education, it would tend
to discourage him. The feeling which you must anxiously foster in him
is this, that after the word "Find"[57] the search must never be
relinquished, even though he be constrained to hunt from morning till
night. And it is clear that to make an abiding, valuable impression,
this lesson must be inculcated on the several first occasions with
unremitting, untiring diligence.

[Page Header: ALLOW HIM TO "NOSE."]

313. Persevere, therefore, for an hour, rather than give up a wounded
bird. Join in the search yourself. Even if you see where it lies, do
not pick it up hastily. On the contrary, leave it, but mark well the
spot. Keep on the move. Hold your gun as if in expectation of a rise.
Pretend to seek for the bird in every direction, even for a good half
hour, if you can encourage your dog to hunt so long. If, indeed, you
see him flag, and get wearied and dispirited, gradually bring him
close, but to leeward of the spot where the bird lies, in order to make
him "point dead," and be rewarded for all his diligence by finding
it himself. Let him, also, have a good sniff at it and nose it (but
let there be no biting or mouthing), before you put it into the bag.
Otherwise, what return has he for the pains he has taken?

[Page Header: SEARCH FOR HOURS.]

314. It is no conclusive argument against the practice of allowing
him to "nose," that many first-rate dogs have never been so indulged.
It is certain that they would not have been worse if they had; and
many a dog, that would otherwise have been extremely slack, has been
incited to hunt with eagerness from having been so rewarded. There
are dogs who, from having been constantly denied all "touseling,"
will not even give themselves the trouble of searching for any bird
which they have _seen_ knocked over, much less think of pointing it.
They seem satisfied with this ocular evidence of its death; for,
odd to say, these very dogs will often zealously obey the order to
hunt for any bird whose fall they have not noticed; but in winding
it they will indulge in no more than a passing sniff,--which sniff,
unless you are watchful, you may not observe, and so lose your bird.
Never fail, therefore, to let your pupil ruffle the feathers[58] a
little, while you bestow on him a caress or a kind word of approbation.
You then incite to perseverance, by, even with dogs, a very abiding
motive,--"self-interest;" but mind the important rule, that this
"nosing" be only _when_ the bird is in your possession, not _before_ it
is in your possession. If you wish to establish for ever a confirmed
perseverance in "seeking dead," you must sacrifice _hours_ (I say it
seriously) rather than give up any of the first wounded birds. Be
persuaded that every half hour spent in an unremitting search for
_one_ bird, if ultimately successful, will more benefit the young dog
than your killing a _dozen_ to him, should you bag them the moment
you are reloaded. Of course you would not, when you are giving such a
lesson in perseverance, fire at another bird, even if it sprang at your
feet,--for your doing so, whether you missed or killed, would unsettle
the young dog, and make him relinquish his search. Be stimulated
to present exertion by the conviction that if he be not _now_ well
instructed, you must expect him to lose, season after season, nearly
every bird only slightly disabled by a merely tipped wing.

315. I casually asked Mr. H----h what kind of sport he had had in
Aberdeenshire with Sir W----m F----n. He replied, "The pleasantest
imaginable. One day we killed forty-six brace, and bagged every
feather. Indeed, F----n never loses a bird. I have actually known him,
when his dogs were young, spend a full half hour in hunting for a dead
bird; nothing would induce him to give up. The consequence is, that
_now_ he never loses one by any chance. He broke in the dogs entirely
himself:--he would seldom allow his keeper to say a word to them. He
was always very patient; and he is well rewarded for his trouble." Why
not take the same trouble and obtain a like reward? This was _true_
sport! What battue-shooting could compare with it?

[Page Header: LOAD BEFORE YOU BAG.]

316. I hope you will not say, as would most of our neighbours[59] on
the other side of the Channel: "But if, instead of waiting to load, I
had gone after the winged bird just as it fell, when first I saw it
start off running, the evil you have now spoken of (312) could not
have occurred, for there would have but been little risk of losing
it." Probably not, but you would have almost ruined your dog; and to
secure this one bird, in all likelihood you would subsequently lose
a hundred.[60] How could you with justice blame him if, when next
you killed, he rushed headlong after the bird (instead of dropping
patiently to the "down charge"), and so sprung a dozen birds while you
were unloaded?

317. Perhaps you will say, "You tell me to fire at a running bird, but
when a winged cock-pheasant or red-legged partridge is racing off _out
of shot_, how am I to get it, if I proceed in the slow, methodical
manner you advise? May it not lead me an unsuccessful dance for an
hour, if I do not allow the dog to start ahead and seize?" It may, (but
I hope months will pass before you witness such agility); and this
shows that those who do not employ a retriever, and yet are sticklers
for a setter's (or pointer's) never being permitted to touch a feather,
must on such occasions get into a dilemma; and, unless they are willing
to lose the bird, must plead guilty to the inconsistency of being
pleased--however loudly they may roar out "Toho," "ware dead,"--when
they see their dog, in defiance of all such calls, disable it by a
sudden grip. This plan, though frequently followed, cannot be correct.
They blame the dog for doing what they really wish, and if he be too
tender-mouthed to injure the bird, he keeps them at top speed, while
he is alternately picking up the unfortunate creature, acting on his
natural impulses,--and letting it fall on being rated. I therefore
repeat, that even if you do not wish your dog constantly to retrieve
(536), you would still act judiciously in teaching him as a puppy to
fetch (96), for then he will give chase to the winged bird, and bring
it to you _on getting the order_, instead of permitting it to escape
for a fresh _burst_, or carrying it off, as I have seen done. You thus
maintain discipline. The dog will do what you wish, in obedience to
orders,--not in opposition to orders. The sticklers for dogs never
being allowed to nose a feather, ought, unless they are willing to give
up slightly winged birds, not to shrink from the difficult task of
teaching their pupils to stop and retain with their paws (319).

[Page Header: PERSEVERANCE INSTANCED.]

318. The pertinacity with which some dogs will "seek dead" is really
surprising. A relative of mine had an English pointer which was so
devoted to hunting for "knocked-down" birds, that she was almost
unequalled in "finding," though in other respects possessed of very
ordinary qualifications. If she failed in soon winding the lost bird,
she would of her own accord make a large circuit; and if still
unsuccessful, she would indefatigably traverse the field from leeward
until some slight taint in the atmosphere intimated to her in what
direction to continue the search. When he afterwards hunted her in
Ireland, though he could not get her to point snipe, yet if he killed
one, she would exert herself to the utmost to retrieve it. Her keenness
probably in part arose from her having, as a young one, always been
indulged with a good "touseling" of the game before it was picked up.
She never wished to grip.

[Page Header: BIRD HELD BY PAW.]

319. A gentleman who was my neighbour a few seasons ago, has a very old
setter, which was also capital at "finding." "Don" used to lay his paw
upon the wounded bird, which, I fancy, afforded him such gratification
that he would zealously devote every faculty he possessed to secure
the prize. You could not teach every dog this method of detaining a
bird. If yours is one of a very docile disposition you may effect it by
always placing the dead or wounded bird for a minute or two under his
paw before you deposit it in the bag.

320. An officer of the Navy, Mr. W----b, of Southsea, once possessed
a true Blenheim--naturally a tender breed--that, from having been
injudiciously thrown into the water when young (see 104), had taken
such a dislike to the element, that although she was extremely attached
to her master, and always anxious to be with him, especially when he
shouldered his gun, yet the moment she saw him appear with a towel in
hand (feeling assured he purposed bathing), she would bolt off, and
allow nothing to persuade her to accompany him. Now, great as was her
abhorrence of a cold bath, yet her gratification in retrieving so far
outweighed every other feeling, that for the moment it overcame her
aversion to a plunge, and whenever Mr. W----b shot a duck she would
dash in to bring it on shore. She would carefully deposit it at the
edge of the bank, but not carry it a step further. "Rose" had secured
it, and that was the extent of her wishes.

321. We have only spoken of instances 266, 307, 309, in which all
has gone on smoothly, the dog most obediently dropping to shot
and permitting _you_ to take up the bird notwithstanding the poor
creature's death-struggles. Suppose, however, and this may probably
happen, that he does not restrain himself at the "down charge," but,
in spite of all your calls and signals, rushes forward, yet yields to
your menaces and halts in mid-career. It is well--your course is clear;
you have to lug him back, and threaten, and lecture him. But should he
not check himself until he sniffs the game, his stop then becomes a
"point;" and if he is of a timid disposition, or has ever evinced any
disposition to blink, you dare not force him to retrace his steps, lest
he should mistake your motives, and fancy himself encouraged to abandon
his point. If you merely make him "down charge," you violate the axiom
named in 359. In short, you are in a difficulty. It is a nice case, in
which your own judgment of the dog's character can alone decide you.

[Page Header: BIRD SEIZED.]

322. But, if from inadequate initiatory instruction--for I will
maintain that such marked rebellion can arise from no other cause--in
the excitement of the moment he actually rushes in and seizes the bird,
he must be punished, I am sorry to say it; but however much we may
deplore it, _he must_; for he has been guilty of great disobedience,
and he well knows that he has been disobedient. But the temptation
was strong, perhaps too strong for canine nature,--that is to say,
for canine nature not early taught obedience. The wounded bird was
fluttering within sight and hearing:--it was, too, the first he had
ever seen,--and this is almost his first glaring act of disobedience:
be merciful, though firm. Make him "drop." Get up to him at once.
Probably he will relinquish his grip of the bird; if not, make him give
it up to you, but do not pull it from him: that would only increase the
temptation to tear it. Lay it on the ground. Then drag him back to the
spot from which he rushed; there make him lie down. Rate him. Call out
"Toho."[61] Crack the whip over him--and, I am pained to add, make use
of it--but moderately, not severely. Three or four cuts will be enough,
provided he has not torn the bird; if he has, his chastisement must
be greater. Let him now have one nibble without punishment, and soon a
whole carcass will not suffice for his morning's meal. Do not strike
him across the body, but lengthwise.

[Page Header: PUNISHMENT HOW ADMINISTERED.]

323. An ill-tempered dog might attempt to bite you. Prevent the
possibility of his succeeding, by grasping and twisting his collar
with your left hand, still keeping him at the "down." Consider coolly
whether you are flagellating a thick-coated dog, or one with a skin not
much coarser than your own. Pause between each cut; and that he may
comprehend why he is punished, call out several times, but not loudly,
"Toho--bad--toho," and crack your whip. Let your last strokes be milder
and milder, until they fall in the gentlest manner--a manner more
calculated to awaken reflection than give pain. When the chastisement
is over, stand close in front of him, the better to awe him, and
prevent his thinking of bolting. Put the whip quietly into your pocket,
but still remain where you are, occasionally rating him and scolding
him while you are loading; gradually, however, becoming milder in
manner, that he may be sensible that, though your dissatisfaction at
his conduct continues, his punishment is over (342 to 347). Indeed, if
you have any fear of his becoming too timid, you may at length fondle
him a little, provided that while you so re-encourage him, you continue
to say "Toho--toho," most impressively--then, giving him the wind, go
up together to the bird, and make him "point dead" close to it. Take it
up, and let him fumble the feathers before you loop it on the bag.

[Page Header: PART GOOD FRIENDS.]

324. Never let a dog whom you have been forced to chastise bolt or
creep away until you order him. If he is ever allowed to move off at
_his_ wish, he will improve upon the idea, and on the next occasion
will far too soon anticipate _yours_. And do not send him off, until he
has given some evidence of having forgiven you, and of his desire to be
reconciled, by crawling towards you, for instance, or wagging his tail.
On no occasion--under circumstances of ever such great provocation--be
so weak or irritable (but I hope you do not need the warning) as to
give him a kick or a blow when he is going off. He ought to have stood
with reassured confidence alongside of you, for perhaps a minute or so,
before you sanctioned his departure; and the severer his punishment the
longer should have been the detention. You are always to part tolerable
friends, while he feels perfectly convinced that his chastisement is
over. If you do not, you may find it rather difficult to catch him when
he commits another fault. It will be owing to your own injudiciousness
if he ever become afraid of approaching you after making a blunder.
Should he be so, sit down. He will gradually draw near you; then
quietly put your hand on his collar.

325. If a man cannot readily get hold of any dog under his tuition whom
he desires to rate or punish, you may be certain that he fails either
in temper or judgment; perhaps in both. He may be an excellent man, but
he cannot be a good dog-breaker. There are men who get quite enraged
at a dog's not coming instantly to "heel" on being called. When at
length the poor brute does come within reach, he gets a blow, perhaps
a licking--a blow or licking, he has the sense to see he should have
longer avoided had he stayed longer away. Thus the punishment increases
instead of remedying the evil.

[Page Header: PROOF BEFORE PUNISHMENT.]

326. Never correct or even rate a dog, in the mere _belief_ that he is
in error; be first _convinced_ of his guilt. If you have good reason
to suspect that, unseen by you, he has wilfully sprung birds, still
rather give him an earnest caution than any severer rebuke. It is not
easy to repair the mischief occasioned by unjust punishment. When from
his sheepish look, or any other cause, you imagine that he has raised
game, either through heedlessness, or from their being unusually wild,
be sure to give him a short lecture, and accompany him to the haunt. A
lingering bird may occasionally reward you. If his manner has led you
to form an incorrect opinion, your warning can have no other effect
than to increase his caution (rarely an undesirable result); and if you
are right, the admonition is obviously most judicious.

327. Let me caution you against the too common error of punishing a
dog by pulling his ears. It has often occasioned bad canker. Some men
are of opinion that it is frequently the cause of premature deafness.
When you rate him you may lay hold of an ear and shake it, but not with
violence.

328. I would strongly recommend you always to make your young dog
"drop" for half a minute or so, when he sees a hare; or when he hears
a bird rise.[62] To effect this, stand still yourself. After a few
seconds you can either hie him on, or, which is yet better, get close
to him if you expect other birds to spring. You will thus, especially
in potatoes or turnips, often obtain shots at birds which would
have made off, had he continued to hunt, and early in the season be
frequently enabled to bag the tail-bird of a covey. This plan will
also tend to make him cautious, and prevent his getting a habit of
blundering-up birds, and cunningly pretending not to have noticed
their escape. It will also make him less inclined to chase hares and
rabbits, or rush at a falling bird.

[Page Header: LESSON IN TURNIPS.]

329. On approaching a piece of turnips, you may have heard, "Let us
couple up all the dogs excepting Old Don;" the veteran's experience
having shown him, that the only effect of his thundering through them
would be to scare every bird and make it rise out of shot. _You_, on
the contrary, when your pupil is well confirmed in his range, and has
some knowledge of his distance from game, ought to wish the other dogs
kept to "Heel" (especially when the seed has been broadcast), that
by the word "Care" and the hand slightly raised, you may instil into
him the necessary caution, and so, by judicious tuition, give him the
benefit of your own experience. Most probably you would be obliged
to employ the checkcord[63] which I presume to be always at hand
ready for occasional use. Or you might strap your shot-belt round his
throat, for it is essential that he traverse such ground slowly, and
greatly contract his range, (see 197). The several cross scents he will
encounter should afford him a valuable lesson in detecting the most
recent, and in discriminating between the "heel and toe" of a run. Be
patient,--give him time to work and consider what he is about. It is
probable that he will frequently overrun the birds on their doubling
back, and imagine that they are gone. Should he do so, bring him again
on the spot where he appeared to lose the scent. He now rushes up the
adjacent drill. "Slower, slower," signals your right arm; "go no faster
than I can walk comfortably." On the other hand, the birds may lie like
stones. Not until you have remained nearly a minute alongside of him
let him urge them to rise; and make him effect this, not by a sudden
dash, but by steadily pressing on the scent. Bear in mind, as before
warned (193), that the confidence with which he can here creep on to a
near find may lead, if he is now mismanaged, to his springing on future
occasions, from want of care, many a bird at which he ought to get you
a shot.

[Page Header: LESSON IN "GONE."]

330. If you can contrive it, let your pupil have some little experience
in the field before you give him a _real_ lesson in "Gone" (or
"Flown"). Instead of being perplexed, he will then comprehend you.
Should you, therefore, during the first few days of hunting him, see
birds make off, in lieu of taking him to the haunt (as many breakers
erroneously do), carefully keep him from the spot. You cannot let him
run riot over the reeking scent without expecting him to do the same
when next he finds; and if, in compliance with your orders, he points,
you are making a fool of him--there is nothing before him; and if he
does not fancy you as bewildered as himself, he will imagine that the
exhilarating effluvia he rejoices in is the sum total you both seek.
This advice, at first sight, may appear to contradict that given in
132 and 306; but look again, and you will find that those paragraphs
referred to peculiar cases. Should your young dog be loitering and
sniffing at a haunt which he has _seen_ birds quit, he cannot well
mistake the meaning of your calling out, "Gone, gone."



CHAPTER XII.

SHOOTING HARES. COURAGE IMPARTED.--"BACKING" TAUGHT.

331. Shooting Hares not recommended; shooting Rabbits strongly
condemned. In Note, why superior Grouse-Dog better than superior
Partridge-Dog. Dog brought from strange country always hunts to
disadvantage.--332. Put off killing Hares long as possible.--333.
Dogs not to quit faint Scent of Birds for strong Scent of
Hare.--334. Dog off after Hare; no racing after Dog; Puss gone
down wind.--335. Checkcord employed. Drive in spike on "So-ho-ing"
Hare.--336. Impropriety of Firing at Dog.--337. Hares scarce, visit
Rabbit-warren.--338. Morning, hunt where no Hares; evening, where
plentiful. Mountain-hares. In Note, how to choose, and tell age of,
Hares and Rabbits.--339. Killing Hare in its form.--340. Shooting
Bird on ground.--341. Dog taught to pursue _wounded_ Hare.--342. Whip
carried, saves punishment. Detention of Dog at crouching posture, saves
whip.--343. Pointer's revenge for detention from hunting.--344. Few
cuts, but severe ones.--345. Instance of timidity cured. Range imparted
by giving Dog feet of Partridge. In Note, sinews of thigh dragged
out.--346. Punishment, not defective Nose, causes Blinking.--347.
Courage imparted to timid Dogs.--348. Dogs expect punishment for
faults; vexed when Birds are not fired at.--349. Instance of Pointer's
not hunting keenly until punished.--350. What Dog to select to teach
yours to "Back."--351. Example has great influence.--352. Instanced
in conduct of young bitch when hunted with steady dog. In Note, Mare
teaching Colts to swim.--353. "Backing" old Dog.--354. "Finder" to
"road" to a "rise;" his intrusive companion described.--355. To
"Back" by Eye, not Nose.--356. Encourage old Dog before rating the
other.--357. "Finder" not to advance, even if _passed_ by other
Dog.--358. The "Backer" should "down charge."--359. Dog when pointing
never to "down charge;" how taught.--360. Much required in "Dove."

[Page Header: KILLING RABBITS REPROBATED.]

331. Probably you may be in a part of the country where you may wish to
kill hares to your dog's point. I will, therefore, speak about them,
though I confess I cannot do it with much enthusiasm. Ah! my English
friend, what far happier autumns we should spend could we but pass them
in the Highlands! Then we should think little about those villanous
hares (338). We should direct the whole _undivided_ faculties of our
dogs, to work out the haunt of the noble grouse.[64] As for rabbits,
I beg we may have no further acquaintance, if you ever, even in
imagination, shoot them to your young dog. Should you be betrayed into
so vile a practice, you must resign all hope of establishing in him a
confirmed systematic range. He will degenerate into a low potterer,--a
regular hedge-hunter. In turnips he will always be thinking more of
rabbits than birds. It will be soon enough to shoot the little wretches
to him when he is a venerable grandfather. The youngster's noticing
them (which he would be sure to do if you had ever killed one to him)
might frequently lead to your mis-instructing him, by earnestly
enforcing "Care" at a moment when you ought to rate him loudly with the
command "Ware" (or "No"). But to our immediate subject.

[Page Header: SHOOTING HARES.]

332. Defer as long as possible the evil day of shooting a hare over
him, that he may not get too fond (69) of such vermin--I beg pardon, I
mean game--and when you do kill one, so manage that he may not see it
put into the bag. On no account let him mouth it. You want him to love
the pursuit of feather more than of fur, that he may never be taken
off the faintest scent of birds by coming across the taint of a hare.
I therefore entreat you, during his first season, if you will shoot
hares, to fire only at those which you are likely to kill outright;
for the taint of a wounded hare is so strong that it would probably
diminish his zeal, and the sensitiveness of his nose, in searching for
a winged bird.

333. The temptation is always great to quit for a strong scent of
hare (which any coarse-nosed dog can follow), a feeble one of birds;
therefore it is a very satisfactory test of good breaking to see a dog,
when he is drawing upon birds, in no way interrupted by a hare having
just crossed before him. If you aim at such excellence, and it is
frequently attained in the Highlands, it is certain you must not shoot
hares over your youngster.

[Illustration: THE FIRST COURSE.]

[Page Header: OFF AFTER HARE.]

334. I hope that he will not see a hare before you have shot a few
birds over him. The first that springs up near him will test the
perfection to which he has attained in his initiatory lessons. Lose
not a moment. It is most essential to restrain instantaneously the
naturally strong impulse of the dog to run after four-footed game.
Halloo out "Drop" to the extent of your voice,--raise your hand,--crack
your whip,--do all you can to prevent his pursuing. Of course you
will not move an inch. Should he commence running, thunder out "No,"
"no." If, in spite of everything, he bolts after the hare, you have
nothing for it but patience. It is of no use to give yourself a fit
of asthma by following him. You have only half as many legs as he
has,--a deficiency you would do well to keep secret from him as long
as possible. Wait quietly where you are--for an hour if necessary.
You have one consolation,--puss, according to her usual custom, has
run down wind,--your dog has lost sight of her, and is, I see, with
his nose to the ground, giving himself an admirable lesson in roading
out a haunt. After a time he will come back looking rather ashamed of
himself, conscious that he did wrong in disobeying, and vexed with
himself from having more than a suspicion forced upon him, that he
cannot run so fast as the hare. When he has nearly reached you, make
him "drop." Scold him severely, saying, "Ware chase" (a command that
applies to the chase of birds as well as of hares). Pull him to the
place where he was when first he got a view of the hare,--make him
lie down,--rate him well,--call out "No," or "Hare," or "Ware chase,"
or any word you choose, provided you uniformly employ the same. Smack
the whip and punish him with it, but not so severely as you did when
we assumed that he tore the bird (end of 322). You then flogged him
for two offences: first, because he rushed in and seized the bird;
secondly, because he tore it and _tasted_ blood. If you had not
then punished him severely, you could never have expected him to be
tender-mouthed. On the next occasion he might have swallowed the bird,
feathers and all.

[Page Header: CHECKCORD.]

335. Should he persist in running after hares, you must employ the
checkcord. If you see the hare, at which he is pointing, in its form,
drive a peg firmly into the ground, and attach the cord to it, giving
him a few slack yards, so that after starting off he may be arrested
with a tremendous jerk. Fasten the line to the part of the spike close
to the ground, or he may pull it out.

336. I have known a dog to be arrested in a headlong chase by a shot
fired at him:--an act which you will think yet more reprehensible than
the previous mismanagement for which his owner apparently knew no other
remedy than this hazardous severity.

337. When you are teaching your dog to refrain from chasing hares, take
him, if you can, where they are plentiful. If they are scarce, and you
are in the neighbourhood of a rabbit-warren, visit it occasionally of
an evening. He will there get so accustomed to see the little animals
running about unpursued by either of you, that his natural anxiety
to chase fur, whether it grow on the back of hare or rabbit, will be
gradually diminished.

[Page Header: MOUNTAIN-HARES.]

338. In Scotland there are tracts of heather where one may hunt for
weeks together and not find a hare; indeed, it is commonly observed,
that hares are always scarce on those hills where grouse most abound.
In other parts they are extremely numerous. Some sportsmen in the
Highlands avail themselves of this contrasted ground, in order to break
a young dog from "chasing." They hunt him, as long as he continues
fresh, where there are no hares; and when he becomes tired, they take
him to the Lowlands, where they are plentiful. By then killing a
good many over him, and severely punishing him whenever he attempts
to follow, a cure is often effected in two or three days. In the yet
higher ranges, the mountain-hares,[65] from possessing a peculiarly
strong scent, and not running to a distance, are a severe trial to the
steadiest dog.

In the autumn they are nearly blue; in the winter white; and in some
counties are now found in marvellous quantities. The greater pains
taken of late years to destroy all kinds of vermin, has much tended
to their increase. A few seasons ago a party at Lord M----d's, in
Perthshire, killed seven hundred in one day. The plan adopted was for a
large body of men and boys to surround a hill at its base, and beating
slantingly upwards, to drive all the hares before them. The sportsmen,
who formed part of the ascending cordon, obtained many shots; but the
principal slaughter was reserved for the guns previously posted on
the top. There is, however, little sport or fun in such stationary,
wholesale butchery, beyond the excitement of competition, and not being
able to load fast enough. The doomed animals, being solely attentive to
the movements of their assailants below, come trooping upwards, and are
mostly knocked over whilst sitting on their haunches, listening to the
unusual sounds made by the approaching beaters.

339. Killing a sitting hare to your dog's point will wonderfully steady
him from chasing; but do not fire until he has remained stanch for a
considerable time. This will show him that puss is far more likely to
be bagged by _your_ firing, than by _his_ pursuing.

340. For the same object,--I mean, to make your young dog stanch,--I
would recommend your killing a few birds on the ground to his point,
were it not that you rarely have the opportunity.

[Page Header: RETRIEVING WOUNDED HARE.]

341. When you have made your dog perfectly steady from chasing, you may
(supposing you have no retriever at hand), naturally enough, inquire
how you are to teach him to follow any hare you may be so unlucky as
merely to wound. I acknowledge that the task is difficult. I would
say, at once resolve to give up every wounded hare during his first
season.[66] The following year, provided you find that he remains quite
steady, on your wounding an unfortunate wretch, encourage your dog to
pursue it by running yourself after it. When he gets hold of it, check
him if he mauls it, and take it from him as quickly as possible. As I
cannot suppose that you are anxious to slaughter every hare you see,
let the next two or three go off without a shot. This forbearance will
re-steady him, and after a while his own sagacity and nose (545) will
show him that the established usage was departed from solely, because
puss was severely struck.

[Page Header: CUTS FEW BUT SEVERE.]

342. As you wish to flog your dog as little as possible, never go
out without your whip, paradoxical as this may appear. The dog's
salutary awe of the implement which he sees in your possession, like
a horse's consciousness of your heel being armed with a spur, will
tend to keep him in order. If the dog is a keen ranger, you may much
spare the whip by making him crouch at your feet for several minutes
after he has committed a fault. The detention will be felt by him,
when he is all anxiety to be off hunting, as a severe punishment. If
he is a mettlesome, high-couraged animal, he will regard, as a yet
severer punishment, his being compelled to follow at your heels for
half-an-hour, while the other dogs are allowed the enjoyment of hunting.

343. Captain W----l, (son of the celebrated shot), was in the stubbles
in '50 with some friends, who were anxious to see how their own dogs
hunted. He, therefore, had his favourite pointer taken up and led by
an attendant. This first-rate animal, who is passionately devoted
to the sport, struggled so violently to get free, that he actually
foamed at the mouth. After a time he was uncoupled; when, instead of
hunting as usual, he raced over the field, quartering his ground most
systematically, and designedly springing all the birds. Quite useless
was every halloo and threat, whether of voice or whip;--stop he would
not, as long as there was a feather in the field. Satisfied then with
the mischief he had done, he sat down by the hedge, quietly awaiting
any punishment that might be awarded him. His master, however, feeling
persuaded that the dog had only acted from the impulse of momentary
passion, and with the intention of avenging the unusual indignity to
which he had been subjected, merely reproached him for his misconduct,
and allowed him to hunt the next field, which he did as steadily as
ever. This was somewhat similar to "Captain's" behaviour (492).

344. Excess of punishment has made many a dog of good promise a
confirmed blinker; and of far more has it quenched that keen ardour for
the sport, without which no dog can be first-rate. For this reason, if
not from more humane motives, make it a rule to give but few cuts; let
them, however, be tolerably severe. Your pupil's recollection of them,
when he hears the crack of the whip, will prevent the necessity of
their frequent repetition.

[Page Header: BIRDS' FEET GIVEN.]

345. I knew of a young fellow's purchasing a pointer of an excellent
breed from a gamekeeper for a _few shillings_ merely, as the animal had
become so timid from over-chastisement, that she not only blinked her
game, but seldom quitted the man's heels.

The lad had the good sense to treat the bitch, at all times, with the
greatest kindness; and in order to induce her to hunt, he used to break
off the feet[67] of every bird he killed, and give them to her to eat
along with the sinews. The plan succeeded so well that she eventually
became an unusually keen and fast ranger. This would be a hazardous
step to take with a dog wanted to retrieve. There are few, if any dogs
who may not be tempted by hunger to eat game. A gentleman told me,
that, to his great astonishment, he one day saw an old tender-mouthed
retriever, that he had possessed for years, deliberately swallow a
partridge. Before he could get up to the dog even the tail-feathers had
disappeared. On inquiry it turned out that, through some neglect, the
animal had not been fed.

[Page Header: CHASTISEMENT OF DOGS.]

346. Some argue that blinking arises from a defective nose, not from
punishment; but surely it is the injudicious chastisement following the
blunders caused by a bad nose that makes a dog, through fear, go to
"heel" when he winds birds. A bad nose may lead to a dog's running up
birds from not noticing them, but it cannot _naturally_ induce him to
run away from them. Possibly he may be worthless from a deficiency in
his olfactory powers; but it is hard to conceive how these powers can
be improved by a dread of doing mischief when he finds himself near
game. Some dogs that have been unduly chastised do not even betray
themselves by running to "heel," but cunningly slink away from their
birds without giving you the slightest intimation of their vicinity. I
have seen such instances. When a young dog, who has betrayed symptoms
of blinking, draws upon birds, _head_ him, if you can, before you give
him the order to "toho:" he will then have such a large circuit to
make, that he will feel the less tempted to run to your heels.

347. Obedience and intelligence are, as I have already remarked,
best secured by judicious ratings and encouragements,--scoldings
for bad conduct,--praise, caresses, and rewards for good. Never
forget, therefore, to have some delicacy in your pocket to give the
youngster whenever he may deserve it. All dogs, however, even the
most fearful, ought to be made able to bear a little punishment. If,
_unfortunately_, your dog is constitutionally timid (I cannot help
saying _unfortunately_, though so many of the sort have fine noses),
the whip must be employed with the greatest gentleness, the lash being
rather laid on the back than used, until such forbearance, and many
caresses before his dismissal, have gradually banished the animal's
alarm, and ultimately enabled you to give him a very slight beating,
on his misconducting himself, without any danger of making him blink.
By such means, odd as it may sound, you _create_ courage, and with it
give him self-confidence and range.

[Page Header: DOG JUDICIOUSLY PUNISHED.]

348. A judiciously educated dog will know as well as you do whether
or not he has earned a chastisement, and many a one is of so noble a
nature that he will not wish to avoid it if he is conscious that he
deserves it. He will become as anxious for good sport as you are, and
feel that he ought to be punished, if from his own misconduct he mars
it. Indeed, he will not have much opinion of your sagacity if you
do not then give him a sound rating, or let him have a taste of the
lash, though it matters not how slight. Clearly this feeling, which
it will be right to foster, must have arisen from his belief that you
are always conscious of his actions (383); therefore never check him
for coming towards you on his committing any unseen error. Moreover,
when he has been but a little shot to, you will find that if you
abstain from firing at a bird which through his fault he has improperly
flushed, although in its flight it affords you an excellent shot, you
will greatly vex him; and this will tend to make him more careful for
the future.

349. Mr. C----s R----n (286) had a pointer who would at once give up
hunting if he was not properly chastised on committing a fault;--but
what is far more extraordinary, and strongly shows the varied, and
occasionally _odd_ dispositions of dogs, he would never hunt keenly
until from birds rising wildly (or from some other cause) an _excuse_
arose for giving him a flogging. After receiving the punishment he
would start off in the greatest spirits, and range with uncommon ardour
and perseverance. An excuse was, however, quite indispensable; for, if
from a good-humoured desire to gratify his apparent longings he was
favoured beforehand with a thrashing, he would consider himself imposed
on, and forthwith run home.

[Page Header: BACKING TAUGHT.]

350. When, after a few weeks, you perceive that the youngster has
confidence in himself, and is likely to hunt independently, not
deferentially following the footsteps of an older companion, take out
a well broken dog with him, that you may have the opportunity of
teaching him to "back." Be careful to choose one not given to make
false points; for if he commit such mistakes, your pupil will soon
utterly disregard his pointing. Select also one who draws upon his
birds in a fine, determined attitude; not one to whose manner even
_you_ must be habituated to feel certain he is on game. Be watchful
to prevent your dog ever hunting in the wake of the other, which, in
the humility of canine youth, he probably will, unless you are on the
alert to wave him in a different direction, the moment you observe
him inclined to seek the company of his more experienced associate.
By selecting a slow old dog, you will probably diminish the wish of
the young one to follow him; for it is likely that the youngster's
eagerness will make him push on faster, and so take the lead.

351. The example for a _few_ days (but only for a few days) of a good
stanch dog who is not a hedge-hunter,--has no bad habits, and does not
require being called to,--will be advantageous to your inexperienced
animal;--as an instance:

[Page Header: GOOD EXAMPLE ADVANTAGEOUS.]

352. On one occasion, when I was abroad, I lent a favourite dog to
a young friend who had requested the services of the animal for his
kennel, not the field. I much objected to any person's shooting over
the dog except myself, particularly as it was only his second season.
Therefore, very knowingly as I thought, I sent him on a Saturday
evening, having obtained a promise that he should be returned to me
early on Monday morning--and so he was; the lad, however, had done me;
for he confessed, many months afterwards, that he could not resist the
temptation of taking out my pointer snipe-shooting on the intermediate
Sunday along with his little liver-coloured bitch;--and with a glowing
countenance he observed that he never had been so enchanted, for
his young lady seeing her fond companion drop instantly the gun was
fired, and remain immoveable until "hied on," sedulously imitated him
throughout the day. It was the making of her,--but as it was the first
time in her young life she had ever behaved steadily, there was a great
risk of my pointer's being much injured; for, alas! like poor mortals,
dogs are more prone to follow a bad example[68] than a good one. We
are, however, wandering.

[Page Header: BACKING.]

353. On the old dog's pointing, catch the eye of the young one. If
you cannot readily do so, and are not afraid of too much alarming the
birds, call to the old fellow by name, and desire him to "toho." The
order will make the young one look round, and awaken him to a suspicion
of what is going forward. Hold up your right arm,--stand still for
a minute,--and then, carrying your gun as if you were prepared
momentarily to fire, retreat, or move sideways in crab-like fashion
towards the old dog, continuing your signal to the other to remain
steady, and turning your face to him, so that he may be restrained by
the feeling that your eye is constantly fixed upon him. He will soon
remark the attitude of the old dog, and almost intuitively guess its
meaning. Should the old one draw upon his game, still the other dog
must remain stationary. If he advance but an inch, rate him. Should
he rush up (which is hardly to be expected), at him at once;--having
made him drop, catch hold of him, and drag him to the place at which
he should have backed,--there (if you judge such strong measures
necessary) peg him down until after you have had your shot and are
reloaded. If by heading the birds you can drive them towards the young
dog, do so; and aim at the one most likely to fall near him. Endeavour
to make him comprehend that any sign or word to urge on or retard the
leading dog, in no way applies to him. This he will soon understand if
he has been properly instructed with an associate in the initiatory
lesson described in (49). After you have picked up the bird let him
sniff at it.

354. It is most important that the dog which first winds birds should
be allowed to "road" them to a spring without being flurried, or in any
way interfered with by another dog. Few things are more trying to your
temper as a sportsman, than to see a self-sufficient cub, especially
when birds are wild, creep up to the old dog whom he observes
pointing at a distance, or cautiously drawing upon a covey. The young
whipper-snapper pays no attention to your most energetic signals: you
are afraid to speak lest you should alarm the birds, and before you can
catch hold of the presumptuous jackanapes, he not only steals close
to the good old dog, but actually ventures to head him; nay, possibly
dares to crawl on yet nearer to the birds in the hope of enjoying a
more intoxicating sniff.

[Page Header: POINT BY NOSE, NOT EYE.]

355. All dogs but the "finder" should stand wholly by sight,--just
the reverse of pointing. Your dog's nose ought to have nothing to do
with backing. If you permit it, he will get the abominable habit of
creeping up to his companions in the manner just described (354), when
he observes them to be winding birds; and though he may not presume to
take the lead, nay, even keep at so respectful a distance as in no way
to annoy the "finder," yet a longing to inhale the "grateful steam" (as
that good poet and capital sportsman, Somerville, terms it) will make
him constantly watch the other dogs, instead of bestowing his undivided
attention and faculties upon finding game for himself. It is quite
enough if he backs whenever you order him, or he accidentally catches
sight of another dog either "pointing" or "roading;" and the less he is
looking after his companions, the more zealously will he attend to his
own duties.

356. If you have any fears that the old dog when he is on birds will
not act steadily, should you have occasion to chide the young one, be
careful to give the old dog a word expressive of your approval, before
you commence to rate the other.

357. When your youngster is hereafter hunted in company, should he
make a point, and any intrusive companion, instead of properly backing
him, be impertinently pressing on, the youngster should not be induced
(however great may be the trial upon his patience and forbearance) to
draw one foot nearer to the game than his own knowledge of distance
tells him is correct; not even if his friend, or rather, jealous rival,
boldly assumes the front rank. Your pupil will have a right to look
to you for protection, and to expect that the rash intruder, however
young, be _at the least_ well rated.

358. It is a matter of little moment whether the "backer" attends
to the "down charge," or continues to back as long as the other dog
remains at his point. It appears, however, best, that he should "drop,"
unless he is so near that he winds the game, when he would be rather
pointing than backing (and should, consequently, behave as explained
in 274); for the fewer exceptions there are to general rules the more
readily are the rules observed.

[Page Header: IMPORTANT AXIOM.]

359. Should both dogs make separate points at the same moment,
it is clear that neither can back the other. They must act
independently--each for himself. Moreover, your firing over one
should not induce the other to "down charge," or in any way divert
his attention from his own birds. He ought to remain immoveable
as a statue. Some dogs, whose high courage has not been damped by
over-correction, will do this from their own sagacity; but to enable
you to _teach_ them to behave thus steadily, game should be plentiful.
When you are lucky enough to observe both dogs pointing at the same
time, let your fellow-sportsman (or your attendant) flush and fire at
the birds found by the older dog, while you remain stationary near
the young one, quietly but earnestly cautioning him to continue firm.
When your companion has reloaded and picked up his game (and made the
other dog "back"), let him join you and knock over the bird at which
your pupil is pointing. It will not be long before he (your young dog)
understands what is required of him, if he has been practised (as
recommended in 274) not to "down charge" when pointing unsprung birds.
In short, it may be received as an axiom, that _nothing ought to make
a dog voluntarily relinquish a point so long as he winds birds; and
nothing but the wish to continue his point should make him neglect the
"down charge" the instant he hears the near report of a gun_.

360. "Dove," (the setter spoken of in 102, who invariably stands at her
point,) on one occasion in the season of '50 dropped as usual on her
master's firing at some distance from her; but, instead of "seeking
dead" as ordered when he had reloaded, she remained immoveable at the
"down charge," although repeatedly coaxed and called to. The sportsman
thought that birds must be near, and after much perseverance, he
succeeded in _walking_ up a brace that were lying close to her. We must
allow that this was a prettily _conceived_ piece of caution on the part
of Mrs. "Dove;" but how far more usefully would she have acted had she
been taught the inferiority of the "down charge" to the _continued_
point, followed by the "road" to successive birds.



CHAPTER XIII.

HINTS TO PURCHASERS. PRICE OF DOGS.--SHEEP KILLING.

361. The "back" being taught--young Dog again hunted alone.--362.
Breakers hunt too many together. Why injudicious.--363. One hour's
Instruction alone, better than a day's in company.--364. Horse's
value little dependent on Education, Dog's greatly. Many good points
in Dog, similar to those in Horse; in Note, Frame of Pony studied.
Arab proverbs. Admirable receipt for putting hard flesh on Horse.
Hoof Ointment.--365. Hints to Dog-purchasers. Tenderness of Nose,
how judged of.--366 to 368. Instance of great superiority of Nose in
Pointer on bad scenting Day.--369. Ditto in Setter.--370. In Breeding,
Nose sought for in both parents.--371. Good Dog, like good Horse, not
suited to all countries.--372. Purchasing a Brace of Dogs, before
buying shoot over.--373. Case in Point.--374. Rushing in to "dead,"
how cured.--375. Dogs shot over "single-handed." Jealousy decreases
with intimacy. Independence and self-reliance, how imparted.--376.
Good Breeding and Breaking command good Prices.--377 to 379. Great
Sums realized at Tattersall's for thirteen highly-bred Pointers.--380.
Small sums unknown Dogs fetch.--381. Mr. C----t's Dogs half a sovereign
each.--382. Immense price given for stanch Setter.--383. Best Dogs;
summary of rules for making, concisely given. The best will make
mistakes.--384. Companionship with man makes Dog useful servant.--385.
Tweed-side Spaniel and blind man.--386. Dog that always ran riot when
out of sight.--387. Killing Sheep; cure attempted.--388. Another
plan.--389. Third attempt at Remedy.--390. Sir H----n S----d's
recipe.--391. Muzzle Dog likely to worry Sheep.--392. Killing Fowls;
the cure.


361. When your dog has been properly taught the "back," fail not to
recommence hunting him alone, if it is your object to establish a
perfect range.

362. Professional dog-breakers, I have remarked, almost invariably hunt
too many dogs together. This arises, I suppose, from the number which
they have to train; but the consequence is, that the younger dogs are
spectators rather than actors, and, instead of ranging independently in
search of game, are watching the manoeuvres of their older associates.

[Page Header: TOO MANY DOGS.]

363. A glimmering of knowledge may be picked up in this way; but no
one will argue that it is likely to create great excellence. Doubtless
the young ones will be good backers; and to the inexperienced a troop
of perhaps a dozen dogs, all in chiselled form, stanchly backing an
old leader, is a most imposing sight, but if the observer were to
accompany the whole party for a few hours, he would remark, I will
bet any money, that the same veterans would over and over again find
the birds, and that the "_perfectly_" broken young ones in the rear
would do nothing but "back" and "down charge." What can they know of
judicious quartering? Of obeying the signals of the hand? Of gradually
drawing upon the faintest token of a scent (only perceptible to a nose
carried high in the air) until they arrive at a confident point? Of
perseveringly working out the foil of a slightly winged bird, on a hot
still day, to a sure "find?" Nothing, or next to nothing,--nearly all
is to be taught; and yet the breaker will show off those raw recruits
as perfectly drilled soldiers. Would they not have had a much better
chance of really being so, if he had given a small portion of his time
each day to each? He well knows they would; but the theatrical display
would not be half so magnificent. If he had truly wished to give his
pupils a good systematic range, without a doubt he would have devoted
one hour in the field exclusively to each dog, rather than many hours
to several at once--and not have associated any together in the field
until he had gained full command over each separately. And this he
would have done (_because it would have tended to his interest_), had
he supposed that his dog's qualifications would be investigated by
judges,--by those who would insist on seeing a dog hunted singly (in
order to observe his method of ranging), or with but one companion,
before they thought of definitively purchasing.

[Page Header: GOOD QUALITIES.]

364. The good qualities of a horse being principally derived from
nature, a judge can pretty accurately discover his general capabilities
simply by a glance at his make and action;--but the good qualities
of a sportsman's dog are chiefly derived from art; consequently,
though his movements may be light and springy,--his countenance
intelligent,--his nostrils wide,--his cerebral development large,--his
forehand deep,--his ribs round and full,--his elbows well detached from
them, not tied in,--his shoulders high, and slanting backwards,--his
loins muscular and arched,--his quarters lengthy, and sinewy,--his
legs bony, and straight,--his feet small and round, pointing direct to
the front,--his tail taper to the finest point from a strong root,[69]
yet if he has been improperly shot over as a youngster he may never
be worth his keep. Therefore, though a man may in five minutes decide
upon purchasing the horse, he would act very imprudently if he ventured
upon buying the dog before he had seen him hunted;[70] unless indeed he
feels well-justified confidence in the ability of the party who broke
him in, and is also satisfied with the character, as a sportsman, of
the person who has since shot over him.

[Page Header: NOSE--HOW JUDGED OF.]

365. No dog can be worth a large sum, or should be considered
_perfectly made_, that cannot be hunted in perfect silence,--that is
not good at finding dead or wounded birds, and that is not sure to
point them when found. If in his transverse range he keep his head to
windward it is a good sign, for it evinces his consciousness that it is
in the breeze he should seek for an intimation of the vicinity of game.
As to the excellence of his nose, this can only be fully ascertained by
experience, and by comparing him in the field with other dogs; but some
opinion may be formed by observing whether on first winding game he
confidently walks up to his point with a high head, or is shuffling in
an undecided manner to the right and left (perhaps even pottering with
his nose near the ground), before he can satisfy himself respecting the
exact locality of the birds. There are favourable days when any dog can
wind game, when finding many birds will far more depend upon "range"
than nose. The surest way to test the olfactory powers of different
dogs is to take them out directly after mid-day in sultry weather, or
when a north-easterly wind has been blowing for some days. If their
condition, &c. is then alike, you may be certain that the dog who winds
most birds has the finest (or most cautious?) nose. On such a day
chance will but little assist him.

[Page Header: SETTER'S GOOD NOSE.]

366. On an extremely bad scenting day in October, 1838, a cold dry
wind blowing from the east, the Hon. F---- C----, Baron A. and Sir
F. H----, then partridge-shooting at C----n, in Staffordshire, saw a
liver-coloured pointer take every point from three setters of some
celebrity belonging to a very sporting baronet. The setters did not
make a single "set" throughout the day, but ran into the birds as if
they had been larks. The pointer's nose was, however, so good that the
party, notwithstanding the badness of the scent, bagged thirty-five
brace.

367. The keeper who brought out the setters was obliged to own, that
he could not otherwise account for the apparent singularity of their
behaviour, than by admitting the superiority of the pointer's nose;
yet, judging from the engraving, he did not carry his head well.

368. A stiffish price had been given for the dog, but I need hardly
say that it was not considered unreasonable, after the exhibition of
scenting-powers so unusual, fairly tested in the field with competitors
of established character.

369. In this instance it was a pointer that evinced singular tenderness
of nose; but in the following, a setter bore off the palm in a contest
with good pointers. Mr. Q----r, of F----w (county of Suffolk), who is
an enthusiast about shooting, three years ago took out his favourite
dog, a heavy, large-limbed, liver-coloured setter, on a cold, raw,
bad scenting day, together with a brace of pointers of high character
belonging to another Suffolk sportsman, Mr. W----s. The latter had
expressed rather a contemptuous opinion of the setter, whose appearance
was undeniably not very prepossessing; but to the gentleman's
astonishment, and perhaps somewhat to his mortification, the lumbering
dog found plenty of birds, though there was so little scent that the
vaunted pointers were nearly useless. I was told, that at that moment
Mr. Q----r would not have taken two hundred guineas for the animal.

370. What a pity it is that more pains are not taken to link in
matrimonial chains dogs of the rare excellence of nose described in
the preceding paragraph, and in 182, 204, and 289, instead of being
satisfied with marked superiority in one parent only! In a setter or
pointer sensitiveness of nose is the most valuable _natural_ quality
sought for;--correctness of range the most valuable _artificial_
quality.

[Illustration: FASHIONABLE (ENGLISH) SETTER, AND OLD-FASHIONED POINTER.

"He did not carry his head well."--Par. 367.]

371. Few horses, however good, are fitted to hunt in all countries, nor
are many dogs; and as in selecting a hunter a man ought to consider the
kind of work for which he is wanted, so ought he when he is purchasing
a dog to be influenced by the kind of country in which the animal is
to perform. A slow dog, however good, would weary your heart out on
the moors with his perpetual see-saw, ladylike canter; and a fast one,
_unless wonderfully careful_, on enclosed lands alive with game, would
severely test your self-control over tongue and temper.

372. If a purchaser be in search of a brace of dogs, assuredly he ought
not to give a large figure for them, if they do not traverse their
ground separately. What is the use of two dogs if they hunt together?
Both are engaged in doing what would be better done by one, for there
would be no undue excitement, or jealousy, or withdrawal of attention.
Not only ought a purchaser to see how dogs quarter their ground, but,
if the time of the year will permit, he should even kill a bird to
them,--for though they may once have been good, if an ignorant or
careless sportsman has shot over them but for a few days, they may be
spoiled (end of 364).

[Page Header: DOG SPOILT.]

373. At the beginning of a partridge season, I unexpectedly wanted
to purchase a dog. An old gamekeeper,--one on whose judgment I could
rely, and who, I knew, would not willingly deceive me,--saw a setter
in the field that he thought would please, and accordingly sent it to
my kennel. I greatly liked the looks of the animal. He quartered his
ground well--was obedient to the hand--carried a high and apparently
tender nose--pointed, backed, and down charged steadily. Unquestionably
he had been well broken. I thought myself in great luck, and should
not have hesitated to complete the purchase, but that fortunately I
had an opportunity of shooting a bird over him, when to my horror,
he rushed at it with the speed of a greyhound. As in spite of all my
remonstrances, shouted in the most determined manner, he repeated this
manoeuvre whenever a bird fell, I returned him. I afterwards heard he
had just been shot over by a party on the moors, who, no doubt, had
spoiled him by their ignoble, pot-hunting propensities.

[Page Header: HOW REFORMED.]

374. Had I chosen to sacrifice my shooting in order to reclaim him
(which I must have done, had I too hastily concluded the purchase), I
ought to have sent home the other dogs, and proceeded, but with greater
severity, much in the manner described in 321 and 323. I ought not,
however, to have gone after him when first he bolted; I ought merely
to have endeavoured to check him with my voice, for it would have been
most important to set him a good example by remaining immoveable
myself; he might have misconstrued any hasty advance on my part into
rivalship for possession of the bird; in short, into a repetition of
one of the many scrambles to which he had recently been accustomed,
and in which I feel sure he must invariably have come off victorious.
I ought, when loaded, to have walked calmly up to him, and, without
taking the slightest notice of the disfigured bird, have dragged him
back, while loudly rating him, to the spot where he should have "down
charged." After a good flagellation, a protracted lecture, and a long
delay, (the longer the better,) I ought to have made him cautiously
approach the bird; and by a little scolding, and by showing him the
wounds he had inflicted, have striven to make him sensible and ashamed
of his enormities. Probably, too, had the birds lain well, the moment
he pointed I should have employed the checkcord[71] with a spike,
giving him a liberal allowance of slack line (335). Had I thus treated
him throughout the day, I have little doubt but that he would have
become a reformed character; though an occasional outbreak might not
unreasonably have been expected. (See 302 to 305.)

375. If you purchase a dog who has been much shot over single-handed by
a tolerably good sportsman, you have the satisfaction of knowing that
the animal must necessarily have great self-reliance and experience.
On the other hand, you will see reason to distrust his forbearance and
temper when he is hunted with a companion. Of the usual run of dogs,
it probably would be better to purchase two which have been shot over
singly, and then associate them in the field, than to buy a brace
which had been broken in together. You would, I think, find it more
difficult to give independence to the latter, than to cure the jealousy
of the former. Jealousy in the field would, however, decrease with
their increasing intimacy in the kennel.

To create a feeling of self-dependence, obviously there is no better
plan than for a considerable time to take out the dog by himself,
and thus force him to trust for sport to his own unaided powers; and
when he is at length hunted in company, never to omit paying him the
compliment of attending to every indication he evinces of being upon
birds, even occasionally to the unfair neglect of confirmed points made
by the other dogs.

376. Confidence, however, in good breeding and breaking often induces
sportsmen to give large sums for young dogs without seeing them in the
field.

[Page Header: LARGE SUMS FOR POINTERS.]

377. In July, 1848, thirteen pointers were sold at Tattersall's, which
brought the large sum of two hundred and fifty-six guineas, though only
two of them had ever been shot over.

378. The following description of each was advertised before the sale.
I have prefixed to it the prices they severally realized. Such sums
mark how highly the public appreciate the qualifications of the breaker
who lives with Mr. Moore, of Derbyshire, and ought to stimulate others
to increased exertions.

379. To be Sold by Auction,

AT MESSRS. TATTERSALL'S,

ON MONDAY, JULY 3D, 1848,

FOURTEEN SUPERIOR BRED POINTERS.
  +--------+------+--------+-----------+--------------+----------------+
  |_Prices_|      |        |           |              |                |
  |_real-_ |      |        |           |              |                |
  |_ized_  |_Lot._|_Name._ |  _When_   |    _Sire._   |     _Dam._     |
  |_at the_|      |        | _Pupped._ |              |                |
  |_Sale._ |      |        |           |              |                |
  +--------+------+--------+-----------+--------------+----------------+
  | _Gns._ |      |        |           |              |{_Bloss_, by the|
  |   15   |   1  | NELSON}|           |{_Bounce_, own|{ late Mr.      |
  |        |      |       }| Nov. 1st, |{ brother     |{ Edge's _Rake_,|
  |   16   |   2  | NELL  }|   1846.   |{ to _Bloom_. |{ out of his    |
  |        |      |        |           |              |{_Bess_, by     |
  |        |      |        |           |              |{ Capt. White's |
  |        |      |        |           |              |{_Don_out of    |
  |        |      |        |           |              |{_Deuce_.       |
  |        |      |        |           |              |                |
  |        |      |        |           |              |{ Rev. J.       |
  |        |      |        |           |              |{ Cooper's      |
  |        |      |        |           |              |{_Dido_, out of |
  |   13   |   3  | DRAB   | June 18th,| _Bounce_     |{ Mr. Marriott's|
  |        |      |        |   1847.   |              |{ Bitch by Capt.|
  |        |      |        |           |              |{ White's _Don_.|
  |        |      |        |           |              |                |
  |        |      |        |           |              |{_Mab_, by a    |
  |    5   |   4  | BUZZ   |April 13th,| _Bounce_     |{ Dog of Major  |
  |        |      |        |   1847.   |              |{ Bilbie's, by  |
  |        |      |        |           |              |{ the late      |
  |        |      |        |           |              |{ Mr.Edge's.    |
  |        |      |        |           |              |{_Nelson_       |
  |        |      |        |           |              |                |
  |   16   |   5  | RAKE   | June 11th,|{ Mr. Hurt's  |{_Die_, by      |
  |        |      |        |   1847.   |{_Rake_, out  |{_Rock_ out of  |
  |        |      |        |           |{ of his      |{_Belle_, own   |
  |        |      |        |           |{_Nance_.     |{ sister to     |
  |        |      |        |           |              |{_Bloom_.       |
  |        |      |        |           |              |                |
  |        |      |        |           |              |{_Rue_, dam     |
  | Dead.  |   6  | DOT    | May 2d,   | _Bang_       |{_Bess_ out of  |
  |        |      |        |   1847.   | (Lot 14)     |{ the late Mr.  |
  |        |      |        |           |              |{ Edge's _Mink_.|
  |        |      |        |           |              |                |
  |        |      |        |           |              |{Dam by the late|
  |   21   |   7  | BEN  } |           |{ Sir Arthur  |{ Mr. Edge's    |
  |        |      |      } |April 20th,|{ Clifton's   |{_Rake_ out of  |
  |   16   |   8  | BELLE} |   1847.   |{_Don_        |{_Mab_, by a son|
  |        |      |        |           |              |{ of Mr. Edge's |
  |        |      |        |           |              |{_Nelson_.      |
  |        |      |        |           |              |                |
  |   17   |   9  | CZAR } |           |{_Don_, by    |}               |
  |        |      |      } | May 8th,  |{_Rap_ out of |}Bitch of       |
  |   17   |  10  | CRACK} |   1847.   |{_Bess_,      |} Sir Robert    |
  |        |      |        |           |{ sister to   |} Wilmot's.     |
  |        |      |        |           |{_Bloom_      |}               |
  |        |      |        |           |              |                |
  |        |      |        |           |              |{_Bloom_ (sold  |
  |   25   |  11  | SWAP } |           |{ J. Newton's,|{ at the late   |
  |        |      |      } | Feb. 2d,  |{ Esq. _Duke_,|{ Mr.Edge's sale|
  |   25   |  12  | SNAKE} |   1847.   |{ by Capt.    |{ for 80        |
  |        |      |        |           |{ White's     |{ Guineas), by  |
  |        |      |        |           |{ _Don_       |{_Rake_out of   |
  |        |      |        |           |              |{_Mink_.        |
  |        |      |        |           |              |                |
  |        |      |        |           |{_Rap_ (sold  |}               |
  |        |      |        |           |{ at the late |}               |
  |        |      |        |           |{ Mr. Edge's  |} Bitch of H. K.|
  |   24   |  13  | ROCK   |   Two     |{ sale for 53 |} Fenton's Esq. |
  |        |      |        | years old.|{ Guineas), by|} by Lord       |
  |        |      |        |           |{ a Dog of    |} Mexborough's  |
  |        |      |        |           |{ Dale        |}_Romp_.        |
  |        |      |        |           |{ Trotter's,  |}               |
  |        |      |        |           |{ Esq. of     |}               |
  |        |      |        |           |{ Bishop      |}               |
  |        |      |        |           |{ Middleham   |}               |
  |        |      |        |           |              |                |
  |        |      |        |           |              |{ The late Mr.  |
  |        |      |        |           |              |{ Edge's _Bess_,|
  |        |      |        |           |{_Bounce_     |{ by Captain    |
  |   46   |  14  | BANG   |   Three   |{(Sireof Lots |{ White's _Don_ |
  |        |      |        | years old.|{ 1, 2,3,     |{ out of        |
  |  ----  |      |        |           |{ and 4)      |{_Deuce_, sister|
  |  256   |      |        |           |              |{ to _Die_ the  |
  |        |      |        |           |              |{ Dam of _Rake_.|
  +--------+------+--------+-----------+--------------+----------------+

THE ABOVE POINTERS ARE THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN, AND HAVE BEEN BRED
WITH THE GREATEST CARE.

*+* _The first twelve Lots are well broke, but have not been shot
over. Lots 13 and 14 have been shot over both in England and Scotland,
and are in every respect superior Pointers._

[Illustration: IRISH RED SETTER.--"Steadily pointing." Par. 382.]

[Page Header: SMALL SUMS FOR DOGS.]

380. In marked contrast to such high prices, are those often realized
at Laing's and at Wordsworth's stables, in Edinburgh, where sometimes
a batch of pointers and setters are sent for unreserved sale, of
whose previous history and education no one can tell anything, except
perhaps, the party sent by the vendor,--naturally considered a
prejudiced if not an interested witness.

381. The Mr. C----t named in 289 boasts, that he never gives more
than half a sovereign for any dog, and that he has some of the best
in Scotland. He attends at Laing's and Wordsworth's, when dogs
are advertised for sale by auction, and buys all those that are
decent-looking, and fetch no higher bid than ten shillings,--a frequent
occurrence where their characters are quite unknown. He takes his
bargains to the moors. Those that show any promise he keeps for further
trial; the rest he at once shoots, leaving their bodies unhonoured by
any other burial than the purple heather that blooms around them.

382. A red setter brought the largest price that I ever knew paid for a
dog. After mid-day he came upon a covey basking in the sun. His owner
very knowingly told the shooting party that they might go to luncheon;
that he would leave the dog, and accompany them, engaging that they
should find him still steadily pointing on their return. The promise
was faithfully redeemed by the stanch setter. One of the sportsmen
was so struck with the performance, that he could not resist buying
at a tremendous figure, and he soon regained, I believe, much of the
purchase-money from some incredulous acquaintance, by backing the
animal to perform a similar feat. It was, however, no great test of
excellence.

[Page Header: BEST DOGS.]

383. I conceive those dogs must be considered the _best_, which
procure a persevering sportsman most shots in a season, and lose
him fewest winged birds.[72] If you are anxious for your pupil to
attain this superlative excellence (I will repeat it, at the risk of
being accused of tautology), you must be at all times consistently
strict, but never severe. Make him, as much as you can, your constant
companion; you will thereby much develop his intelligence, and so
render him a more efficient assistant in the field, for he will
understand your manner better and better, and greatly increase in
affection as well as observation. Many men would like so faithful an
attendant. _Teach_ obedience at home--to _obtain_ it in the field.
Consider the instantaneous "drop," the moment he gets the signal, as
all-important,--as the very key-stone of the arch that conducts to
the glorious triumphs of due subordination. Notice every fault, and
check it by rating, but never punish with the whip unless you judge it
absolutely necessary. On the other hand, following Astley's plan (10),
reward, or at least praise, every instance of good behaviour, and you
will be surprised to find how quickly your young dog will comprehend
your wishes, and how anxious he will be to comply with them. Remember
that evil practices, unchecked until they become confirmed habits, or
any errors in training committed at the commencement of his education,
cannot be repaired afterwards without tenfold--nay, twentyfold trouble.
Never let him hunt from under your eye. Unceasingly endeavour to keep
alive in him as long as possible his belief that you are intuitively
aware, as fully when he is out of sight as within sight, of every fault
he commits, whether it arise from wilfulness or mere heedlessness.
This is a very important admonition. Remember, however, that the best
dogs will occasionally make mistakes when they are running down wind
(especially if it blows hard), and that there are days when there is
scarcely any scent. (Note to 174.)

384. I said, "Make him," (your pupil,) "as much as you can, your
constant companion." Many breakers seem not to consider, or, at least,
seem not to be sufficiently influenced by the consideration, that it is
companionship with us, _through successive generations_, which alone
has led to the dog's becoming the useful servant we find him. In his
wild state he may have as much sagacity as when domesticated; but this
he displays in a manner in no way advantageous to us;--it is shown in
the mode in which he procures his food, avoids his enemies, &c. We
hear much of the different degrees of "natural sagacity" evinced in
different breeds;--of the wonderful intelligence of collies, &c.: but
surely it is chiefly association with man that awakened that apparently
greater intelligence; or, to speak more correctly, that gave them the
greater habit of observation,--of watching their master's looks,--of
listening to his voice, &c.: whence comes their readier comprehension
of his wishes and orders--often termed sagacity.

[Page Header: BLIND MAN AND TWEED SPANIEL.]

385. When recently salmon-fishing on the upper part of the Tweed, I
occasionally met on its banks a totally blind man, and who, in spite
of this great disqualification, continued a keen and successful
trout-angler. He had been for some years entirely sightless, and was
led about by a large brown Tweed-side spaniel, of whose intelligence
wonderful stories are told. M----r travelled much round the country;
and it is certain, for he would frequently do so to show off the dog's
obedience, that on his saying (the cord being perfectly slack), "Hie
off to the Holmes," or, "Hie off to Melrose," &c., &c., the animal
would start off in the right direction without an instant's hesitation.
Now, this Tweed spaniel was not born with more brains than other
Tweed spaniels, but he was M----r's _constant_ companion, and had, in
consequence, acquired a singular facility of comprehending his orders,
and doubtless from great affection was very solicitous to please.

386. Attend most carefully to the injunction not to let your dog hunt
out of sight. It is essential that you do so.

I once possessed a pointer who behaved admirably while he was under my
eye, but who, if he could cunningly contrive to get on the other side
of rising ground, would invariably, instead of pointing, make a rush
at any game he came across,--determined, as my Irish companion used to
say, "to take his divarsion:" and it was most curious to remark how
immediately his pace would slacken, and how promptly he would resume
a cautious carriage, the moment he perceived I again had the power of
observing him. His proceedings displayed so much sagacity, that though
I was extremely vexed, I could hardly find it in my heart to punish him
as he deserved.

[Page Header: KILLING SHEEP.]

387. Notwithstanding Beckford's capital story of the hounds making a
dinner of the old ram which his lordship had left in their kennel to
intimidate them, if your dog be unhappily too fond of mutton or lamb of
his own killing, perhaps no better cure can be _attempted_, provided
you superintend the operation, than that of muzzling him, and letting
a strong ram give him a butting at the time that you are administering
the lash, and hallooing out "Ware" or "Sheep." But, unfortunately, this
too often fails.

388. If you do not succeed, you must hang or drown him, (the latter
is probably the less painful death, but a charge of shot well lodged
behind the ear in the direction of the brain would be yet better.)
Therefore you will not mind giving him another chance for his life,
though confessedly the measure proposed is most barbarous. Procure
an ash-pole about five feet long. Tie one extremity of the pole to a
strong ram, by the part of the horns near the forehead. To the opposite
extremity of the pole attach a strong spiked collar, and strap it round
the dog's throat, to the audible tune of "Ware" or "Sheep." (To prevent
the possibility of the cord slipping, through each end of the pole burn
a hole.) The continued efforts of the ram for some hours either to free
himself from his strange companion, or to attack him, will possibly
so worry and punish the dog as to give him a distaste ever afterwards
for anything of a woolly nature. The pole will so effectually separate
these unwilling (but still too intimate) associates, that you need not
muzzle the dog.

[Page Header: CURE ATTEMPTED.]

389. There is yet another remedy, which I will name as it sounds
reasonable, though I cannot speak of its merits from personal
observation, never having seen it tried.

Wrap a narrow strip of sheep-skin, that has much wool on it, round the
dog's lower jaw, the wool outwards, and fasten it so that he cannot
get rid of it. Put this on him for a few hours daily, and there is a
chance that he will become as thoroughly disgusted, as even you could
wish, with every animal of the race whose coat furnished such odious
mouthfuls; but prevention being better than cure, pay great attention
to your dog's morals during the lambing season. Dogs not led away by
evil companionship rarely commence their depredations upon sober,
full-grown sheep. In ninety-nine cases out of a hundred,[73] they
have previously yielded to the great temptation of running down some
frisking lamb, whose animated gambols seemed to court pursuit.[74]

[Page Header: THE ADMIRAL'S PLAN.]

390. A full admiral (Sir H----n S----d), as well known in the field as
in the ballroom, and whose exhilarating society is coveted alike by
young and old, had many years ago a valuable retriever named "Lion,"
bred between a setter and a Newfoundland, fast and high-couraged, but
which had not been properly trained.

His condemnation had been pronounced by his owner, the late Sir J----s
D----n H----y, in the hearing of the admiral, who at once asked for and
obtained the dog. Sir J----s' keeper (P----n) had put a ring upon one
of the animal's fore-feet to prevent his travelling too fast. This the
admiral immediately removed, and by making "Lion" his companion, and
feeding him himself, he soon brought him into tolerable obedience, but
he had the vexation of finding that the retriever always showed a great
longing to chase sheep, and more than once had pulled one down in spite
of all threats and admonitions.

One fine summer's morning the cheery admiral, who is an excellent
piscator, had started at sunrise across the moors to fish a distant
loch. "Lion" quietly followed behind the dog-cart, but on getting sight
of some sheep he started off and overturned one.

The admiral hurried up in time to save its life. Although alone,
he managed to tie its legs securely together. Ditto "Lion's," and
then he laid the two helpless animals nearly side by side. With his
driving-whip he belaboured "Lion" most severely, endeavouring to
make him comprehend why he was punished, and in the intervals of the
flagellation caressing the poor sheep.

This occurred about 6 A.M. and the admiral did not return to his
captives until the same hour in the evening. After repeating his
powerful admonitions he released both the animals, determined to give
up the dog as incorrigible should he ever repeat the offence,--but
he never did. He turned out an admirable retriever, and a faithful,
attached friend. He seemed ever after ashamed to look a sheep in the
face. On catching sight of one, he would slink to heel.

Be assured that the _truly_ gallant admiral's is an excellent recipe
for giving a dog a higher relish for cooked than for uncooked mutton.

391. If ever you have fears that you may be unable to prevent a dog's
breaking away to worry sheep, hunt him in a muzzle[75] of a size that
will not interfere with his breathing, and yet effectually prevent the
wide extension of his jaws.

[Page Header: KILLING FOWLS.]

392. The killing of fowls is more easily prevented. The temptation,
though equally frequent, is not so great--he will only have tasted
blood, not revelled in it. Take a dead fowl--one of his recent victims
if you can procure it,--and endeavour, by pointing to it, while you
are scolding him, to make him aware of the cause of your displeasure.
Then secure him to a post, and thrash him about the head with the bird,
occasionally favouring his hide with sundry applications of a whip, and
his ears with frequent repetitions of the scaring admonition, "Ware
fowl," "Fowl--fowl--fowl." Whenever you afterwards catch him watching
poultry, be sure to rate him.



CHAPTER XIV.

A REST BEYOND "HALF-WAY HOUSE." ANECDOTES OF DOGS ON SERVICE AT HOME.

393. A Halt sounded; present Position considered; Refinements or extra
Accomplishments easily taught.--394. Excellent Snipe-shot who never
used Dog.--395. Dog employed by another.--398. Which Sportsman had the
best of it.--399. Squire O----n's and Mr. C----d's Match.--396. Snipe
killed off.--397. Woodcocks become attached to undisturbed Covers;
Mr. S----t's.--400. Partridges cut off from Place of Refuge.--401.
Turnip-Field ridden round.--402. After Wind and Rain, hunt driest
places; late in season, beat uncultivated lands.--403. In hot weather,
give marked birds time to run.--404. Advantage of killing Old Birds;
protects young Breeders.--405 to 407. Old Hen-Pheasants shot: case in
point; in Note, Pheasants reared under barn-door hen require meat; so
do Fowls. Cantelo's method. Pheasantries, Mr. Knox. (See Appendix).
Oak-bark a tonic. Cross with China Pheasant.--408. Sportsmen urged to
break in their own Dogs.--409. Shooting conducive to Health.--410, 411.
Mr. W----n and the old crippled Scotch Sportsman.--412. Instructing
Dogs improves temper; not an ungentlemanly recreation.--413.
"Beckford's" opinion.--414. "Munito" selecting cards.--415.
Shepherds' Dogs in France.--416. Collie Dogs.--417. "Fairy" ringing
bell.--418, 419. "Médor's" fetching house-keys. Installed as their
keeper.--420. "Sultan's" keeping the key in his larder.--421. Mr.
A----n's "Taffy" knowing by name every member of family.--422. "Taffy"
proves himself a first-rate Watch-Dog.--423. "Taffy" understands why
he is borrowed.--424. "Taffy" an able Poacher.--425. "Taffy" being
insulted bides his time to avenge the affront.--426. "Taffy" "turns
the tables" upon workman who tries to impose upon him.--427. "Taffy"
purloins for his master when ordered.--428. "Taffy" betrayed into
momentary weakness purloins for himself.--429. "Taffy's" birth and
education revealed; but his parentage a mystery.--430. "Taffy's" dam
shipwrecked on the Needles.--431. Jesse's opinion of Dogs; in Note,
Lord Brougham's--cunning of Fox--of Dog--of Monkey.--432. Exhibition
of jealousy.--433. Lost Child fed by Dog.--434. "Philax" and "Brac"
playing Dominos.--435 to 441. Showman's Dogs in Paris. Tricks with
Cards and Numbers. Fortune-telling. Playing Dominos.--442. How assisted
by Showman.--443. Our attention to be confined to Sporting Dogs.


393. We have now arrived at a good halting-station, far beyond the
half-way house; for any dog educated as I have described may fairly
be considered well broken. Shall we here part company, or will you
proceed with me to what I termed "refinements" in breaking? I did so,
as I mentioned at the time, in deference to general opinion, for many
would call it superfluous breaking. It may be--but the additional
excellence is easily attainable by perseverance in the system which
I have detailed, and but little extension of it. Why then should we
not strive to reach it? It must, however, be granted that so finished
an education is not absolutely necessary, for many killing dogs never
attain it: indeed, many good sportsmen have never witnessed it. And
this is probably the reason why such a number abjure the aid of a dog
in snipe-shooting.

[Page Header: REFINEMENTS.--SNIPE SHOT.]

394. Years ago, when I was in County Wexford, I knew, by sight, a
capital snipe-shot, though he constantly wore spectacles, who loathed
the idea of letting a dog accompany him. This he would not have done,
had he known to what perfection the animal could be brought. But
certainly our spectacled friend had less occasion for canine assistance
than any man I ever saw. He knew every rushy spot for miles around. If
there was a snipe in a field, he would point to within a few feet where
it was lying. He walked very fast; was indefatigable; without waiting
for loading picked up every bird the moment it was knocked over; kept
relays of ammunition at several farm-houses; and nearly always came
home with his capacious pockets (for he carried no bag) well filled. I
heard an anecdote of him, more in praise of the correctness of his eye
than the make of his leg, that on one occasion, after he had stuffed
his pockets full of snipe, he proceeded actually to cram more birds
into the tops of his boots.

395. An officer whom I knew well in Canada came for a few days to
Isle Aux Noix. He paddled himself and a favourite dog to the opposite
shore. The dog made nineteen separate points at snipe--of which my
friend bagged seventeen,--and he thinks he did not see above three more
birds. He admits that the day was hot,[76] and that in consequence the
snipe lay well; but he certainly would not have obtained so many shots
without the assistance of his intelligent companion. He was, however,
beautifully broken. I do not suppose that my friend had once occasion
to use his voice. And the sagacious animal would creep across wind
as stealthily as a cat on the right hand being slightly raised, as
described in XII. of 141.

396. My friend's sport caused a laugh in the little garrison at the
expense of its Fort Adjutant, by no means a first-rate shot, who
complained that his favourite, though confessedly very small, preserve
was destroyed for the season; and I rather think it was; for my
experience leads me to believe, contrary to what is generally supposed,
that snipe, when once they have had time to settle in a spot, become
attached to it, and do not much shift their ground. At least I have
known many places in which snipe having been killed off early in the
season, none appeared the same season in their stead, although in
preceding years birds had been plentiful during the whole winter.

[Page Header: WOODCOCK-SHOOTING.]

397. Woodcocks also consider themselves permanently established in
localities where they have been long undisturbed (82). Mr. S----t
of C----n, on the west coast of Ireland, was so fully impressed
with this opinion that he would not allow a gun to be fired in his
covers until after Christmas,--asserting that not a bird would then
leave them before the regular period of migration, but merely,
when flushed, remove from one part of the woods to another. It is
hard to think that he reasoned incorrectly, for he had when I was
in his neighbourhood,--and may have to this day for aught I know
to the contrary,--nearly the best, if not undeniably the best,
woodcock-shooting in Ireland until the very end of the season. This,
too, is saying a "big word," for woodcock-shooting in the emerald isle
is the cream of sport.

398. Now our spectacled acquaintance (394), capital sportsman as he
was, owed his numerous shots solely to his great pedestrian powers,
and the large development of his organ of locality. It is sometimes
difficult enough, even with a clever dog, to spring a jack snipe, and
you will not tell me that he (not master "Jack," but the gentleman)
would not have bagged more birds, and have had to walk over less
ground, had he possessed as good an animal as that which helped to
destroy the Fort Adjutant's preserve. And do you think that our friend
with the barnacles, who was in no way of a misanthropical disposition,
would not thus have more enjoyed his day's sport? He might have been
assured that birds, if they would not lie for a good-nosed dog, who
hunted as cautiously as the officer's, would not lie for his walking
them up. And if on a boisterous day he chose to shoot down wind (as
snipe fly against it), why should he not call his companion in to
"heel," and afterwards employ him when re-hunting the same ground
up wind? An _experienced_ old dog, would rarely, however, when beating
down wind, pass by many birds without noticing them.

399. We often hear of sportsmen shooting against each other for
considerable sums in our best partridge-counties, where the game is so
abundant that they consider it most advisable to employ no dog, save
one or two retrievers. I at once admit that they act judiciously in not
hunting any ordinary animal, but I am confident that the competitor
who used such a cautious dog as the officer's (395), would not only
get more shots than his opponent, but be able to kill to a greater
certainty, because better prepared for every rise. The quantity of
game would not have confused that first-rate dog,--his nose was too
discriminating. He would have walked quietly,--almost crept,--up to
every bird, and I will venture to say would not have sprung one out
of shot, that would not have risen as readily had he been left in his
kennel. In the match that came off in October, '50, at Lord L----h's,
R----d Hall, between the Squire O----n and Mr. C----d,--both good
performers--so many birds would not have been missed had the sportsmen
been warned to look out for most of their shots by a careful dog's
drawing upon the birds. Victory would have sided with the party thus
aided.

400. I said (398), "An experienced old dog would rarely, however, even
when beating down wind, pass by many birds without noticing them:"
and most fortunate is it that this is the case, for otherwise you
would seldom get a shot to a point at partridge when the ground is
wet, and the birds have taken to running ahead along furrow--or, as
is frequently the case, are all making off in one direction, probably
seeking the shelter of some well-known friendly cover. Should you think
this likely to happen, you must, without minding what quarter the wind
blows from, commence your beat by traversing the ground that lies
between them and their place of refuge. Even then you will often find
that they will rather face you, than be diverted from their original
design.

401. In large turnip-fields you would do well when birds are wild
to hunt the outer parts first, and so gradually work round and
round towards the centre. Then return to the outer parts, and again
work round the borders. The birds thus finding themselves headed in
every direction are much more likely to lie than if you had not so
manoeuvred. On such occasions the great advantages of caution in dogs,
and of their prompt obedience to the hand are made manifest. I heard
of a man who, in order to make birds lie close in turnips, used to
direct his little boy to trot his pony round and round the field. The
plan was very successful. The birds seemed quite bewildered, especially
when time had been allowed for the boy to complete the circuit before
the dogs were permitted to enter. I remember a good sportsman telling
me that he had more than once succeeded in making wild birds lie by
attaching soft-sounding bells to the collars of his pointers. The novel
sound appeared to arrest the attention of the partridges. This seems
opposed to what is said in 74 about bells used in cover scaring game.

[Page Header: DRIEST GROUND HUNTED.]

402. High winds and rain greatly disturb birds; and if you are a tyro
in partridge-shooting you should thank me for recommending you, if you
are ever so anxious to get a few shots, to wait for the first hour
of sunshine after such weather,[77] and then to hunt the _driest_
grounds, where you probably will find the birds _not feeding_, but
quietly reposing, after the knocking about they have undergone. But,
my _young_ friend, I should like to give you another hint. When it
is late in the season, instead of constantly beating the denuded
stubbles, try the wild uncultivated lands (if there are any in your
neighbourhood) where it is likely the birds will be found searching for
the common grass-seeds which they neglected when more palatable grain
could be easily obtained. Wind without wet sometimes makes wild birds
lie,--probably because they do not hear the sportsman's footsteps.

403. After you have sprung a covey, and succeeded in killing the old
pair, should the scent be bad, give the young birds time to run a
little before you let your dogs hunt for them. Late in the season, in
hot, dry weather, such delay is frequently productive of much good,
for partridges will often at such times not move an inch from the spot
where they first pitched; thereby emitting so little scent that an
ordinary dog will not be able to find them, however accurately you may
have marked the place where they _opened their wings_ preparatory to
dropping.

[Page Header: KILL OLD BIRDS.]

404. If, when first a covey rose, the old pair was knocked over,
the young ones would lie singularly close, awaiting the accustomed,
unspellable, unpronounceable parental call. But there is a yet stronger
reason why the precedence and attention usually given to age should not
in the present instance be withheld. _Old birds, whether breeding or
barren, drive off the younger ones during the breeding season._ Some
sportsmen, I am aware, deem this opinion a vulgar prejudice; but, if
it be well founded, common sense bids us kill the old birds, that the
young ones may have undisturbed possession of their ground. They must
be unusually small squeakers if they cannot shift for themselves early
in September, particularly if the weather be warm. They will come to
no harm, where the keeper has done his duty as a trapper. On estates
infested with vermin, they will, of course, suffer from the absence
of the warning parental cry. There are country gentlemen who go so
far as to have the old birds shot in August (when they can readily be
distinguished even in the most forward coveys), well knowing that a
jealous old pair of partridges will take possession of as much ground
in spring, as would suffice for nearly half-a-dozen young couples;
especially if the latter belong to the same covey, and are therefore
accustomed to associate together; for, contrary to the general laws of
nature, these birds breed in and in.

405. Old hen-pheasants should also be killed off:--they are barren,
and are accused of sucking the eggs of the younger birds. They may be
readily distinguished by their deeper and more brilliant plumage. As a
case in point,--

[Page Header: YORKSHIRE GAMEKEEPER'S ADVICE.]

406. I know of a gentleman going to the North to reside on a small
property, where the game had not been preserved for years. He at
once engaged a clever keeper, who joined him immediately after the
conclusion of the shooting season. In a few days the latter requested
to see his master.

"Well, George, I fear you don't find much game."

The other replied, in broad Yorkshire dialect, "No-o, sir, no--nŏt
mutch. 'A' been thruff (through) t' covers, and seen some auld
budds--and, please, sir, I'd loike to shūt 'em."

The gentleman started. "Shoot them! That's an odd way of preserving
them, unless indeed you intend to stuff them. Are you mad? There may be
only a few birds, but I suppose a few are better than none."

"No-o, sir, no--they beant. A few auld budds is wuss than none."

"How's that? What do you mean?"

"Well, I tell'e, sir--t' auld uns be so stu_p_id--jealous _ver_rē
(very)--t' missis is sŭm_túmes_ (sometimes) ees verrē--I sure
she is. They _fight_ t' young uns, and _can't do_ with strangers
no how. Folks say a barren hen, if she foĭnd (find) a nest,
'ill brak all t' eggs. A don't k_no_w about that; perhaps they
brak 'em i' t' fighting, but they be brukken sure e_nae_f. So ye
see, sir, 'spose we have _no_ budds here, then t' young 'uns,
when t' auld 'uns fight 'em in neighbours' covers, coom in here
to uz--and foĭnd 'emselves quite coomfortuble and _bide_. And
b'sides they'll knōw-thĕy-'ve-nŏ-rīght--thĕy'll
knōw-thĕy-'ve-nŏ-rīght thĕmsēlves, and so _they_
wunt fight t' new comers. There be sŭm gentlemen as shūts doon
one-third of their estate every year, clean right away--and then t'
pheasants and t' partridge coom in like-o-o-o. Quite many of them; yes,
they do like t' settlars in 'Merika, as á' do hear say."

407. This homely reasoning of the honest Yorkshireman[78] prevailed,
and a good show of game the following season satisfactorily established
the soundness of his views.

408. But we have been astray on the stubbles and in cover, instead
of attending to our friend (394, 398) snipe-shooting in the marshes,
and determining (for our own satisfaction, if not for his) whether
the companionship of a good dog would not have greatly added to his
enjoyment. Doubtless it would; for I appeal to you, if you are a
devotee to the double detonator, whether it be not a magnificent thing
to witness brilliant performance in fine dogs--to watch their prompt
obedience--their graceful action--the expression of their intelligent
countenances--to hope at the first feathering at a haunt--to
participate in the nervous start on a closer touch--to share in the
exciting alternation of the cautious "road," and the momentary stop--to
exult in the certainty of a sure find--to hesitate in the expectation
of a sudden rise,--and, finally, to triumph in the fall of the noble
old bird you have been steadily following through all his wiles and
stratagems? If we have travelled over the past pages together, I hope
you will further agree with me in thinking, that should you shoot over
well-educated dogs of your _own making_, instead of to dogs broken by
others, your gratification would be as greatly increased as would have
been our Irish acquaintance's, had he shot to really killing dogs,
instead of possessing none at all. I firmly believe that more than half
the pleasure a sportsman derives from shooting, consists in watching
the hunting of well broken dogs, and that his gratification is nearly
doubled if the dogs are of his own training. It was this persuasion
that, on our introduction to each other (3), made me so strongly urge
you to break in your dogs yourself.

409. I might urge you to do so from yet another motive. What can you
name besides glorious hunting that will keep you in strength and prime
condition so long as shooting? Is not an autumnal excursion to the
wild moors, or even homely stubbles, far more invigorating than a
saunter at the most salubrious watering-place? And would not continued,
though it may be diminished, zest for the sport induce you to take air
and exercise at a time of life when little else would lure you from
the fire-side? That shooting, then, may not pall upon you as years
creep on, surely you would do well to make the healthy recreation as
attractive as possible; and hunting dogs of your own breaking would
undeniably lend it not only a great but an enduring charm.

[Page Header: OLD SCOTCH SPORTSMAN.]

410. A fondness for the beauties of nature, a sense of freedom
while one is inhaling the pure mountain breezes, and it may be a
consciousness of power, have made men bordering on four-score continue
to love their guns with a feeling somewhat akin to the fervour of their
first love, as is well exemplified in an aged tenant of Mr. W----n of
Edinburgh, to whom I have been occasionally indebted for a capital
day's sport.

411. Mr. W----n visiting one of his farms, found the old man, who had
been a keen sportsman all his life, labouring under chronic rheumatism
(caught by injudicious exposure in the discharge of his agricultural
duties), so severe as to be obliged to go about on crutches. After the
usual salutations, at meeting, the farmer began:--

"May be ye'll think the place negleckit-like, but I'm no able to look
after the wark noo."

"Keep a good heart," said Mr. W----n; "things are looking well enough.
I suppose you are pining after the shooting--you can get no sport now."

"Ye may weel think that," replied the farmer, adding in a sort of
chuckle and confidential undertone, "the auld gun and me is no parted
yet."

"But," rejoined Mr. W----n, "you surely don't mean that you can still
kill birds? You can hardly manage that."

"I can manage it fine," observed the other, with some pique; "the
cart takes me to the neeps.[79] The bit callant[80] helps me oot. I
hirple[81] on. When the dog maks a point, doon gang the crutches--the
laddie takes haud o' me, and though my legs is neither straught nor
steady, my e'e is as true as yer ain."

412. Breaking in dogs is not only an invigorating bodily exercise,
but a healthy moral training; for to obtain _great_ success, you must
have much patience and self-command; and whatever may be your rank
or position in life, Beckford--not he of Fonthill, but the man whose
memory is held in veneration by all Nimrods for his admirable "Thoughts
on Hunting"--will not allow you to plead, as an excuse, for what just
possibly may be want of energy or sad laziness, that breaking in dogs
for your own gun is an ungentlemanly or unbecoming recreation. I grant
he is speaking of instructors of hounds, but his words in their spirit
are fully as applicable to the instructors of pupils accustomed to the
smell of gunpowder.

[Page Header: BECKFORD CITED.]

413. In his 22d letter he writes, "It is your opinion, I find, that
a gentleman might make the best huntsman. I have no doubt that he
would, if he chose the trouble of it. I do not think there is any
profession, trade, or occupation, in which a good education would not
be of service; and hunting, notwithstanding that it is at present
exercised by such as have not had an education, might without doubt
be carried on much better by those that have. I will venture to say
fewer faults would be committed, nor is it probable the same faults
would be committed over and over again as they now are. Huntsmen never
reason by analogy, nor are they much benefited by experience." I
fear we may say the same of the generality of keepers, for decidedly
dog-breaking has not kept pace with the manifest improvements in other
arts. Few brigades--indeed few dogs are now-a-days broken like Major
B----d's (251), or Captain J----n's (542). But I do not intend to say
it is necessary; all that is merely for show might be advantageously
dispensed with.

[Illustration: SCENE FROM 'CRIPPLE-GAIT.'--'GAME' TO THE LAST.--Par.
411.]

414. It is hard to imagine what it would be impossible to teach a
dog, did the attainment of the required accomplishment sufficiently
recompense the instructor's trouble. Most of us have heard of the
celebrated dog "Munito," who, at some private signal from his master,
quite imperceptible to the spectator, would select from a pack of
outspread cards that which the spectator had named to the master in a
whisper, or merely written on a piece of paper.

415. In the unenclosed parts of France, when the young crops are on the
ground, you may frequently see a shepherd's dog trusted to prevent the
sheep from nibbling the tender wheat growing contiguous to the grass,
which he peaceably permits them to crop within a foot of the tempting
grain; but he is keenly watching, ready to dart at the first epicure
who cannot resist a bite at the forbidden dainty; and so ably and
zealously does the dog discharge his duties, that even in such trying
circumstances will the shepherd leave his sheep for hours together
under the charge of their sagacious and vigilant guardian. In a similar
manner, a couple of dogs, stationed one at each flank of a large flock,
effectually protect the vineyards from their depredations. The latter
you will think not so remarkable an instance of discrimination as the
former; for, compared with the difference in appearance between the
herbage and the vine, there is but little between the young grain and
the adjacent grass.

416. Who has not read with intense delight the tales of the almost
incredible intelligence and devotion to their duties of the Scotch
collie dogs, as related by the Ettrick Shepherd? He mentions one which,
when his master was speaking, evidently understood much of what was
said.

[Page Header: FAIRY AND MÉDOR.]

417. I know a lady who had a small, nearly thorough-bred King Charles.
Being one day desired by her mother to ring the bell, she turned to
the dog, and said, very energetically, "Fairy, ring the bell." The
little dog had no previous training, but she had been observant, and
was imitative. She immediately sprung at the bell rope, and pulled it.
"Fairy," indeed, unfortunately pulled with great violence--the rope
came down, and so alarmed was she (remember how I have cautioned you
never to alarm your pupil), that no subsequent coaxing could induce
her to return to the bell. But if she had not been frightened, she
might have become as serviceable a bell-ringer as the little dog that
preceded her in the office of pet. That predecessor (the mention of
a _useful pet_, though a lady was not his instructor, will, I hope,
redeem my character with the fair sex) saved his young mistress from
many an interruption of work and study, by ringing the bell on command.
And "Bob" was discreet in his _spontaneous_ ringings. He never rang
without a cause; but if he was unreasonably detained by himself, or a
visitor's knock remained too long unanswered, the tardy attendant was
warned of his remissness by a loud peal.

418. A French lady, who is fond of animals, at my request committed the
following anecdote to paper:--

419. "My dear Médor, a beautiful red and white setter, was remarkable,
I am told, for many rare qualities as a sporting dog; but, of course,
none of these could be compared, in _my_ eyes, to his faithfulness and
sagacity. I looked upon him as a friend; and I know that our affection
was mutual. I could mention several instances of his intelligence, I
might say reflection, but one in particular gave me such delight that,
though years have since passed away, all the circumstances are as fresh
in my memory as if they had occurred but yesterday. I was returning
from school at Versailles, and having rung uselessly for a little
time at the front door, I went round to the carriage-gate to have a
chat with my silky-haired favourite. He barked anxiously; thrust his
cold nose through an opening near the ground; scratched vigorously to
increase its size; and in numerous ways testified great joy at again
hearing my voice. I put my hand under the gate to caress him, and while
he was licking it, I said in jest, but in a distinct, loud voice,
'Dear Médor, I am shut out--go, bring me the keys.' It so happened
that the stable where they usually hung was not closed. Médor ran off,
and in a few seconds returned and placed them in my hands. I will not
attempt to describe _my_ gratification at such a striking proof of his
intelligence, nor _his_ evident pride at seeing me enter the hall; nor
yet the fright of the servant at thinking how long the street-door must
have been carelessly left open. 'Médor deserves that his life should
be written,' said I to my uncle when afterwards telling him the whole
story; 'I am sure his deeds are as wonderful as those related of the
"Chiens célèbres" by De Fréville.'

"My setter was immediately declared 'Keeper of the Keys,' and forthwith
invested with all the rights of office,--nor was this confidence
misplaced. He would never give up his charge to any one but to my
uncle or myself; and always seemed fully sensible of the dignity and
responsibility of his new position."

[Page Header: SULTAN AND THE GATE-KEY.]

420. Another anecdote touching keys.

A family residing at Chepstow had a house with a gate leading into the
castle-ditch, and they used to pass through it almost daily in order
to avoid the bustle of the town. The key of this gate was kept in the
kitchen, and a black retriever, Sultan by name, was accustomed to ask
the cook for it by pulling her dress until he succeeded in bringing
her under the nail on which the key was hung, and he always returned
it most honestly when the family had done with it. One day, however,
having brought it back as usual, he found the cook too busy to attend
to him, and, growing impatient he trotted off with it, and for a whole
fortnight it was missing. At length Miss ----, being much inconvenienced
by its loss, armed herself with a whip, and, standing by the gate,
called the dog, and said in a very determined tone, "Now, Sultan, bring
me that _key directly_." Off he went to a gooseberry-bush, scratched up
the key, and brought it to her. He had, probably, found the same spot a
safe depository for many a bone.

421. Mr. A----n, with whom I was slightly acquainted,--a man of great
originality, and singular shrewdness and intelligence,--had a dog
called Taffy, who had a remarkable aptitude for comprehending whatever
was told him. He knew by name every member of Mr. A----n's family,
though composed at least of ten individuals. On his master's saying,
"Taffy, give so-and-so a grip," the dog would to a certainty take
hold of the right person. "Harder, Taffy,--give a harder grip;" the
dog would bite more firmly. At the third order, "Harder, my boy,--yet
harder," the party assaulted would be too glad to _sue_ for mercy;
for no one dared to _strike_ Taffy excepting Mr. A----n. Even to him
the animal never submitted quietly, but kept growling and snarling
whenever he was being punished--indeed, on more than one occasion
he fought for the mastery, but unsuccessfully, for few men are more
resolute than was Mr. A----n.

[Page Header: TAFFY A GOOD WATCH-DOG.]

422. Taffy was an admirable watch-dog, and fully sensible of the
responsible duties that devolved upon him. It happened that, in a
violent storm, late one evening, when Mr. A----n was from home, the
force of the wind drove in the front door. Taffy forthwith commenced a
search from the bottom of the house to the top, apparently to ascertain
that no stranger had entered, and he then went downstairs. Next morning
he was found lying across the door-mat, where evidently he had remained
the whole night, although the cold and wet had been most severe.

423. Taffy's character was so established as a sagacious, faithful
guardian, that Mr. A----n's sister-in-law, feeling nervous at her
husband's being obliged to leave home, begged the loan of Taffy for
a few nights. Mr. A----n consented, and ordered Taffy, manifestly to
his great annoyance, to remain at the house. Four days afterwards
he reappeared at home, when Mr. A----n, in the belief that he had
run away, was about to beat him, but was persuaded to suspend the
punishment until it was ascertained whether Mrs. ---- had not brought
him into the neighbourhood. About an hour afterwards she arrived to
make inquiries about the dog, who, she said, had left her house the
moment her husband put his foot withinside the door.

424. Taffy was also a sporting character,--I fear I ought to say a
_poaching_ character,--for he was a peculiar dog, he had peculiar
ideas--would that such ideas were more _peculiar_--on the subject of
game, and fancied all means lawful that insured success. In the Isle of
Wight there once were (probably the spot is now drained) ten or twelve
acres of marsh-land, nearly surrounded by water, much in the shape of
a horse-shoe. It was a favourite resort for hares, as Taffy well knew.
His bulk prevented his ever having a chance of catching any in a fair
run; he used, therefore, to dodge about between them and the outlet,
and would so worry and distress them, that he was pretty certain of
eventually carrying off one as a prize.

425. We all remember the story of the unfortunate tailor deluged with
a shower of dirty water by the indignant elephant whose proboscis
he had imprudently insulted in the morning by pricking it with his
needle, instead of presenting the expected delicacy. It would appear as
though Taffy had heard and understood the anecdote. He was once pelted
with stones by some boys from behind a wall: having then no means of
retaliating, he seemed to take the affront quietly, but he did not
forget it; he patiently bided his time, and, as opportunities offered,
avenged himself upon each successively by knocking them down in the
dirt; nor did he allow one to escape unpunished, though some of them
avoided him for three weeks or a month. There were six offenders, and
he made all the six expiate their offences in a dirty kennel.

[Page Header: TAFFY PURLOINS.]

426. Indeed, Taffy would _never_ allow anybody, young or old, to play
tricks upon him with impunity. On one occasion, when the labourers had
left off work to take their dinners, one of them amused himself by
offering Taffy a piece of bread stuck on the end of a knife, and by
suddenly turning it over, managed to give the dog a rap on the nose
with the handle, on his attempting to seize the proffered gift. Taffy
bore the joke patiently for some time; but at length, thinking that
his good-nature was unduly taxed, and perceiving also that the loaf
was fast decreasing, he determined to turn the tables. Bristling up,
therefore, he jumped, open-mouthed, at the man, and so alarmed him,
that in his fright he dropped the bread, and Taffy quietly walked off
with it, much to the delight of the bystanders.

427. Though Taffy's natural parts were so great, they were doubtless
improved by education. If Mr. A----n ever called the dog's attention
to a thing by pointing at it, the dog would, to nearly a certainty,
bring it to him when he had got well out of sight, and was, therefore,
not likely to be suspected of participating in the robbery. Many a
time has Taffy run off with the _finest_ fish from the side of the
unsuspecting angler, who, until he was enlightened upon the subject on
its safe restoration, may in his bewilderment have gravely considered
whether, under very favouring circumstances, it would be possible for
a trout to possess the same vitality and power of locomotion as an
eel. It always tended to the maintenance of the piscator's proverbial
reputation for patience and equanimity, that he should not detect Taffy
in the commission of the theft; for the dog would constantly show fight
rather than give up the prize. He evinced yet greater adroitness in
securing pigeons. On numerous occasions bets have been laid, and rarely
lost, that he would bring home the _particular_ one indicated to him
out of a large flock feeding on the ground; for he would patiently
crouch,--perhaps affecting to be asleep,--until it incautiously
afforded him the opportunity of seizing it; but so careful was he of
his charge, that he invariably delivered it up to his master, perfectly
uninjured.

428. With all his cunning and eccentricities, Taffy was "passing
honest," and seldom purloined on his own account; but I regret to say
it is recorded of him, that in a moment of weakness and hunger he
yielded to temptation. The instance was this.--Taffy observed a woman
seated at a cottage-door feeding her child. He earnestly begged for
a share, but in vain. Remarking, however, that she frequently turned
round to dip the spoon into something, he contrived to creep behind
her without her perceiving him, when to his satisfaction he discovered
a basin of pap on the floor. It was too hot to gobble up at once; so
waiting quietly until her attention was drawn away, he cautiously took
up the crock and trotted off with it--to the good woman's dismay, who
was wondering what had become of her dear baby's dinner--and, without
spilling any of the contents, carried it to a convenient distance,
where he leisurely ate up all the carefully-prepared food, leaving the
basin perfectly undamaged, and as clean as if it had been washed by the
most praiseworthy housewife.

[Page Header: TAFFY'S PARENTAGE.]

429. Other stories could be told of Taffy's sagacity, but these
you will probably think more than sufficient. However, you would
perhaps like to hear how he was bred. No one can tell you more than
that, judging from his appearance, he must have had a strain of the
Newfoundland in him, for the circumstances attending his birth and
parentage are nearly as singular as his character.

430. A ship was lost in a storm off the Needles, in 1811. Nothing was
saved, not a plank whereon was a letter to indicate to what country
she belonged. For some weeks afterwards, a farmer in the Isle of Wight
found that regularly every night one of his sheep was destroyed. A
watch was set. The culprit was at length discovered to be a strange,
savage-looking dog, supposed to have escaped from the wreck. For many,
many nights it baffled its pursuers, but was at length wounded, and
tracked by its blood to a cave, where it was killed. Three young pups
were found. One of them, the said Taffy, was saved, and brought up by
hand by Mr. A----n, who became so fond of it that their attachment
might almost be said to be mutual. Taffy lived admired and honoured
beyond the term of life usually assigned to the canine race.

[Page Header: JESSE'S OPINION.]

431. Jesse[82] narrates many instances similar to the foregoing,
in his amusing work on Dogs--a book likely to convince the most
sceptical, that few among us give the canine race credit for half
the sagacity and intelligence with which they are really endowed. He
asserts, and I, for one, fully agree with him, "that there is not a
faculty of the human mind, of which some evident proof of its existence
may not be found in dogs. Thus," he says, "we find them possessed of
memory, imagination, curiosity, cunning, revenge, ingenuity, gratitude,
devotion or affection, and other qualities."

432. To this list he ought to have added jealousy: only this year
I heard of a stronger instance of it than I could have imagined
possible. Walking near Devonport, I met a man with two small dogs;
one was evidently a foreigner. Apologising for the abruptness of
the question, I inquired from what country the animal came. "From
Japan." I then asked whether he had ever bred from the other dog, a
most varmint-looking, wiry little terrier; he replied that she was
three years old, and had never had but one pup, which, because he was
fondling it, she had deliberately killed that very morning, although
it was six weeks old, and she was still nursing it. I cannot say that
she manifested either sorrow for its loss, or repentance of her
unnatural conduct; on the contrary her joyous gambols seemed to evince
her delight at having removed from her path a dreaded rival in the
affections of her master.

433. We must all admit that they have much reflection, or they would
not evince the good judgment they so frequently display in unusual
circumstances--circumstances in which mere instinct could in no way
assist them.[83] An industrious couple, who lived high on the side of
one of the romantic Ennerdale Hills, (Cumberland) in a cottage which
had descended through several generations from father to son, used
to gather fuel in a neighbouring wood. They often took their little
daughter with them; but one evening, whilst hunting for wild flowers,
she strayed beyond their sight or hearing. They searched unceasingly
for their lost darling as long as the waning light permitted them to
distinguish objects amidst the thick foliage; and then, with heavy
hearts, turned towards home, the father endeavouring to cheer the
mother with the hope he could not himself entertain that the little
girl might have wandered to her accustomed haunts; but they had the
grief of finding that she had not returned; and fruitless also was the
anxious search renewed by torchlight. The poor mother mechanically
spread out the frugal supper, thinking it possible that her husband
might partake of the food she could not taste. It would, however, have
remained on the board untouched had not the old dog seized a large
slice of the loaf and rushed out of the cottage. The father quietly
observed, "I never knew the dog to thieve before." Ere the day had
fully dawned, they were again hunting the wood; but they could discover
no trace of their child. At breakfast-time the dog, as on the preceding
evening, purloined a piece of bread. The man was about to strike the
depredator, but his wife, her countenance radiant with hope, stopped
him with the exclamation, "I am sure he knows where Agnes is." They
ran down hill after him, and at length found him near the edge of the
lake, lying on the child to keep her warm. She appeared quite satisfied
with her position, and extremely pleased with her shaggy companion. In
her small fat fingers she grasped the stolen bread, together with many
flowers she had gathered.

[Page Header: PHILAX AND BRAC.]

434. You may have seen the account of the marvellous tricks which
Monsieur Leonard, by kindness and perseverance, taught his dogs Philax
and Brac. That a dog could be tutored into playing as good a game
of dominos as a man, may sound preposterously unreasonable, but the
respectability of the writer compels us to give credence to the recital.

[Page Header: SHOWMAN'S DOGS.]

435. I, also, had once the honour of playing a game of dominos with
a learned dog, whose celebrity, however, was far inferior to that
acquired by M. Leonard's clever pupil. It thus happened. As I was
crossing the _Place St. Sulpice_, at Paris, I saw a large crowd
collected in a circle of considerable diameter round a man who was
exhibiting tricks with dogs. He had a great variety. Six were yoked in
pairs to a light carriage. On the roof sat a terrier dressed up most
fantastically, and who with difficulty retained his elevated position
when the carriage was in motion. Two others,--one an extremely small
animal, called the "petit Caporal,"--were favoured with places in the
interior. There were, also, two slight greyhounds and a Russian poodle.
Total, a dozen. It may be worthy of note that all, with, I believe,
only one exception, were of the masculine gender. They were miserably
thin, but I must admit that they appeared attached to their master.

[Illustration: DOMINI AND 'DOMINOS.'--Par. 434.]

436. When I joined the group, the showman was making a dog, dressed in
a petticoat and smart cap, dance a minuet. Then a greyhound leaped,
of course gracefully, through a hoop held by a boy over his head; and
afterwards trotted, as ungracefully, on three legs, affecting extreme
lameness on each alternately. The man then promised numerous surprising
feats if he could but collect as many as twelve sous. On summing up
the coppers thrown to him, there appeared to be thirteen. This he
averred to be such an unlucky number that he dare not proceed unless
some benevolent, Christian-like person would break the charm by adding
another sou. His demand was immediately complied with.

In order to increase the size of the arena--at least, such I conceived
to be the reason, it certainly had the effect--he drove the car fast
round the circle. He then spread ten cards on the four sides of an old
cloth, about five feet long, and of nearly the same width. Each card
bore a legibly-written number from 0 to 9. He invited the spectators
to ask for whatever number they pleased, provided it did not hold
doublets, nor contain more than four of the cyphers; asserting that
his dogs, without the least assistance from him, would bring, in
regular order, the several cards representing the required number; and
to create, as it seemed to me, the impression that it was a matter
of perfect indifference what dog he took, he unyoked one of the
leaders,--a close-cropped, small Dane,--and called him to the centre. I
begged a lady who was leaning on my arm, and whose eyes are generally
sharp enough, to watch the man most carefully. Some one demanded 1824.
The dog went round and round the cloth as if examining every card
separately, and lifted, in regular succession (carrying them one by one
to his master), the several numbers composing 1824. The dog committed
no blunder; and did not long hesitate in making his selection. Another
person in the crowd called out for 29, when the dog was equally
successful; and on neither occasion could the lady or myself perceive
that the man gave the slightest sign. At one time I thought I had
detected that he took a short step forward, as if to receive the card,
when the dog was about to grasp the right one; but I was soon aware
that I had only found a "mare's nest."

[Page Header: CARD TRICKS.]

437. When reharnessing the Dane to the carriage, the showman gave
out that, if duly paid, he could exhibit before the "respectable and
discriminating company" the feats of a far more wonderful animal. He
collected what satisfied him; and producing two similar packs of common
playing cards (say a dozen in each), he bade the Russian come forth and
astonish the public. The man distributed one pack along the borders of
the cloth; and handing round the other pack, he begged as many of the
company as pleased, to take a card. Five or six did so. The man then
showed what cards remained in his hands to the poodle, desiring him to
point out those that had been taken. The dog walked round and round the
cloth, and one by one fetched the corresponding cards.

438. The showman still more astonished the gaping crowd by assuring
them that this dog's intellect was so extraordinary and wonderful, that
he could read their most secret thoughts; and to prove the truth of his
assertion, whilst telling a good-humoured fiacre-driver, well known to
many of them, to think of a card, he successfully _forced_[84] one upon
his sight: and after coachee had, agreeably to the showman's desire,
whispered to a neighbour what it was, the dog, without taking much time
for reflection, selected the true card from among those lying on the
cloth.

439. The expressions of admiration and bewilderment this feat elicited
having somewhat subsided, the showman again laid out those cards on
which the numbers were written. There was a large public clock easily
visible from the _Place_: he held the dog's head towards it; requested
him to look at it attentively, and tell the gentlemen and ladies the
exact time,--first the hours, then the minutes. It was a quarter-past
two. The dog brought 2 for the hours, and then 1 and 5 for the minutes.

440. Having now sufficiently worked upon the imagination and credulity
of the observers, the showman drew forth a quantity of small folded
papers of various colours; and having spread them along the edges of
the cloth, he solemnly protested that the dog would tell the fortune of
any of his hearers who would first give him a sou. As a guarantee for
the dog's ability, he told them they might compare the several fortunes
written on the papers selected for them by the dog, however numerous
they might be, when it would be found that, without a single exception,
the canine magician would have foretold to each what could only happen
to an individual of his or her sex. The charlatan reaped a plentiful
harvest, for the temptation was strong--to female curiosity especially;
and no one could prove that the dog was ever in error.

[Page Header: PLAYING DOMINOS.]

441. After a laughable exhibition of several of the dogs marching in
procession, which he called "the carnival of Venice," he affected
suddenly to discover that none of the dogs had been allowed a game of
dominos. He again unyoked the Dane, and asked if any one was willing
to become his antagonist. As no one would step forward, whether from
bashfulness or fear of necromancy I cannot say, I avowed my willingness
to play. There were fourteen dominos. I drew seven. The others were
arranged for the dog on the cloth, far apart from one another. He had
the double six, and he immediately took it up to begin the game. I
followed; and we alternately played a piece in the most orderly and
regular manner--the dog carrying the dominos to the man to place for
him; wagging his short stump when he found (from his master's manner),
that he was right; and, to do him justice, he never made a mistake.

442. Although I was now close to the showman, I could not remark that
he gave the least signal by look, or by motion of hand or foot: but I
fancied--this, however, may be only another "mare's nest," though I
cannot think it was--that I heard him make a slight chuckling sound[85]
(with his tongue against the roof of his mouth), whilst the dog was
walking round from domino to domino, which ceased when he approached
the right domino, leaving the man at liberty to jest and talk nonsense
for the amusement of the crowd. He had evidently a long string of
ready-prepared witticisms. He laughed at the dog for being so long in
making up his mind as to what it would be most judicious to play;--told
him that he had been so hospitably treated by the good Parisians, that
it was evident his brains were not so clear as they ought to be, &c.,
&c.: all which verbiage I suspect the dog took as a confirmation that
he was making the selection his master wished. The man promised to call
upon me; but I was obliged to leave Paris sooner than I had expected,
and I never saw him again.

[Page Header: EXCELLENCE EXPECTED.]

443. Our attention, however, perhaps you will think, ought to
be confined to instances of intelligence and high education in
sporting dogs. Well, then, in the next Chapter I will speak of what
some dogs of that class do in this, and some are _trained_ to do in
other countries;--facts for the truth of which I can vouch, and I
hope the account will induce you to believe I am not unreasonable in
asserting that we have a right to require greater excellence in our
sporting dogs than what is now regarded by most of us as satisfactory.



CHAPTER XV.

ANECDOTES OF DOGS ON SERVICE ABROAD. RUSSIAN SETTERS.

444. Dogs for Hunting Bears in India.--445. Polygar Dogs for Hunting
Wild Hog in India.--446. Beaters in India; the greater utility of
Dogs.--447. Mongrel Pointer in India which proved of great value.--448.
Cross between Pointer and Indian Dog recommended; in Note, Arab
Greyhounds.--449. Coolness necessary in attacking large Game.--450
to 457. K----g's critical encounter with Elephant.--458. Sketch of
Scene.--459, 460. Wounded Elephant.--461. Pot shot at Bear to be
potted.--462. Skull of Indian and African Elephant differs.--463 to
467. M----e bearding Lion in Den.--468. Hindu's estimate of courage
of Europeans. Encounter with Wild Boar.--469. Strong Greyhounds
for killing Kangaroos in Australia.--470. Greyhound hunted with
Falcon.--471. The Creole Sportsman and admirable little Cur.--472.
His good generalship with Wild Hog.--473. The moral of the Story; in
Note, Guinea-chicks; Guinea-birds' eggs, how taken. Cross with Muscovy
Drake.--474, 475. Quantity of fish at Newfoundland. Dog Fishing.--476.
Sir H----d D----s.--477 to 480. Newfoundland fetching back Fox.--481.
Sir George B----k, R.N.--482 to 488. His Terrier "Muta" leading him
to Musk Bull.--489. His Sketch of the Scene.--490. Lord M----f; the
dogs "Captain" and "Suwarrow."--491. Dot-and-go-one, with his old
Pointer.--492. How fairly done by "Captain."--493. Breakers, not dogs,
in fault; they could be taught anything.--494. "Rap" (a Pointer)
hunting covers with Springers and Terriers.--495. "Shot" (a Pointer),
on alternate days, hunting with Hounds and standing at Birds.--496.
How accounted for.--497. Affection an incentive to exertion; Dropper
alternately pointing Grouse and Snipe; Grouse-dog to be rated when
noticing Snipe.--498. Capital Dropper from Russian Setter; difficulty
of procuring Russian Setters.--499. Bet respecting superiority of two
Keepers in the Highlands; how decided.--500. High-priced dogs ought to
be highly broken.


444. Bears of the common species which we often see led about, are
very numerous in the hilly districts of some parts of India. In rocky,
nearly inaccessible places, the natives hunt them with a strong-set
wiry dog. This dog is trained to watch for his opportunity, and leap
very high upon the chest of the bear, and seize his throat. You would,
perhaps, think this the most disadvantageous position which the dog
could select, enabling Bruin to crush him in his powerful embrace.
Not so. The well-instructed creature draws himself up so high that
the bear, in lieu of crushing his ribs, merely presses his hips,--and
the bear's arms, instead of injuring his opponent are often his best
protection; for the animals frequently come rolling together to the
foot of the hill, where the hunters despatch poor Bruin with their
spears.

[Page Header: BOAR AND POLYGAR DOGS.]

445. In other parts of India the natives chase the wild hog with a
coarse dog of the Polygar breed. The dog is taught to seize the hog
between the hind-legs when he has turned his head to meet some other
assailant, and to retain the hold until the hunters come up.

446. Talking of India, however, I cannot help digressing. Why should
not more Europeans residing in that country, have dogs as well-trained
for _birds_ as the Natives have for the bear and hog? I have often
thought what much finer sport I should have enjoyed, when I was serving
there, if I had then gained as much experience in dog-breaking as I
now have. As too many young fellows, belonging both to the Queen's
and Company's service, frequently complain of their inability to kill
time--(time which so soon kills them!)--it is a pity more of them
do not take to the innocent amusement of dog-breaking. The broiling
sun[86] makes all game lie so close in India (except very early in the
morning, and towards the close of day) that the best beaters, unless
the number be unusually great, leave nearly a dozen head of game behind
them for every one that is sprung, especially in jungly ground. The
evil is partially, I allow, but very partially, remedied in grass-land,
by attaching numerous little bells to the long cord carried by the line
of beaters. I have heard of this plan being pursued in England in the
absence of dogs, or when the scent was unusually bad.

447. The object at that time of my especial envy was a nondescript
belonging to an officer of the Company's service, with whom I used
occasionally to shoot near Belgaum. The animal had, I fancy, some
cross of pointer in his composition; so little, however, that he never
pretended to point. He used just to "feather" feebly when he happened
to get near any game; and as he was a wretchedly slow potterer, and
never strayed (for hunting it could not be called) far from his master,
all that he did put up was well within gun range. His owner thus got
nearly twice as many shots as any of his companions. How much his sport
would have been increased had he possessed a good dog!

[Page Header: ANGLO-INDIAN DOGS.]

448. Now there are some native dogs[87] in India with not a bad nose
(those, for instance, which are employed to hunt the porcupine at
night), and a breed from them with an European pointer[88] would,
doubtless, prove extremely useful. Their strength of constitution
would compensate for acknowledged inferiority in every other respect. A
cross with the Spanish Don would probably be the best, and the easiest
broken in, as he is so steady and full of point. But the Hidalgo would
be of little service out of the kennel. From his natural inactivity and
weight, he would soon knock up under an Indian sun. Three or four pups
would be enough for the dam to rear. Those most like the sire should
be preserved; and they might be kept in good health, if they were
occasionally treated to a _little_ calomel overnight, with castor oil
in the morning, and allowed full liberty to run about for an hour every
morning and evening. I knew some greyhounds of a purely English breed,
but born in the country, which were thus maintained in capital health.
They belonged to the only litter that the mother ever had. The climate,
which is generally fatal to England-born dogs, killed both the parents
within a year after their arrival in India. It is best that the pups
should be whelped in the latter part of the year, as they would then
acquire some strength before the setting in of the hottest weather,
and be of an age to commence hunting at the beginning of the following
cool season. The companionship of dogs in the jungle adds much to
the security of the pedestrians. A timid yelp or a clamorous bark
gives timely notice of the vicinity of every disagreeable, dangerous
neighbour, and enables the sportsman to take a cool deliberate aim,
instead of having to make a hurried snapshot at some stealthy panther
or tiger, or the far more formidable foe, a solitary buffalo. The habit
of placing the fore-finger alongside the stock, and not letting it
touch the trigger, until the moment of firing, proves very valuable
in these critical circumstances. Many a barrel has gone off, even in
the hands of an old sportsman, before he properly covered some vital
part of his first royal tiger. The certainty of ignition afforded
by a detonator gives great confidence to the present generation
of sportsmen. Even in the wettest weather, the waterproof caps
manufactured by Eley and others, seem to insure an instantaneous fire.

449. Great presence of mind in moments of unforeseen, sudden peril is
undoubtedly a gift; but calmness and self-possession, fortunately for
sportsmen seeking "large game" (burrah shicar), as it is technically
termed in India, can be acquired by reflection and habit.

450. A friend and old fellow-passenger of mine, one of the Colonels
K----g,--a name that will long be remembered at Hythe--evinced in
1816 as much coolness as I ever heard of. He was then on the staff
at Ceylon, and used, while accompanying the Governor on his annual
tour throughout the island, to have magnificent sport in places rarely
visited by Europeans. Indeed, his character as a slayer of elephants
was so fully established that he was often called "elephant-king."

[Page Header: ROGUE-ELEPHANT.]

451. On the party arriving one morning within the Mahagampattoo
district, the Governor said to K----g, "Surely you will not attack
the desperate brute that lately killed those villagers and the two
letter-carriers?" The sportsmen modestly replied, "I cannot say, sir;
perhaps I may." Now it is well known that a rogue-elephant is always a
formidable animal; but one _recently_ driven from a herd by a stronger
bull is particularly dangerous. In his malignant rage he often wantonly
attacks whatever he sees; and there are several instances of his having
displayed extraordinary patience in waiting for imprisoned men who had
climbed into trees, or retreated into caves, to avoid his fury.

452. The elephant the Governor referred to was, at that time, the
terror of the surrounding neighbourhood; for when maddened by
jealousy and rage at being expelled after a severe conflict from the
harem, and smarting from the blows and wounds inflicted by his more
powerful rival, he had ventured to attack an unfortunate labourer, and
finding how slight was the resistance offered, he had since sought
opportunities for wreaking his vengeance on man, of whom he had now
lost all his former instinctive dread.

453. About four o'clock, as the Governor, Lady B----g, and the staff,
&c., were seated at dinner, which was nearly over, a message that
caused some excitement among the hearers was delivered to K----g. The
Governor inquired about it. K----g explained that the Shircarree set
as a watch had reported that the much dreaded "Rogue" had just left
the jungle and appeared upon the plain. K----g asked leave to attack
him. Lady B----g begged that, escorted by a few gentlemen, she might
be allowed to watch his proceedings from some safe spot. This K----g
acceded to, but stipulated that he was then to be left entirely to
himself. On getting a view of the low ground, and observing several
herds of elephants scattered over the extensive plain, her ladyship
became nervous, and returned to the encampment. Her brother, Mr. B----t
and Mr. G. (now living in London) remained; and K----g placed them in a
secure position amidst some trees standing too close together to admit
of the elephant's forcing his large body through, should he be merely
wounded, and perchance take that direction.

454. After carefully examining the localities, K----g made a détour to
prevent the "Rogue" from winding him. There was some brushwood, but
no trees, to cover his approach. The vindictive solitary animal was
apparently brooding over his wrongs in an open space rich with the
luxuriant vegetation consequent on tropical rains. He began to feed,
striking the ground with each fore-foot alternately, in order to loosen
the grass from the soil. He then collected the herbage with his trunk;
but before carrying the mass to his mouth, shook it carefully to free
the roots from earth. This gave K----g the opportunity, stealthily and
creeping low, to get undetected about twenty paces in rear of him.
There he knelt and anxiously awaited the turn of the head that should
expose some spot not completely protecting the brain.

455. Long did he watch, for the elephant, when not engaged in feeding,
stood motionless, save an occasional whisk of his cord-like tail, or
the flopping of his huge ears. At times, however, he would slightly
bend his head when with his proboscis scattering sand over his body, in
order to drive off some troublesome insect; at which moment the hopeful
sportsman would noiselessly cock his piece, but only to again half-cock
it in disappointment.

[Page Header: ELEPHANT KILLED.]

456. Messrs. B. and G. became impatient. They fancied the elephant must
have stolen away; and a peacock happening to fly over their heads,
they fired at it. On hearing the noise, the elephant wheeled, and
perceived K----g. He curled his trunk under his neck, lowered his head,
and charged. The most vulnerable spot was thus presented. K----g's
barrel was deliberately poised,--a cool aim taken, and the trigger
pulled;--but it yielded not! K----g felt, he told me, "a choking
sensation"--certain death was before him; but instantly remembering
that he had replaced the piece on half-cock, he brought it from his
shoulder--full-cocked it--raised it again to level--and with unshaken
nerve, and unerring precision, a second time covered the vulnerable
spot. Down with a tremendous crash dropped the ponderous brute, first
on his knees, then on his chest; and with such speed was he charging
that he almost made a complete somerset in the act of falling stone
dead near the feet of his comparatively puny conqueror--vanquished by
skill and cool intrepidity.

457. The party on descending found K----g endeavouring to climb up the
enormous carcass. They feared the animal might be only stunned, but
K----g satisfied them by probing to its brain with his ramrod in the
direction the bullet had taken.

458. Colonel W. (the Q. Master General), who was of the party, made a
spirited sketch of the scene. I have more than once admired it. It is
admirably done in red chalk. K----g is seen standing upon the prostrate
elephant, and a number of the natives are represented in their
picturesque costumes, making grateful salaams to the "brave sahib" who
had slain their formidable enemy. Underneath the sketch is written "The
Mighty King."

459. My friend's nerves were so little affected by his narrow escape
that he killed two more elephants the same evening, and wounded
another. It was a long shot across the river. The animal was feeding.
K----g waited to aim until he could bring its temple so low as to
align with the elbow, when the head would be in a favourable position
for a well-directed ball to penetrate to the brain. But the two oz.
bullet missed the temple; it, however, struck the elbow and fractured
the bone. Darkness was gradually coming on,--the river was full
of alligators,--there was no bridge,--and K----g was unwillingly
compelled to defer despatching the poor creature until daylight the
next morning. He left it ineffectually endeavouring to make use of the
fractured limb by frequently lifting it with his trunk and placing it
in front.

[Illustration: THE MIGHTY KING.--Par. 458.]

460. Colonel W., whose artistic sketch shows that he was an undeniable
hand at the pencil, whatever he might be with the rifle, was ambitious
of being able to say he had killed an elephant. He, therefore, begged
leave to give the wounded animal its _coup de grace_. It was found
wallowing in an adjacent buffalo hole. Colonel W. got within twelve
yards of it, but bespattered by the mud the disabled beast threw
over him--the novel and only defence it could make--his aim was so
uncertain, that, after all, K----g had to put the sufferer out of its
misery.

461. Colonel W.'s ambition recalls to my mind a singular advertisement,
though I cannot think that even he would have answered it had he been
in London at the time. It appeared in the papers many years ago, but
was too ludicrous not to be still in the recollection of many. A
perfumer in Bishopsgate Street Without, gave notice in conspicuous
characters "to SPORTSMEN," that a splendid Bear was to be killed on his
premises, at which they might have a shot by paying,--I now forget what
exact sum.

[Page Header: ASIATIC AND AFRICAN ELEPHANTS.]

462. I am told that an examination of the skulls of the Asiatic and
African elephants would show a marked difference between the two, and
explain why the latter animal cannot be instantaneously killed. In the
Asiatic elephant there is a spot about the size of a man's hand between
and somewhat above the eyes, where a bullet can easily penetrate to
the brain when the head is carried low; whereas the brain, it is said,
of the African elephant is as effectually guarded on the forehead as
elsewhere. This might be inferred from a perusal of Gordon Cumming's
exciting book. Murray would not print many of the startling anecdotes
related in the manuscript, fearing they might throw discredit upon the
work. But it is, I think, to be regretted that he did not trust more to
the discernment of the public; and to the strong internal evidence of
truthfulness afforded in the descriptions given of the habits of the
various beasts which the author had singular opportunities of observing.

463. The mention of Gordon Cumming's name, which is naturally
associated with feats of cool daring, leads one to speak of an old
fellow-sportsman of his at the Cape of Good Hope. Doubtless there are
men of whom it may be almost averred that they know not the sensation
of fear. Of this number was Gordon Cumming's friend Captain G. B.
M----e of the 45th. Alas! we must say "was," for that brave heart has
ceased to beat.

[Illustration: COOL AS A CUCUMBER.

"Made the Caffre boy behind him pull the deadly trigger."--Par. 464.]

464. Whilst quartered with his regiment at the Cape, M----e took
constant opportunities of encountering single-handed the real lords of
the forest in their own wild domain; and numerous are the stories told
by his brother officers of his hair-breadth escapes. Gordon Gumming
and he often shot together; and I have heard it said that at a time
when his left arm was so much injured as to be perfectly useless, he
went close up to a lion, which was standing over Cumming's prostrate
body, and with his right hand aiming at the animal's heart made the
Caffre boy behind him pull the deadly trigger. And does not the little
fellow's heroic conduct, who placed such implicit confidence in his
master's address and nerve, claim much of our admiration!

[Page Header: ENCOUNTER WITH LION.]

465. M----e's courage was reckless. Having more than once failed in
getting a shot at a formidable lion which had committed great ravages,
and was reported to be of immense size, he determined upon tracking
the beast to his rocky fastness, and forcing him to a hand-to-hand
combat in his very den. One morning a recent spoor[89] enabled him to
find the cave he sought, the entrance of which was so contracted that
in order not wholly to exclude the light, he was compelled to lie down
and crawl in upon his elbows. Pushing the muzzle of his gun before him,
slowly, inch by inch he crept on, expecting every moment to see the
large, glaring, cat-like eye-balls, or to hear the menacing growl. His
sight becoming more accustomed to the gloom, he was enabled to scan
every crevice, and was satisfied that the master of the habitation
could not have yet returned from his nocturnal rambles. Bones of large
size were strewn about, as well as others whose suspicious appearance
prompted the involuntary reflection that the absent animal was in very
truth the dreaded "man-eater" who had so long baffled all pursuit.
Nothing daunted, but rather aroused by the thought to an increased
determination to destroy the monster, M----e resolved quietly to await
his return.

466. Hour after hour passes. The shades of evening fall. The bark
of the jackal and the howlings of the hyæna, showing the advance of
night, meet his ear,--but not the longed-for roar of the expected
lion. Surely he will again seek his lair while the bright moon yet
favours the intrepid sportsman. No--he comes not. Complete darkness
sets in--darkness intense in that deep recess;--but ere long the
discordant screams of the peacock announce the early dawn, and after a
while the hot beams of the sun again hush all into silence, save the
busy hum of innumerable insects. Horrible suspense! The weary hours
drag on--still he returns not; and there still sits M----e, but not
the man he was. Anxious excitement--want of sleep--and, above all, the
deprivation of bodily stimulants, have done their work. He was agitated
and unnerved. To quote his own words when afterwards recounting the
adventure, he "would have given worlds to have been away, or to have
had a flask of brandy." What madness, he thought, could have tempted
him to seek such certain destruction? Had the taint of his feet raised
the animal's suspicions? Was his presence detected? And was the shaggy
monster watching outside, crouching low, ready to spring when his
victim should be forced by hunger to emerge? Quit he dare not; yet to
remain with nerves unstrung was terrible. In his diseased state of mind
imagination conjured up awfully harrowing scenes in which man in his
feebleness had succumbed;--and was it really decreed that his crushed
bones should mingle unhonoured and unnoticed with the heap around him?
Hours that seemed days of torture passed away--again the sun reached
the zenith--again it sets--and again it shines upon the remains of
huge limbs, and upon those of slighter mould that bear a fearfully
close resemblance to his own! The sun has sunk behind the summit of the
distant hills, already the short twilight commences. Can he survive
another night of horrors, or shall he, risking all, rush forth.

467. Suddenly a deep and angry growl is heard. It acts as music
upon his soul--his nerves are at once restored to their pristine
firmness--strong is his pulse--steady his hand; his countenance lights
up with hope and animation; and as the cave is darkened by the entrance
of its legitimate but no longer dreaded owner, the favourite barrels
are deliberately levelled with the accustomed deadly aim.

[Illustration: A REGULAR BORE.

"Dropped upon his right knee,--brought his firelock to the charging
position."--Par. 468.]

[Page Header: ENCOUNTER WITH BOAR.]

468. The Hindoos, who are naturally an inoffensive timid race, have an
almost fabulous reverence for the courage of Europeans, whom they often
term fighting devils--an epithet applied in no disparaging way, but,
on the contrary, as the highest of compliments. The Assistant-surgeon
(B----h) and a Lieutenant (D----n), of a regiment to which I once
belonged on the Indian establishment, were travelling up the country.
On arriving early one morning at their breakfast tent (which had been
sent forward as usual the preceding evening), they were met by the
Cutwal and principal men of the small village, bearing a trifling
present of fruit. After many salaams, the deputation said that the
villagers were in the greatest distress,--that an enormous wild
boar and a sow had taken up their abode in the neighbouring sugar
plantation,--that the crop was fully ripe, but that whenever the
labourers ventured in to cut the canes they were driven out by a charge
of the swine; that the whole body, women as well as men, had united
more than once in an attempt to alarm the intruders with the noise of
tomtoms, cholera horns, firing of matchlocks, &c., but that the unclean
brutes would not leave, and that the inhabitants had nearly resigned
all hope of saving the crop, when they had the happiness of hearing
that an English officer was expected, who, as a matter of course, could
have no objection to shoot the vicious animals. D----n and B----h
willingly consented to start directly after breakfast. The former was
a keen sportsman, but the latter had never fired a gun; however, he
said he would do his best; and being furnished with an old musket, he
sallied forth "at fixed bayonets." Almost the moment they entered the
cover a crashing noise warned them to be on their guard. The boar,
without an instant's hesitation, rushed at the invaders, making a
special selection of the individual least accustomed to arms. B----h,
in no way daunted, dropped upon his right knee,--brought his firelock
to the charging position,--and calmly waited to pull trigger until the
formidable beast was so close upon the bayonet, that he knocked the
piece out of B----h's grasp, and sent him spinning heels over head.
On regaining his feet, B----h found that his formidable adversary was
already dead; the bayonet, much bent in the encounter, was buried deep
in his huge chest; and subsequent examination showed that the ball
had severed his heart into two nearly equal portions. The sow had
apparently quickly become aware of the mischance that had befallen
her mate, for she ignominiously fled from the field at her best pace.
In reply to the thanks, congratulations, and encomiums bestowed upon
the worthy Assistant-surgeon for his success and admirable coolness,
he quietly observed, that all was well that ended well; that it was
an awful beast; and that he would take precious good care never
voluntarily to encounter such another;--that he had had his first shot,
and fervently hoped it would be his last.

[Page Header: GREYHOUNDS AND KANGAROO.]

469. To hark back, however, to our subject. Greyhounds of a large rough
kind are trained in some parts of Australia to course the kangaroo. A
kangaroo when he is brought to bay[90] would disable a great number of
dogs, however bold and strong they might be, should they incautiously
attack him in front: for while he is sitting upon his hind-quarters, or
standing upright, he can by one blow, or rather strike of his hind-leg,
which is furnished with huge claws, tear open the strongest greyhound
from the chest downwards; and many dogs have been thus killed. As soon,
therefore, as a large kangaroo is seen, a _well-educated_ brace of
greyhounds are slipped. For some time, by a succession of enormous
bounds, the animal keeps far ahead of his pursuers--especially when
running up hill, where he is as much favoured by his long hind-legs as
a hare is by hers,--and all are soon lost to the sight of unmounted
hunters. When he has been overtaken and brought to bay, one of the
trained dogs keeps him there; and this he does barking round and round
him, threatening every moment to fly at him. The other dog returns
to the hunters, and leads them to the spot where his companion is
detaining the kangaroo: and so completely does the noisy assailant
engage the attention of the unfortunate beast, that the hunters are
frequently enabled to approach unperceived, and stun him with a blow
over the head. An old kangaroo is there termed by the hunters "an old
man;"[91] the flesh of a young one is, however, by many considered
very delicate eating. A powerful dog will kill a small kangaroo
single-handed; and if properly taught, will then seek for his master,
and conduct him to the body.

[Page Header: GREYHOUNDS, FALCON, AND DEER.]

470. In Persia and many parts of the East greyhounds are taught to
assist the falcon in the capture of deer. When brought within good
view of a herd the bird is flown, and at the same moment the dog is
slipped. The rapid sweep of the falcon soon carries him far in advance.
It is the falcon who makes the selection of the intended victim,--which
appears to be a matter of chance,--and a properly-trained greyhound
will give chase to none other, however temptingly close the alarmed
animals may pass him. The falcon is instructed to aim at the head
only of the gazelle, who soon becomes bewildered; sometimes receiving
considerable injury from the quick stroke of its daring adversary.
Before long the gazelle is overtaken by the greyhound. It is not always
easy to teach a dog to avoid injuring the bird, which is so intent upon
its prey as utterly to disregard the approach of the hound. Death would
probably be the penalty adjudged to him for so heinous an offence;
for a well-trained falcon is of great value. You can readily imagine
that neither it nor the greyhound could be properly broken unless the
instructor possessed much judgment and perseverance. The sport is very
exciting; but the spectator must be well-mounted, and ride boldly who
would closely watch the swift, varying evolutions of the assailing
party, and the sudden evasions of the helpless defendant. The education
of this falcon is conducted on the same principle as that of the
cheeta.--(Note to 284.) The lure is a stuffed gazelle. It is placed at
gradually increased distances. The raw meat is fixed between its eyes,
and the concluding lessons terminate with the sacrifice of a few tame
or maimed deer; a portion of whose warm flesh is given to the bird as a
reward for his aid in recapturing the unfortunate creatures.

[Illustration: THERE ARE BOUNDS TO SPORT.

"By a succession of enormous bounds, the animal keeps far ahead."--Par.
469]

[Page Header: BARBUDA CUB.]

471. An officer, quartered at Antigua, used occasionally to obtain
permission to shoot on an island called Barbuda, in the possession
of Sir Bethel Codrington. It is a strange spot,--a coral rock just
emerging from the sea, its highest point being no more than one
hundred and twenty feet above the water. The horses, cattle, and
everything on the island are wild, save the manager and two overseers,
its only white inhabitants. The former (I speak of the year 1835)
was a splendidly built man, not very refined, but full of energy,
an excellent shot, and an indefatigable sportsman. No Indian had
a keener eye for a trail. A turned leaf or a broken twig told him
the path, and almost the distance, of the hog or deer which he was
pursuing through the dark intricacies of stunted trees, cactus, and
long grass, with which the island is, in a great measure, covered. A
small mangy-looking mongrel, with a long thin muzzle, and lanky body,
always accompanied him. The sagacity of this brute, and his powers of
scenting game, were most remarkable. He generally walked about ten
yards in front of his master, and suddenly throwing his nose high in
the air, would quicken his pace, and trot up wind. Gradually again
his pace would slacken,--the trot was changed to a walk, the walk to
stealthy creeping, when he would raise each foot with the greatest
caution, putting it down as noiselessly as though shod with velvet,
most carefully avoiding the crisp leaves and dry twigs, for fear of
making the slightest sound. Presently he would stand stock-still (the
inclination to point is, I think, more general among dogs than many
men suppose) and look at his master; but he never did this unless the
game was well within shot. His master would now peer closely round, and
his eagle-eye never failed to detect the tip of a horn, or a dappled
spot, showing where a fallow-deer was feeding. If there was a flock
of Guinea-birds,[92] (which are numerous in Barbuda,) the sagacious
little creature would wait until the gun was close to him, and then,
to prevent their running, would dash in and spring them.

[Illustration: WARM GREETING OF A GREAT 'BORE.'--Par. 472.]

[Page Header: CUR AND WILD HOG.]

472. If a hog was in the wind, the cur dashed off immediately,
following the animal until it stopped at bay, when a shrill bark
warned the sportsman of the scene of action. The tiny animal had many
a scar on his rugged hide, cut by hogs, with whose ears and heels he
frequently took liberties; but, up to the time that the officer left
that part of the world, the dog had escaped serious injury by his
good generalship and activity. He certainly had a very just estimate
of his own physical powers, for with young porkers he stood on little
ceremony, rushing into them at once, and worrying and holding them
until the hunter came to his assistance.

473. You might draw a useful moral from this long story by considering
for a moment what kind of sport our Creole acquaintance would have
had, and what number of Guinea-birds, wild hogs, and deer (capital
shot as he was) he would have killed in the year, had he been obliged
to _speak_ to the little cur when hunting. The calculation, I fancy,
would not be found difficult from the number of figures employed in the
enumeration.

474. You may think the foregoing a tough yarn, but I have now in
my mind an instance of sagacity in a Newfoundland, apparently so
much less entitled to credence, that I should be afraid to tell it
(though the breed is justly celebrated for its remarkable docility
and intelligence), if its truth could not be vouched for by Capt.
L----n, one of the best officers in the navy; and who, when I had the
gratification of sailing with him, commanded that noble ship, the
"Vengeance."

[Illustration: INVITATION TO A 'WHITE-BAIT' DINNER.--Par. 475.]

[Page Header: A NEWFOUNDLAND FISHING.]

475. At certain seasons of the year the streams in some parts of North
America, not far from the coast, are filled with fish to an extent you
could scarcely believe, unless you had witnessed it--and now comes the
Munchausen story. A real Newfoundland, belonging to a farmer who lived
near one of those streams, used, at such times, to keep the house well
supplied with fish. He thus managed it:--He was perfectly black, with
the exception of a white fore-foot, and for hours together he would
remain almost immoveable on a small rock which projected into the
stream, keeping his white foot hanging over the ledge as a lure to
the fish. He remained so stationary that it acted as a very attractive
bait; and whenever curiosity or hunger tempted any unwary fish to
approach too close, the dog plunged in, seized his victim, and carried
him off to the foot of a neighbouring tree; and, on a successful day,
he would catch a great number.

476. I have another anecdote of a young Newfoundland, told me by
General Sir H----d D----s, to whose scientific attainments the two
sister-services, the army and the navy, are both so greatly indebted.
He bred the dog in America, having most fortunately taken the dam from
England; for, to her address in swimming, and willingness to "fetch,"
he and his surviving shipwrecked companions were, under Providence,
chiefly indebted for securing many pieces of salt pork that had drifted
from the ill-fated vessel, and which constituted their principal food
during their six weeks' miserable detention on an uninhabited island.

[Page Header: NEWFOUNDLAND AND FOX.]

477. At a station where he was afterwards quartered as a subaltern,
in '98, not far from the falls of Niagara, the soldiers kept a tame
fox. The animal's kennel was an old cask, to which he was attached by
a long line and swivel. The Newfoundland and the fox soon scraped an
acquaintance, which, in due course, ripened into an intimacy.

478. One day that Sir H----d went to the barracks, not seeing anything
of the fox, he gave the barrel a kick, saying to a man standing by,
"Your fox is gone!" This sudden knock at the back-door of his house so
alarmed the sleeping inmate, that he bolted forth with such violence
as to snap the light cord. Off he ran. The soldiers felt assured that
he would return, but Sir H----d, who closely watched the frightened
animal, had the vexation of observing that he made direct for the woods.

479. Sir H----d bethought him to hie on Neptune after Reynard, on
the chance of the friends coming back together in amicable converse.
It would, however, appear that the attractions of kindred (more
probably of freedom) had greater influence than the claims of
friendship; for, instead of the Newfoundland's returning with Pug as
a _voluntary_ companion, after a time, to the surprise and delight
of many spectators, the dog was descried, with the end of the rope
in his mouth, forcibly dragging along the disappointed fox, who was
struggling, manfully but fruitlessly, against a fresh introduction to
his military quarters.

480. "Nep" was properly lauded and caressed for his sagacity; and
Sir H----d was so satisfied that he would always fetch back the fox
perfectly uninjured and unworried, however much excited in the chase,
that the next day, after turning out Reynard, he permitted the officers
to animate and halloo on the dog to their utmost. When slipped, though
all eagerness for the fun in hand, "Nep" took up the trail most
accurately, hunted it correctly, and in due course, agreeably to his
owner's predictions, dragged back the poor prisoner in triumph, having,
as on the previous occasion, merely seized the extremity of the cord.

[Illustration: BRINGING HOME THE BRUSH.

"The dog was descried, with the end of the rope in his mouth, forcibly
dragging along the disappointed fox."--Par. 479.]

[Page Header: MUTA AND MUSK-BULL.]

481. For the following anecdote I am indebted to Sir G----e B----k, the
intrepid and scientific navigator, whose name will be mentioned as long
as British deeds of the present century are cited, descriptive of bold
daring and perseverance in surmounting the greatest difficulties.

482. "On the 8th of September, 1834, after a laborious morning spent
in ascending a part of the Thlew-ĕe-chōh-dezeth, or Back River,
we were detained by the portage of the 'Cascades.' While the men were
actively employed in carrying the things across, I was equally busy in
the tent, working a series of observations which had just been obtained
for longitude, &c.

483. "A little dog, a species of terrier, called 'Muta' from her
silent, quiet habits, was my only companion. She had been the faithful
follower of my party to the polar sea, and, independently of her value
as a good watch, was not only a pet of mine, but had managed to become
a great favourite with all the others.

484. "Muta had left the tent for upwards of an hour, but returned in
great haste, bustled about inside, rubbed against me, and with eyes
bright and eager stood looking in my face. Finding I paid no attention
to her, she rushed out--came back, however, quickly; and standing over
the gun, which was near me, again looked imploringly at me. Once more
she sprung outside, and barked anxiously.

485. "Still I continued my calculations; and perhaps twenty minutes
might have elapsed when Muta, warm and panting, leapt upon me--ran to
the gun--then to the opening of the tent, and evinced such very unusual
restlessness that I could not help fancying something must be wrong.
Being alone, I thought it well to be prepared, and accordingly put a
ball into my second barrel,--there always was one in the first,--and
followed her out.

486. "Her joy was unbounded, and perfectly noiselessly she led me
such a distance that I thought she was deceiving me, and I chidingly
told her so; but she still persisted in going forward, pleased though
excited. I walked on a little further, when conceiving I was but losing
my time I turned back. She ran round to intercept me, and so earnestly
resisted my attempts to retrace my steps, that I yielded to the appeal,
and again consented to accompany her.

487. "She brought me to the edge of a gully, fully half-a-mile from the
tent, partly sheltered by willows. Here she stopped. Thinking she had
tricked me, I began to reproach her, on which she darted like lightning
into the underwood, barking furiously, when, to my great surprise, out
rushed a large musk bull, which unluckily I only wounded, to Muta's
manifest disappointment, and my own great annoyance.

488. "Poor Muta's sad fate is recorded in the 462d page of my Narrative
of the Arctic Land Expedition of 1833-4-5, and she may be seen in the
mouth of the white wolf that killed her, safely housed in a glass case
within the walls of the United Service Institution."

[Illustration: SCENE ON THE 'THLEW-ĔE-CHŌH-DEZETH.'--Par. 487.]

489. At my request, Sir G----e kindly drew the spirited sketch, which I
have had engraved, of the scene he so vividly described.

[Page Header: CAPTAIN AND SUWARROW.]

490. Dining one day at the hospitable board of Lord M----f, he told
me, that many years ago an uncle of his, an excellent sportsman,
lent him a brace of short-haired English dogs, yclept "Captain" and
"Suwarrow,"--martial names! yet not inappropriate, you will think,
when you hear some of their feats of strategy. "Captain," moreover,
had other warlike propensities; he was a close-knit, powerful dog, and
there was no peace in any kennel he ever entered until its boldest
inmates had conceded to him all the privileges of commander-in-chief.

491. Lord M----f and a friend had obtained permission to shoot on
a considerable part of an extensive valley in Perthshire, lying at
the foot of "Schiehallion;" but unfortunately they had not the sole
right,--a similar favour had been granted to a lame man, but no _lame_
sportsman, who for some days greatly annoyed them. Start when they
would, and take what line they might, Dot-and-go-one with his old
pointer was sure to be on the heather before them.

492. "Captain" and "Suwarrow" bore this for some time with greater
_apparent_ patience than the gentlemen. On one occasion, however, when
the inferiority of the ground they were compelled to take was more
than usually obvious, "Captain's" blood was fairly roused,--he could
stand it no longer. Leaving his companion, he crossed at full speed to
the other side of the valley,--not, as might possibly be surmised, to
wreak his vengeance upon the old pointer,--but, strange to say, to hunt
at his best pace the good ground in front of his rival, and _raise_,
not _point_, every grouse he could find. When he conceived he had done
enough mischief, or perhaps thought he had driven a fair proportion of
birds to Lord M----f's side of the valley, he quietly returned to his
usual duties--duties which, be it remarked, he always performed most
steadily. As an evidence--on the evening of that very day, instead of
_pointing_, as was his wont, he _dropped_, on unexpectedly getting into
the midst of a pack, and did not stir an inch until all the birds had
successively risen. You will surely think _his_ right to be considered
a first-rate tactician is fully proved:--when you read 530, you will
perhaps allow that "Suwarrow" has an equally good, if not superior,
claim to the title.

493. And will not these evidences of great sagacity and, except in
the few last cases, instances of good breaking--and they might be
multiplied, I was nearly saying, _ad infinitum_, for every sportsman
could furnish some--convince you, that it is our own fault, if our
high-bred pointers, setters, and retrievers (which can scarcely be
surpassed in docility and intelligence), are indifferently educated?
It is not that _they_ cannot understand, but that _we_, either for
want of patience or reflection, cannot make ourselves understood. The
fault is _ours_, not _theirs_. They might, indeed, almost be taught
anything--even things quite opposed to their nature--if we did but act
more reasonably, and were not in most cases supinely content to stop so
very far short of perfection, apparently grudging a little additional
trouble.

[Page Header: RAP.]

494. In the "Sporting Magazine" for May, 1834, a likeness is given of
an admirable pointer named "Rap," of whom it is recorded that "he often
hunted in the woods with springers and terriers, all which time he
played in both characters, and in both excelled. No sooner, however,
had he returned to his especial occupation, as a pointer, than he
became as steady as ever."

495. I knew intimately an excellent shot (T. F----e, of the 76th),
who, some years ago, during one of the many disturbances in County
Tipperary, was quartered with a detachment of men at a gentleman's
house, in rather a wild part of the country. The proprietor kept a
small scratch-pack of harriers, with which the officer's pointer,
called Shot, became very intimate. When the hunting season commenced,
Shot accompanied them to the field, joined in the chase, and performed
uncommonly well; indeed, he frequently led the pack, and yet, singular
to say, he continued as steady as possible when he was shot to. As
you may well suppose, it was a source of much fun and laughter to the
Nimrods to see, regularly hunting with their harriers, a dog which
possibly had stanchly pointed at birds the preceding day.

496. Though I had bred and educated him myself,--he was the dog of
which I spoke (139) as behaving so well on the Galtee mountains when
first shown game,--no one could be more surprised than I was at hearing
of so novel a display of intelligence. It is partly to be accounted for
by the fact, that none of his high animal spirits and self-confidence
had been destroyed by severity in breaking. I can conscientiously aver
that I do not think I whipped him more than twice in the whole course
of his training, and I am certain not once harshly; and his next owner
was equally kind,--I might more correctly say, equally judicious.

[Page Header: MR. B----E'S DROPPER.]

497. As a dog that loves you, and possesses proper
self-confidence,--though, at the same time, he entertains due respect
for your authority,--will always exert himself to the best of his
abilities to please, it remains but for you to direct those abilities
aright. "Shot," you see, _pointed_ and _hunted_ on alternate days. A
little bitch, that I knew, would, on the same day, set alternately
different kinds of game, according to the wishes of her master. She
belonged to a Mr. B----e, near Templemore, and, with the exception that
she had no established judicious range, was one of the most killing
dogs to be met with in a long drive. She was an ugly, short-tailed
dropper; in appearance not worth three half-crowns. She was capital
on snipe; but on the bogs, if you were in expectation of meeting with
grouse, and, in consequence, refused to fire at one or two snipes, and
slightly scolded her for pointing them, she would immediately leave
off noticing them, confining herself entirely to hunting for grouse.
If you shot a snipe, and showed it to her, she would immediately
recommence seeking for the long-bills. But this would be a dangerous
lesson to teach a dog ever likely to be required on the moors. A dog
trained for grouse should invariably be rated whenever he notices
snipe; lest, after toiling up the side of a mountain on a broiling day,
in expectation of hearing the exciting "Whirr-r whirr-r," you be only
greeted with the disappointing "Skeap, skeap." On the other hand, if
you live in the lowlands, and think you may hereafter wish to take your
dog out snipe-shooting, make him occasionally point one in the early
part of his education. It is often difficult to bring a partridge-dog
to notice snipe, whereas a snipe-dog will readily acknowledge partridge
on account of the stronger scent.

[Illustration: RUSSIAN SETTER.

"Difficult to procure even in Russia of a pure breed."--Par. 498.]

498. Many sportsmen are of opinion that droppers inherit more of the
bad than the good qualities of their parents; but occasionally one of a
litter, like Mr. B----e's bitch, turns out an admirable dog, and proves
a valuable exception to the supposed rule. Sometime since I heard an
officer of the Engineers expatiating upon the excellent qualities of
a dropper (by his pointer "Guy") out of a Russian setter, which, as
he said, belonged to me many years ago: but he was mistaken. I never
possessed one. I wish I had; for I hear the breed is capital,--that
they are very easily broken,--are very intelligent,--have excellent
noses, and great endurance, but not much speed,--and never forget what
has been once taught them: in this respect more resembling pointers
than our setters, which are often wild at the beginning of a season.
Could we, by judicious crossing, improve them half as much as we did
the old heavy Spanish pointer.[93] what glorious dogs we should
possess! It is, however, very difficult to procure them even in Russia
of a pure breed; for so few sportsmen in that country think of shooting
according to our system, that but little attention is paid to their
fine setters.

[Page Header: RIVAL KEEPERS.]

499. If your patience is not exhausted, you shall hear (as told me by
an old commanding officer of mine, Major S----n) how, many years ago, a
bet was decided in the Highlands, as to the perfection in dog-breaking
attained by two rival keepers. It was in the month of August, and there
was plenty of game. The dogs produced by the two competitors performed
so brilliantly,--were hunted so noiselessly,--quartered their ground
so systematically and independently,--and worked so zealously, yet
cautiously, that the awarding of the palm seemed to be a difficult
matter. At length one of the keepers obtained the decision of the
umpires in his favour by the following feat. He made his three dogs, in
obedience to a low whistle and a sign, at a moment when all three were
separately setting, retreat from their several points without flushing
any of the birds, and take up each other's points, each dog remaining
stationary until he was individually shot over. This great command, I
suppose, but I cannot assert it positively, must have been gained by
much such kennel discipline as is described in 30. It would appear,
too, as if a distinct whistle or note had been employed for each dog
(505).

500. I only advocate instruction that is really useful; therefore, I
merely mention this instance of excellent breaking as another evidence
of the great perfection to which our well-bred dogs _can_ be brought:
and as it is certain they can reach such perfection, I think you will
admit that every _high-priced dog_ ought to be far better educated
than is customary. Indeed, I trust, if you are an enthusiast on the
subject, that you will not only agree with me in requiring that he be
as fully made as I have described, and as I am of opinion is absolutely
necessary (393), but that occasionally you will wish him to be yet
further instructed in some of the still higher accomplishments or
refinements which, if you are willing, we will now proceed to consider.



CHAPTER XVI.

DISTINGUISHING WHISTLES. "BACKING" THE GUN. RETREAT FROM AND RESUMPTION
OF POINT. RANGE UNACCOMPANIED BY GUN. HEADING RUNNING BIRDS.

501. A DISTINGUISHING WHISTLE FOR EACH DOG; disadvantage of
employing but one Whistle for several Dogs; supposed Case.--502.
Another Case.--503. Third Case.--504. Reader will admit correctness
of reasoning.--505. Dissimilar Whistles, or distinct notes on one
whistle.--506. Boatswain's Whistle almost a musical instrument.--507.
Railway Whistles; Porteous': general Rule for whistling.--508.
Porteous' newly-invented Dog Whistles.--509. DOG TO BACK THE GUN; how
taught; it creates Caution; in Note, sagacity of Fawn Antelope in
concealing itself; want of like sagacity in Pea-fowl. Portable rest
for Rifle.--510. Advantage of Dog backing the Gun.--511. American
Wood-duck.--512. DOG TO RETREAT FROM POINT AND RESUME IT.--513. How
taught.--514. Shows dog object for which he is hunted.--515. Not
taught too early.--516. Dog's Consciousness of its Object.--517.
Pointer doing it spontaneously.--518. Setter which was taught to do
it.--519. Surprising author by volunteering the feat.--520. Irish
Setter retreating from, and resuming point at Hare.--521. Bitch
that barked when pointing and hid in cover.--522. DOG TO HUNT FROM
LEEWARD TO WINDWARD, UNACCOMPANIED BY GUN; how taught.--523. A
_careful_ Dog running down wind would not spring birds.--524. The
great Advantages of the Accomplishment.--525. DOG TO HEAD RUNNING
BIRDS; could be taught.--526. Tolfrey's "Sportsman in France."--527.
Instance of Dog's spontaneously heading, and thus intercepting,
red-legged Partridges.--528, 529. M----i's "Albert" volunteering
to head Guinea-birds.--530. Lord M----f's "Suwarrow" spontaneously
heading running Grouse; then keeping his stern towards them.--531.
How accounted for.--532. Not so extraordinary had the Dog been taught
to hunt "unaccompanied by Gun."--533. The accomplishment taught by
"lifting;" not commenced first season. In Note, "Niger's" spontaneously
running to further side of hedge to drive birds to this side.--534.
Could be taught as easily as Shepherds' Collies are instructed.--535.
Particularly useful where the red-legged Partridge is found. Shooting
in Africa.

A DISTINGUISHING WHISTLE FOR EACH DOG.

501. Though you may have only begun to shoot last season, have you not
often wished to attract the attention of one of your two dogs, and make
him hunt in a particular part of the field, but, for fear of alarming
the birds, have been unwilling to call out his name, and have felt
loth to whistle to him, lest you should bring away at the same time the
other dog, who was zealously hunting exactly where you considered him
most likely to find birds.

[Page Header: WHISTLES.]

502. Again: have the dogs never been hunting close together instead
of pursuing distinct beats; and has it not constantly happened, on
your whistling with the view to separate them, that _both_ have turned
their heads in obedience to the whistle, and _both_ on your signal
changed the direction of their beat, but still the _two together_? And
have you not, in despair of ever parting them by merely whistling and
signalling, given the lucky birds (apparently in the most handsome
manner, as if scorning to take any ungenerous advantage) fair notice of
the approach of the guns by shouting out the name of one of the dogs.

503. Or, if one dog was attentive to the whistle, did he not gradually
learn to disregard it from observing that his companion was never
chidden for neglecting to obey it?--and did not such laxity more and
more confirm both in habits of disobedience?

504. I believe several of my readers will be constrained to answer
these questions in the affirmative; and, further, I think their own
experience will remind them of many occasions, both on moor and stubble
when birds were wild, on which they have wished to attract the notice
of a particular dog (perhaps running along a hedge, or pottering over a
recent haunt; or hunting down wind towards marked game) by _whistling_
instead of calling out his name, but have been unwilling to do so, lest
the other dogs should likewise obey the shrill sound to which all were
equally accustomed.

[Page Header: DIFFERENT NOTES.]

505. Now, in breaking young dogs, you could, by using whistles of
dissimilar calls, easily avoid the liability of these evils; and by
invariably employing a particular whistle for each dog to summon him
separately to his food (30), each would distinguish his own whistle
as surely as every dog knows his own master's whistle, and as hounds
learn their names. Dogs not only know their own names, but instantly
know by the pronunciation when it is uttered by a stranger. To prevent
mistakes, each dog's name might be marked on his own whistle. You might
have two whistles, of very different sound, on one short stock. Indeed,
_one_ whistle would be sufficient for two dogs, if you invariably
sounded the same two or three sharp short notes for one dog, and as
invariably gave a sustained note for the other. Nay, the calls could
thus be so diversified, that one whistle might be used for even more
than two dogs.

506. Whoever has heard the boatswain of a man-of-war piping all hands
on deck, must think his whistle, from the variety of its tones, almost
a musical instrument; but it could not well be employed for dogs, as
they would not understand it when sounded by any one but their master.

507. Railways have led to the introduction of new whistles. Porteous,
the band-master at Chelsea College (whose Light Infantry Field Pipe
is well-known to military men), has exercised his ingenious talents
in making several, but they are too shrill to be of much service to
the sportsman. The acorn (or bell pattern) has, however, a much softer
tone, yet it, too, makes an awful noise.

But whatever whistle you choose to employ, be sure, both in and out of
the field, to sound it softly whenever the dog is near you. Indeed,
you would act judiciously to make it a constant rule, wherever he may
be, _never to whistle louder than is really requisite_, otherwise (as
I think I before remarked) he will, comparatively speaking, pay little
attention to its summons, when, being at a distance, he hears it but
faintly.

508. I wrote to Mr. Porteous, explaining how much a whistle was wanted
that might be used by the most unmusical person, yet give distinct
unvarying sounds, so that no dog could mistake his own whistle, let it
be blown by whom it might. He at once understood what was required, and
has invented one with a slide that answers well for two dogs. He told
me that he was making further improvements, and expected to contrive
one which would answer for as many as three or four dogs. Messrs.
Stevens, Darlington Works, Southwark-bridge Road, are the manufacturers.

[Page Header: BACKING THE GUN.]

TO BACK THE GUN.


509. In shooting, especially late in the season, you will often mark
down a bird, and feel assured that you stand a better chance of getting
a shot at it if the dogs cease hunting whilst you approach it. You
can teach your dog to do this by holding up your right hand _behind_
you when you mark down a bird, saying at the same time, "Toho," in an
earnest, quiet voice, and carrying your gun as if you were prepared to
shoot. He will soon begin, I really must say it, to _back you_,--for he
actually will be backing you, ludicrous as the expression may sound.
After a few times he will do so on the signal, without your speaking
at all; and he will be as pleased, as excited, and as stanch, as if he
were backing an old dog. Making him "drop" will not effect your object;
for, besides that it in no way increases his intelligence, you may wish
him to follow at a respectful distance, while you are stealing along
the banks of some stream, &c. Ere long he will become as sensible as
yourself that any noise would alarm the birds, and you will soon see
him picking his steps to avoid the crisp leaves, lest their rustling
should betray him. I have even heard of a dog whose admirable caution
occasionally led him, when satisfied that his point was observed, to
crawl behind a bush, or some other shelter, to screen[94] himself from
the notice of the birds.

[Illustration: TELL ME MY HEART (HART) IF THIS BE LOVE.

"And took a random chance shot."--Par. 509, Note.]

510. The acquisition of this accomplishment--and it is easily taught to
a young dog previously made steady in backing another (it should not be
attempted before)--will often secure you a duck, or other wary bird,
which the dog would otherwise, almost to a certainty, spring out of
gun-shot. If you should "soho" a hare, and wish to kill one, you will
have an excellent opportunity of practising this lesson.

511. In America there is a singular duck, called, from its often
alighting on trees, the Wood-duck. I have killed some of these
beautiful, fast-flying birds, while they were seated on logs
overhanging the water, which I could not have approached within
gun-shot had the dog not properly backed the gun when signalled to, and
cautiously crept after me, still remaining far in the rear.

[Page Header: POINT RESUMED.]

TO RETREAT FROM A POINT AND RESUME IT.

512. Amidst coppices, osiers, or broom--indeed, sometimes on a rough
moor--you will occasionally lose sight of a dog, and yet be unwilling
to call him, feeling assured that he is somewhere steadily pointing;
and being vexatiously certain that, when he hears your whistle, he will
either leave his point, not subsequently to resume it, or (which is far
more probable) amuse himself by raising the game before he joins you.
There are moments when you would give guineas if he would retreat from
his point, come to you on your whistling, lead you towards the bird,
and there resume his point.

513. This accomplishment (and in many places abroad its value is almost
inappreciable) can be taught him, if he is under great command, by
your occasionally bringing him to heel from a point when he is within
sight and near you, and again putting him on his point. You will begin
your instruction in this accomplishment when the dog is pointing quite
close to you. On subsequent occasions, you can gradually increase the
distance, until you arrive at such perfection that you can let him be
out of sight when you call him. When he is first allowed to be out of
your sight, he ought not to be far from you.

[Page Header: DOG SHOWING HIMSELF.]

514. You may, for a moment, think that what is here recommended
contradicts the axiom laid down in 359; but it is there said, that
nothing ought to make a dog "_voluntarily_" leave his point. Indeed,
the possession of this accomplishment, so far from being productive of
any harm, greatly awakens a dog's intelligence, and makes him perceive,
more clearly than ever, that the sole object for which he is taken to
the field is to obtain shots for the gun that accompanies him. When he
is pointing on your side of a thick hedge, it will make him understand
why you call him off;--take him down wind, and direct him to jump the
fence: he will at once go to the bird, and, on your encouraging him,
force it to rise on your side.

515. You will practise this lesson, however, with great caution, and
not before his education is nearly completed, lest he imagine that you
do not wish him always to remain stanch to his point. Indeed, if you
are precipitate, or injudicious, you may make him blink his game.

516. After a little experience, he will very likely some day
satisfactorily prove his consciousness of your object, by voluntarily
coming out of thick cover to show you where he is, and again going in
and resuming his point.

517. I was once shooting in Ireland with a friend (Major L----e), late
in the season, when we saw a very young pointer do this solely from his
own intelligence. Unperceived by either of us he had broken fence, and
was out of sight. In vain we whistled and called. At length we saw him
on the top of a bank (in that country usually miscalled "ditch"); but
the moment he perceived that we noticed him, down he jumped. We went
up, and to our great satisfaction found him steadily pointing a snipe.
I need not say that he received much praise and many caresses for the
feat.

518. I was partridge-shooting a few seasons back with an intimate
friend, who was anxious to give me a good day's sport, when I observed
him beckoning to me from a distance. He told me, when I came up to him,
that some birds were immediately before him. I was puzzled to conceive
how he could know this, for his white setter was alongside of him
rolling on her back. He signalled to her to go forward, and sure enough
she marched on, straight as an arrow's flight, to a covey lying on the
stubble. In answer to my inquiries, my friend, who seemed to attach no
value to the feat, but to take it as a matter of course, told me that
he had called the bitch away from her point lest her presence should
alarm the birds, and make them take wing before I could come up.

519. As my friend was obliged to return home early, he left the lady
with me. I had marked some partridges into the leeward side of a large
turnip-field. I could not get her to hunt where I wished; I, therefore,
no longer noticed her, but endeavoured to walk up the birds without
her assistance. After a time she rejoined me, and ranged well and
close. I then proceeded to beat the other part of the field--the part
she had already hunted contrary to my wishes. Instead of making a cast
to the right or left, on she went, directly ahead, for nearly three
hundred yards. I was remarking to my attendant that she must be nearly
useless to all but her master, when I observed her come to a stiff
point. I then felt convinced that I had done her great injustice,--that
she must have found and left this covey, whilst I was hunting far to
leeward,--and that she had gone forward to resume her point, as soon as
my face was turned in the right direction. On my mentioning all this to
her owner, he said he had no doubt but that such was the case, as she
would often voluntarily leave game to look for him, and again stand at
it on perceiving that he watched her movements.

[Page Header: POINT VOLUNTARILY RESUMED.]

520. An _old_ Kentish acquaintance of mine, though he is still a
_young_ man, has an Irish setter that behaved in a very similar manner.
F----r, having severely wounded a hare in cover, put the dog upon the
scent. He immediately took it up, but "roaded" so fast as to be soon
out of sight. After a fruitless search for the setter, F----r was
obliged to whistle two or three times, when he showed himself at the
end of a ride, and by his anxious looks and motions seemed to invite
his master to come on. This he did. The sagacious beast, after turning
two corners, at each of which he stopped until F----r came up, went
into cover and resumed the point, which my friend feels satisfied the
dog must have left on hearing the whistle, for the wounded hare, whose
leg was broken, was squatted within a yard of him. Such instances of
a voluntary relinquishment and resumption of a point, must lead us to
think that this accomplishment cannot be very difficult to teach dogs
who have been accustomed to the gratification of always seeing their
game carefully deposited in the bag.

521. In a capital little treatise on field diversions, written by a
Suffolk sportsman upwards of seventy years ago, it is recorded that a
pointer bitch, belonging to a Doctor Bigsbye, used to give tongue if
she found in cover and was not perceived, and that she would repeatedly
bark to indicate her locality until she was relieved from her point.

[Page Header: TO RANGE WITHOUT GUN.]

TO HUNT REGULARLY FROM LEEWARD TO WINDWARD WITHOUT THE GUN.

522. In paragraph 201 I observed, that when you are obliged, as
occasionally must be the case, to enter a field to windward with your
pupil, you ought to go down to the leeward side of it, keeping him
close to your heels, before you commence to hunt. After undeviatingly
pursuing this plan for some time, you can, before you come quite to the
bottom of the field, send him ahead (by the underhand bowler's swing
of the right hand, IV. of 141), and, when he has reached the bottom,
signal to him to hunt to the right (or left). He will be so habituated
to work under your eye (176) that you will find it necessary to walk
backwards (up the middle of the field), while instructing him. As he
becomes, by degrees, confirmed in this lesson, you can sooner and
sooner send him ahead (from your heel),--but increase the distances
very gradually,--until at length he will be so far perfected, that you
may venture to send him down wind to the extremity of the field (before
he commences beating), while you remain quietly at the top awaiting his
return, until he shall have hunted the whole ground, as systematically
and carefully as if you had accompanied him from the bottom. By this
method you will teach him, on his gaining more experience, invariably
to run to leeward, and hunt up to windward (crossing and re-crossing
the wind) whatever part of a field you and he may enter. What a
glorious consummation! and it can be attained, but only by great
patience and perseverance. The least reflection, however, will show you
that you should not attempt it until the dog is perfected in his range.

523. A careful dog, thus practised, will seldom spring birds, however
directly he may be running down wind. He will pull up at the faintest
indication of a scent, being at all times anxiously on the look-out for
the coveted aroma.

524. Not only to the idle or tired sportsman would it be a great
benefit to have a field thus beaten, but the keenest and most
indefatigable shot would experience its advantages in the cold
and windy weather customary in November, when the tameness of
partridge-shooting cannot be much complained of; for the birds being
then ever ready to take wing, surely the best chance, by fair means,
of getting near them would be to intercept them between the dog and
yourself. The manoeuvre much resembles that recommended in 284, but in
this you sooner and more directly head the birds.

[Page Header: HEAD RUNNING BIRDS.]

525. Here the consideration naturally arises, whether dogs could not be
_taught_ (when hunting in the ordinary manner with the dog in rear)

TO HEAD RUNNING BIRDS.

Certainly it could be done. There have been many instances of old dogs
_spontaneously_ galloping off, and placing themselves on the other side
of the covey (which they had pointed) as soon as they perceived that it
was on the run,--and by good instruction you could develop, or rather
excite, that exercise of sagacity.

526. Tolfrey (formerly, I believe, of the 43rd) gives, in his
"Sportsman in France," so beautiful an instance of a dog's untutored
intelligence, leading him to see the advantage of thus placing running
birds between himself and the gun, that I will transcribe it, although
I have already mentioned (end of 206) Grouse's very similar behaviour.

527. "On gaining some still higher ground, the dog drew and stood. She
was walked up to, but to my astonishment we found no birds. She was
encouraged, and with great difficulty coaxed off her point. She kept
drawing on, but with the same ill-success. I must confess I was for
the moment sorely puzzled; but knowing the excellence of the animal, I
let her alone. She kept drawing on for nearly a hundred yards--still
no birds. At last, of her own accord, and with a degree of instinct
amounting almost to the faculty of reasoning, she broke from her
point, and dashing off to the right made a _détour_, and was presently
straight before me, some three hundred yards off, setting the game
whatever it might be, as much as to say, 'I'll be ****** if you escape
me this time.' We walked steadily on, and when within about thirty
yards of her, up got a covey of red-legged partridges, and we had the
good fortune to kill a brace each. It is one of the characteristics of
these birds to run for an amazing distance before they take wing; but
the sagacity of my faithful dog baffled all their efforts to escape.
We fell in with several coveys of these birds during the day, and my
dog ever after gave them the double, and kept them between the gun and
herself."

528. Mr. M----i, an officer high in the military store department,
wrote to me but last Christmas (1863) almost in the following words:--

[Page Header: ALBERT AND PEGGY.]

529. "When stationed in Jamaica, quail and the wild guinea-fowl were
the only game I ever hunted for. The latter are very difficult to
approach, as they run for hours through the long grass and brushwood,
and will not rise unless hard pressed; but when once flushed, they
spread through the cover, and lie so close, that one may almost kick
them before without raising them. My dog, 'Albert,' was broke on
grouse before I had him out from home. A steadier or better dog you
will rarely see. The first time we went out after guinea-fowl he set
to work as though hunting for grouse, pointing, and roading cautiously
when he came on the run of the birds, but, from their pace through
the cover, never coming up with them. This occurred the first two or
three mornings, and annoyed him greatly. At last one day, as soon as he
found that the birds were running through the bush, he halted, turned
round, and looked up at me as much as to say: 'My poking after these
fellows is all nonsense; do let me try some other dodge.' So I told him
to go on, when he instantly started off, making a wide cast until he
headed his game, when he commenced beating back towards me, driving the
birds before him until they were sufficiently near me, when he dashed
suddenly in amongst them, forcing the whole pack to take wing. They
spread through the surrounding grass and cover, and 'Albert' and his
mother, 'Peggy,' went to work, picking up the birds singly or in pairs
as they lay. Old mother 'Peggy' was far too sedate and stanch to follow
her son in the chase; she remained with me until he had brought back,
and flushed the birds, and then she vied with him in finding them.

From this time I never had any difficulty in getting shots at these
wary birds, for the very moment they commenced running, 'Albert' was
off until he headed them, drove them back, and flushed them, as above
described.

When looking for quail, 'Albert' behaved quite differently, working
steadily and cautiously, and never attempting to run into or spring his
game until I came close up to him."

[Page Header: SUWARROW.]

530. Grouse were unusually on the run one misty day, when the able
Judge mentioned in 490 was shooting over "Captain's" companion,
"Suwarrow." The dog "roaded" a pack for some time very patiently,
but suddenly darted off for a considerable distance to the right
and dropped into a long hag, through the mazes of which Lord M----f
followed as fast as the nature of the ground would permit him. Every
now and then the dog just raised his head above the heather to satisfy
himself that his Lordship was coming. Where the hag ceased, and
"Suwarrow" could no longer conceal his movements, he commenced a very
curious system of tactics, travelling, after a most extraordinary
fashion, _sideways_ on the arc of a circle, constantly keeping his
stern towards its centre. At length he wheeled about, and stood
stock-still at a fixed point, as if inviting Lord M----f to approach.
He did so,--raised a large pack, and had a capital right and left.

531. It would appear that the "Marshal" soon perceived that he had no
chance of being enabled by a regular pursuit to bring his artillery
to bear upon the retreating party; he, therefore, resorted to a novel
strategy to lull them into fancied security, and induce them to halt.
He at once made a feint of abandoning the pursuit, and moved off to
the flank. He made a forced _concealed_ march in the hag; and when it
would no longer mask his plans and he was compelled to show himself, he
merely let them see his _rear_ guard, that they might still think he
was retiring, and did not show any front until he had fairly entangled
them between himself and his guns. It was a feat worthy of "Wellington"
or "Napoleon," let alone "Suwarrow." By-the-bye, it explains why Lord
M----d's dog (295) faced about whenever he perceived that his presence
alarmed the birds.

532. If "Grouse" (206), Tolfrey's bitch, "Albert," and "Suwarrow" had
been taught to "hunt from leeward to windward without the gun" (522),
they would have been habituated to seeing game intercepted between
themselves and their masters,--and then their spontaneously heading
running birds (though undeniably evincing great intelligence) would
not have been so very remarkable. They would but have reversed matters
by placing themselves to windward of the birds while the gun was to
leeward. This shows that the acquisition of that accomplishment (522)
would be a great step towards securing a knowledge of the one we are
now considering. Indeed, there seems to be a mutual relation between
these two refinements in education, for the possession of either would
greatly conduce to the attainment of the other.

[Page Header: HEADING WOUNDED BIRDS.]

533. This accomplishment--and hardly any can be considered more
useful--is not so difficult to teach an intelligent dog as one might
at first imagine; it is but to lift him, and make him act on a larger
scale, much in the manner described in 309 and 544. Like, however,
everything else in canine education--indeed, in all education--it
must be effected gradually; nor should it be commenced before the
dog has had a season's steadying; then practise him in heading every
wounded bird, and endeavour to make him do so at increased distances.
Whenever, also, he comes upon the "heel" of a covey which is to leeward
of him,--instead of letting him "foot" it,--oblige him to quit the
scent and take a circuit (sinking the wind), so as to place himself to
leeward of the birds. He will thereby _head the covey_, and you will
have every reason to hope that after a time his own observation and
intellect will show him the advantage of thus intercepting birds and
stopping them when they are on the run, whether the manoeuvre places
him to leeward or to windward of them.[95]

[Page Header: SETTER TO RETRIEVE.]

534. If you could succeed in teaching but one of your dogs thus to
take a wide sweep when he is ordered, and head a running covey before
it gets to the extremity of the field (while the other dogs remain
near you), you would be amply rewarded for months of extra trouble in
training, by obtaining shots on days when good sportsmen, with fair
average dogs, would hardly pull a trigger. And why should you not?
Success would be next to certain, if you could as readily place your
dog exactly where you wish, as shepherds do their collies (143). And
whose fault will it be if you cannot? Clearly not your dog's, for he is
as capable of receiving instruction as the shepherd's.

535. Manifestly it would be worth while to take great pains to teach
this accomplishment, for in all countries it would prove a most
killing one when birds become wild; and, as Tolfrey shows (529), it
would be found particularly useful wherever the red-legged partridge
abounds,[96]--which birds you will find do not lie badly when the
coveys are, by any means, well headed and completely broken. But there
are other accomplishments nearly as useful as those already detailed;
the description of them, however, we will reserve for a separate
Chapter.



CHAPTER XVII.

SETTER TO RETRIEVE. BLOODHOUNDS. RETRIEVERS TO "BEAT." WOUNDED WILDFOWL
RETRIEVED BEFORE THE KILLED.

536. SETTER TO RETRIEVE; obtain thereby in one dog the services of
two; necessity of having some Dog that retrieves.--537. Predilection
for Setters confessed; Reason given; in Note, Setters daily becoming
more valuable than Pointers; Partridges netted by Poachers, also by
Keepers, to make birds wary; Bloodhounds to track Poachers; Education
of Bloodhounds; Education of Keeper's night dog. (See Appendix).--538.
Retrieving not to be taught first season.--539. Value of retrieving
instanced in Pointer.--540. One Dog only to retrieve; Dog that bolted
Partridge because interfered with by companion; Birds kept cool.--541.
Let "retrieving" be done by "Finder."--542. Captain J----n's three
Dogs that alternately retrieved as ordered.--543. Such an Education
could be given, but unnecessary.--544. Seeking Dead with two Dogs;
Winged Bird searched for in direction of covey's flight.--545. Scent
differs of wounded and unwounded birds.--546. Three dead Snipe
lifted in succession; Setter that stood fresh birds while carrying
a dead one; Pointer that pointed Partridge while carrying a hare;
Retriever refusing to relinquish chase of wounded Hare; _wounded_
Woodcock walked up to, not "set" by Dog.--547. "Venus" tracking winged
Partridge through Pheasants and Rabbits.--548. Injudiciousness of
_retrieving_ Setter pointing dead.--549. Argument against employing
retrieving Setters holds against using regular Retrievers.--550.
REGULAR RETRIEVERS TO BEAT; its Advantages; one Dog does the duty
of two.--551. Instance of Retriever doing so spontaneously.--552.
Retriever that never disturbed fresh ground.--553. WATER RETRIEVERS (OR
WATER SPANIELS) TO RETRIEVE CRIPPLED BEFORE PICKING UP DEAD WILDFOWL;
how taught.--554. None of these Accomplishments so difficult to teach
as a good range.--555. Might be taught by your Gamekeeper but not to be
expected of regular Breaker.


SETTER TO RETRIEVE.

536. Undeniably there is some value in the extra number of shots
obtained by means of highly broken dogs; and nearly as undeniable is it
that no man, who is not over-rich, will term that teaching superfluous
which enables him to secure in one dog the services of two. Now, I take
it for granted (as I cannot suppose you are willing to lose many head
of killed game), that you would be glad to be always accompanied in
the field by a dog that retrieves. Unless you have such a companion,
there will be but little chance of your often securing a slightly
winged bird in turnips. Indeed, in all rough shooting, the services of
a dog so trained are desirable to prevent many an unfortunate hare and
rabbit from getting away to die a painful, lingering death; and yet,
if the possession of a large kennel is ever likely to prove half as
inconvenient to you as it would to me, you would do well, according to
my idea of the matter, to dispense with a regular retriever, provided
you have a highly broken setter who retrieves well.

[Page Header: SETTER PREFERRED TO POINTER.]

537. I say setter rather than pointer, not on account of his more
affectionate, and perhaps more docile disposition (for certainly he is
less liable to sulk under punishment), but because, thanks to his long
coat, he will be able to work in any cover, and that from nature he
"roads" quicker.

I must, however, plead _guilty_ (for many good sportsmen will think
I evince bad taste) to a predilection for setters--meaning always
_cautious_ setters--a partiality, perhaps, attributable to having
shot more over wild, uncertain ground than in well-stocked preserves.
Doubtless, in a very enclosed country, where game is abundant, pointers
are preferable, far preferable, more especially should there be a
scarcity of water; but for severe and fast work, and as a servant of
all work, there is nothing, I humbly conceive, like the setter.[97]
He may be, and generally is, the more difficult to break; but when
success has crowned your efforts, what a noble, enduring, sociable,
attached animal you possess. I greatly, too, admire his long, stealthy,
blood-like action,--(for I am not speaking of the large heavy sort
before which in old days whole coveys used to be nettled), and the
animated waving of his stern, so strongly indicative of high breeding;
though, strange to say, in gracefulness of carriage the fox, when
hunting, and actually on game, far excels him. But we are again
getting astray beyond our proper limits; let us keep to the subject of
dog-breaking.

[Page Header: TO RETRIEVE SECOND SEASON.]

538. As it will be your endeavour, during your pupil's first season,
to make him thoroughly stanch and steady, I cannot advise you (as
a general rule liable, of course, to many exceptions--one of which
is named in 317), to let him retrieve,--by retrieve I always mean
fetch,--until the following year. There is another advantage in the
delay. His sagacity will have shown him that the design of every shot
is to bag the game--when, therefore, he has once been permitted to
pick up a bird, he will be desirous of carrying it immediately to
you, and will resist the temptation to loiter with it, mouthing and
spoiling it; and however keenly he may have heretofore "sought dead,"
he will henceforth search with redoubled zeal, from the delight he will
experience in being permitted to carry his game. Moreover, the season's
shooting, without lifting, will have so thoroughly confirmed him in
the "down charge," that the increased[98] inclination to bolt off in
search of a falling bird will be successfully resisted. If he has been
taught while young to "fetch" (107, 109, &c.), he will be so anxious
to take the birds to you, that instead of there being any difficulty
in teaching him this accomplishment, you will often, during his first
season, have to restrain him from lifting when he is "pointing dead."
The least encouragement will make him gladly pick up the birds, and
give them, as he ought, to no one but yourself.

539. Suppose you possess no regular retriever--if, instead of lifting
your game yourself, you accustom one of your pointers or setters to do
so, you will occasionally, in some odd manner, bag a bird which you
would otherwise inevitably lose. In 97 is given such an instance; and
in Scotland, no later than last season, I saw another. An outlying
cock-pheasant rose out of stubble. It was a long shot, but he was
knocked over, falling into an adjoining piece of turnips. After the
"down charge," a pointer bitch accustomed to retrieve, was sent to
fetch him. The moment she approached the bird, up he got, apparently as
strong as ever, and flew over some rising ground, but wither, I had no
idea, further than suspecting that he was making for a distant cover on
_forbidden_ ground. I, therefore, at once gave him up as lost. The dog,
however, was more sanguine, for, to my great surprise, off she started
in pursuit, clearly imagining it was quite a mistake of the pheasant's.
I soon lost sight of her, but, to my great gratification, I observed
her, some little time afterwards, topping the hillock with the bird in
her mouth. If she had been young, her chase after the pheasant might
only have shown sad unsteadiness and wildness; but as she was a stanch
sober old lady, it manifestly evinced nothing but,--it will be safest
to say,--much intelligence and discrimination, lest _you_ cavil at the
words reason or reflection. I must own _I_ should not.

[Illustration: "With more dogs than one the bird would, almost to a
certainty, be torn."]

[Page Header: ONLY ONE TO RETRIEVE]

540. You need hardly be cautioned not to let more than one dog retrieve
the same bird. With more dogs than one the bird would, almost to a
certainty, be torn: and if a dog once becomes sensible of the enjoyment
he would derive in pulling out the feathers of a bird, you will find
it difficult to make him deliver it up before he has in some way
disfigured it.

A bitch that retrieved admirably, known to an acquaintance of mine, was
on one occasion so annoyed at being interfered with by her companion,
that, in a fit of jealousy, she actually bolted the partridge she
was carrying lest "Jack" should come in for a nibble. I must confess
I think it of much importance that a dog who retrieves should be
tender-mouthed, for I own I like to put my birds by smooth and tidy,
and, if I want them to keep long, take care to observe the old rule of
hanging them (by their heads rather than their feet, that rain may not
saturate the feathers) on the loops outside the game-bag until they
are quite cool, before I allow them to become inside passengers; but
I generally have their bodies placed within the netting, as for want
of this precaution many a bird has been decapitated in the scramble
through a thick hedge. Game, whether cool or warm, kept in a close
_Mackintosh_ bag, soon becomes unfit to send to any distance.

[Page Header: THE FINDER TO RETRIEVE]

541. If you shoot with several dogs that retrieve, be careful always to
let the dog who finds the game be the one to bring it. It is but fair
that he should be so rewarded, and thus all will be stimulated to hunt
with increased diligence.

542. Captain J----n, R.N., of Little B----w, Essex (well-known for the
gallantry and skill he displayed when risking his own life to save that
of many stranded on the Kentish coast), used to break in his own dogs,
and retrieved them to show yet greater obedience and forbearance while
retrieving. At one period he was in the habit of taking two pointers
and a little spaniel into the field to hunt together,--the latter so
small that he often carried it in his pocket when it was fatigued. The
following kind of scene constantly occurred. One of the pointers would
stand,--the other back,--so also would the spaniel. Captain J----n,
after killing his bird and loading, probably said, "Don, go fetch it."
Don went forward to obey. "Stop Don." Don halted. "Carlo, fetch the
bird." Carlo advanced. "Stop, Carlo." Carlo obeyed. "Tiny, bring it."
The little creature did as ordered, and placed it in her master's hand,
the pointers meanwhile never moving.

[Page Header: SCENT OF HIT AND MISSED BIRDS.]

543. I am not urging you to give up the time requisite to educate dogs
so highly as this, but you see it can be done.

544. If the dog that found the covey be not able to wind the bird
you have shot, make one of the other dogs take a large circuit. The
latter may thus, without interfering with the first dog, come upon the
bird, should it have run far. Send him in the direction the covey has
taken--the chances are great the bird is travelling towards the same
point. By pursuing this plan, obviously there will be much less chance
of your losing a bird than if you allow the dogs to keep close together
while searching. (See also 115.)

545. Do not think that by making your setter lift (after his first
season), instead of "pointing dead," there will be any increased risk
of his raising unsprung birds. The difference between the scent of dead
or wounded game, and that of game perfectly uninjured, is so great that
no steady, experienced dog will fail to point any fresh bird he may
come across whilst seeking for that which is lost.

As a proof of this I may mention that,

546. In North America I once saw three snipe lying on the ground, which
a pointer, that retrieved, had regularly set one after the other,
having found a couple on his way to retrieve the first, and which he
afterwards brought in succession to his master, who had all the time
governed the dog entirely by signs, never having been obliged to use
his voice beyond saying in a low tone, "Dead," or "Find." I remember,
also, hearing of a retrieving setter that on one occasion pointed a
fresh bird, still retaining in her mouth the winged partridge which she
was carrying,--and of a pointer who did the same when he was bringing
a hare; there must, too, be few sportsmen who will not admit that they
have found it more difficult to make a dog give up the pursuit of a
wounded hare than of one perfectly uninjured. I know of a sportsman's
saying he felt certain that the hare his retriever was _coursing_ over
the moors must have been struck, although the only person who had fired
stoutly maintained that the shot was a regular miss. The owner of the
dog, however, averred that this was impossible, as he never could get
the discerning animal to follow any kind of unwounded game; and, on the
other hand, that no rating would make him quit the pursuit of _injured_
running feather or fur. The retriever's speedy return with puss,
conveniently balanced between his jaws, bore satisfactory testimony to
the accuracy of both his own and his master's judgement. In December
'49, a woodcock that was struck hard took a long flight. A setter bitch
I have often shot over came, quite unexpectedly to herself, on the
scent of the bird when it was at such a distance from her that the
party who had shot it felt sure she was on other game. Instead,
however, of "setting," the bitch, who, be it observed, is particularly
steady, drew on, and after deliberately walking up to the woodcock,
gave it a touseling, for she is not broken into "pointing dead." It is
certain that her olfactory nerves plainly told her there was no chance
of its rising.

[Page Header: COLONEL T----Y'S VENUS.]

547. In corroboration of the correctness of the opinion I have just
expressed, respecting the difference between the scent of injured
and uninjured birds, I am glad to be permitted to make the following
extract from a letter I lately received from Colonel T----y, spoken of
in 99. He writes, "When shooting at Alresford, in Essex, last year,
I had a singular instance of Venus' sagacity in detecting the scent
of wounded game. I was returning home, and while walking through a
field of turnips a covey of birds got up near the fence. I winged one,
which fell in the midst of some rabbits and pheasants feeding near the
edge of the cover on the opposite side. Of course, they all bolted
at the appearance of such an unwelcome visitor as the retriever--the
rabbits into their burrows,--the pheasants into cover. My servant
brought the bitch up to the place where I thought the bird had fallen.
After puzzling about for some time, she took the trail about thirty
yards down by the side of the fence, and then 'set' at a rabbit-hole.
Thinking she was mistaken, I rated her and tried to get her away,
but she stuck to her point. Determining, therefore, to ascertain the
facts, we dug up the top part of a narrow fence, and bolted a couple
of rabbits out of the hole, at the further end of which we found my
wounded bird, an old Frenchman."[99]

[Page Header: HARMONY BETWEEN DOG AND MASTER.]

548. Some good sportsmen maintain that a retrieving setter (or pointer)
on finding a dead bird ought to point it until directed to lift it.
This training they hold to be advisable, on the ground that it conduces
to the dog's steadiness by diminishing his wish to run forward on
seeing a bird fall; but the plan has necessarily this evil consequence,
that should the setter, when searching for the dead bird, come across
and point, _as he ought_, any fresh game, on your telling him to fetch
it (as you naturally will), he must spring it if he attempt to obey
you. Surely this would tend more to unsteady him than the habit of
lifting his dead birds as soon as found? Your dog and you ought always
to work in the greatest harmony--in the mutual confidence of your,
at all times, thoroughly understanding each other--and you should
carefully avoid the possibility of ever perplexing him by giving him
any order it is out of his power to obey, however much he may exert
himself. Moreover, if you teach your retrieving setter to "point
dead," you at once relinquish--surely unnecessarily?--all hope of ever
witnessing such a fine display of sagacity and steadiness as has just
been related in the first part of 546.

549. If you object to a setter's being taught to lift on the ground,
that it will make the other dogs jealous, pray remember that the
argument has equal force against the employment of a regular retriever
in their presence.

REGULAR RETRIEVER TO BEAT.

550. We all have our prejudices,--every Englishman has a right to many.
One of mine is to think a _regular_ retriever positively not worth
his keep to you for general shooting _if one of your setting dogs
will retrieve well_--but what an all-important "if" is this! However,
if you shoot much in cover, I admit that a regular retriever which
can be worked in perfect silence, never refusing to come in when he
is merely signalled to, or, if out of sight, softly whistled to, is
better[100] (particularly when you employ beaters), but even then he
need not be the idler that one generally sees,--he might be broken in
to hunt close to you, and give you the same service as a mute spaniel.
I grant this is somewhat difficult to accomplish, for it much tends
to unsteady him, but it can be effected,--I have seen it,--and being
practicable, it is at least worth trying; for if you succeed, you, as
before (536), make one dog perform the work of two; and, besides its
evident advantage in thick cover, if he accompany you in your everyday
shooting, you will thus obtain, in the course of a season, many a shot
which your other dogs, especially in hot weather, would pass over. If,
too, the retriever hunts quite close to you, he can in no way annoy his
companions, or interfere with them, for I take it for granted he will
be so obedient as to come to "heel" the instant he gets your signal.

[Page Header: RETRIEVERS BEATING.]

551. Many regular retrievers take spontaneously to beating. Two
brothers, named W----e, living at Grewell, in Hampshire, termed by the
village wags, not inappropriately, "Watergruel" (there is good snipe
and duck-shooting in the surrounding marshes), have a ranging-retriever
(a Newfoundland), still young, now called "Nelly," though, as a puppy,
christened "Nelson" by the girls of the family. _Miss_ Nelly, as if
to give further proof of the impropriety of her original name, is
remarkably timid, and therefore has been allowed to follow, unchecked,
her own devices in the field. In imitation of her companions, she
took to beating and pointing; and, after the "down charge," would
retrieve as zealously and efficiently as if she had never been allowed
to "quit heel," except for that express purpose. I have myself, when
in the north, killed game to the voluntary point of "Sambo," a black
regular retriever, who was permitted to range close to the keeper. I
have also shot to the point of "Bang," a very handsome animal, a cross
between a Newfoundland and a setter. Dogs so bred often, when ranging,
take to pointing for a short period before dashing in; or can easily be
made to do so,--thereby giving the gun a very acceptable caution.

552. The sire of "Venus"--honourable mention is made of her in 99--a
very celebrated dog, had an invaluable quality as a retriever, though
the very opposite of the range I have been recommending. He disturbed
as little ground as possible during his search, and _no fresh ground
returning_. After running with the greatest correctness a wounded
pheasant through a large cover, he would invariably return upon the
same track he had taken when first sent from "heel." I confess I
cannot see how this admirable habit could be taught by any one but
Dame Nature. Is it not a beautiful instance of sagacity? But you will
observe that, singularly good as was this regular retriever, he would
have sprung the snipe at which the retrieving-pointer stood (546). For
instructions regarding regular land retrievers, see 112 to 130.

[Illustration: EXAMPLE BETTER THAN PRECEPT.

"Accoutred as I was I plunged in and bade him follow."--Pars. 276 and
553.]

[Page Header: WATER SPANIELS.]

WATER RETRIEVERS (or WATER SPANIELS)

TO RETRIEVE WOUNDED, BEFORE PICKING UP KILLED WILDFOWL.

553. This a knowing old dog will often do of his own accord; but you
must not attempt to teach a young one this useful habit, until you are
satisfied that there is no risk of making him blink his birds. You can
then call him off when he is swimming towards dead birds, and signal to
him to follow those that are fluttering away. If the water is not too
deep, rush in yourself, and set him a good example by actively pursuing
the runaways; and until all the cripples that can be recovered[101]
are safely bagged, do not let him lift one of those killed outright.
If very intelligent, he will before long perceive the advantage of the
system, or at least find it the more exciting method, and adhere to it
without obliging you to continue your aquatic excursions. (For advice
about water retrievers, see 90 to 95.) I have placed this paragraph
among the "refinements" in breaking; but I ought, perhaps, to have
entered it sooner; for if you are fond of duck-shooting, and live in a
neighbourhood where you have good opportunities of following it, you
should regard this accomplishment as a necessary part of your spaniel's
education.

[Page Header: SUPERFLUOUS ACCOMPLISHMENTS.]

554. In your part of the country none of these extra, or, as some
will say, always superfluous accomplishments may be required; but if
you consider that a pupil of yours attaining any one of them would be
serviceable, be not deterred from teaching it by the idea that you
would be undertaking a difficult task. Any one of them, I was nearly
saying all of them, could be taught a dog with far greater ease, and
in a shorter time, than a well-established, judicious range.

555. It would be quite unreasonable to expect a regular breaker
("mark," I do not say your gamekeeper) to teach your dog any of these
accomplishments. He may be fully aware of the judiciousness of the
system, and be sensible of its great advantages, but the many imperious
calls upon his time would preclude his pursuing it in all its details.
At the usual present prices it would not pay him to break in dogs so
highly.



CHAPTER XVIII.

BECKFORD. ST. JOHN. CONDITION. INOCULATION. VACCINATION. CONCLUSION.

556. Reflect on what is said.--557. Not to rest content with bad
dogs.--558. Beckford's opinion of the education that could be given to
Dog.--559. Education of the Buck-hound.--560, 561. St. John's opinion.
The old Show-woman's learned dog.--562. Hunting to be Dog's principal
enjoyment.--563. While young, not to have run of kitchen. To be in
kennel; not tied up; chain better than rope.--564. When older, more
liberty allowed, but never to "self-hunt;" old Dogs spontaneously
take _judicious_ liberties. Easier to teach accomplishments than cure
faults. "Self-hunter's" example most dangerous.--565. Fine range
and perseverance attained. Irish red setters.--566. Good condition;
exercise on road; attention to feet. In Note, Claws sometimes too long;
Claws of Tigress that ran into feet.--567. Diet to be considered;
muscle wanted; fat detrimental, except to Water Retrievers. In
Note, recipe for waterproofing boots.--568. Indian-corn meal; Mr.
Herbert's opinion of; feed of an evening.--569. Beef-soup brings
Mange in hot climates: Mutton better--meat necessary to prevent
disgusting habits.--570. Good condition of Nose most material;
Kennels.--571. Warmth necessary; Winter pups.--572. Pups inoculated
for Distemper.--573 to 575. Vaccinated for Distemper.--576. Blaine
and Colonel Cook thought it useless.--577. Old prejudice against
Vaccination.--578. Colonel Hawker advocates it.--579. Salt for
Distemper.--580. Easy to give medicine.--581. The method.--582. If
force is necessary.--583. Castor oil lapped up with milk.--584. Dog
not to be lent.--586. In Note, old sportsman's advice about choosing
a Keeper.--588. Education gradual; taught from the A, B, C. In Note,
Query, do Keepers find time to break in dogs of strangers, while their
masters' remain unfinished? Advantage of young Dog's accompanying
Keeper when he goes his rounds by day. "Snap" daily visiting the traps
for his master.--585 to 589. The Conclusion.


556. We have come to the concluding division (dignified by the name
of Chapter) of this little Work; for I have at length nearly finished
my prosing about dog-breaking. But reflect upon what I have said. The
more you do, the more, I think, you will be of opinion that I have
recommended only what is reasonable, and that but little attention
beyond the trouble usually bestowed, _if directed by good judgment_, is
required to give a dog the education which I have described.

[Page Header: BECKFORD--BUCKHOUND.]

557. I wish I could animate you with but a quarter of the enthusiasm
which I once felt on the subject. I am not desirous of making you
dissatisfied with anything that you possess, excepting your dogs, such
as, I fear, they most probably are, and that only because, if they
are young, a little judicious extra-exertion on your part will add as
much to their usefulness as to your own enjoyment. And I do not wish
them, or anything you have, or have not, to make you discontented; I
only pray you not to be supine. If you can get no more alluring drink
than cold water, reflect on its wholesomeness, and enjoy it, if you
can, with all the relish of a parched Arab; but I entreat you not to
be contented with a disorderly _noise-exciting_ cur, when a trifling
addition to your pains will ensure you an obedient, well-trained
animal,--one that will procure you twice as many shots as the other.
It will, indeed. Believe me, I am not too extravagant in my conception
of a perfect dog. You may not consider it worth your while to take the
trouble of giving him such an education; but it seems hardly reasonable
to say it could not be imparted. Naturally enough you may distrust
my judgment, but you cannot doubt the experience of the reflecting,
discriminating Beckford; and what does he say on the subject of canine
education?

558. "The many learned dogs and learned horses that so frequently
appear and astonish the vulgar, sufficiently evince what education
is capable of; and it is to education I must attribute the superior
excellence of the buckhound, since I have seen high-bred fox-hounds do
the same under the same good masters.

559. "Dogs that are constantly with their masters acquire a wonderful
degree of penetration, and much may be done through the medium of their
affections. I attribute the extraordinary sagacity of the buckhound to
the manner in which he is treated. He is the constant companion of his
instructor and benefactor--the man whom he was first taught to fear he
has since learned to love. Can we wonder that he should be obedient
to him? Oft have we viewed with surprise the hounds and deer amusing
themselves familiarly together on the same lawn,--living, as it were,
in the most friendly intercourse; and with no less surprise have we
heard the keeper give the word, when instantly the very nature of the
dog seemed changed; roused from his peaceful state, he is urged on
with a relentless fury, which only death can satisfy--the death of the
_very_ deer he is encouraged to pursue. The business of the day over,
see him follow, careless and contented, his master's steps, to repose
on the same lawn where the frightened deer again return, and are again
indebted to _his_ courtesy for their wonted pasture. Wonderful proofs
of obedience, sagacity, and penetration!"

560. If you have at hand St. John's "Tour in Sutherlandshire" (he is
the author of that most interesting work, "Wild Sports and Natural
History of the Highlands"), pray turn to the part in the second
volume, where he describes the old show-woman's learned dog. I would
transcribe the whole of the amusing account, were not this little book
already swollen to undue proportions--but I must quote the concluding
observations, as his opinion respecting the aptitude of dogs for
instruction so fully coincides with Beckford's.

[Page Header: SHOW-WOMAN'S DOG.]

561. "The tricks consisted of the usual routine of adding up figures,
spelling short words, and finding the first letter of any town
named by one of the company. The last trick was very cleverly done,
and puzzled us very much, as we--_i.e._ the grown-up part of the
audience--were most intently watching not him but his mistress, in
order to discover what signs she made to guide him in his choice of the
cards; but we could not perceive that she moved hand or foot, or made
any signal whatever. Indeed, the dog seemed to pay but little regard to
her, but to receive his orders direct from any one who gave them. In
fact, his teaching must have been perfect, and his intellect wonderful.
Now I dare say I shall be laughed at for introducing an anecdote of
a learned dog, and told that it was 'all trick.' No doubt it was
'all trick,' but it was a very clever one, and showed how capable of
education dogs are--far more so than we imagine. For here was a dog
performing tricks so cleverly that not one out of four or five persons,
who were most attentively watching, could find out how he was assisted
by his mistress."

562. In following Beckford's advice respecting your making, as far as
is practicable, your dog your "constant companion," do not, however,
forget that you require him to evince great diligence and perseverance
in the field; and, therefore, that his highest enjoyment must consist
in being allowed to hunt.

[Page Header: LIBERTIES PERMITTED.]

563. Now, it seems to be a principle of nature,--of canine as well as
human nature,--to feel, through life, most attachment to that pursuit,
whatever it may be, which is most followed in youth. If a dog is
permitted as a youngster to have the run of the kitchen, he will be
too fond of it when grown up. If he is allowed to amuse himself in
every way his fancy dictates, he will think little of the privilege of
hunting. Therefore, the hours he cannot pass with you (after you have
commenced his education), I am sorry to say it, but I must do so, he
ought to be in his _kennel_--loose in his kennel,[102] not tied up;
for straining at his collar would throw out his elbows, and so make
him grow up bandy-legged. If, however, he must be fastened, let it be
by a chain. He would soon learn to gnaw through a cord, especially if
a young puppy, who, from nature, is constantly using his teeth, and
thus acquire a trick that some day might prove very inconvenient were
no chain at hand. You would greatly consult his comfort by having the
chain attached, with a loose ring and swivel, to a spike fixed a few
paces in front of his kennel, so that he could take some exercise by
trotting round and round.

[Page Header: "SELF-HUNTING."]

564. When your dog has attained some age, and hunting has become with
him a regular passion, I believe you may give him as much liberty as
you please without diminishing his zeal,--but most carefully prevent
his ever hunting alone, technically called "self-hunting." At that
advanced time of life, too, a few occasional irregularities in the
field may be innocuously permitted. The steadiest dogs will, at
times, deviate from the usual routine of their business, sagaciously
thinking that such departure from rule must be acceptable if it tends
to obtain the game; and it will be advisable to leave an experienced
dog to himself whenever he evinces great perseverance in spontaneously
following some unusual plan. You may have seen an old fellow, instead
of cautiously "roading" and "pointing dead," rush forward and seize
an unfortunate winged bird, while it was making the best use of its
legs after the flight of the rest of the covey--some peculiarity in
the scent emitted having probably betrayed to the dog's _practised_
nose that the bird was injured. When your pup arrives at such years of
discrimination, you need not so rigorously insist upon a patient "down
charge," should you see a winged cock-pheasant running into cover.
Your dog's habits of discipline would be, I should hope, too well
confirmed by his previous course of long drill for such a temporary
departure from rule to effect any permanent mischief; but, oh! beware
of any such laxity with a _young_ pupil, however strongly you may be
tempted. In five minutes you may wholly undo the labour of a month.
On days, therefore, when you are anxious, _coûte qui coûte_, to fill
the game-bag, pray leave him at home. Let him acquire any bad habit
when you are thus pressed for birds, and you will have more difficulty
in eradicating it than you would have in teaching him almost any
accomplishment. This reason made me all along keep steadily in view
the supposition, that you had commenced with a dog unvitiated by evil
associates, either biped or quadruped; for assuredly you would find it
far easier to give a thoroughly good education to such a pupil, than
to complete the tuition (particularly in his range) of one usually
considered broken, and who must, in the natural order of things, have
acquired some habits more or less opposed to your own system. If, as a
puppy, he had been allowed to self-hunt and chase, your labour would
be herculean. And inevitably this would have been your task, had you
ever allowed him to associate with any dog who "self-hunted." The
oldest friend in your kennel might be led astray by forming an intimacy
with the veriest cur, if a "self-hunter." There is a fascination in
the vice--above all, in killing young hares and rabbits,--that the
steadiest dog cannot resist when he has been persuaded to join in
the sport by some vagabond of a poacher possessing a tolerable nose,
rendered keenly discerning by experience.

565. I hope that by this time we too well understand each other for
you now to wonder why I think that you should not commence hunting
your young dog where game is abundant. Professional breakers prefer
such ground, because, from getting plenty of points, it enables them
to train their dogs more quickly, and _sufficiently well_ to ensure an
early sale. This is _their_ object, and they succeed. _My_ object is
that you shall establish _ultimately_ great perseverance and a fine
range in your young dog, let birds be ever so scarce. If you show
him too many at first, he will subsequently become easily dispirited
whenever he fails in getting a point.

[Page Header: ENERGY OF IRISH DOGS.]

It is the general paucity of game in Ireland (snipe and woodcock
excepted) that makes dogs trained in that country show so much untiring
energy and indomitable zeal when hunted on our side of the Channel. But
the slight wiry Irish red setter (whom it is so difficult to see on the
moor from his colour), is naturally a dog of great pace and endurance.
There is, however, a much heavier sort.

566. Many dogs, solely from want of good condition, greatly disappoint
their masters at the beginning of the season. You could not expect
your hunter to undergo a hard day's work without a previous course of
tolerably severe exercise; and why expect it of your dog? A couple of
hours' quiet exercise in the cool of the morning or evening will not
harden his feet, and get him into the wind and condition requisite for
the performance you may desire of him some broiling day in the middle
of August or early in September. If you do not like to disturb your
game, and have no convenient country to hunt over, why should you not
give him some gallops before the beginning of the shooting-season, when
you are mounted on your trotting hackney? Think how greyhounds are by
degrees brought into wind and hard meat before coursing commences.
Such work on the road will greatly benefit his feet,[103] particularly
if, on his return home in wet weather, they are bathed with a strong
solution of salt and water. When the ground is hard and dry, they
should be washed with warm water and soap, both to soothe them and to
remove all dust and gravel. They might afterwards be gradually hardened
by applying the salt and water. When they are inflamed and bruised,
almost a magical cure might be effected by their being sponged with a
solution of arnica--ten parts of water to one of arnica. Should the dog
lick the lotion, dissolve a little aloes in it. If, by-the-bye, you
would make it a rule personally to ascertain that attention is always
paid to your dogs after a hard day's work, and not leave them to the
tender mercies of an uninterested servant, you would soon be amply
repaid for your trouble by their additional performance. Many men make
it a rule to send their dogs to the mountains a week or two before the
grouse-shooting; but they seldom even then get sufficiently exercised,
and their mettle is slacked (confessedly a temporary advantage with
half broken, _wild_ dogs), instead of being increased, by finding that,
however many points they may make (at squeakers under their nose), they
never secure a bird. A month's road-work, with alterative medicine, is
far better.

[Page Header: MUSCLE WANTED, NOT FAT.]

567. Dogs severely worked should be fed abundantly on a nutritious
diet. Hunters and stage-coach horses have an unlimited allowance,
and the work of eager setters and pointers (in a hilly country
particularly) is proportionately hard; but the constitutions of dogs
vary so greatly that the quantity as well as quality of their diet
should be considered; for it must be your aim to obtain the largest
development of muscle with the least superfluity of flesh,--that
enemy to pace and endurance in dog as surely as in horse and man. Yet
this remark does not apply to a water retriever: he should have fat.
It is a warm, well-fitting great coat, more impervious to wet than
a _Mackintosh_,--furnished by Providence to whales, bears, and all
animals that have to contend with cold; and obviously your patient
companion will feel the benefit of one when he is shivering alongside
you while you are lying _perdu_ in a bed of damp rushes.[104]


[Page Header: NOSE IN CONDITION.]

568. Having mentioned condition, I am led to observe, that in America
I saw a pointer, which, from being hunted, I may say daily, Sundays
excepted, could not be kept in condition on oatmeal and greaves,
but which was put in hard flesh, and did his work admirably, when
Indian-corn meal was substituted for the oatmeal. I have not seen
it used in this country, but I can fancy it to be a heating food,
better calculated for dogs at regular hard work than when they are
summering.[105] It is well known that no food should be given in a
very hot state,--not of a higher temperature than milk-warm; and that
evening is the proper feeding-time, in order that the dogs may sleep
immediately afterwards, and not be full when they are taken out for
their morning's work.

569. In India, I remember complaining to an old sportsman that I had
much difficulty in keeping my dogs free from mange. He at once asked
if I did not give them beef-tea with their rice. I acknowledged that
I did. He said it was of too heating a nature. I tried mutton-broth,
agreeably to his recommendation. Every vestige of mange vanished,
but yet I could hardly believe it attributable to so slight a change
in their diet, for very little meat was used. As the mutton was much
dearer, I again tried the beef. It would not do. The mange reappeared.
I was, therefore, obliged to return to the mutton, and continue it. The
teeth of dogs show that flesh is a natural diet; and if they are wholly
deprived of it when they are young, they will acquire most revolting
habits,--feeding upon any filth they may find, and often rolling in it.
The meat should be cooked.

570. The good condition of a dog's nose is far from being an immaterial
part of his conditioning, for on the preservation of its sensitiveness
chiefly depends your hope of sport. If it be dry from being feverish,
or if it be habituated to the villanous smells of an impure kennel, how
are you to expect it to acknowledge the faintest taint of game--yet
one that, if followed up by olfactory nerves in high order, would
lead to a sure find? Sweetness of breath is a strong indication of
health. Cleanliness is as essential as a judicious diet; and you may
be assured, that if you look for excellence, you must always have your
youngster's kennel clean, dry, airy, and yet sufficiently warm. The
more you attend to this, the greater will be his bodily strength and
the finer his nose.

In India the kennels are, of course, too hot; but in the best
constructed which fell under my observation, the heat was much
mitigated by the roofs being thickly thatched with grass. In England,
however, nearly all kennels--I am not speaking of those for hounds--are
far too cold in winter.

[Page Header: KENNELS. WARMTH NECESSARY.]

571. There must be _sufficient_ warmth. Observe how a petted dog,
especially after severe exercise, lays himself down close to the fire,
and enjoys it. Do you not see that instinct teaches him to do this?
and must it not be of great service to him? Why, therefore, deny him
in cold weather, after a hard day's work, a place on the hearth-rug?
It is the want of sufficient heat in the kennels, and good drying and
brushing after hard work, that makes sporting dogs, particularly if
they are long-coated ones, suffer from rheumatism, blear eyes, and many
ills that generally, but not necessarily, attend them in old age. The
instance given in 226 is a proof of this.

Winter pups, you are told, are not so strong as those born in summer.
They would be, if they were reared in a warm room. The mother's bodily
heat cannot warm them; for after a while, they so pull her about and
annoy her, that she either leaves them for a time, or drives them from
her.

[Page Header: VACCINATION FOR DISTEMPER.]

572. As I have casually touched on puppies, I will take the opportunity
of recommending, according to the plan adopted by some sportsmen,
and of which I have experienced the advantage, that you have a whole
litter, soon after it has been weaned, (provided it be in a healthy
state), inoculated for the distemper,--a small feather, previously
inserted in the nose of a diseased dog, being for an instant put up the
nostrils of the puppies. It will be necessary to keep them unusually
warm,[106] and feed them high, while they are suffering from the
effects of this treatment. It is not likely that you will lose any; but
if you should, the loss will be small compared with that of an educated
dog at a mature age. The extent of the mischief will probably be a
slight cough, with a little running at the nose for a few days.

573. Having heard that vaccination would greatly mitigate the
distressing symptoms of distemper, if not entirely remove all
susceptibility to infection, I endeavoured to possess myself with the
facts of the case. Circumstances were thus brought to my knowledge
which appear so interesting, that a brief detail of them may not be
unacceptable to some of my readers. It would seem that vaccination
might be made as great a blessing to the canine race as it has proved
to mankind:--that is to say, many experienced men are still of that
opinion. All that I heard of material import is nearly embodied in
letters I received, some years ago, from Mr. L----e, of Neat's Court,
Isle of Sheppey, an intelligent sportsman, much attached to coursing.
As I am sure he will not object to my doing so, I will quote largely
from his notes. He writes nearly _mot-à-mot_.

574. "It is with pleasure that I answer yours of this morning, and
give you what little information I can respecting the vaccination of
my puppies. Mr. Fellowes, who resided about eight years since at 34,
Baker Street, was the first person from whom I learned anything on the
subject. He was a great breeder of bull-dogs, of all the canine race
the most difficult to save in distemper, greyhounds being, perhaps, the
next on the list.[107] He told me that in twelve years he had lost but
two puppies, and those not, he believed, from distemper, and yet he had
regularly bred every year.

575. "I went to town purposely to see him operate upon a clutch. The
method is very simple. Take a small piece of floss silk, and draw
the end through a needle. On about the middle of the silk place some
matter (when in a proper state) extracted from a child's arm. Unfold
(throw back) the ear so as to be able to see the interior part near the
root. You will then perceive a little projecting knob or kernel almost
detached from the ear. With the needle pierce through this kernel.
Draw the silk each way till the blood starts. Tie the ends of the
silk, and the process is completed. You may let the silk remain there:
it will drop off after a time. The object is to deposit the matter
by this method, instead of employing a lancet. I have great faith in
the efficacy of the plan, simple as it appears. With me it has never
failed. For some years in succession I dropped a clutch of greyhounds
and two litters of setters, and not a single pup had the distemper more
severely than for the disease to be just perceptible. A little opening
medicine then quickly removed that slight symptom of illness. Perhaps
the best age to operate upon puppies is when they are well recovered
from their weaning."

576. The balance of testimony and experience is, in my opinion, quite
in favour of vaccination; but there are authorities of weight who think
that no good results from it. It is, however, certain that it cannot
be productive of harm. Blaine writes that, as far as his experience
went, "vaccination neither exempts the canine race from the attack of
the distemper, nor mitigates the severity of the complaint." He adds,
however, that the point was still at issue.

577. It appears right to observe that Blaine and Jenner were
contemporaries at a period when the medical world was greatly opposed
to the vaccination of children. It is not surprising, therefore, that
there should have been an unjust prejudice against the vaccination
of puppies. Youatt is altogether silent on the subject, although he
quotes Dr. Jenner's description of distemper. Colonel Cook, in his
observations on fox-hunting, &c., says, "Vaccination was tried in some
kennels as a preventive, but it failed, and was abandoned." Mayhew[108]
does not allude to it.

578. Not until after the foregoing remarks on vaccination were
written, was I aware that Colonel Hawker recommended the plan, or, of
course, I should, in former editions, have quoted such high authority.
Speaking in 1838, he observes, "I have ever since adopted the plan of
vaccination; and so little, if any, has been the effect of distemper
after it, that I have not lost a dog since the year 1816."--"This
remedy has been followed with great success both here and in the United
States. The plan adopted is to insert a small quantity of vaccine
matter under each ear, just as you would do in the human arm."

579. I know of many dogs in the south of England having been cured of
a regular attack of distemper by a lump of salt, about the size of a
common marble, being occasionally forced down their throats; say, for a
grown-up pointer, half a dozen doses, with an interval of two or three
hours between each. The salt acts as an emetic. Nourishing food and
warmth are very requisite.

[Page Header: MEDICINE, HOW GIVEN.]

580. To some few of my readers it may possibly be of use to observe,
that with a little management, it is very easy to trick a dog into
taking medicine.

581. If your patient is a large animal, make a hole in a piece of
meat, and having wrapped the physic in thin paper, shove it into the
hole. Throw the dog one or two bits of meat, then the piece containing
the medicine, and the chances are that he will bolt it without in the
least suspecting he has been deceived. A pill, enveloped in silver
paper, emits no smell. If a powder is well rubbed up with butter,
and a little at a time of the mixture be smeared over the animal's
nose, he will lick it off and swallow it. Powders can also be placed
between thin slices of bread and butter, and be so administered. If you
are treating a small pampered favourite, probably a little previous
starvation will assist you.

582. Should you fail in your stratagems, and force be necessary, it
will be best to lay the dog on his back, or place him in a sitting
posture between your knees, with his back towards you. In either
position his legs are useless to him, as they have no fulcrum. While
you are making him open his mouth, if you do this by forcing your thumb
and fingers between his grinders, you can effectually protect yourself
from a bite by covering them with the dog's own lips--any powders then
placed far back on the tongue near the throat must be swallowed on the
dog's mouth being firmly closed for a few seconds. He will not be able
to eject them as they will adhere to his moist tongue. If given with a
little dry sugar they will be the less nauseous, and therefore the dog
will be less disposed to rebel when next you have occasion to act the
part of a doctor.

583. Castor oil is a valuable medicine for dogs; and it is a good plan
to let a pup occasionally lap milk into which a little of this oil is
poured, as then he will not in after life dislike the mixture.

[Page Header: DOG NOT TO BE LENT.]

584. I have still one very important direction to give: _NEVER LEND
YOUR DOG_. It may seem selfish, but if you make him a really good
one, I strongly advise you never to lend him to any one not even to a
brother, unless, indeed, his method of hunting be precisely the same as
your's. If you are a married man, you will not, I presume, lend your
wife's horse to any one who has a coarse hand; you would at least do it
with reluctance; but you ought (I hope she will forgive my saying so)
to feel far more reluctance and far more grief, should you be obliged
to lend a good dog to an ignorant sportsman or to one who shoots for
the pot.



CONCLUSION.


585. Gentle Reader, according to the courteous phraseology of old
novels, though most probably I ought to say, Brother Sportsman;--if you
have had the patience to attend me through the preceding pages, while
I have been describing the educational course of a dog from almost his
infancy, up to maturity, I will hope that I may construe that patience
into an evidence that they have afforded you some amusement and,
perhaps, some useful instruction.

586. Though I may have failed in persuading you to undertake the
instruction of your dogs yourself, yet I trust I have shown you how
they ought to be broken in;[109] and if you are a novice in the field,
I hope I have clearly explained to you in what manner they ought to
be shot over,--a knowledge which no one can possess by intuition, and
which you will find nearly as essential to the preservation of the good
qualities of well-tutored dogs, as to the education of uninformed ones.

587. I believe that all I have said is perfectly true, and, as the
system which I have described advocates kind treatment of man's most
faithful companion, and his instruction with mildness rather than
severity, I trust that you will be induced to give it a fair trial, and
if you find it successful, recommend its adoption.

588. I dare not ask for the same favour at the hands of the generality
of regular trainers--I have no right to expect such liberality. They,
naturally enough, will not readily forgive my intruding upon what they
consider exclusively their own domain,--and, above all, they will not
easily pardon my urging every sportsman to break in his own dogs. They
will, I know, endeavour to persuade their employers that the finished
education which I have described is useless, or quite unattainable,
without a great sacrifice of time;[110] and that, therefore, the system
which I advocate is a bad one. They will wish it to be forgotten--that
I advise a gradual advance, step by step, from the A, B, C;--that
accomplishments have only been recommended _after_ the acquisition of
essentials--never at the expense of essentials;--that at any moment
it is in the instructor's power to say, "I am now satisfied with
the extent of my pupil's acquirements, and have neither leisure nor
inclination to teach him more;"--and that they cannot suggest quicker
means of imparting any grade of education, however incomplete; at least
they do not--I wish they would; few would thank them more than myself.

[Page Header: CAUSE OF AUTHOR'S WRITING.]

589. Greatly vexed at the erroneous way in which I saw some dogs
instructed in the north by one, who from his profession should have
known better, I promised, on the impulse of the moment, to write. If
I could have purchased any work which treated the subject in what I
considered a judicious and perspicuous manner, and, above all, which
taught by what means a _finished_ education could be imparted, I
would gladly have recommended the study of it,--have spared myself
the trouble of detailing the results of my own observations and
experience,--and not have sought to impose on any one the task of
reading them. When I began the book, and even when I had finished it,
I intended to put it forth without any token by which the writer might
be discovered. Mr. Murray, however, forcibly presented that unless
the public had some guarantee for the fidelity of the details, there
would be no chance of the little work being circulated, or proving
useful; therefore, having written solely from a desire to assist my
brother sportsmen, and to show the injudiciousness of severity, with a
wish that my readers might feel as keen a zest for shooting as I once
possessed, and with a charitable hope that they might not be compelled
to seek it in as varied climates as was my lot, I at once annexed my
address and initials to the manuscript, but with no expectation that my
pen could interest the public half as much as it would a favourite Skye
terrier, well known in Albemarle Street.

UNITED SERVICE CLUB,

PALL MALL.

[Illustration: BRISK.]



POSTSCRIPT

TO THE SECOND EDITION, REPRINTED IN THIS.

[Page Header: MR. L----G'S LETTER.]

Sometime after the foregoing sheets were numbered and prepared for the
press, I received a letter on the subject of dogs and dog-breaking from
Mr. L----g (spoken of in 183).

I had long ago requested him freely to make remarks upon my book,
assuring him that as I had only written from a wish to be serviceable,
I could not but take all his comments in good part, however much
they might be opposed to my pre-conceived ideas. I further promised
to mention his criticisms for the benefit of my future readers, if I
considered them judicious.

Every man is fully entitled to form an opinion for himself: and as
there are minor points--though on most we are fully agreed--in which
Mr. L----g and myself slightly differ, I think it the fairest plan
to let him explain his own views in his own way, and I have the
less hesitation in doing so as, to most sportsmen, a letter from a
clever sportsman on his favourite subject must always be more or less
interesting. He writes nearly word for word as follows:--


"7, HAYMARKET, January, 1850.

"SIR,--On perusing your book on dog-breaking I really find little, if
anything, to say that will assist you in your new edition; but I must
observe that I think you would be doing a service to the community,
if you would lend a helping hand to improve the breed of pointers; or
rather to get up a sort of committee of sportsmen (thorough judges) to
investigate into the pedigree of dogs, and express their opinion of the
make, nose, durability, &c., of the several animals submitted to them;
that prizes might be awarded, or stakes hunted for; and books kept of
the pedigree of the several competitors, much in the same way as such
matters are managed with greyhounds.

"It is of no consequence how fast a dog travels who is wanted for
the moors, or how wide he ranges; but such a dog would be worse than
useless in the south, and in all small enclosures. I feel assured that
dogs which are first-rate on grouse are not fitted for partridge. My
experience tells me that not one dog in twenty is worth keeping,--that
the generality do far more harm than good,--this I see almost every day
that I am out. There seem to be now-a-days no recognised thorough-bred
pointers, but those obtained from one or two kennels in Yorkshire.
I have shot over many north-country dogs, but found there was too
much of the fox-hound blood in them for the south,--they are too
high-couraged, and range much too far. After the first fortnight of
partridge-shooting you want quiet, close rangers who will never move
until told. In the turnip-fields in Norfolk you will get among lots of
birds, and you may then fill your bag any day, provided you can hunt
the field in perfect quiet; but with a rattling, blustering dog you
will hardly get a shot,--yet you want a dog that shall be neither too
large nor too heavy.

"Not one dog in fifty of the many I see, properly hunts his ground.
The reason is this. The keepers in the north,--yet none understand
their duties better,--take out a lot of dogs along with an old one; off
they all start like oiled lightning--some one way, the others just the
contrary: one gets a point, they all drop and stop. The keepers say, is
not that beautiful?--is it not a picture for Landseer? I have followed
the party on the moors over the self-same ground a dozen of times, and
obtained with my brace of close rangers and good finders double the
number of shots that they did, and three times the amount of game;
for I was walking at my ease, and giving my dogs time to make out the
birds--which is very essential in the middle of the day, when there is
a scorching sun.

"I recollect one instance in particular. Some years ago I had just
arrived at the top of a very stiff hill on the Bradfield Moors (in
Yorkshire), and was making for a certain spring where I had forwarded
my luncheon, and a fresh supply of ammunition, when I saw, immediately
before me, two gentlemen with their keepers, and four very good-looking
setters, hunting the precise ground I had to take to get to my
point--about a mile off. I therefore sat down for a quarter of an hour
to let them get well ahead. They found several straggling birds; but
there was such a noise from the keepers rating and hallooing to the
dogs, that, although they got five or six shots, they only bagged one
brace of birds. When they reached the spring, they observed me coming
over the very ground they had beat only a quarter of an hour before.
I got ten shots, every one to points, and killed nine birds. I was
highly complimented on the beautiful, quiet style of my dogs, &c.,
and was offered a goblet of as fine old sherry as man ever drunk. I
need not observe that I much relished it after my morning's walk. The
gentlemen said, that if I felt disposed to take the dogs to the Tontine
Inn, Sheffield, when I had done with them, I should find fifty guineas
there awaiting me; but I declined the offer, as on several occasions
I had repented having yielded to the temptation of a long price for
favourite dogs. The brace I refused to sell were young setters, bred
by Tom Cruddas, keeper to--Bowes, Esq., near Barnard Castle, Durham. I
subsequently found them very unfitted for the style of work required in
small fields and indifferent stubble, and I was well beaten in a trial
with them against a brace of Russian setters. I afterwards procured the
latter by exchanging my Englishmen for them. For two years I was much
pleased with the foreigners, and bred some puppies from them; they did
not, however, turn out to my satisfaction. I then tried a cross with
some of the best dogs I could get in England and from Russia, but could
never obtain any so good as the original stock. I have now got into a
breed of red and white pointers from the splendid stock of the late
Sir Harry Goodrich, and many and many another hundred head of game
should I have killed,--and in much greater comfort and temper should I
have shot,--had I possessed so perfect a breed twenty years ago.

"As a proof of what can be done with dogs, I will mention that I broke
in a spaniel to hunt (with my setters) in the open as well as in cover,
and made him 'point,' 'back,' and 'drop to charge,' as perfectly as any
dog you ever saw; and he would, when ordered, retrieve his game; the
setter, meanwhile, never moving until desired. I shot over them for two
years. They were a very killing pair, but had not a sporting look. In
September, '38, I took them with me to that excellent sportsman, Sir
Richard Sutton. The old Squire Osbaldiston, was there. They were both
much pleased with the dogs. By letting my poor pet 'Dash' run about, he
was bitten by a mad dog in the neighbourhood. Of course I lost him.

"Speaking of spaniels, I must say I think that there is no kind of dog
that retrieves birds so well in thick turnips, where so much dead and
wounded game is frequently left unbagged. With 'Dash' I seldom lost
a feather in the strongest turnips in the course of a whole day; but
I now rarely go out with sportsmen but that I see two or three birds
lost,--sometimes more,--from what are _said_ to be the best breed of
retrievers in the country. The constant loss of wounded birds is one
of the drawbacks to the Norfolk shooting, where, without doubt, the
finest shooting in England is to be obtained. Gentlemen there go out,
some four, five, or six in a line, with only one or two retrievers, and
a man to each to pick up the killed game. The sportsmen never stop to
load, for each has generally a man by his side with a spare gun ready
charged. If a bird is winged, or a hare wounded, the dogs go in at once
to fetch it. Were the sportsmen to divide into distinct parties, each
party taking one or two steady, close-ranging dogs, what much more true
sport and pleasure they would have!--and kill, too, quite as much game.

"You ask me wherein I differ from you in what you have written?
Certainly in very little,--and I have sent several gentlemen to
Murray's for copies of your book; but in page 3, you say that
'dog-breaking does not require much experience.' There I cannot agree
with you,--for how is it that there are so few who understand it? Not
one keeper or gentleman in a thousand, in my opinion. The reason is
that they have not sufficient practice and experience.[111]

"In another point I differ with you. I have seen some of the best
rangers I ever shot over made by being allowed to follow their mother
in the field, or some very old dog,[112]--what some people would term
a worn-out potterer. But I think it a yet better plan to attach a
lay-cord of about forty yards in length to the collar of the young
dog, and let a man or boy hold the other end. You will give a slight
whistle when he gets to the extremity of his range, and a wave of the
hand to turn him forward or back.[113] By such means I have seen dogs,
with a few days' constant shooting, made perfect in that,--the _most
essential_ thing in all dog-breaking.

"I observe that you condemn the check-collar[114] _in toto_. I think
you are wrong. I have seen dogs cured by it who would not drop to
shot, but would perpetually rush in, especially if a wounded bird was
fluttering near them, and who had been most unmercifully licked, to
no useful purpose. I recollect orders being given to destroy a dog
that appeared utterly incorrigible. As he was a beautiful 'finder,'
I begged that he might be allowed one more trial. I sent to town for
a check-collar, and in a few hours he was pulled head over heels
half-a-dozen times. He then found out what he was punished for,
squatted down accordingly, and never afterwards attempted to rush
forward, unless he was over-fresh. You speak of hares not annoying
your dogs in Scotland. I have been sadly annoyed by them when
grouse-shooting there. In one part, from hares jumping up every five
minutes, I had great difficulty in restraining my dogs from chasing;
and on this occasion I found the check-collar quite a blessing,--for
had I used the whip I should have been thrown off my shooting, and the
noise would have disturbed the birds. I had at the time two of the best
shots in England shooting against me, and I should to a certainty have
been beaten had I not been so prudent as to take out the collar.

"I remember selling to a young officer a brace of my puppies, or
rather young dogs (for they were eighteen months old), for twenty-five
guineas. They were well broken, but had not been shot over. He had not
been an hour on the moors before up started one of the small Scotch
sheep. Both the dogs gave chase, and on their return the keeper was
directed to give them a good dressing. One of them would not hunt for
them again, and became so timid that the officer desired the keeper to
get rid of it. It was given to a gentleman in the neighbourhood, who
knew he could not be far away in accepting it, as it had been bred and
sold by me. He took it out a few times and soon found out its value.
The other dog the officer sold for 10_l._, and then wrote a very angry
letter to me, complaining of my having sold him such a brace as well
broken. A fortnight after this he invited the gentleman who had become
possessor of the shy puppy to come and shoot with him. The gentleman
made his appearance with, what he termed, his 'shy friend.' After many
protestations against taking out such a brute, it was agreed that it
should be done on the gentleman's offering to bet 5_l._ that his 'shy
friend' would get more points than either of the dogs they proposed
hunting; and another 5_l._ that he should prove himself the best broken
of the dogs, and never during the whole day offer to chase hare or
sheep. The bets were not made, but to show you the esteem in which his
late master afterwards held the animal, he offered fifty guineas to
get her back, but the money was refused. His brother also turned out a
magnificent dog--so much for want of patience.

"It is just possible that all I have written may be of no use,--but
should you find it of any, it is quite at your service. Since I
last saw you I have had many more opportunities of observing the
extraordinary nose of the dog I showed you--a quality in which I
fancy forty-nine out of fifty dogs are deficient. I sent him down to
Hickfield-place, Hants, for the Speaker, who is an excellent sportsman,
to use for a few times to see if he was not superior to his dogs. He
returned the dog with a very handsome basket of game, saying he was
one of the finest dogs he had ever seen hunted, and he begged me to
get him a brace of the same kind against next season; stating that
the price would be no consideration if they proved as good as mine. I
have tried him against many other old dogs, _said_ to be 'the best in
England,' but not one of them had a shadow of a chance against him. I
have refused a very long price for him. For beauty, style, symmetry,
nose, durability, and good temper (a great thing), none can beat him.
I should like to increase his breed for the sake of the shooting
community; yet I have no wish to keep him publicly as a sire, nor to
send him away. I think I should be doing a general benefit, if I gave
it out that his services could be obtained for three guineas: and that
the sums thus obtained were to be set aside as a prize for the best
dog, to be contended for by competitors who should give 3_l._ or 5_l._
each. Something of this kind, could, I think, be managed, and it would
greatly tend to improve our breed of pointers. I bought a bitch with
the view of getting some pups by him. She had nine, but not one like
the father, grandfather, or great-grandfather--so I sold her, puppies
and all. I have just purchased another; she comes of an excellent
stock, and has good shape. I shall see what luck I have with her. She
is a far more likely dam.

"I should have written to you long ago, had I not expected to meet the
person I term my Yorkshire breeder. He is _the best breaker I ever
saw_, and a man you can depend upon. He and his father, for sixty
years, have borne as high a character for honesty, as for excellence
in breaking. Many a time has he contended, and always come off victor,
against Mr. Edge's dogs--a good trial kennel, but the breed have savage
dispositions, bad tempers, and are very unmanageable when young. I have
tried many of them myself, and have no faith in them.

"On the moors, when the work is excessively fatiguing, and plenty of
water is generally to be found, you may with advantage employ setters:
but in a hot September, in England, when no water could be procured,
I have known some of the best setters I ever saw do nothing but put
up the birds. In mid-day, when there was but little scent, their nasal
organs seemed quite to fail them, and being fast they constantly ran
into coveys before they could stop themselves.

"I was once asked to be umpire in a match between a pointer and a
setter. It was to be decided by which of the dogs got most points in
the day. As this was the agreement, I was obliged to abide by it and
decide accordingly: but that is not the test by which the superiority
of dogs ought to be determined. I presume what is really wanted in a
dog is _usefulness to his master in killing game_. If so, that dog
ought to be considered best which gets his master most shots within
a rise not exceeding forty yards.[115] The setter being faster and
taking a much wider range, got by far the most points, therefore I
was compelled to award him the prize; but the pointer made twenty-two
points to which the party got twenty-one shots. The setter got thirty
points, but only sixteen of them could be shot to, and he put up thrice
as many birds as the pointer. I could mention twenty other similar
instances of trials between pointers and setters, but I should fill
half-a-dozen more sheets and not interest you. It is getting dark, so I
will conclude my long yarn.

"I am, Sir,

"Your obedient servant,

(Signed) "JOSH. LANG."



APPENDIX.


NOTE TO 65.--_Covers._--_Shooting._--_Loading._

What convenient covers they are--and what excellent shelter they
furnish for game, when planted with holly, laurel, and other
evergreens!--especially if the proprietor, in a moment of sporting
enthusiasm, has consented to his keeper's request, and had some of the
trees half-felled, so that the branches lying on the ground live and
grow, deriving nourishment from the sap still flowing through the uncut
bark. Perhaps gorse forms the best ground cover for the preservation
of game; but it is far from being the most agreeable to shoot in. It
has, however, a great merit--it is much disliked by poachers. There
should be good roosting-trees; and the different kinds of fir--spruce
particularly--give most security, their thick, spreading branches
affording much concealment at all seasons of the year. They are, too,
of quick growth. But the most favourably planted covers will prove
unattractive unless there is a constant supply of water within a
reasonable distance. An old brother officer of mine, who has property
in Suffolk, argues,--and most will think correctly,--that for the
preservation of game, beltings should not run round the external part
of an estate (as is often the case,) but lie well within it, and at
some distance from a high road.

Talking of beltings and pheasants, as some sporting Griffin (to use an
Indian expression) may come across this book, I may as well, for his
sake, mention, that pheasants are generally prevented from running to
the further end of a belting, and then rising in one dense cloud, by
a man sent ahead striking two sticks together, or making some other
slight noise which, without too much alarming the birds, yet prevents
their running past him. As the guns approach him he gets further
forward and takes up another position, keeping wide of the cover whilst
he is on the move. Should the Griffin make one of the shooting party,
he is advised to bear in mind that the guns should keep close to the
hedge (or rails), that any game on the point of "breaking" may not so
readily observe them, and in consequence beat a retreat. By-the-bye, my
young friend, should you wish your host to give you another invitation
to his covers never let him see you carrying your barrels horizontally.
If you are a bit of a soldier you will know what I mean when I say
that, combining due preparation for prompt action with security to
him who may be skirmishing near, your gun can be conveniently borne
across the open at the "Slope arms" of the sergeant's fusil. When you
are in cover (or your dog draws upon game), it might be carried much
in the position of "Port arms." At the moment you level, following the
example of the best pigeon shots, place your left hand well in advance
of the poise. If you have any fears of the barrels bursting, leave
them at home. Your steadiest position is with the elbow held nearly
perpendicularly under the gun: whereas your right elbow ought to be
almost in a horizontal line with your shoulder, thus furnishing a
convenient hollow for the reception of the butt. The firmer you grasp
the stock the less is the recoil. That amusing fellow Wanostrocht, in
his work on cricketing ("Felix on the Bat"), writes, "The attitude of
_en garde_ of the left-handed swordsman is the attitude of _play_ for
the right-handed batsman,"--and you, my supposed Griffin, may rest
assured that it is the best position your feet and legs can take on
a bird's rising, but the right foot might be with advantage a little
more to the right. Wanostrocht continues, "The knees are bent; and the
body, well balanced, is prepared," you may add, "to turn steadily to
the right or left according to the flight of the bird." In nine cases
out of ten the common advice to "keep both eyes open" when firing
is extremely judicious. But some men are "left-eyed;" a matter you
have probably little thought about; and yet it is of consequence, for
if you are "left-eyed," your aim from the right shoulder (both eyes
being open) cannot be correct. To determine whether or not you are
"right-eyed," look steadily, with both eyes open, at any small object
near you,--rapidly raise a finger (of either hand) perpendicularly,
endeavouring to cover the object. Instantly close the left eye. If you
find that your finger lies in the direct line between the object and
your right eye, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are
"right-eyed;" but if your finger, instead of intercepting the object,
is wide of the mark, at once close the right eye and open the left,
when you will, in all probability, perceive that your finger lies
directly between your left eye and the object, thereby showing that
you are "left-eyed." I hope it may not be so, as, unless you can shoot
from the left shoulder, you ought to close the left eye when bringing
your gun to the poise, until from practice you become "right-eyed." The
odds are in favour of your being right-legged as well as right-eyed,
which important point will be settled, I hope to your satisfaction,
should you ever be under the disagreeable necessity of having to kick
an impertinent fellow downstairs. Never shoot in a hurry. Strive to
acquire coolness--in other words, strive to acquire such a command
over your trigger-finger that it shall never bend until so ordered by
your judgment. Your eye will inform your reason of the exact moment
when you ought to pull, and your finger, submissive to reason, ought
to wait for that precise moment, and not yield to any nervousness.
Look with the _greatest intensity_ at the bird as it rises, and coolly
observe its line of flight while deliberately bringing the barrels to
your shoulder. Steadiness will be increased by your not removing the
gun from your shoulder the instant you have fired. Never fire when
your shot can be of no more advantage than a single bullet. If you
have a bet about killing a jack snipe, seize the favourable moment for
pulling the trigger when the pellets will be spread over a disk of more
than a yard in diameter. He will then be zigzagging some thirty-five
or forty yards from you; and if your aim is taken at this moment a
full foot in advance of his _general_ line of flight, there is little
chance of his escaping unpeppered (and one grain will suffice), however
adroitly he may turn and twist. For any kind of bird flying at that
distance rapidly down wind and crossing you, your gun ought to be
pitched _much_ further forward. A still greater allowance should be
made if the distance be considerable: and greater elevation should be
then given to the barrels, as the grains of shot will become deflected.
The same rule holds with birds rising. Aim must be taken above them.
There is always more fear of your firing too much to the rear and too
low, than too much to the front and too high. Fancy that hares and
rabbits have only heads--and get into the habit of looking at no other
part,--nay, of looking yet further ahead. The best cover-shot I know
says, that he aims at a rabbit rushing through gorse or underwood
a yard in front of the spot where he last caught a glimpse of it.
Rabbits halt for a moment the instant they get hidden by cover--not so
hares. That their hands and eyes may work in unison, novices have been
recommended to hang on the flight of swallows with an unloaded gun. It
would be better practice to hang on a full foot or more in front of
the birds. To save your locks use snap caps, and pull the very instant
you think your aim is correct. No second aim can be so effective as
the first. The more you thus practise (and at game especially, in
order to overcome any nervous sensation occasioned by birds rising)
before you commence using powder, the more certain is it that you
will eventually become a cool, steady shot. After having commenced
the campaign in right earnest, should you be shooting unsteadily or
nervously, you would do well to have the philosophy to go up a few
times to your dog's point with uncapped nipples, and by taking (long
after the birds are on the wing, but yet within shot) a deliberate aim
reassure yourself of the folly of all hurry and precipitancy. Lest
you should (as often happens in spite of every previous resolution)
involuntarily pull the trigger sooner than you intend, keep your finger
off it until the very instant you wish to fire.[116] If you shoot
with a muzzle loader and carry one of Sykes's spring-shot pouches--at
present in such general use--by having its nozzle lengthened (some few
are made long),--I mean by having a cylinder of nearly three inches
in length welded to its end,--you will be able to load quicker than
most of your fellow-sportsmen--particularly if you use a loading-rod:
the best are of cane, because the material is light and tough. You
can make the long nozzle of the shot-pouch (its end being cut square,
_i.e._ at a right angle to its length) force the wad over the powder
so far down the barrel before you press the pouch-spring to pour in
the charge of shot, that you need not draw your ramrod to drive home
until after you have inserted the shot-wad. Using a long nozzle has
also this great advantage, that the shot is packed more densely than
the powder. In the new German copper cap musket (whose long range is
now, 1854, much spoken of,) to keep the powder loose when the charge
is rammed home, a thick peg, nearly one and a half inches long, is
fixed longitudinally in the centre of the chamber,--I mean, in the
direction of the axis of the bore. This cylindrical peg, which is much
like the _tige_ invented by Colonel Touvenin in 1828, arrests the
_jagged_ bullet at the precise moment when the powder is sufficiently
pressed to remove all chance of the _slightly_ six-grooved barrel's
bursting; and yet not so much pressed as to interfere with the complete
ignition of _every_ grain. These lie loose round the peg. The want of
this complete ignition (owing to the rapidity of explosion not giving
time for all the particles of closely-wedged powder being fired) has
been the only valid objection yet offered to the detonating system.
For strong shooting, the wad over the powder should be _much_ thicker
than the wad placed over the shot. The several waddings now sold
greased with some mercurial preparation undeniably retard leading--a
great gain. If the long nozzle of the shot-pouch fits close within the
barrel, on unloading your gun you can easily return the shot into the
pouch without losing a grain. As a concluding piece of advice let me
recommend you, my young friend, to make but a light breakfast whenever
you expect a heavy day's work,--take out, however, a few sandwiches for
luncheon.


NOTE TO 283.--_Trapping._--_Owl as decoy._--_Hen Harrier._--_Keeper's
Vermin dogs._--_Stoats._

A good book for gamekeepers on trapping is still a great desideratum.
It should be written by a practical man who is a bit of a naturalist;
for no trapper can be very successful unless he is well acquainted with
the haunts and habits of the many kinds of vermin it is his business
to destroy. Mr. C----e's gamekeeper, at R----n, Perthshire, who was
well aware of the great importance of diligently searching for their
nests in the breeding season, was at length amply repaid for often
watching the proceedings of a hen-harrier frequently seen hovering
over a small wood not far from his cottage. He could never perceive
that she alighted on any of the trees; but from the time of year, and
her so perseveringly returning to the spot, he felt convinced that
her nest was not far off. Ineffectual, however, was every search. At
length, one morning he was lucky enough to remark that something fell
from her. He hunted close in that direction,--found the nest, and the
young ones regaling on a snipe whose remains were still warm; evidently
the identical bird she had most adroitly dropped from a considerable
height into the middle of her hungry brood. It would have been very
interesting to have observed how she managed on a windy day. Probably
she would have taken an easy shot by sweeping close to the trees. In
Germany much winged vermin is destroyed with the aid of a decoy horned
owl. The keeper having selected a favourable spot on a low hillock
where the bird is likely to be observed, drives an upright post into
the ground, the upper part of which is hollowed. The bird is placed on
a perch much shaped like the letter =T=. A string is attached to the
bottom of the perpendicular part, which is then dropped into the hollow
or socket. The armed keeper conceals himself in a loopholed sentry-box,
prepared of green boughs, at a suitable distance, amidst sheltering
foliage. His pulling the string raises the perch. The owl, to preserve
its balance, flutters its wings. This is sure to attract the notice of
the neighbouring magpies, hawks, crows, &c. Some from curiosity hover
about, or, still chattering and peering, alight on the neighbouring
trees (of course, standing invitingly within gun-shot); others, having
no longer any reverence for the bird of Wisdom in his present helpless
condition, wheel round and round, every moment taking a sly peck at
their fancied enemy, while their real foe sends their death-warrant
from his impervious ambuscade.

Talking of vermin, I am reminded that J----s H----d, an old gamekeeper
with whom I am acquainted, avers that one of his craft can hardly be
worth his salt unless he possesses "a regular good varmint of a dog."
It should be of a dark colour, not to betray so readily the movements
of his master to interested parties. He says he once owned one, a
bull-terrier, that was, to again quote the old man's words, "worth his
weight in gold to a gamekeeper;" that it was incredible the quantity
of ground-vermin, of every kind, the dog killed, which included snakes
and adders--destroyers of young birds of every sort, and it is said
of eggs (but this it is difficult to conceive, unless we imagine them
to be crushed in the same manner as the boa-constrictor murders his
victims, a supposition without a shadow of proof--small eggs, however,
might be swallowed whole),--that he was perpetually hunting, but never
noticed game--had an excellent nose, and, on occasions when he could
not run into the vermin, would unerringly lead his master to the hole
in the old bank, tree, or pile of fagots where it had taken refuge;
when, if it was a stoat or weasel, and in a place where the report of
a gun was not likely to disturb game, the keeper would bring him into
"heel," wait patiently awhile, and then, by imitating the cry of a
distressed rabbit, endeavour to entice the delinquent to come forth and
be shot. If this _ruse_ failed, H----d quickly prepared a trap that
generally sealed the fate of the destructive little creature. As the
dog retrieved all he caught, the old barn-door was always well covered
with _recent_ trophies. Old trophies afford no evidence of a keeper's
diligence.

The dog invariably accompanied his master during his rounds at night,
and had great talents for discovering any two-legged intruder. On
finding one he would quietly creep up, and then, by running round
and round him as if prepared every moment to make a spring, detain
him until joined by the keeper; all the while barking furiously and
adroitly avoiding every blow aimed at his sconce.[117]

He was moreover (but this has little to do with his sporting habits),
a most formidable enemy to dogs of twice his power; for he would
cunningly throw himself upon his back if overmatched, and take the same
unfair advantage of his unfortunate opponent which Polygars are trained
to do when they are attacking the wild hog (445).

I relate this story about H----d and his bull-terrier because few
men ever were so successful in getting up a good show of game on
a property. It was a favourite observation of his that it was not
game,--it was vermin, that required looking after; that these did
more injury than the largest gang of poachers, as the depredations of
the latter could be stopped, but not those of the former. There are
few who, on reflection, will not agree with the old keeper. Stoats
are so bloodthirsty, that if one of them come across a brood of young
pheasants he will give each in succession a deadly gripe on the back
of the neck close to the skull, not to make any use of the carcasses,
but in the epicurean desire to suck their delicate brains. All who
are accustomed to "rabbiting" know that even tame ferrets evince the
same murderous propensities, and commit indiscriminate slaughter,
_apparently_ in the spirit of wanton destructiveness.

From all, however, that I have seen and heard, I fancy no animal so
much prevents the increase of partridges and pheasants, as the hooded
crow.

An intelligent man, C----s M----n (an admirable dresser of
salmon-flies), whose veracity I have no reason to distrust, assured
me that he had seen about the nest of a "hoodie" (as he called the
bird), the shells of not less than two hundred eggs, all nearly of the
partridge and pheasant. He told me that he once had an opportunity of
observing the clever proceedings of a pair of these marauders, bent
on robbing the nest on which a hen-pheasant was actually sitting. One
of the depredators by fluttering round her, and slily pecking at her
unprotected stern, at length so succeeded in irritating her, that she
got up to punish him. By a slow scientific retreat, he induced her to
pursue him for a few steps, thus affording his confederate, who had
concealed himself, the opportunity of removing certainly one egg,
perhaps two. By repetitions of this sham attack and retreat, the adroit
pilferers eventually managed to empty the nest.

The above mentioned man had been brought up as a gamekeeper in
Cumberland. He became an excellent trapper; and was afterwards employed
on an estate near the Cheviot Hills, where, in a short time, he got up
a decent stock of game by destroying the vermin. He found the grounds
swarming with "hoodies;" but it was not until their breeding season the
following spring, when he was favoured in his operations by a frost,
that he succeeded in capturing them in considerable numbers. On the
ground becoming hard, he, for nearly a fortnight, fed certain spots
on the banks of the Teviot with wood pigeons and rabbits, besides
any vermin that he contrived to shoot. By that time the "hoodies"
habitually resorted, without distrust, to those places for food. He
then set his traps baited with all such delicacies,--but he considered
a small rabbit, or a pigeon lying on its back with outstretched wings,
as the most tempting of his invitations; and it often happened that
he had scarcely disappeared before the click of the closing spring
apprised him of a capture. When his frequent success had rendered the
birds shy, he set his traps in the adjacent stream, covering their
sides with grass or rushes,--the attractive bait alone appearing above
the surface. For three reasons he regarded the banks of the river as
the best situation for his traps--he could, as just mentioned, conceal
them in the water on the birds becoming too suspicious--secondly,
streams are much resorted to by the "hoodie," who searches diligently
for any chance food floating on the water,--and lastly, the rooks,
of which there were many in that part of the country, from naturally
hunting inland, the reverse of the "hoodie," were the less likely to
spring his traps.

From the short, fuller neck,--the head bent peeringly downwards,--but,
above all, from the hawk-like movements of the wing, the sportsman will
be able to distinguish the hooded-crow from the rook at a moment when
he may be too distant to observe the black and more hooked bill,--and
never let him spare. He should be suspicious of every bird he sees
crossing and re-crossing a field,--in reality hunting it with as
regular a beat as a pointer's.

M----n killed a great many stoats and weasels with _unbaited_ traps.
As it is the habit of these little animals, when hunting a hedge-row,
to prefer running through a covered passage to turning aside, he used,
where the ground favoured him by slightly rising, to cut a short drain,
about a foot in breadth, and rather less in depth, parallel and close
to the hedge, covering it with the sods he had removed. At the bottom
of these drains he fixed his traps, as soon as the animals became
accustomed to the run, and rarely failed in securing every member of
the weasel family which had taken up its abode in the vicinity. The
best description of hutch-trap (which many prefer to the gin-trap) is
made entirely of wire, excepting the bottoms. All appears so light and
airy that little suspicion is awakened. The doors fall on anything
running over the floor. Of course, this trap is baited unless set in a
run. An enticing bait is _drawn_ towards it from several distant points.

To many keepers it _ought_ to be of much advantage to read Colquhoun's
advice on trapping, appended to "The Moor and the Loch."


NOTE TO 407.--_Rearing Pheasants._--_Cantelo._--_Pheasantries._--_Mr.
Knox._

With respect to rearing pheasants under a barn-door hen, he observed
that they required _meat_ daily. He said that he had been in the habit
of shooting rabbits for those he had brought up, and of giving them the
boiled flesh when cut up into the smallest pieces, mixed with their
other food. He remarked, farther, that the chicks ought to be allowed
to run upon the grass at _dawn_ of day--which was seldom regularly
done, such early rising being at times not equally congenial to the
taste of all the parties concerned.

The treatment he recommended seems reasonable, for those who have
watched the habits of pheasants must have remarked that, immediately
upon quitting their roosts, they commence searching in the moist grass
for food (greatly to the benefit of the farmer), and do not resort to
the corn-fields until after the dew is off the ground, and the rising
sun has warned the grubs, slugs, worms, and caterpillars to seek
concealment.

Ornithologists, and men who have studied the subject, are agreed that
partridges in a yet larger degree benefit the agriculturalist by
picking up, during the greater part of the year, myriads of worms and
insects; besides consuming immense quantities of weeds and their seeds.
They rival the ill-used mole in the number of wire-worm they destroy.
These facts have been incontrovertibly proved by an examination of the
crops of the birds at all seasons.

I am not wishing to fight any battles for hares and rabbits. They do
great mischief,--but in fairness it must be said for the hare, that
he commits far less waste and havoc than the other. A rabbit will
wander from turnip to turnip, nibbling a bit from each, whereby the
air is admitted[118] and the whole root destroyed; whereas a hare, if
undisturbed, will sit down before one head, and not move until she has
devoured the whole of its contents, merely leaving a rind not much
thicker than an egg-shell. It is, however, undeniable that both of them
do much mischief to young plantations at all seasons of the year, and
they will even eat the bark off, and so kill some kinds of full-grown
trees, when snow is on the ground and food scarce.

To the health of many, usually considered only grain-feeding birds,
a certain portion of animal food appears essential. It is not solely
for grain that the common fowl scrapes the dung-hill. Throw a bone
of a cooked brother or sister to a brood of chickens confined in
a poultry-yard, and see with what avidity they will demolish the
remains of their defunct relative. Fowls never fatten on board ship;
_occasionally_ owing to want of gravel,--_constantly_ to want of
animal food. In a long voyage a bird that dies in a coop is often
found by "Billyducks"[119] half eaten up; and it is questionable
whether a sickly companion be not occasionally sacrificed by his
stronger associates to appease their natural craving for flesh. In
the West Indies the accidental upsetting of an old sugar-cask in a
farm-yard, and its scattering forth a swarm of cock-roaches, sets all
the feathered tribe in a ferment. The birds that had been listlessly
sauntering about, or standing half-asleep in the friendly shade,
suddenly seem animated with the fury of little imps,--and, influenced
by a taste _in every way_ repugnant to our feelings, with outstretched
necks and fluttering wings race against each other for possession of
the offensive, destructive insects, evincing in the pursuit an agility
and a rapidity of movement of which few would imagine them to be
capable.

[Illustration: 'FOUL' FEEDING.]

The keeper just spoken of used to rear his pheasants within doors, or
rather in an outhouse, the floor of which was in part covered with
sods of turf,--but I think J----s T----n, another of the craft whom I
know well, pursues a better and far less troublesome plan. He selects
a piece of clover[120] facing the south, and sheltered from the north
and east winds by a contiguous small copse which he feels assured can
harbour no destructive vermin. On this grass-plat, if the weather is
fine, he places the common barn-door hens,--each with her brood the
moment they are hatched,--under separate small coops. Two or three
boards run from each coop, forming a temporary enclosure, which is
removed in about a week on the little inmates gaining strength. If he
has any fear of their being carried off by hawks, &c., he fixes a net
overhead. The hens had sat on the eggs in an outhouse.

The first food given to the chicks is soaked bread,--and white of
eggs cut up fine. The colour (is not that a bull?) catches their eye,
which is the alleged reason for all their food being given to them
white. Ants' nests are procured for them,--of the red ant first,--of
the larger kind, when the chicks become so strong that the insects
cannot injure them--later in the season, wasps' nests. When there is
a difficulty in procuring any of these nests, curd is often given;
but should it become sour, as frequently happens in hot weather, it
is likely to occasion dysentery,[121] therefore oatmeal porridge made
with milk is considered a safer diet. This is eagerly picked up when
scattered about, sprinkled as it were,--and the weaker chicks are thus
enabled to secure a fair share. T----n breeds a quantity of maggots for
them,--and at no expense,--in the adjacent copse. Whatever vermin he
kills (whether winged or four-footed) he hangs up under a slight awning
as a protection from the rain. On the flesh decaying the maggots drop
into the box placed underneath to receive them. The insects soon become
clean, if sand and bran is laid at the bottom of the box, and it is an
interesting sight to see the excited little birds eagerly hurrying from
all quarters to the grass-plat on the keeper striking the tray with his
knuckles to invite them to partake of some choice maggots, spread out
on sanded boards.

If a piece of carrion is placed under a wire netting near the coops,
the chicks will feed with avidity on the flies it attracts.

Change of food is beneficial:--therefore, boiled barley or rice, is
often substituted, or oatmeal, or Indian-corn meal,--mixed with the
flesh of boiled rabbits.

Saucers of clean water are placed about. Water in a dirty state is
very injurious. It is not of any depth, lest the chicks should wet
their feathers when standing in it. Occasionally iron saucers are used,
ingeniously designed on the ridge and furrow plan. The ridges are so
little apart, that the chicks can insert no more than their heads into
the furrows. As cleanliness must in all things be preserved, the coops
are shifted a few feet aside twice a day.

The chicks soon quit the hens to roost in the shrubs, which afford
welcome shade during the mid-day heat; but the imprisoned matrons are
still useful, as their plaintive call prevents the chicks from becoming
irreclaimable truants. As they have always the opportunity of running
in the grass and copse, where they find seeds and insects, they quickly
become independent, and learn to forage for themselves,--yet when fully
grown up they are not so likely to stray away as birds who have been
more naturally reared, and who have been made wanderers even in their
infancy. This is a great advantage.

That the chicks may come upon fresh ground for seeds and insects, the
situation of the coops may be occasionally changed. If liable to be
attacked by vermin at night, a board can be fixed in front of each coop.

Partridges may be reared by the same means. But instances are rare of
their laying while in a state of captivity.

That the young birds may be able to rid their bodies of vermin, they
should be provided with small heaps of sand protected from rain, and
dry earth, in which they will gladly rub themselves.

If you design rearing pheasants annually, always keep a few of the tame
hens and a cock at home. By judicious management these will supply a
large quantity of eggs for hatching,--eggs that you can ensure, when in
their freshest state, being placed under barn-door hens. Keep the eggs
in a cool place. I cannot believe that you will ever be guilty--for it
is guilt, great guilt--of the sin of _purchasing_ eggs. "Buyers make
thieves,"--and one sneaking, watching, unwinged pilferer on two legs
would do more mischief in the month of May than dozens of magpies or
hooded crows.

Pheasants so soon hunt for their own subsistence, that they are brought
to maturity at less expense than common fowls.

Since the publication of the second edition, I have had an opportunity
of talking to Mr. Cantelo, the clever inventor of the novel hatching
machine, whereby (following nature's principle) heat is imparted only
to the upper surface of eggs. He annually rears a large quantity of all
kinds of poultry, besides partridges and pheasants, and I believe no
one in England is so experienced in these matters.

He found it best not to give food to any kind of chicks for the two
first days after they were hatched. As they would not all break the
shell together, it is probable that in a state of nature many of them
would be for, at least, this period under the hen before she led them
forth to feed. To young turkeys and pheasants he gave no food for three
days. They would then eat almost anything voraciously, whereas, when
fed sooner, they become dainty and fastidious.

He recommends that the lean of raw beef, or any meat (minced fine, as
if for sausages) be given to partridge or pheasant chicks, along with
their other food,[122] or rather before their other food, and only in
certain quantities; for if they are fed too abundantly on what they
most relish, they are apt to gorge themselves, and they will seldom
refuse meat, however much grain they may have previously eaten. He said
that they should be liberally dieted, but not to repletion,--that once
a day they should be sensible of the feeling of hunger.

It certainly is most consonant to nature, that the flesh given to the
chicks should not be cooked; and Mr. Cantelo observed that it would
be immediately found on trial, that young birds prefer that which is
undressed,--nay, that which has a bloody appearance.

He considers maggots (gentles) an admirable diet, and he gave me a
valuable hint about them. This is, that they be fattened on untainted
meat, placed in the sand-box into which they fall. The pieces of meat
will soon be drilled like a honey-comb, and the little crawlers,
by becoming in a day or two large and fat, will prove a far more
nourishing diet than when given in the attenuated state to which they
are commonly reduced, by the present starving process of cleansing.

Mr. Cantelo has remarked that guinea-birds require food at an earlier
period after they are hatched than any other sort of chick,--and that
they and ducklings eat most meat,--turkey-poultry least.

Wet is injurious to all chickens (the duck-tribe excepted); and when
the hen, from being confined, cannot lead her brood astray, they will,
of themselves, return to her coop on finding the grass too damp.

Mr. Cantelo is strongly of opinion, that all diseases to which infant
birds are liable are contagious. He advises, in consequence, that the
moment any one of the brood is attacked with diarrhoea, sore eyes, or
sneezing, it be instantly separated from the others.

He considers all chickens safe from ordinary diseases on their gaining
their pen-feathers.

He has found that _nest_ eggs, not sat on for twelve hours, do not lose
their vitality. This shows that eggs taken by mowers should not be
hastily thrown away, in consequence of a considerable delay unavoidably
occurring before they can be placed under a hen to complete their
hatching.

Pheasants sit about five days longer than common fowls.

Mr. Cantelo recommends that eggs sent from a distance be packed in
oats. He had succeeded in hatching some he had kept, as an experiment,
upwards of two months in a temperate atmosphere, _turning them daily_.
This continued vitality is, however, seldom a consideration as regards
pheasants; for the earlier in the season the birds can be produced the
better. It is a great advantage to have five months' growth and feed in
them by the first of October.

Mr. Knox, in his interesting work on "Game-birds and Wildfowl," has
given some good advice about the rearing and preservation of pheasants.
I will make some extracts from it, and, I think, many would do well to
read the whole book.

With respect to a pheasantry for procuring eggs, he is of opinion that
in March,--the time when the cocks begin to fight,--the enclosure
containing the stock of birds should be divided, by high hurdles, or
wattles, into partitions, so that each cock may be told off with three
hens into a distinct compartment. He advises that no harem should
be greater in a state of confinement. His opportunities for forming
a correct judgment have probably been greater than mine; but I must
observe that I have known of ladies, kept in such small seraglios,
being worried to death. "The larger the compartments," he says, "the
better;" "a heap of bushes and a mound of dry sand in each;" an
attendant to visit them once (and but once) a day, to take in the food
of "barley, beans, peas, rice, or oats; boiled potatoes, Jerusalem
artichokes, and Swedish turnips;"[123] and to remove whatever eggs may
have been laid during the preceding twenty-four hours.

The accidental destruction of the net overhanging Mr. Knox's
pheasantry, and the escape of the cocks, led to his ascertaining a fact
of much importance; viz. that pinioned hens (one wing amputated at the
carpal joint--"the wounds soon healed") kept in an unroofed enclosure,
near a cover, into which (what are called) "tame-bred pheasants" have
been turned, will always attract sufficient mates--mates in a more
healthy state than confined birds,--and that the eggs will be more
numerous, and unusually productive.

I can easily imagine that such matrimonial alliances are sure to be
formed wherever the opportunity offers; and if I were establishing a
pheasantry, I would adopt the plan Mr. Knox recommends, unless withheld
by the fear that more than one cock might gain admittance to the hens;
for I am aware of facts which incline me to think, that, in such
instances, the eggs may be unserviceable. At a connexion's of mine,
where the poultry-yard lies close to a copse, hybrid chickens have
often been reared--the offspring of barn-door hens and cock-pheasants
_not tame-bred_.

Mr. Knox elsewhere observes, that the hen-pheasants kept in confinement
should be tame-bred; that is, be "birds which have been hatched and
reared under domestic hens, as those which are netted, or caught, in a
wild state, will always prove inefficient layers." "About the fourth
season a hen's oviparous powers begin to decline, although her maternal
qualifications, in other respects, do not deteriorate until a much
later period. It is, therefore, of consequence to enlist, occasionally,
a few recruits, to supply the place of those females who have completed
their third year, and who then may be set at large in the preserves."
Of course, not those birds who have had the forehand of a wing
amputated.

Talking of ants' eggs, which Mr. Knox terms "the right hand of the
keeper" in rearing pheasant chicks--it is the first food to be given to
them--Mr. Knox says, "Some persons find it difficult to separate the
eggs from the materials of the nest. The simplest mode is, to place as
much as may be required--ants, eggs, and all--in a bag or light sack,
the mouth of which should be tied up. On reaching home, a large white
sheet should be spread on the grass, and a few green boughs placed
round it on the inside, over which the outer edge of the sheet should
be lightly turned; this should be done during sunshine. The contents
of the bag should then be emptied into the middle, and shaken out
so as to expose the eggs to the light. In a moment, forgetting all
considerations of personal safety, these interesting little insects set
about removing their precious charge--the cocoons--from the injurious
rays of the sun, and rapidly convey them under the shady cover afforded
by the foliage of the boughs near the margin of the sheet. In less
than ten minutes the work will be completed. It is only necessary then
to remove the branches; and the eggs, or cocoons, may be collected by
handfuls, unencumbered with sticks, leaves, or any sort of rubbish."

Mr. Knox goes on to say, that "green tops of barley, leeks, boiled
rice, Emden groats, oatmeal, &c.," are excellent diet for the chicks,
but that this kind of food is "almost always given at too early a
period. In a state of nature, their food, for a long time, would be
wholly insectile." "Now, as it is not in our power to procure the
quantity and variety of small insects and larvæ which the mother-bird
so perseveringly and patiently finds for them, we are obliged to
have recourse to ants' eggs, as easily accessible, and furnishing
a considerable supply of the necessary sort of aliment in a small
compass."

"When the chicks are about a week or ten days old, Emden groats and
coarse Scotch oatmeal may be mixed with the ants' eggs; and curds,
made from fresh milk, with alum, are an excellent addition. If ants'
nests cannot be procured in sufficient quantities, gentles should
occasionally be given."

When more wasps' nests are obtained than are required for immediate
use, "it will be necessary to bake them for a short time in an oven.
This will prevent the larvæ and nymphs from coming to maturity,--in
fact, kill them--and the contents of the combs will keep for some weeks
afterwards. Hempseed, crushed and mingled with oatmeal, should be given
them when about to wean them from an insect diet. Hard boiled eggs,
also, form a useful addition, and may be mixed, for a long time, with
their ordinary farinaceous food."

"Young pheasants are subject to a kind of diarrhoea, which often proves
fatal. If the disease be taken in time, boiled milk and rice, in lieu
of any other diet, will generally effect a cure. To these chalk may
be added, to counteract the acidity which attends this complaint; and
should the symptoms be very violent, a small quantity of alum, as an
astringent."

This treatment appears reasonable. Many consider rice a judicious diet
in such cases; and I know of a surgeon's giving boiled milk with great
success, in the West Indies, to patients suffering from diarrhoea.

"But the most formidable disease from which the young pheasant
suffers is that known by the name of 'the gapes:'--so termed from
the frequent gaping efforts of the bird to inhale a mouthful of air.
Chickens and turkeys are equally liable to be affected by it; and
it may be remarked, that a situation which has been used, for many
successive seasons, as a nursery ground, is more apt to be visited
with this plague, than one which has only recently been so employed.
Indeed, I have observed that it seldom makes its appearance on a lawn
or meadow during the first season of its occupation; and, therefore,
when practicable, it is strongly to be recommended, that fresh ground
should be applied to the purpose every year: and when this cannot be
done, that a quantity of common salt should be sown broadcast over the
surface of the earth, after the birds have left it in the autumn."
He elsewhere describes the gapes as that "dreadful scourge, which,
like certain diseases that affect the human subject, seems to have
been engendered and fostered by excessive population within a limited
district."

"Dissection has proved that the latent cause of this malady is a minute
worm of the genius _fasciola_, which is found adhering to the internal
part of the windpipe, or trachea." Then Mr. Knox explains how this worm
may be destroyed; (and only by such means,--the most delicate operator
being unable to extract it without materially injuring the young
bird)--viz. by fumigating with tobacco-smoke, according to the method
(which he fully describes) recommended by Colonel Montagu. If the worm
is not destroyed, the death of the bird ensues "by suffocation from the
highly inflamed state of the respiratory apparatus."

I once kept many guinea-birds when abroad; and I am now convinced that
I should have succeeded in rearing a far greater number, had I adopted
more closely the mode of feeding, &c., here recommended for young
pheasants.

In July, '57, I saw in a large clover field at Sandling, East Kent, 820
pheasant chicks which had been reared by M----n under sixty-six common
hens. It was a very interesting sight. I accompanied him round all the
coops. They stood about twenty paces apart, and I could not detect a
single bird with a drooping wing or of sickly appearance. He told me
most positively that he had not lost one by disease, but a few had been
trodden under foot by careless, awkward hens, and, what seems curious,
some few chicks on quitting the shell had been intentionally killed by
the very hens which had hatched them. A hatching hen will sometimes
thus destroy ducklings,--but these are far more unlike her natural
progeny than are pheasant chicks. M----n found that game-fowls make the
best mothers--Cochin-china the worst. He has a prejudice,--how doctors
differ! against maggots and ants' nests. However, he has a right to his
notions, for he lost hardly any birds in the year '56, out of the 400
and upwards that broke the shell. He devotes himself to what, with
him, is a labour of love. He has great, and just pride in his success.
He maintains that pheasants can be reared cheaper than barn-door
fowls, wherever there are woods, as the chicks find their own food
at such an early age. The rearing of the birds that I saw and about
fifty partridge-chicks, occupied the whole of his time and that of an
assistant. There was also a boy to cook, &c. The chicks were fed every
two hours throughout the day with a mixture of hard boiled eggs,[124]
curds, bread-crumbs, rape and canary seed. The shutter of each hutch
doing duty as a tray for the food. After the chicks had fed M----n made
his rounds, and scraped into a pot all that was not consumed, being
careful that nothing was left to get sour. He gave a small portion of
these remains to the imprisoned matrons. He feeds the chicks liberally,
yet calculates to a great nicety what will be eaten, for on every
shutter a portion, but a very small portion of food was left. Water,
kept in earthenware pans made with concentric circles on the ridge
and furrow system, was placed at intervals between the hutches. Many
times a day he moved the several coops a few feet to fresh ground.
At night when all the chicks have joined the hens he fastens the
shutters, and does not remove them in the morning until the dew is
off the grass. How entirely is this practice opposed to the advice of
the Yorkshireman given at the commencement of this note! and yet it
might be possible to reconcile the contradictory recommendations by
supposing that as soon as the young birds have nearly reached maturity
they are allowed to search for insects at the earliest dawn. M----n's
last location for the hutches would be in the centre of the landlord's
property, and they would not be taken away until the hens were quite
abandoned by the young pheasants--which in general would be at the end
of August. Differing much from Mr. Knox, it was M----n's practice to
keep as many as five hens with one cock for the purpose of obtaining
eggs. I observed that some hutches possessed a disproportionate number
of inmates. This had arisen from the hutches having been placed in
too close proximity before the chicks had the sense to know their
respective foster-mothers.

Remarking once after a good battue in cover upon the fine condition
of the birds spread in a long array on the lawn for the inspection of
the ladies, I was told that the keeper greatly attributed their size
and weight to keeping ridge and furrow pans near their feeding places
constantly filled with bark-water. He used to boil from a quarter to
half a pound of oak-bark in two gallons of water until it was reduced
to half the quantity. After once tasting it the pheasants become fond
of it, their natural instinct telling them the advantages of the tonic.
A cross with the true China makes the young birds hardy and wild. The
brilliancy of the plumage is much increased but not the size of the
birds. However long Chinese pheasants may be kept in confinement they
will be alarmed at the sight of strangers.


NOTE TO 537.--_Setters._--_Poachers._--_Keepers._--_Netting
Partridges._--_Bloodhounds._--_Night-dogs._

It is far more easy to get a well broken pointer than a well broken
setter; but times may change, for clean farming, the sale of game,
poaching, and poisoning of seed-grain, are now carried on to such an
extent, and the present game-laws are so inefficacious, that, probably,
our children will much prefer the hard-working setter to the pointer.
What an encouragement to villany is it that poulterers will give a
higher price for game that appears perfectly uninjured, than for what
has been shot; and _seldom ask questions_! It is a pity that the sale
of such game cannot be rendered illegal. The destructive net sweeps off
whole coveys at a time. The darkest night affords no protection, for
the lantern attached to the dog's neck sufficiently shows when he is
pointing at birds. A friend of mine in Kent, some years ago, wanted a
partridge in order to break in a young bitch. Under a solemn promise of
secrecy he was taken to an attic in an old house, not far from London,
where he saw more than a hundred birds, ready for the market against
the approaching first of September, running among the sheaves of corn
standing in the corners of the room. To prevent the employment of the
net, it has been recommended that the fields frequented by partridges
should be staked, according to the method successfully followed in
some preserved streams: but there are French gamekeepers who adopt a
far less troublesome, and more effective plan. They themselves net the
coveys at night, as soon as the harvest is collected, and turn them out
again on the same ground the next evening, in the fullest confidence
that the birds are henceforth safe from the poacher's net: for, however
carefully they may have been handled, they will have been so alarmed,
that their distrust and wariness will effectually prevent their being
again caught napping. Talking of poaching, I am led to observe that one
well-trained bloodhound would be more useful in suppressing poaching
than half-a-dozen under-keepers; for the fear poachers naturally
entertain of being tracked to their homes at dawn of day, would more
deter them from entering a cover, than any dread of being assailed at
night by the boldest armed party. Even as compared with other dogs,
the sensitiveness of the olfactory nerves of the bloodhound appears
marvellous. Let one of pure breed but once take up the scent of a man,
and he will hold it under the most adverse circumstances. No cross
scents will perplex him.

At two o'clock on a frosty December morning in '44, when the wind blew
bitterly cold from the east, Mr. B----e, of S----d, Warwickshire, was
called up by the keepers of a neighbour, Mr. W----n, and informed that
some poachers were shooting pheasants in a plantation belonging to Mr.
B----e, whose keepers were on the look-out in a different direction.
They and Mr. W----n's had agreed to work in concert, and mutually
assist each other.

Mr. B----e instantly dressed, and went out with his brother (Captain
B----), and the butler, making a party of eight, including Mr. W----n's
keepers. They took with them a couple of trained bloodhounds in long
cords, a regular night-dog, and a young bloodhound which had broken
loose, and, unsolicited, had volunteered his services.

[Illustration: "One well-trained bloodhound will be more useful."--Page
344.]

On entering the plantation, it was found that the poachers, having
become alarmed, had made off. Two of the keepers remained to watch. The
bloodhounds were laid on the scent. They took it up steadily, and the
rest of the party followed in keen pursuit. As the poachers had not
been seen, their number was unknown, but it was supposed to be about
six from the report of the guns.

Notwithstanding the cold east wind and sharp frost the hounds hunted
correctly, for about three miles, across fields, and along foot-paths
and roads, until they came to a wood of three hundred acres. They took
the scent into the heart of it, evincing great eagerness. Here the hunt
became most exciting, for the poachers were heard in the front crashing
through the branches. A council of war was held, which unluckily ended,
as many councils of war do, in coming to a wrong decision. It was
resolved to divide forces, and endeavour to head the enemy. Captain
B----e, two men and one of the old hounds, turned down a ride towards
which the poachers seemed to be inclining; while the others continued
the direct chase. The poachers, however, soon broke cover, but had not
run across many fields ere they were overtaken. The clear, bright moon
showed eight well-armed men,--rather a disproportionate force for the
attacking three. A fight ensued. The young hound and the watch-dog
were shot. Mr. B----e was lamed, and his two men being a good deal
hurt, the poachers triumphed and resumed their flight. On Captain
B----e rejoining the baffled party the pursuit was renewed for nine
miles,--the dogs carrying the scent the whole way into Coventry, where
they were stopped.

It was now half-past seven. Many early risers were about the streets;
the police offered to point out the poachers, provided their
identity could be sworn to. The hounds were stopped. Two men were
apprehended--(a third escaped from the police)--were lodged in jail,
and subsequently convicted and sentenced to eighteen months' hard
labour. As they had not been seen until the time of the scuffle, which
took place fully five miles from Mr. B----e's plantation, the only
evidence to prove they had been poaching there was furnished in the
undeviating pursuit of the hounds. The remainder of the gang fled the
country.

A farmer, several years ago, sent to the same Mr. B----e to say, that
a sheep had been killed and carried off in the night. Six hours, to a
certainty,--probably many more,--had elapsed since the animal had been
stolen before Mr. B----e could put the only hound he had with him on
the scent. The dog, which was loose, hunted very slowly to a barn where
the hidden skin was found; and afterwards, without any hesitation,
held on the scent from the barn to the residence of a respectable
person so wholly beyond all suspicion that the hound was called off.
It was so late in the day, and along paths so much frequented, that
it was thought the dog must have been hunting other footsteps than
those of the real culprit. Mr. B----e at that moment was not aware
that the respectable householder had taken in a lodger. This lodger,
it subsequently appeared, was the thief, and in bed at the house at
the time. Did not the Squire get well laughed at in all the adjacent
beer-shops for his softness! However, this hunt, and another not very
dissimilar under the head-keeper, effectually suppressed sheep-stealing
in that neighbourhood.

The principal initiatory lesson for a bloodhound pup is to teach him
to "road" well, as described in 43. He should, too, be perfected in
following quietly at "heel." When commencing to teach him to follow
the footsteps of the runner sent on in advance, it will be your aim
to make the dog enjoy the scent and carry it on with eagerness.
Therefore, that the man's shoes may prove attractive, have them lightly
rubbed with tainted meat (or blood). The savoury application may be
progressively diminished in intensity, until at length the pup is
guided only by the natural effluvia escaping from the man's pores.
Whenever the dog gets up to him, let it be a rule that he instantly
reward the animal liberally with some acceptable delicacy.

After a time the fleetest and most enduring runner should be selected,
and the interval between the time of his starting, and the moment when
the hound is laid upon the scent, should be by degrees increased,
until, at length, an hour and more will intervene.

The first lessons should be given early in the morning, when the dew is
not quite off the grass; and the runner should be instructed to take
a direction not likely to be crossed by others. Gradually the hound
will be made to follow the scent under less favourable circumstances,
as respects the state of the ground and the chance of the trail being
interfered with.

It will be obvious that the example of an old well-trained hound would
be very beneficial to the pup; and, if it can be so managed, he should
not be thrown upon his own unaided resources, until he has acquired a
tolerable notion of his business.

A young dog that works too fast must be brought to pursue at a pace
regulated by your signals (end of IV. of 141). That completes his
education.

At night bloodhounds are generally held with a light cord, which
restraint appears to lessen their wish to give tongue. Of course, they
are checked if they do, that the poachers may not be warned of the
pursuit.

A trained bloodhound will seldom endeavour to carry on the scent he has
brought into a road, until he has tried the adjacent gates, gaps, and
stiles.

Bloodhounds not confined are peaceable and, _apparently_, cowardly.
They will rarely attack, unless provoked; but let them be once
roused by a blow, and they become extremely savage. They also soon
become savage if chained up, when they evince but little affection
or obedience. Should they, by accident, get loose, they will more
willingly allow a woman or a child to re-chain them than a man.

Bull-dogs have good noses. I have known of the cross between them and
the mastiff being taught to follow the scent of a man almost as truly
as a bloodhound. The dog I now particularly allude to was muzzled
during the day when accompanying the keeper; and the appearance of
the formidable-looking animal, and the knowledge of his powers, more
effectually prevented egg-stealing than would the best exertions
of a dozen watchers. He was the terror of all the idle boys in the
neighbourhood. Every lad felt assured that, if once "Growler" were put
upon his footsteps, to a certainty he would be overtaken, knocked down,
and detained until the arrival of the keeper. The dog had been taught
thus:--As a puppy he was excited to romp and play with the keeper's
children. The father would occasionally make one of them run away,
and then set the pup on him. After a time he would desire the child
to hide behind a tree, which gradually led the pup to seek by nose.
An amicable fight always ensued on his finding the boy; and, as the
pup grew stronger, and became more riotous than was agreeable, he was
muzzled, but still encouraged to throw down the child. It is easy to
conceive how, in a dog so bred, the instincts of nature eventually led
to his acting his part in this game more fiercely when put upon the
footsteps of a stranger.



INDEX.


A.

Accomplishments or Refinements:--

  Distinguishing dog-whistle, 501.
  Dog to back the gun, 509.
  -- to head running birds, 525.
  -- to hunt without gun, 522.
  -- to retreat and resume point, 512.
  Regular retrievers to beat, 550.
  Setter to retrieve, 536.
  Water-retriever to fetch cripples, 553.

Affection an incentive, &c., 167, 259, 497, 559.

-- gained by first attentions, 167.

Age for education, 15, 62, 132.

Age of game, 7 _n._ 236 _n._ 338 _n._

Albania, cock-shooting in, 84.

Anecdotes. _See_ Instances.

Antelope--sagacity of fawn, 509 _n._

Antelopes and cheeta, 284.

Ants' nests, Guinea-chicks, 471 _n._

Arnica, lotion for bruises, 566.

Assistant with wild dog, 282.

Australia, kangaroo-hunting, 469.

Author's writing, cause of, 589.

Axioms, 274, 359.


B.

Back turned brings dog away, 223.

"Backing" how taught, 350, 353.

-- initiatory lesson in, 50.

-- the gun, 509.

"Bar," for wild dog, 299.

Bark of Oak--tonic for pheasants--end of note to 407.

Barbuda--Creole and cur, 471.

Beagles shot over, 80.

Bear at perfumer's, 461.

Bears killed in India, 444.

"Beat," a, range taught, 132, 133, 171, 175-179.

-- bad, hard to cure, 283.

-- good, difficult, but invaluable, 189.

-- Herbert's opinion, 232.

-- without gun, 522.

-- of five or six dogs, 245-248.

-- of four dogs, 244.

-- of three, 242, 243.

-- of two, 238-240.

-- taught following old dog, 191.

Beaters in India, 446.

Beckford, Education of buckhound, 558, 559.

-- Gentlemen hunting hounds, 413.

"Beckon," why useful signal, 37.

-- and "Heel," differ, 44.

Beef, heating in hot climates, 569.

Begging, how taught, 149.

Bell rang by dog, 417.

Bells, to rope of beaters in India, 446.

-- put on dogs, 63, 74, 401.

Beltings of wood, spaniels, 65.

"Ben," a capital retriever, 121.

Bermuda, militia, 200 _n._

Best dogs err, concise hints, 383.

Bird dead, loss of discourages dog, 312.

-- dead, seized and torn by dog, 321.

-- shot on ground, steadies dog, 340.

-- shot, search for, 266, 307, 309, 317. 322, 544.

-- shot, signal heel, 269.

-- winged, shoot on ground, 308.

Birds, lie well, dog winding them, 186.

-- lie, induced to, 401.

-- old, cunning of, 229, 232, 236.

-- wounded, scent differs, 545.

-- wild, intercepted, 384, 400, 525, 533.

-- wounded, first retrieved, 553.

-- wounded, make off towards covey, 544.

-- wounded, found evening, 316.

-- wounded, the search for, 266.

-- wounded, observed by dog, 113.

Bit for bloodsucker, 117.

Blackcock pointed three times, 289.

-- dog drawing on his first, 297.

Black too conspicuous a colour, 93.

Blacksmith shoeing kicker, 60.

Blind man, and Tweed-side spaniel, 385.

Blinking dead bird, 257.

-- from punishment, 165, 344.

Blinking, initiatory lessons prevent, 17.

B----k, Sir George, 481.

Bloodhounds, training of; poachers, 537 _n._ App.

Boar, wild; encounter with, 468.

Brace of dogs, sufficient if good, 137.

Break in dogs yourself, 3, 408, 409.

Breaker, qualifications required, 6.

-- one, better than two, 14.

Breakers in fault, not dogs, 493.

-- regular, displeased, 588.

-- hunt too many, 191, 362.

-- idle, dislike bold dogs, 198.

Breakers' accomplishments, 555.

"Breaking fence" prevented, 222.

Breeding and breaking, fetch money, 376.

-- in and in, bad, 279.

-- superior nose sought, 370.

Brougham's story of fox, of dog, 431 _n._

Buck-hound, Beckford's story of, 559.

Bull, strike horns, 283 _n._ App.

Bull-dogs, keepers, 546 _n._ App.

-- cross with, 137.

Bull-terrier, keeper's, 283 _n._ App.

Buying dogs. _See_ Purchasers.


C.

Calling constantly, injudicious, 148.

Cantelo on rearing birds, 407 _n._ App.

"Captain," Lord M----f's dog, 491.

Cards selected by "Munito," 414, 436.

"Care," signal for, 39.

Carrots, for horses, 10, 11, 33.

"Carrying" and "fetching," differ, 153.

-- how taught, 96, 109.

Cats and dogs returning home, 221.

"Caution," taught to fast dogs, 197.

-- in excess, 287;

-- cure for, 293.

Cautious and wild dog contrasted, 194.

-- dog, rarely too fast, 194.

Chain better than rope, 563.

Checkcord, 53, 54, 262, 282.

-- spike to, 25, 281, 335.

Cheeta and antelopes, 284.

-- how trained, 284 _n._

Child lost, fed by dog, 432.

China Pheasant, cross with, end of note to 407, page 343.

Circle wide when heading dog, 265.

Cirque National de Paris, 11.

Claws of dogs pared, 566 _n._

Clothes, dog sleeping on, 167 _n._

Clumber spaniels, 75.

Cock-shooting, 37, 84, 397.

Cocking, young man's pursuit, 72.

Cockroaches eaten by fowls, 407 _n._ App.

Collar, a light one on dog, 259.

Collie dogs, 415, 516.

Colours for concealment, 93 _n._

Commands given in a low tone, 20.

-- understood before seeing game, 16.

Companion, dog to be yours, 18, 383, 384.

-- initiatory lessons with, 49, 51.

Condition attended to, 566.

Consistency necessary, 6, 165, 278.

Coolness recommended, 278.

Couple to older dog, 29.

Couples, accustomed to, 48.

Courage created, 135, 347.

Cover, pointers in, 88.

Covers for game, 65 _n._ App.

Cricket, dogs made fag at, 150.

Cripples first retrieved, 553.

Cunning of old birds, 229.


D.

"Dash," a spaniel, described, 234.

Dead bird, blinking of, 267.

-- lifted by you, error of, 98.

-- loss of, discourages dog, 312.

-- rushing into, 321, 374.

-- search for, 266, 307, 309.

-- search for, with two dogs, 544.

-- the first killed, 265.

-- to be pointed, 267;

   but not by retrieving setter or pointer, 548.

-- torn by dog, 322.

Dead, initiatory lesson in, 19, 34.

Diet considered, 567.

Distance, whence birds are winded, 182, 183.

-- between parallels, 181.

-- dog's knowledge of, 285.

Distemper, pups inoculated for, 572.

-- salt for, 579.

-- vaccination for, 573, &c.

Diving, how taught, 105.

Dogs, good, cheapest in the end, 137.

-- shape, &c. of, 137, 187, 364, 537.

-- shepherds', in France, 415.

-- slow, beating more than faster, 327.

-- unknown, fetch small sums, 380.

-- wildest, most energetic, 53, 137, 198.

Dominos played at by dogs, 433, 441.

"Down" see "Drop."

"Down charge," dog pointing, not to, 359.

-- initiatory lesson in, 27.

-- ingenious argument against, 316 _n._

-- why retrievers should, 119.

Draughts, the first to move wins, 158.

"Drop," a better word than "Down," 146.

-- dog to, another dropping, 49.

-- dog to, game rising, 328.

-- initiatory lessons in, 23, 25, 26.

-- unnatural, "Toho" natural, 24.

Dropper, pointing grouse or snipe, 497.

-- by Russian setter, 498.

Duck emits a goodish scent, 94.

Duck. Wood-duck of America, 511.

Duck-shooting in wild rice, 95.

Ducks, wounded, first retrieved, 553.

Duke of Gordon's dogs, 237.


E.

Ears not pulled violently, 327.

Education, age when commence, 15.

-- best conducted by one, 14.

-- Beckford's opinion of, 558.

-- commenced from A, B, C, 588.

-- expeditious, economical, 13.

Elephant, critical encounter with, 450.

-- skulls of, 462.

-- tricks exhibited, 160.

Energy, wildest dogs have most, 53, 137, 198.

Esquimaux dogs, and women, 169.

-- crossed with wolf, 137.

Example advantageous, 351;

  especially to spaniels, 62;
  yours has influence, 264, 374.

Exercise on the road, 566.


F.

Falcon with Greyhound, 470.

Fastest dogs not _beating_ most, 257.

-- walkers not _beating_ most, 256.

Fasting, initiatory lessons given, 12.

Fat, enemy to endurance, 567.

Fatigued, dog not hunted when, 224.

Faults, punishment expected for, 348.

Fawn, sagacity of, 509 _n._

Feeding-time, lessons at, 30.

-- pistol fired, 28.

-- the evening, 568.

Feet, 187;

  attended to, 566.

-- and loins compared, 137.

-- of setter better than pointer's, 187.

-- Partridge's, given to dog, 345.

Fence not to be broken, 222.

"Fence," or "Ware fence," initiatory lesson in, 46.

"Fetching" and "carrying" differ, 153.

-- evil of not, 235.

-- lessons in, 96, 109.

Fields, largest beat, 173.

"Find," initiatory lesson, 34, 35.

"Finder" not to advance, 357.

-- retrieves, 541.

Fire, dog to bask before, 225.

First day on game, good conduct of dog, 139;

  of two dogs, 280.

First good point, 264;

  first bird killed, 265.

Flapper shooting, 226.

Fleas. Saffron. Gum of sloe, 165 _n._

Flesh detrimental to pace, 567.

Flogging, how administered, 323.

-- reprobated, 9, 344.

"Flown," initiatory lesson, 45;

  real, 330.

Food given cool, 568.

"Footing" a scent, 43, 112, 285.

"Forward," initiatory lesson, 36.

Fowls, killing of--the cure, 392.

-- require animal food, 407 _n._

Fox brought back by dog, 478.

-- his sagacity, 431 _n._

-- graceful when hunting, 537.

Fox-hound, cross gives vigour, 137.

Franconi's Cirque National de Paris, 11.


G.

Game, age, &c. 7 _n._ 236 _n._ 338 _n._

-- bag, birds looped on, 540.

-- lies close in hot weather, 446.

-- lies too close in turnips, 193.

-- not shown dog soon, 16, 171.

-- plentiful. Bad rangers, 255.

-- sprung towards gun, 64, 89, 284.

"Gone," initiatory lesson, 45;

  real, 330.

Gordon, the Duke of, his dogs, 237.

Gorse, spaniels to be habituated to, 61.

Greyhounds, conditioning of, 566.

-- with Falcon, 470.

Griffin, hints to, 65 _n._, 400-403.

Grouse and snipe alternately set, 497.

-- best to break dog on, 331 _n._

-- cunning of old, 229.

-- dog for, rated on snipe, 497.

-- shot from stooks, 7 _n._

-- shot with aid of cart, 384.

-- spread while feeding, 265.

"Grouse's" portrait, 210.

Guinea-birds' eggs. Chicks, 471 _n._

Guinea-birds headed, 528.

Gun, dog to "back" the, 509.

-- first over fence, not dog, 222.

-- game flushed towards, 64, 89, 284.

-- how carried, 65 _n._


H.

Hand, bird delivered into, 98.

-- rewards taken from, 27.

Hare, chase of, checked, 334, 335.

-- heavy, tempts dog to drop, 116.

-- killed in form, steadies dog, 339.

-- scent of, strong, 333.

-- shooting of, condemned, 331.

-- white, the mountain, 338.

-- wounded, dog may pursue, 341.

Harriers, pointer hunted with, 495.

Hat-brush brought by dog, 156.

Hawker, Colonel, 577.

Haunt, dog brought on, 306;

  not soon, 330.

Heading birds, 284, 400, 525.

Heading dog making too stanch, 287;
  circle wide, 265.

Health promoted by shooting, 409.

Heat beneficial to dogs, 571.

Hedge, furthest side hunted, 54.

Hedge-rows not hunted, 175.

"Heel," signal to, on killing, 269, 276.

-- the signal to, 37, 44.

Hen-harrier's nest found, 283 _n._

Herbert's Field Sports in United States, 241, 568.

Hereditary instincts, 128, 137, 279.

Hog-hunting with native dogs, 445.

Hog, wild, first encounter with, 468.

Hooded crow, 283 _n._

Horned owl, a decoy, 283 _n._

Horse, memory of, 221, _n._

Hoof ointment, 364 _n._

Horse, recipe for conditioning, 364 _n._

Horse's and dog's points similar, 364.

-- biting cured, 283 _n._

-- leg strapped, 60.

-- rushing at his leaps cured, 33.

Horses, how taught by Astley, 10.

-- fed on firing, 28.

Hounds, obedience of, 31.

-- tuition of, 30, 505.

Hunting, dog's chief enjoyment, 562.

-- dog long taking to, 132.

Huntsman for pack bad rangers, 248.

-- a gentleman, 413.


I.

Imitative, dogs are, 34, 264.

In-and-in breeding injudicious, 279.

Independence imparted, 375.

India, 444, 446, &c.

Indian-corn meal, 568.

Initiatory lessons, important, 12, 17, 52, 134, 141.

Inoculation for distemper, 572 _n._

INSTANCE OF breaking highly, 251, 395, 499;

  --coolness and courage, 449-468;
  --cunning in grouse, 229;
    in pheasant, 232, 236;
    in monkeys, 431 _n._;
  --dog's barking at point, 521;
  --dog's behaving well first day, 139, 280;
  --dog's forcing game to gun, 89;
  --dog's pointing after the shot, 275;
  --dog's intercepting, 206, 527, 530;
  --dog's manner showing birds on the run, 295, 530;
  dog's pointing on his back, 199;
  --dog's pointing on fence, 200;
  --dog's detaining with paw, 319;
  --dog's retreating from and resuming point, 286, 517, 519, 520;
  dog's retrieving snipe he would not point, 318;
  dog's retrieving duck, though detesting water, 320;
  --dog's running riot from jealousy, 343;
  dog's running riot only out of sight, 386;
  --dog's running to heel, but not blinking, 195;
  --dog's slipping off and replacing collar, 431 _n._;
  --dog's stanchness--high price it commanded, 382;
  --dog's stanchness to excess, point made three times, 289;
  --dog, though never retrieving, bringing lost bird, 97;
  dog's walking to mallard from a distance, 93 _n._;
  --dog's walking from a distance to object he seeks, 216;
  --dogs alternately retrieving as ordered, 542;
  --dropper's alternately pointing grouse and snipe, 497;
  example being useful, 352;
  --good snipe-shot who always used a dog, 395;
  --good snipe-shot who never used a dog, 394;
  --longevity and vigour, 226;
  --old dog proving of great value, 228
  --Newfoundlands finding their vessels amidst many, 218, 219;
  pointer's hunting with hounds or standing snipe, 495;
  --pointer's superior nose, 366;
  --pointer standing at partridge while carrying hare, 546;
  --pot-hunting ruining dog, 373;
  --prices dogs fetch, 137, 237, 254, 379, 382, 500;
  retriever bolting partridge because interfered with, 540;
  --retriever losing birds from not delivering into hand, 98;
  --retriever killing one bird to carry two, 100;
  --retriever never disturbing fresh ground, 552;
  --retriever ranging spontaneously, 551;
  --retriever tracking wounded through other game, 547;
  retriever running _direct_ to hidden object, 216;
  --"roading" well performed by young dog, 290;
  --setter facing about, on birds running, 295, 530;
  --setter's superior nose, 369;
  --setter's standing fresh birds while carrying dead one, 546;
  --spaniels pointing, 68, 551;
  --young dogs behaving well first day shown game, 139, 280.

Instinct and reason contrasted, 432.

Instincts hereditary, 128, 137, 279.

Ireland. Snipe, Woodcock, 397, 565.

Isle-aux-Noix, good conduct of dog, 395.


J.

Jesse's opinion of dogs, 431.


K.

Kangaroos, Greyhounds, 469.

Keeper, advice in choosing, 586 _n._

Keeper, feeding several dogs, 30.

-- to teach accomplishments, 555.

Keeper's dogs for vermin and poachers, 283 _n._ App. 537 _n._ 588 _n._

Keepers dislike this book, 588.

-- blameable for bad dogs, 4.

-- idle, dislike dogs of energy, 193.

-- rival, bet respecting, 499.

Kennel, dog in, when not with you, 563.

Kennels in India and England, 570.

Keys, retrievers taught with, 106.

-- "Médor's," bringing, 418.

Killed outright--evil of thinking, 311.

Killing fowls--the remedy, 392.

-- sheep-cure attempted, 387, &c.

Kitchen, dog not allowed run of, 563.

Knox on rearing Pheasants, 407 _n._ App.


L.

Ladies, breaking for gun, 166.

-- no control over dogs, 147.

Ladies' Pets pampered, 163.

Learned dog in Paris, 435;

  St. John's, 561.

Leeward, beat from, 201.

-- dog's beat from without gun, 522.

Left hand signals, "Down charge," 24.

-- -- less than right, 142.

Left side of dog, keep on, 285.

"Left," signal for dog to go to, 36.

Lending dog injudicious, 584.

Lesson left off when well repeated, 96.

Lessons, initiatory, reasonable, 12, 17, 52, 134.

-- -- walking in fields, 131.

"Lifting" a dog, 309, 533, 546.

Lion bearded in his den, 465.

Liver, hard boiled, 116.

Loins and feet compared, 137.

Longevity and vigour in a setter, 226.

Lord M----'s setter facing about on birds running, 295, 530.


M.

Major B----d's well broken dogs, 250.

Mange--mutton instead of beef, 569.

Mare making colts swim, 352 _n._

Markers used with spaniels, 81.

Meat recommended for dogs, 569.

Medicine, how easily given, 580.

Memory in horse, 221 _n._

Militia regiment treeing, 200 _n._

Monkeys--their fun, 431 _n._

Moors, advantage of, 137.

"Munito" selecting cards, 414.

Muscle wanted, not flesh, 567.

Muscovy drake, the cross, 471 _n._

Musk bull found by "Muta," 487.

_Mute_ spaniels, old sportsmen prefer, 83.

Mutton less heating than beef, 569.

Muzzle dogs that worry sheep, 391.


N.

Names ending in "o"--dissimilar, 145.

Netting partridges, 537 _n._ App.

Newfoundland carrying off parasol, 151.

-- swimming to ship, 218, 219.

-- that fished, 474, 475.

-- the true breed, 126.

"Niger's" crossing hedge to drive birds, 533 _n._

Night-dogs, 283 _n._ and 537 _n._ App.

"No" better word than "Ware," 47.

Noise spoils sport, 7, 20, 172, 473.

Nose carried high, 42, 186.

-- condition of, important, 570.

-- direction of, shows birds, 284.

-- of pointers and setters differ, 174 _n._

-- of timid dogs often good, 135.

-- tenderness of, how judged, 365.

"Nosing" allowed, 314.


O.

Oatmeal and Indian-corn, 568.

Old birds, cunning of, 229, &c.

-- first killed, 404, 405.

Old crippled Scotch sportsman, 411.

Old dog allowed liberties, 564.

-- range taught with, 191.

-- when good, value of, 227.

"On" initiatory lesson in, 19, 21.

Owl used to decoy vermin, 283 _n._ App.


P.

Parallels, distance between, 181, 184.

Parasol carried off for bun, 151.

Partridges, benefit farmers, 407 _n._ App.

-- how to choose, 7 _n._

-- netted, 537 _n._ App.

-- old killed first, 404.

-- red-legged, 535 _n._

-- wild, intercepted, 284, 400.

Patience enjoined, 263.

Paw kept on wounded bird by dog, 319.

Pea-fowl wants sagacity, 509 _n._

Peg, or spike on checkcord, 281, 335.

Perseverance and range attained, 565.

-- cures bad habits, 165.

-- in seeking, taught, 313.

Pheasants, benefit farmer, 407 _n._ App.

-- cover for, 65 _n._ App.

-- cunning of old, 231, 236.

-- old hens killed off, 404.

-- rearing of, 471 _n._ App.

Physic, how easily given, 580.

Pigeons shot to retriever, 114.

Pike, voracity of, 231 _n._

Pincushion, retrievers fetch, 106.

Pistol, horses fed at discharge, 28.

Poachers, dogs for attacking, 283 _n._ and 537 _n._ App.

-- killing birds, 7 _n._ 93 _n._

-- tracked by bloodhounds, 537 _n._

Poultry and game reared, Cantelo, 407 _n._ App.

-- killing birds, 7 _n._ 93 _n._

-- tracked by bloodhounds, 537 _n._

Poultry and game reared, Cantelo, 407 _n._ App.

"Point dead," to, 266.

Point left and resumed, 512.

-- 150 yards from grouse, 183.

-- 100 yards from partridge, 182.

-- not quitted for "down charge," 274, 359.

-- the first good one, 264.

-- inclination to, general, 471.

-- same, taken three times, 289.

Pointer cross with Indian dog, 448.

Pointer's points, 137, 187, 364, 537.

Pointing, dog not soon, 132, 281, 306.

-- dog when, not to down, 359.

-- origin of, 24.

Polygar dogs, to hunt hog, 445.

Pony for shooting, how broken in, 32.

Porcupine, dogs for hunting the, 448.

Porteous's whistles, 507, &c.

Pot-hunting sportsmen ruin dogs, 373.

Potato-fields, avoid, 192.

Preparatory lessons important, 12, 17, 52, 134, 141.

Price of dogs, 138, 237, 254, 379, 382, 500.

Punishment avoided by lessons, 17.

-- causes blinking, 344, &c.

-- decreases, whip carried, 342.

-- not shunned by dogs, 348, &c.

-- how administered, 323.

-- making dog too stanch, 287.

-- not inflicted on _suspicion_, 326.

-- reprobated, 9, 344.

Pups born in India, 448.

-- -- in winter, 571.

-- inoculated for distemper, 572.

-- vaccinated for distemper, 573, &c.

Purchasers of dogs, hints to, 146, 365, 372.

Puzzle-peg, saved by word "up," 41.

"Puzzling" with nose to ground, 185.


Q.

Quail pointed, dog on fence, 200.

-- large in Canada, 277.

Qualities expected in good dog, 8.

Quartering-ground. _See_ Beat.


R.

Rabbit-shooting, reprobated, 331.

-- with beagles, 80.

Rabbit-warren, visit, hares scarce, 337.

Rabbits, choice and age of, 338 _n._

Railway whistles, 507.

"Range." _See_ "Beat."

"Rating" dogs, how best done, 188.

Rats, dogs for gun not to kill, 130.

Red-legged partridges, headed, 527.

---- destroyed, 535 _n._

Red setters, Irish, 565.

Refinements. _See_ Accomplishments.

_Relays_ desirable--not a pack, 248.

Requisites in a dog, 8;

  in a breaker, 6.

Retreat from point, &c. 512.

Retriever, bit for one that mouths, 117.

--evil of assisting, 115.

--"footing" scent, lesson in, 112.

--for water, qualities in, 93.

--made whipper-in, 57.

--observes struck bird, 113.

--(regular), useful with beaters, 550.

--(regular), to "down charge" or not? 119.

Retrievers, shape, &c. of, 125.

--to beat, 550.

--to fetch, taught, 108, &c.

--to pursue faster, 118.

--water, to fetch cripples first, 553.

--how bred, 126.

Retrieving not taught first season, 538.

--setters or pointers not to "point dead," 548.

--setters, not pointers, 536.

Rewards always given, 27, 40.

Rheumatism prevented by care, 571.

Rice, wild lakes, duck-shooting in, 95.

"Richelieu," snipe-shooting, 277.

Rifle, rest for, 509 _n._

Right, the signal to go towards, 36.

Right-eyed, 65 _n._ App.

Right hand, for "Toho" and "Drop," 24.

--signals more than left, 142.

Road, exercise on, good for dogs, 566.

"Roading," instance of fine, 290-292.

--by 6 dogs alternately, 251.

--by "Finder," 354.

Rope to tie dog, bad, 563.

Running bird, firing at, 308.

Rushing in to "dead" cured, 374.

Russian setter, dropper from, 498.


S.

Saffron removing fleas, 165 _n._

Salt for distemper, 579.

Scent, bad in calm or gale, 174.

--differently recognised by pointers and setters, 174 _n._

--of birds, not left for hare, 333.

--"footing" a, initiatory lesson in, 43.

Scent of wounded and unwounded birds differs, 545.

Search "dead," 266;

  with 2 dogs, 544.

--for wounded bird, when to leeward, 309;

    when to windward, 307.

Seeking dead, how taught, 313.

"Self-hunting," prevent, 564.

September, dog taken out in, 171.

--day's lesson continued, 259.

Servant useful in field, 282.

Seton proved useful, 123.

Setter, stanch--sum paid for, 382.

--to retrieve, 536;

  argument against applies to retriever, 549.

Setters crouch more than pointers, 23.

--Duke of Gordon's breed, 237.

--for cover shooting, 87.

Setters, points in, 137, 187, 364, 537.

--red--the Irish breed, 565.

Setters' feet better than pointers', 187.

Severity reprobated, 9, 344.

Sheep, killing of--cure, 387-390.

Sheep-stealing. Bloodhounds, 537 _n._

Shepherds' dogs, 143, 163, 415.

--"forward" signal, for water retrievers, 91.

Shooting, excellence in, not necessary in breaker, 5, 253.

--hints to tyros, 65 _n._ App.

Shot-belt, nozzle lengthened, 65 _n._ App.

--on spaniels and setters, 60, 329.

Shot over, dog to be, before bought, 372.

Showman's dogs in Paris, 434, &c.

Shy birds intercepted, 284, 400, 525, 533.

Sight, dog not to be out of, 386.

Silence enjoined, 7, 172, 473.

Sinews of legs drawn, 345 _n._

Single-handed, shot to, 375.

Sloe, gum of, 165 _n._

Slow dog, associate for young one, 350.

--dogs hunting more than faster, 257.

Snipe, condition of, 236 _n._

--grouse-dog rated noticing, 497.

--killed off, 396.

Snipes, three, lifted in succession, 546.

Snipe-shooting on Richelieu, 277.

Snipe-shot who never used dog, 394;

  who used one constantly, 395.

Spaniel puppies, keep close, 59.

Spaniels, age when shown game, 62.

--babbling occasionally best, 84.

--hunted in gorse, 61.

--mute, preferred, 83.

--numbers for a team, 74, 77.

--requisites in, 70.

--shot-belt on wildest, 60.

--Sussex, 236.

--that pointed, 68.

--water, how broken in, 90.

Spike-collar, 300, &c.

Spike fastened to checkcord, 281, 335.

Sportsmen to break dogs, 3, 408, 409.

Spring, dogs broken in, 170.

Springing the other birds after pointing one, 373.

Stanch--made too, by heading, 287.

St. John's old woman's dog, 559 _n._

Stoat, range of, 283 and _n._ App.

Stone, error of retrieving, 103.

Summary imparted by lessons, 141.

Sussex spaniel, 236.

"Suwarrow," heading running birds, 530.


T.

"Taffy," anecdotes of, 421-430.

Tattersall's, thirteen pointers at, 379.

Temper in breaker necessary, 6;

  improved by _successfully_ teaching, 409.

Temper hereditary, 128.

Terrier pointing in varied attitudes, 298.

Terriers for covers, 24 _n._

Tigress' claws running into feet, 566 _n._

Time given determines education, 2.

-- saved by initiatory lessons, 52.

Timidity cured, 135, 345, 347.

"Toho," first good one in field, 264.

-- initiatory lesson in, 19, 21, 24.

Traps beat guns for vermin, 283, App.

-- visited by terrier, 283 _n._

Tricks easily taught after first, 136.

-- exhibited with effect, 154, 437.

-- taught by ladies, 150.

Trout, tame, 164.

-- trolling for, 231 _n._ 588 _n._

Turning back, brings dog away, 223.

Turnip-field ridden round, 401.

Turnips avoided, 192.

-- lessons in, 329.

Tweed spaniel, and blind man, 385.

Two dogs, beat of, 238-240.

-- steady, first day, 280.


U.

"Up," signal for--initiatory lesson, 41.


V.

Vaccination for distemper, 573, &c.

Vermin, dogs for, 283 _n._ 588 _n._

-- traps. Decoy owl, 283 _n._ App.

Vigour and longevity in setter, 226.

Vineyards protected by dogs, 415.


W.

Walkers, fastest, not beating most, 256.

"Ware," not so good word as "No," 47.

Warmth necessary for dogs, 571.

Warren, visit, hares scarce, 337 _n._

Water, dog taught to plunge into, 104.

Water-proof, recipe for leather, 567 _n._

-- -- for cloth, 567 _n._

Water-retriever, how broken, 90.

-- observes struck bird, 113.

-- qualities required in, 93.

Whales, Bermuda, 165 _n._

Whip carried saves punishment, 342.

-- to crack loudly, 188.

Whistle low, 20, 507.

-- dissimilar notes on one, 505.

-- distinguishing, for each dog, 501.

-- inattentive to, how punish, 188.

-- initiatory lesson in, 19.

Whistles, boatswain's, 506;
  railway, 507.

Whistling to animate, injudicious, 172;
  spoils sport, 7.

White dogs, arguments for and against, 187.

White feet, objectionable, 187.

White, too conspicuous a colour, 93.

Wild birds, intercepted, 284, 400, 525, 533.

Wild dog contrasted with cautious, 194.

Wild dogs turning out best, 198.

Wildfowl, wounded, retrieved first, 553.

-- reconnoitred with glass, 92.

Winged bird. _See_ Bird winged.

Winter pups, 571.

Wolf, cross with Esquimaux dog, 137.

Woodcock-shooting in Albania, 84;

  in America, 37;
  in Ireland, 397;
  in Kent, 82.

Woodcocks attached to covers, 397.

-- reflushed, 82.

-- small, in Canada, 277.

Wood-duck of North America, 511.

Wounded bird. _See_ Bird wounded.


Y.

Yeomen of Kent, 236.

Yorkshire keeper's advice, 406.

Young dogs steady first day on game, 139, 280.

Youth, game followed in, liked, 69.

-- occupation followed in, liked, 563.

THE END.

R. CLAY, SON, AND TAYLOR, PRINTERS, BREAD STREET HILL.


ALBEMARLE STREET, LONDON,

_January, 1865_.

MR. MURRAY'S



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Footnotes


[1: It may be satisfactory to others to know the opinion of so
undeniable an authority as Colonel Hawker. The Colonel, in the Tenth
Edition of his invaluable Book on Shooting, writes, (page 285)--"Since
the publication of the last edition, Lieutenant-Col. Hutchinson's
valuable work on 'Dog-breaking' has appeared. It is a perfect _vade
mecum_ for both Sportsmen and Keeper, and I have great pleasure in
giving a cordial welcome to a Work which so ably supplies my own
deficiencies."]

[2: Rounded, too, at the extremities--the outer feathers not being
the longest--a formation adverse to rapid flight. The extreme outer
feather of _young_ birds is pointed, and, until late in the season,
accompanies soft quills, weak brown beaks, and yellow legs. These
(beaks and legs) become grey on maturity, or rather of the bluish hue
of London milk--and the quills get white and hard--facts which should
be attended to by those who are making a selection for the table. Hold
an old and a young bird by their under beaks between your fore-finger
and thumb, and you will soon see how little, comparatively, the old
beak yields to the weight. This rule applies equally to grouse, the
legs of which birds when young are not much feathered, but late in the
season it is difficult to determine their age. Yet a knowing hand will
find a difference, the old birds' legs will still be the more feathered
of the two; and its feet will be more worn and extended. If you spread
open the wing of any game-bird, you will find the upper part (near the
second joint) more or less bare. The less that part is covered with
feathers the younger is the bird.

A poulterer once told me that at the end of the season he judged much
of the age of birds by the appearance of their heads.

"Ware" sunken eyes, and tainted or discoloured vents--they have been
too long out of the kitchen.]

[3: The following facts are strong evidences of the correctness of this
assertion. Late in the season far more grouse _than ought to be_ are
shot by "gunners," to use an American expression,--"true sportsmen" I
can hardly term them--who conceal themselves in large stooks of grain,
to fire at the birds which come from the hills to feed; and, curious to
say, several shots are often obtained before the pack takes wing. The
first few reports frequently no more alarm them, than to make the most
cautious of the number jump up to look around, when, observing nothing
that ought to intimidate them, they recommence feeding. By commencing
with the undermost birds, the Americans sometimes shoot in daylight all
the Partridges (as they erroneously call them) roosting on a tree; and
poachers in this country, by making a similar selection, often kill at
night (using diminished charges) several Pheasants before those that
are on the topmost branches fly away. A strong breeze much favours the
poacher by diminishing the chance of the birds much hearing him.]

[4: But from his very infancy you ought not to have allowed him to be
disobedient. You should have made him know--which he will do nearly
intuitively--that a whip can punish him, though he ought never to
have _suffered_ from it. I have heard of pups only four months old
being made quite _au fait_ to the preliminary drill here recommended.
This early exercise of their intelligence and observation must have
benefited them. The questionable point is the unnecessary consumption
of the instructor's time.]

[5: It may be fancy, but I have imagined that coveys hatched near
railway stations have less than other birds regarded the sportsman's
whistle.]

[6: This is one reason for giving initiatory lessons in the "Toho"
before the "Drop." Another is that the dog may acquire the "Toho"
before he has run the chance of being cowed in learning the "Drop." If
the latter were taught first, he might confound the "Toho" with it.]

[7: I know of a young man's reading the first edition of this book, and
taking it into his head to teach his Terrier to point according to the
method just recommended. He succeeded perfectly. Some Terriers have
been made very useful for cover shooting.]

[8: There is often such a similarity in the names of hounds, that a
person cannot but be much struck, who for the first time sees them go
to their meals, one by one as they are called.]

[9: It would expedite matters much if the groom did this while you
remained near the pony to feed him, or _vice versâ_.]

[10: "Imitative creatures!" who can doubt it? If you make an old dog
perform a trick several times in the sight of a young one who is
watching the proceedings, you will be surprised to see how quickly the
young one will learn the trick, especially if he has seen that the old
dog was always rewarded for his obedience.]

[11: Obedience to all such signals will hereafter be taught out of
doors at gradually increased distances: and to confirm him in the habit
of sniffing high in the air (41) for whatever you may then hide, put
the bread or meat on a stick or bush, but never in a hedge (175). With
the view to his some day retrieving, as instanced in 277, it will be
your aim to get him not to seek immediately, but to watch your signals,
until by obeying them you will have placed him close to where the
object lies, at which precise moment you will say energetically "Find,"
and cease making any further signs.]

[12: The least comprehensive and logical of the expressions, yet one
often used. A dog being no critical grammarian, understands it to apply
to "fur" as well as "feather."]

[13: With a resolute, reckless, dashing dog you may advantageously
employ a _thinner_ cord of double that length,--whereas, the shortest
line will sometimes prevent a timid animal from ranging freely.
By-the-bye, the thinner the cord the more readily does it become
entangled,--as a rule, a checkcord cannot be too firmly twisted,--a
soft one quickly gets knotted and troublesome. (See note to 262.)]

[14: The printer finds this note on covers, shooting, and loading, so
long that he will place it in an Appendix.]

[15: These fetch immense _fancy_ prices when well shaped,--black and
tan, without a single white hair, and long eared. But this breed is
nearly useless to the sportsman, whereas the Blenheim is a lively
diligent little fellow in light cover, and from his diminutive size
threads his way through low thick brushwood more readily than might
at first be imagined, being incited to great perseverance by a most
enthusiastic enjoyment of the scent. In strong high turnips, he is
employed with much advantage to spring the partridge. He creeps under,
where a larger dog would be constantly jumping.]

[16: For the benefit of those who have the good fortune, or the bad
fortune, as the case may be, of always living within the sound of Bow
bells, "Flick," be it observed, is a synonym for "Fur," thereby meaning
Hare, or Rabbit.]

[17: But when the moors are covered with snow, poachers, who emerge
in bands from the mines, often put a shirt over their clothes, and
manage to approach grouse at a time when a fair sportsman cannot get a
shot; but this is the only occasion on which one uniform colour could
be advantageous. A mass of _any_ single colour always catches, and
arrests the eye. Nature tells us this; animals that browse, elephants,
buffaloes, and large deer, as well as those which can escape from their
enemies by speed, are mostly of one colour. On the contrary, the tiger
kind, snakes, and all that lie in wait for, and seize their prey by
stealth, wear a garment of many colours, so do the smaller animals and
most birds, which are saved from capture by the inability of their
foes to distinguish them from the surrounding foliage or herbage. The
uniform of our rifle corps is too much of one hue.]

[18: A drier and cleaner article than you may suppose, and which can be
carried not inconveniently in a Mackintosh, or oil-skin bag,--a toilet
sponge bag.]

[19: If a retriever has the opportunity, while prowling about, of
gnawing hare or rabbit-skins thrown aside by a slovenly cook, it will
not be unnatural in him, when he is hungry, to wish to appropriate to
himself the hide, if not the interior of the animals he is lifting.]

[20: This reasoning obviously does not apply to the retrievers
employed in those battues where rapid slaughter is "the order of the
day,"--where the sportsmen do not condescend to charge their own guns,
but are constantly supplied with relays of loaded arms.]

[21: I once had a pointer pup whose dam was broken in (after a fashion)
and regularly shot to when seven months old. Without injury to her
constitution, she could not have been hunted for more than an hour
or two at a time. She ought not to have been taken to the held for
_regular_ use until fully a year old.]

[22: I often shoot over a setter bitch (belonging to one of my
relations) that has capital feet, but is very defective across the
loins. She is extremely fast, and a brilliant performer for half a
day; but she then shuts up completely. A little rest, however, soon
brings her round for another half day's brilliant work. Unless a dog
is particularly light in body, bad feet quickly scald upon heath or
stubble, and they are longer getting round, than is a bad loined dog in
recovering from a day's fatigue.]

[23: A trick that historical research probably would show to have
been devised in a conclave of house-maids, and which was constantly
performed by one of my oldest acquaintances, "Little-brush," a worthy
son of the "Dearest-of-men," as he used to be called by his fond
mistress, who, I need not say, had no children of her own on whom to
lavish her caresses.]

[24: It is astonishing what myriads of fleas are bred in the sand in
many hot countries. When walking along some of the roads during the
spring, numbers of the little creatures will pay you the compliment
of attaching themselves to your dress and person. At Bermuda they so
regularly make their appearance with the whales, that the Niggers think
there must be some intimate, however mysterious, connexion between the
two. In India the natives expel the intruders from their houses by
strewing fresh saffron leaves about the rooms; and a decoction from
these said leaves, applied liberally to a dog's coat, rids him of the
unwelcome visitors, however numerous. I have read that the same good
effect will be produced if his hair be well wetted with a solution of
the gum of the sloe-tree in water. Fourteen grains of the gum to one
quart of water.

The capture of the whale, by-the-bye, at Bermuda, affords sport as
exciting as it is profitable. The fish are struck within sight of the
Islands, and as the water is shoal, owing to sandbanks, a short line is
employed. By this line the stricken animal tows the harpooner's boat
along with fearful rapidity, an immense wave curling far above the high
bow. The flesh of the young whale is excellent,--very like veal,--and
with the black population the whaling season is one of great feasting
and enjoyment. By a colonial law no charge can be made for the flesh of
the fish. Every comer has a right to carry off as much of the meat as
he may require, _but no blubber_. On a whale being killed, a well-known
signal, hoisted at the several look-out posts, quickly informs the
coloured inhabitants of the successful seizure, and whether it has been
effected at the north or south side. Numerous claimants then hurry
off, on foot or in boat, to secure a sufficiency for several days'
consumption, of a food they prize far more than beef or mutton. What is
not immediately used is cut into strips, and dried in the sun.]

[25: In ordinary seasons immediately after St. Valentine's Day,--before
the birds have made their nests.]

[26: "Leeward"--a nautical phrase--here meaning the side towards which
the wind blows _from_ the field. If you entered elsewhere, the dog
while ranging would be tempted, from the natural bearing of his nose
towards the wind, to come back upon you, making his first turn inwards
instead of outwards.]

[27: But, independently of these obvious reasons, scent is affected
by causes into the nature of which none of us can penetrate. There is
a contrariety in it that ever has puzzled, and apparently ever will
puzzle, the most observant sportsman (whether a lover of the chase or
gun), and therefore, in ignorance of the doubtless immutable, though
to us inexplicable, laws by which it is regulated, we are contented to
call it "capricious." Immediately before heavy rain there frequently
is none. It is undeniable that moisture will at one time destroy
it,--at another bring it. That on certain days--in slight frost, for
instance,--setters will recognise it better than pointers, and, on the
other hand, that the nose of the latter will prove far superior after a
long continuance of dry weather, and this even when the setter has been
furnished with abundance of water,--which circumstance pleads in favour
of hunting pointers and setters together. The argument against it, is
the usual inequality of their pace, and, to the eye of some sportsmen,
the want of harmony in their appearance. Should not this uncertainty
respecting the recognition of scent teach us not to continue hunting a
good dog who is frequently making mistakes, but rather to keep him at
"heel" for an hour or two? He will consider it a kind of punishment,
and be doubly careful when next enlarged. Moreover, he may be slightly
feverish from overwork, or he may have come in contact with some
impurity,--in either of which cases his nose would be temporarily out
of order.]

[28: There are sportsmen who aver that a setter's "falling" instead of
standing is advantageous, as it does not so much alarm the birds.]

[29: Provided always he be not perpetually pointing, as occasionally
will happen--and is the more likely to happen if he has been
injudiciously taught as a puppy to set chickens, and has thereby
acquired the evil habit of "standing by eye;" which, however, may have
made him a first-rate hand at pointing crows.]

[30: With the understanding that the pace does not make him "shut up"
before the day is over.]

[31: The more resolute a dog is, the more pains should be taken, before
he is shown game, to perfect him in the instant "drop" (26), however
far off he may be ranging.]

[32: The mention of quails taking to trees recalls to my recollection
a novel light infantry manoeuvre (for the exact particulars of which
I will not, however, positively pledge myself,) that was conceived
with such admirable rapidity by the commanding officer on an occasion
of great emergency, and executed with such wonderful celerity by the
troops under him, that I hope my professional partialities will be
allowed to excuse my describing it.

Bermuda, "the blest little island," as the fascinating Tommy Moore
styles her, although now well supplied with all the necessaries of
life, especially since the improvements in husbandry, introduced by its
late excellent governor, Colonel R----d (now Sir William), was formerly
but little better provided with fresh meat than a man-of-war victualled
for a six months' cruise. At the time I allude to there were but few
cows, and only one bull on the islands; and what made matters more
disagreeable, it had been slanderously reported of the strange beast
that "he was an awfully vicious animal." It is certain that he bellowed
fearfully. The inhabitants (who have always been highly esteemed by
those who know them) though they were not at that period as well fed
with the roast beef of old England as when I was recently quartered
among them, were, notwithstanding, a right loyal set, and prided
themselves greatly upon their efficient militia. On a hot day,--as are
most of their days,--when these good soldiers were at drill under their
esteemed commander--let us say, Col. O----e,--a breathless messenger
ran up to him as he was mounted on his grey charger in front of the
steady line, and uttered some mysterious words. The gallant colonel's
countenance assumed a look of deep anxiety,--for an instant his cheek
blanched,--his lip quivered:--but quickly rallying, he abandoned his
horse, and with infinite presence of mind, gave in unfaltering accents
the order, "Gentlemen, _tree_ yourselves,--Moll Burgess's Bull is
loose." Precept and example were here happily combined, and the able
commander was among the first to find safety in the topmost branches
of a neighbouring cedar. Military annals record no instance of more
prompt, zealous obedience.]

[33: This dispersion of scent in the atmosphere explains why a dog who
carries his head high finds more game than a dog who hunts with his
nose near the ground.]

[34: When quartered, years ago, in County Wexford, I used frequently to
see a fine strong-knit, well-built horse, who could never see me--for
he was stone-blind; yet, odd to say, all his progeny had capital
eyes.{1} He had rather a queer temper, as his name, "Restless," partly
implied. During the spring he was led about the country, and what is
very surprising, there was always a fight to get him past the lane or
gate leading to any farm-house where his services had ever before been
required. As it is certain that he was _perfectly_ blind, no faculty we
can believe him to be possessed of, unless it be memory, will explain
how, at such long intervals, he could recognise the many different
places so accurately; and if it be attributable to memory, that of the
Senior Wrangler of Cambridge's best year can in no way be compared with
it.

{1} This is the more singular, as, from unexplained causes, diseases
of that organ are but too common in Ireland. One veterinary surgeon
attributed it to the dampness of the climate. His young English horses
suffered while at Cork as much as his Irish ones.]

[35: Indeed, through a merciful dispensation, it seems to be ordained,
that no animal (in the general course of nature) shall die a lingering,
painful death from starvation, but shall serve for the nourishment of
others before his body becomes attenuated from want.]

[36: Numerous accounts have been given of the voracity of the pike.
K----g told me of a very remarkable instance, and one which clearly
shows that fish do not always suffer so much torture when hooked as
many suppose. He was spinning a gudgeon for pike in the river Stour,
near Chilham, having bent on four large hooks, back to back, and a
large lip-hook. He was run at by a pike, which he struck, but the
line unfortunately breaking, the fish carried off fully four yards of
it, together with half a yard of gimp, two large swivels, and a lead.
K----g put on fresh tackle and bait. At the very first cast he was run
at again, and succeeded in landing the fish, which weighed 12 lbs. To
K----g's great surprise, he observed the lost line, swivel, and lead
hanging out of its mouth, while,--apparently not much to the animal's
discomfort,--the bait and hooks quietly reposed in its interior. On
turning the gullet inside out, K----g found the bait so uninjured that
he again fastened it to his line along with the recovered tackle, and
actually caught another pike weighing 4 lbs., and a perch of 2½ lbs.,
with the very gudgeon that had been in the stomach of the large pike
for nearly a quarter of an hour.

Those who are fond of trolling for trout would not find their time
thrown away in reading Wheatley's _novel_ hints on all kinds of
spinning baits. His "Rod and Line" is an excellent little book.]

[37: There are poulterers who would pare such a spur to diminish the
appearance of age. The shorter and blunter the spur, and the smoother
the leg, the younger is the bird. Dr. Kitchener, who appears not to
have had much luck in stumbling upon well-fed pheasants, avers that
they have not the flavour of barn-door fowls if they are cooked before
they drop from the single tail feather by which, he says, they should
be hung up in the larder; or, rather, he advises that two pheasants
should be suspended by _one_ feather until both fall. Birds of full,
beautiful plumage gratify the eye more than the palate. It is an
indication of age in _all sorts_ of birds. The hens are the tenderest.
On the body of birds, immediately under the wing, there is what keepers
often call, "the condition vein." The more fat and yellow that appears,
the higher is the condition of the animal. Blow aside the feathers of a
snipe; and if the flesh is nearly black the bird wants condition,--it
should be white.]

[38: On the 7th of July, 1836, his kennel was put up to auction, when
three of his setters fetched, severally, seventy-two, sixty, and
fifty-six guineas. Two puppies brought fifteen guineas each,--and two
of his retrievers, "Bess" and "Diver," forty-six and forty-two guineas.]

[39: Entitled, "Field Sports in the United States and British
Provinces, by Frank Forester."]

[40: A rule to be followed whenever you employ relays of braces.]

[41: That price was named in the Table of Contents of the first
edition.]

[42: It is admitted, however, that they are often difficult animals to
manage; for the _least_ hastiness on the part of the instructor may
create a distrust that he will find it very hard to remove.]

[43: The first day for killing blackcock.]

[44: If painted white it will be the more readily seen and _trodden_
on,--a _step_ advisable preparatory to seizing it, or an ungloved hand
may suffer should the dog be ranging rapidly.]

[45: Should they (unluckily for the lesson) run, you must endeavour to
manage as detailed in 285.]

[46: As he acquires experience he will wish to rise the moment he
observes that your loading is completed. Do not allow him to move,
however correctly he may have judged the time. Let his rising be always
in obedience to signal or word. You may occasionally make a mistake in
charging, or your friend may not load as expeditiously as yourself.]

[47: Never being allowed to grip conduces so much to making him
tender-mouthed, that, should he hereafter be permitted to lift his
game, it is probable he will deliver it up perfectly uninjured.]

[48: Oftener practicable on heather than on stubble.]

[49: In order to work in silence, I advised (XI. of 141) that the
signal to "heel," whenever the dog could observe it, should supersede
the word "dead." It might be necessary to sing out with a boatswain's
voice should the dog be far off.]

[50: Which becomes white in a severe winter,--a regular ermine; the
only one of the weazel-tribe that does so in England.]

[51: This note on the subject of trapping, and keeper's vermin-dogs,
&c., is so long that the printer has placed it in an Appendix.]

[Page Header: EDUCATION OF CHEETA.]

[52: The cheeta invariably selects the buck, passing by the nearer
does and fawns. I never saw but one instance to the contrary. On that
occasion the cheeta endeavoured to secure what appeared to be his
easiest victim--a young fawn; but the little creature twisted and
doubled so rapidly, that it escaped perfectly uninjured. The turbaned
keeper, greatly surprised, begged the spectators to remain at a
respectful distance while he proceeded to secure the panting, baffled
animal. The caution was not unnecessary; for the disappointed beast,
though usually very tractable, struck at the man's arm and tore it. On
examination a large thorn was found in one of the animal's fore-paws,
which fully explained the cause of his not _bounding_ after the lord of
the herd, when he had, in cat-like manner, stealthily crawled as near
as any intervening bushes would afford concealment. This preliminary
part of the affair is at times very tedious; the rest is quickly
settled: for the wondrous springs of the cheeta (whose form then so
apparently dilates,{1} that the observer, if a novice, starts in the
belief that he suddenly sees a royal tiger) soon exhaust him, which
accounts for his always creeping as near as possible before openly
commencing his attack.

The education of the cheeta is no less progressive than that of the
dog; and whatever patience the latter may require from his instructor,
the former demands far greater; not so much from want of docility, as
from the nearly total absence of all the feelings of attachment so
conspicuous in the canine race. The cubs when they are very young are
stolen from the rocky fastnesses where they are usually bred. They
are immediately hooded, and allowed no other exercise than what they
can take when they are led about by their keeper. While he is feeding
them, he invariably shouts in a peculiar key. In a month or so their
eager looks, animated gestures, and possibly cheerful purring, testify
that they comprehend its import as fully as a hungry young ensign does
"the roast beef of old England." They are then slightly chained, each
to a separate bandy (bullock-cart), and habituated to its motion. They
are always fed during the drive. They thus learn to expect a good
meal in the course of their airing. After a time the keeper, instead
of feeding a promising pupil while he is a prisoner, goes to a little
distance from the bandy and utters the singular cries now so joyfully
heard, upon which--an attendant slipping off the chain and hood--the
liberated cheeta runs to his trainer to be fed. By degrees this is done
at increased distances. He is always conducted back to the carriage by
the keeper's dragging at the lump of meat of which the animal retains
a firm hold. The next step is for the man again to commence feeding
_near_ the cart, but without making any noise,--the removal of the hood
being the only thing that tells the spotted beast to look about him
for his dinner. The last step is the substitution of a kid or wounded
antelope, for the keeper with his provision basket, when it rarely
happens that nature's strong instinct does not make the cheeta seize
with eagerness the proffered prey. His education is now completed; but
for many months he is never unhooded at a herd unless the driver has
managed to get the cart within a very favouring distance.

The cheeta knocks over the buck with a blow of his paw on the
hind-quarters, given so rapidly that the eye cannot follow the motion,
and then grasps him firmly by the throat; nor will he quit hold of
the windpipe as long as the prostrate animal can make the slightest
struggle for breath. This affords the keeper ample time to cut off a
limb, which he thrusts against the cheeta's nose, and as soon as the
still quivering dainty tempts him to grasp it, he is again led off to
his cart. He is then further rewarded with a drink of warm blood taken
from the inside of the antelope, and the scene concludes by the carcass
being strapped under the bandy.]

{1} A dealer often says in praise of a small horse,--and great praise
it is--"You may fancy him a little one now, but wait till you see him
move, and then you'll think him a big one."]

[53: Many think that grouse feed more down wind than partridges.]

[54: A pace that keeps the sportsman at a brisk walk is obviously the
best. It is very annoying to be unable, by any quiet encouragement,
to get a dog to "road" as rapidly as you wish--an annoyance often
experienced with naturally timid dogs, or with those which have been
overpunished.]

[55: "Suwarrow's" manoeuvre (530) clearly shows the true reason.]

[56: The speed with which one of these extremely beautiful, but in
every other respect far, far inferior partridges will run, when only
slightly wounded, is quite marvellous.]

[57: The force of the word "Dead" (preceding the command "Find")--that
joyous, exciting note of triumph--ought never to be lessened by being
employed, as I have heard it, to stimulate a dog to hunt when no bird
is down; or, like the shepherd-boy's cry of "Wolf! wolf!" it will
have little influence at the moment when it should most animate to
unremitting exertions.]

[58: After a touseling you may have observed the dog rubbing his nose
in the grass. He did right. I have lately had reason to think that
when from the absence of grass a dog could not effectually wipe his
nose, the fine down adhering to it has for some time interfered with
the delicacy and discrimination of his olfactory organs. He got too
near his birds before acknowledging them. Would you be shocked if I
asked you to assist him occasionally in freeing his nostrils from the
offending feathers?]

[59: In favour of such unsportsman-like haste they ingeniously argue
that a continued noise after firing makes birds lie, from attracting
their attention. They say that a sudden change to quiet (and a great
change it must be, for a _chasseur_ is always talking) alarms the
birds. As an evidence of this, they adduce the well-known fact of its
frequently happening that a partridge gets up the moment the guns have
left the spot, though no previous noise had induced it to stir.]

[60: Had you lost the bird from there being but little scent, it is
probable you might have found it by renewing your search on your return
homewards in the evening. If a runner, it would most likely have
rejoined the covey.]

[61: "Toho," rather than "Drop,"--your object now being to make him
stand at, and prevent his mouthing game; for you are satisfied that he
would have "down charged" had the bird been missed.]

[62: Of course, with the proviso that he is not pointing at another
bird (274).]

[63: Lest the cord should cut the turnip-tops, it might be better to
employ the elastic band spoken of in 60.]

[64: A superior dog on grouse more easily becomes good on partridge
than a superior partridge-dog becomes good on grouse. Grouse run so
much, both when they are pairing, and after the first flight of the
young pack, that a dog broken on them has necessarily great practice
in "roading," ("roading," too, with the nose carried high to avoid
strong heather--a valuable instructor), whereas the dog broken on
partridge often becomes impatient, and breaks away when he first finds
grouse. The former dog, moreover, will learn not to "break fence,"
and the necessity of moderating his pace when hunting stubbles and
turnips, sooner than the latter will acquire the extensive fast beat
so desirable on heather, where he can work for hours uninterrupted by
hedge, ditch, or furrow; making casts to the right and left a quarter
of a mile in length. First impressions are as strong in puppyhood as in
childhood; therefore the advantage of having such ground to commence
on must be obvious. There are, however, favoured spots in Perthshire,
&c., where game so abounds that close rangers are as necessary as
when hunting in England. Alas! even the grouse-dog will take far too
quickly to hedge-hunting and pottering when on the stubbles. It is,
of course, presumed that he is broken from "chasing hare"--a task his
trainer must have found difficult (though none are ever shot to him)
from the few that, _comparatively_ speaking, his pupil could have seen.
Independently, however, of want of pace and practice in roading, it
never would be fair to take a dog direct from the Lowlands to contend
on the Highlands with one habituated to the latter,--and _vice versâ_,
for the stranger would always be placed to great disadvantage. A
_faint_ scent of game which the other would instantly recognise, he
would not acknowledge from being wholly unaccustomed to it. Sometimes,
however, a grouse-dog of a ticklish temper will not bear being
constantly called to on "breaking fence." A fine, free ranging pointer,
belonging to one of the brothers H----y, when brought to an enclosed
county, became quite subdued and dispirited. He could not stand the
rating he received for bounding over the hedges, and he evidently
derived no enjoyment from the sport, though there were plenty of birds.
On returning to the Highlands, he quite recovered his animation and
perseverance. He added another to the many evidences that dogs are most
attached to, and _at home_ on, the kind of country they first hunted.]

[65: The ears of young hares tear readily; and there is a gristly
substance, larger than half a pea, at the end of the shank-bone of the
fore-leg, just above the joint, which departs with youth. Their smooth,
close, sharp claws disappear afterwards; and when quite old their
jaw-bones become so strong as not to yield and crack to the strongest
pressure of your fingers.

When you observe that the carving knife performs the part of
curling-tongs, prefer a help from the birds at the top of the table.

Ditto, ditto, in all particulars, with regard to rabbits.]

[66: This appears extremely cruel; remember, however, that I entreated
you to abstain entirely from shooting hares; but if you would not make
this sacrifice, at least "only to fire at those which you were likely
to kill outright" (332).]

[67: Thus greatly improving it for table. The cook who first thought
of breaking the legs of birds, and dragging out the sinews, ought to
be immortalized. The first person I saw practising the feat was an
admirable black man-cook, in the West Indies: he was preparing turkeys
for a large supper; and, to my great surprise, I saw him take up each
bird, cut the skin in front of and about the middle of its legs, crack
the bone across that part with a blow of the knife; then stick the
sinews of the foot on a hook fixed high against the wall, seize firm
hold of the thigh of the turkey, give a sudden powerful pull, and leave
the lower part of the leg, with a large body of sinews, perfectly
stripped of all flesh, suspended on the hook.]

[68: A singular evidence of the influence of example was furnished by a
favourite charger belonging to the father of the present Lord G----d.
As a reward for gallant service, she had been turned out for life, when
only seven years old, on the banks of the Shannon. She had a shed to
run into, and plenty of hay in winter. It pleased her, in all seasons,
daily to have a swim in the river. Year after year colts were turned
out on the same grass. All these, following the example set them by
the mare, voluntarily took to the water, and gradually became expert
swimmers. Until within a short time of her death, and she attained the
unusual age of forty-three, she continued to bathe; and I have heard
that she was evidently much puzzled and vexed whenever from the stream
being frozen she could not get her plunge. She would walk a little way
on the ice, but finding it too slippery, unwillingly return.]

[69: The continuation of the vertebræ of the back, and clearly,
therefore, an indication of their substance. _Query_--Was it because
our grandfathers knew that a tail naturally short was a pledge of
stamina, that they endeavoured to imitate it by docking their horses
and pointers? Curiously enough, the points named in 364 as desirable in
a dog are considered good in a horse. In portraits of the useful old
English hunter, you never see a feeble, flexible neck,--it is desirable
that it should be arched,--a dog's neck also should be sufficiently
strong, and put on high. Neither horse nor dog should have large
fleshy heads,--and a full bright eye is in both a sign of spirit and
endurance. The canon bone in a horse should be short, so ought the
corresponding bone of a dog's leg; and every joint ought to be large,
yet clean; and (without a bull) the _short_ ribs in both animals should
be _long_. There are hardy horses whose flesh you cannot bring down
without an amount of work that is injurious to their legs,--there are
also thrifty dogs which are constantly too fat, unless they are almost
starved, and common sense tells us they cannot be so starved without
their strength being much reduced. The analogy does not hold with
respect to ears, for it is generally considered that the dog's should
be soft and drooping, lying close to his head--not short and ever in
motion. Moreover, most men would wish his muzzle to be broad as well as
long.

Our eye is so accustomed to the sight of weeds,--animals bred for
short-lived speed, not for endurance,--that we no longer look for, and
possibly do not properly appreciate, the short back (though long body),
with scarcely room for a saddle; and _the width between the upper part
of the shoulder-blades_ (as well as the lower)--the indication of space
within--upon which points our forefathers justly set great value. We
forget its being mentioned of Eclipse, whose endurance is as undeniable
as his speed, that he had a "shoulder broad enough to carry a firkin
of butter,"--and that Stubb's portraits of winners (of races four and
occasionally six miles long!) show that they possessed powerfully
muscular, as well as slanting shoulders. The frame of a clever Welsh,
or New Forest pony, if his head is set on at a considerable angle
with his neck, is perfection. It might with profit be studied by any
youngster wishing to form his eye, and know what, on an enlarged scale,
should be the build of a real hunter,--an animal fitted for every kind
of work. The Arabs so much prize a short back and lengthy quarters,
that they have a proverb to the effect that a horse which measures the
same from the hip-bone to the end of his croupe, that he does from
the hip-bone to the withers, is a blessing to his master. Another
assertion of theirs is, that all their fastest horses measure less from
the middle of the withers to the setting on of the tail, than they do
from the middle of the withers to the extremity of the nose, or rather
extremity of the upper lip. This measurement is supposed to be taken
along the crest of the neck, over the forelock, and between the eyes.

It is sometimes so difficult to get a horse into condition, and
the following recipe, given me by an old cavalry officer who is an
excellent stable-master, is so admirable, that I need not apologize for
inserting it:--

"Give three{1} ounces of cold drawn linseed oil in a cold mash every
alternate night for a fortnight. If you judge it advisable, repeat the
same after an interval of a fortnight. The good effects of the oil are
not immediately visible, but in about a month the horse's coat will
become glossy, and he will commence putting up good _hard_ flesh."

The daily rubbing in a portion of the following ointment into a horse's
hoof (especially after exercise in moist ground, and on removal of
wet bandages, _before any evaporation can take place_,) will prevent,
indeed cure, brittleness--that constant precursor of contracted
feverish feet:--

  Tar (not Coal Tar).
  Soft Soap.
  Soap Cerate.
  Hog's Lard.
  ½ lb. of each well mixed together
  over a very slow fire.

{1} 20 oz. = 1 imperial pint.]

[70: Amidst sheep too.]

[71: I am glad to say I never had occasion to adopt so severe a remedy
as the following; but I have heard of an otherwise incorrigible taste
for blood being cured by a partridge pierced transversely with two
knitting-pins being _adroitly_ substituted for the fallen bird which
the dog had been restrained by a checkcord from bolting. The pins were
cut to a length somewhat less than the diameter of its body, and were
fixed at right angles to one another. Several slight wires would, I
think, have answered better.]

[72: And if hares are shot to him, fewest wounded hares.]

[73: In the remaining odd case (one out of a hundred) the propensity
may be traced to the animal belonging to a vicious stock,--in short, to
hereditary instinct.]

[74: Mr. C. B----y, who has written so cleverly and usefully under the
name of "Harry Hieover," supports (in "Practical Horsemanship") an
argument respecting the breaking of horses, by describing with such
good judgment the manner in which he would proceed to gradually wean
a dog from worrying sheep (much on the principle of taking him to a
rabbit-warren, 337), that I think some of my readers may peruse it with
profit:--

"I suppose myself to have a dog addicted to chasing sheep. He must be
cured of that. If I depute a servant to do this, I know how he will set
about it. He will take the dog on a common, where sheep are running at
large. The moment they see the dog they begin running. This is just
what the man wished they might do. The dog, of course, immediately sets
off after them, and the man after the dog. Probably after the latter
has ceased chasing, he is caught; and at a moment when he is not in
fault he is most brutally thrashed, knowing or not knowing what he
is thrashed for. He is cowed for the day, and sore for three or four
afterwards, when he forgets the beating; and the next time he sees the
sheep, he feels the same excitement and propensity, and away he goes
after them; so probably it would be as long as he lives.

"I now take the dog in hand, and as sedulously avoid taking him where
he has a chance of seeing sheep running, as the other sought for
a place where he should; for I know, with his present habits, the
temptation will be too strong for the dog to resist. I put a collar
round his neck, with a chain to hold him by, and a good dog-whip in my
hand. I take him to a sheep-fold: here the sheep cannot run: and not
being wild, the utmost they can do on seeing the dog is to huddle all
together. On entering the fold I cry in a warning voice, 'Ware sheep,
Don.' The dog looks up. 'Ware sheep,' I cry again. If he appears in
the least elated or fidgety, 'Ware sheep,' I cry in a voice of anger.
If he attempt to make any hasty advance towards them, a smart stroke
or two of the whip makes him find 'Ware sheep' must be attended to.
If after this he pulls towards, or jumps at them, I give him a good
flogging, he deserves it, for he knows he is doing wrong, and has not
over-excitement as an excuse. In a day or two, more or less, as he is
more or less incorrigible, he will cease not only to jump at the sheep,
but will walk quietly among them. He has learned perfectly one lesson,
which is, that he must not touch sheep standing still. Probably, being
now cowed by the warning 'Ware sheep,' if I took him on the common, he
would, if he saw sheep running, stop at being halloed to (if not too
far off); but it would be highly injudicious to trust him, for if he
broke away, my three or four days' lesson would go for nothing:--he
would be nearly as bad as ever.

"I now take him where sheep are wild, but never get near enough to set
them running. But suppose they were to do so, I am prepared, for I have
him in a cord some twenty yards long. This length gives him something
of a feeling of liberty. If he looks towards the flock, 'Ware sheep'
reminds him of his lessons. In a day or two I approach them; they begin
to run: Don gets fidgety, but the warning and showing him the whip most
probably controls him; if it does not, and he breaks away, I let him
reach the end of the cord, and with a stentorian 'Ware sheep,' I pull
him head over heels, haul him up, and getting hold of him, give him a
second thrashing--a lesson or two more, and he, in nine cases in ten,
will be broken of the habit. But if without the cord to check him he
had got in full career, flaying the poor brute alive would not have
prevented his doing it again; but his propensity having been diminished
gradually, moderate reflection will reform him, which it would not have
done while that propensity was in full force."--Page 171.]

[75: A muzzle is the best recipe for keeping a howling dog quiet at
night--from what is commonly called "baying the moon." It should
invariably be employed whenever any ointment is applied to his skin for
mange, &c.]

[76: A dark day with a good breeze would be preferred with us.]

[77: But there is this to be said in favour of your perpetually
shooting in wind and wet:--you will be acting a most friendly part by
your less persecuting neighbour, for under the twofold annoyance of
the gun and such weather, the birds will fly to great distances to seek
for quiet shelter.]

[78: This note about rearing pheasants, &c., is so long that the
printer has placed it in an Appendix. See page 335.]

[79: Neeps, anglicè turnips.]

[80: Callant, anglicè boy.]

[81: Hirple, anglicè limp.]

[82: Lord Brougham, in his "Dialogues on Instinct," gives anecdotes
showing the great sagacity of animals. He writes--"The cunning of foxes
is proverbial; but I know not if it was ever more remarkably displayed
than in the Duke of Beaufort's country; where Reynard, being hard
pressed, disappeared suddenly, and was, after strict search, found in a
water-pool up to the very snout, by which he held on to a willow-bough
hanging over the pond. The cunning of a dog, which Serjeant Wilde tells
me of as known to him, is at least equal. He used to be tied up as a
precaution against hunting sheep. At night he slipped his head out
of the collar, and returning before dawn, put on the collar again to
conceal his nocturnal excursions."

All animals are more or less cunning. The cunning of monkeys--I do not
quite like using that word: it hardly does them justice--is nearly
as proverbial as the cunning of foxes--but it is not so generally
admitted that the monkey has an innate sense of the ludicrous; and
it would surprise many to be told that its mischievous propensities
frequently arise, not from a spirit of wanton destructiveness, but from
a consciousness of fun--from a feeling of enjoyment at thinking of,
or witnessing the embarrassments created by its pranks. Yet it is so.
Captain H----e, when in the 7th Fusiliers, mentioned to me that the
sailors of the ship in which he returned from the Mediterranean had two
pet monkeys on board. The older one not being so tame as the smaller,
a belt with a short rope was fastened round his waist, in order that
he might be occasionally tied up, and as this belt had chafed him
he greatly disliked its being touched. One hot day when the monkeys
were lying beside each other on the deck, apparently asleep, H----e
observed the little one raise himself softly, look at his companion,
and feeling assured that he was asleep, sink down quietly, close his
eyes, and give the obnoxious belt a sudden twitch. The other instantly
sprang up,--perceiving, however, nothing near him but the little fellow
(seemingly) in a deep slumber, he laid himself down to continue his
siesta. After a while the young tormentor cautiously peered round;
when satisfied that his friend was again in the arms of "Mr. Murphy,"
he repeated the disagreeable twitch with yet greater success,--the old
chap becoming this time delightfully puzzled.

A third time the little rascal, after the same precautions as before,
endeavoured to play off his trick,--but he was foiled at his own
weapons. The old gentleman suspecting him, had cunningly pretended
to be asleep; and on the small paw quietly approaching his sensitive
loins, he jumped up--seized the culprit in the very fact, and forthwith
gave him a drubbing that taught him more respectful manners during the
remainder of the voyage.

But to return for a moment to foxes. A story is told in the family
of Mr. C----s R----n (286) of the sagacity of these animals, to
which he gives implicit credence. Adjacent to their old family house
stands a yet older high tower, the summit of which commands an
extensive view of the surrounding country, and consequently of the
several rides leading to the building. From this elevated position
his grandfather was one morning watching the hounds drawing some
neighbouring covers, when he saw a fox steal away unobserved, and hide
himself in a few furze-bushes. The pack passed by at some distance
from him, and Monsieur Reynard must have begun congratulating himself
upon his escape, when to his horror he perceived two lagging skirters
approaching his place of concealment. Instead of breaking away in
an opposite direction, he at once went forth to greet them,--lay
down, playfully wagging his tail,--and gave them a pressing, and
doubtless sincere, invitation to join in a game of romps. The ruse was
successful. The hounds came up, paid him the compliment of sniffing at
him as he rolled on his back humbly admitting his inferiority, and then
cantered off to join their companions. Upon this, Pug at once retreated
to his first covert.]

[83: Is not the capability of forming a good judgment in unusual
circumstances more dependent upon the exercise of the reasoning than
the instinctive faculties?]

[84: So adroitly obtruding (or forcing) a particular card of an
outspread pack upon the notice of an unsuspecting party, that he
unhesitatingly selects that identical card. This trick is performed
very effectively, having previously concealed the eight of a suit, by
temporarily converting the seven into the eight by lightly sticking on
a bit of paper cut into proper shape, and of the same colour as the
suit. The metamorphosed card is forced upon one of the audience, and
the exhibitor manages unperceived to remove the deception with his
little finger when reshuffling the cards.]

[85: This would account for the showman's wish to increase the size of
the circle (436), and keep his audience at a respectable distance, well
out of hearing.]

[86: We speak not of the delightful Neilgherry hills, nor the valleys
of the magnificent Himalaya mountains.]

[87: The really wild dogs of India,--the Dhole,--hunt by nose, and in
packs.]

[88: Pointer rather than setter, not only on account of his shorter
coat, but because his nose seems better suited to a hot climate. This
cross would be hardy; and prove extremely useful when the grain. fields
are cut; but in high grass and strong jungle a team of Clumbers would
be invaluable. They could not, however, be kept healthy in the low, hot
lands. We must naturally expect that in the cool parts of India the
true English pointer (or setter) would be found more serviceable than
the best cross. For those who are fond of coursing in India what a pity
it is that it should be so difficult to procure good Arab-greyhounds.
Whilst I was in the country, but I speak of many years ago, I never
saw a decent one. A far better description of dog, and one which would
keep healthy in the hottest weather, might be imported (if expense was
no consideration) from the upper parts of Arabia, where an admirable,
short-coated greyhound is reared for different kinds of coursing. The
best dogs are greatly valued, and it is a question whether our noble
breed is not originally derived from this stock.]

[89: Impression of feet.]

[90: In general he knowingly places his back against a tree.]

[91: The North American trappers apply the same term to an old beaver.]

[92: Guinea-birds being much prized in such of the islands as possess
but little game, many are reared at the farms of the planters. The
negroes dig up ants' nests, which are disagreeably numerous, and on
bringing one into the yard, dash it violently upon the ground, when
the chicks eagerly scramble for the contents,--the insects _and_
the eggs. By-the-bye, much is said about the difficulty of taking
eggs from Guinea-birds without making them abandon their nests. The
would-be purloiner, in answer to his inquiries, is often recommended
to keep as far as possible from the nest; and, that it may in no way
be contaminated by his touch, to remove the eggs during the absence of
the birds with an iron or silver spoon, having a long stick attached to
it as a handle;--but it is seldom told him,--and therein lies the real
secret,--that, in addition to such precautions, he never ought to rob
a nest without leaving _at the least_ three eggs. It is surprising how
many may in this way be taken. I know of a single pair of guinea-birds
being thus robbed in one spring of no less than eighty-four.

Having got into a Creole's poultry-yard, I am unwilling to quit it
without observing, that few better birds are reared than his cross
between common ducks and a Muscovy drake. It is found necessary
carefully to guard against the ungainly gentleman's having any rival of
the ordinary breed in the neighbourhood, for if the opportunity were
afforded them, the ladies would to a certainty forsake their cumbrous
lord for the more active commoner. Although the true Muscovy is very
coarse eating, the Hybrid is as much an improvement upon the flavour as
it is upon the size of the common duck. I have known the birds to be
reared in this country, and often wondered that the plan was not more
generally pursued.]

[93: Improved as regards shape and action, but not as to stanchness and
nose.]

[94: On one occasion, shooting in India, I saw an instance of an
animal's endeavouring to hide itself, that always struck me as
remarkable from the youth of the creature, and the fact that its
usual instincts lead it to seek safety, not in concealment, but in
flight. I was looking for a small kind of grouse commonly called there
rock-pigeon, when, crowning a small eminence, I unexpectedly came
upon a young antelope, about a hundred yards off, that apparently had
lost its dam. The country was open and bare, with here and there a
few stunted bushes. It instantly ran behind one of these, and there
remained while I drew the shot, and had nearly rammed down one of the
balls (enclosed in greased cloth) that I constantly carried in my
pocket ready for immediate use. I was almost prepared, when off it
went. As the ball was nearly home, I forced it down, not liking the
trouble of extracting it, and took a random chance shot at the little
animal. I could not perceive that it winced, and it was not until it
fell that I was aware I had struck it. The ball had passed through its
body a little too far behind the shoulder, and somewhat too high--a
common fault. It was so thin and poor that it must have been separated
for some time from its mother. The want of sagacity evinced by peafowl,
when hiding themselves, is strongly contrasted with the intelligence
displayed by the fawn. I have known these birds, when alarmed, run
their heads into a crevice, leaving the whole of their bodies exposed,
and then fancy themselves so effectually protected, as to remain
immoveable, until the sportsman got close to them.

When you are hunting, rifle in hand, for large game on an open prairie,
or where it is unlikely that you will find a convenient rest, you can
carry in your waistcoat pocket, until the moment you require it, not a
very bad substitute, in the shape of a piece of string looped at both
ends. This string will have been carefully adjusted to exactly such a
length that when one loop is slipped over your left foot, and the other
loop over the end of the ramrod (near the muzzle), on your bringing
up your rifle to the poise, the pull of the string will restrain you
from unduly elevating it while taking aim. An ordinary rest prevents
your _lowering_ the muzzle when in the act of firing--the resistance
of the string opposes your _raising_ it. The string, however, will not
wholly hinder the muzzle from diverging to the right or left,--but in
reality it will much prevent such unsteadiness, by permitting your left
hand to press strongly upwards against the rifle. In the new drill for
firing with the Enfield, the soldier is taught a position which gives
him a firm rest for his musket. It is to sit on his right heel (the
right knee carried well to the right, and resting on the ground), and
to place his left elbow on his left knee. He is taught to take aim a
little below the object, and to raise the muzzle very slowly--and to
pull the moment he covers the object, having previously well considered
what allowance he should make for the influence of the wind.]

[95: A reverend and _very enthusiastic_ dog-breaker in Cornwall (R. R.
W----t), who took to the art late in life, had an admirable dog named
Niger, who practised a peculiar self-taught dodge. He had a capital
nose, and when he winded birds on the other side of a hedge, he would
make a circuit, and coming behind them would drive them over to his
master. This was all innate talent. In no way did it result from
tuition.]

[96: Unless they are very young they are little prized at table; and
they afford such bad sport to the gun that, notwithstanding their
beauty, great pains are now taken in Norfolk and Suffolk to exterminate
the breed. Their nests are sought for to be destroyed; and when the
snow is on the ground, the old birds are killed in great numbers. It
is observed that in proportion as they increase, so do the common
partridge decrease. The stronger bird, according to the general law
of nature, drives off the weaker congener. Mr. L----d, A----r's
keeper (of H----n Hall), told me he had on several occasions seen the
young red-legged Frenchmen perseveringly attack and eventually kill a
whole covey of the less active English squeakers. The late Marquis of
Hertford has the credit (?) of having been the first to turn out a few
of the strangers. This was nearly fifty years ago at Sudbourn Hall, his
seat in Suffolk, whence they have spread over that county and Norfolk,
and are fast invading the northern parts of Essex.]

[97: This note on setters, poachers, keepers, bloodhounds, night-dogs,
&c., is so long, that the printer has placed it in an Appendix. See page
344.]

[98: "Increased:" the gratification of carrying being far greater than
that of merely "pointing dead."]

[99: A red-legged partridge.]

[100: Of course, a regular retriever is absolutely necessary when a
team of spaniels is hunted, none of which are accustomed to retrieve
(78).]

[101: In deep water diving birds will of course beat the most active
dog.]

[102: Twice a day he should be allowed to run out, that he may not be
compelled to adopt habits wholly opposed to his natural propensities.
If he has acquired the disagreeable trick of howling when shut up, put
a muzzle on him.]

[103: Claws of dogs kept on boarded floors, or not exercised,
occasionally become so long, that unless they are filed or pared down,
they cause lameness. In the menagerie at the Cape of Good Hope I saw
a fine tigress, the claws of whose fore-feet had grown so far beyond
her power of sheathing that they had penetrated deep into the flesh,
and it was under consideration how to secure her so that the operator
should incur no risk while sawing off the ends. She was very tame and
sociable, and would rub against the bars when she was approached by
visitors to invite their caresses; but it was quite distressing to see
her raising each leg alternately, really to ease it of her weight, but
apparently as if soliciting relief. The blessings of chloroform were
then unknown. No tiger while under its drowsy influence had ever had an
injured limb amputated, as was once successfully managed at the Surrey
Zoological Gardens.]

[104: It will tend to your comfort and health to have your boots made
waterproof, and you will not easily get a better preparation, when well
rubbed into the leather, for effecting your object, than the following.
It is an admirable one for rendering all kinds of leather pliable, and
for _preserving_ them in that state--and how often in the beginning of
a season have you found your water-boots as hard as a board!

To one ounce of India-rubber (the old bottle-shaped gum) cut into very
small pieces, and dissolved in only as much spirits of naphtha as will
convert the rubber into a thick fluid, add not more than one pint of
oil; linseed oil, or neat's foot oil is, I am told, the best.

For waterproofing cloth:--

  2 lbs. alum,
  1 lb. sugar of lead,
  20 quarts spring water.

Strain off to clear. Let garment soak 48 hours. Hang up until dry. Well
brush afterwards. Inexpensive yet effective!

When you catch cold, do not too hastily blame our climate, our enviable
climate, which preserves longer than any other the bloom of its women
and the vigour of its men, where the extremes of cold and heat are
equally unknown, in which you can take with advantage exercise every
day in the year, and need never suffer annoyance from mosquitoes,
sandflies, fleas, and other abominations, from which few countries
are free. When heated by labour, are we not too apt to throw off
some article of apparel in order to get cool? whereas the Turk, more
sensibly, puts on additional clothing, and sits out of a draught until
he loses all the extra heat he acquired from exercise.]

[105: Since the publication of the first edition of this book, I have
had the gratification of reading Mr. Herbert's "Field Sports in the
United States, &c.," and find that he does not consider Indian-corn
to possess any injurious qualities--on the contrary, he strongly
recommends its adoption in kennels.]

[106: In all diseases of dogs--inflammatory, of course,
excepted--warmth is recommended.]

[107: There is a hardy breed of pointers that rarely take
it,--especially if they are liberally fed, and lie warm while
young.--W. N. H.]

[108: "Dogs, their Management," published by Routledge,--a work
evidently written by a kind-hearted man of reflection, experience, and
judgment; one who dares think for himself, not servilely treading in
the footsteps of his predecessors.]

[109: A right good sportsman, in days long gone by, gave this advice to
his son--"a true chip of the old block,"--"Don't get an experienced
keeper wedded to his own customs and prejudices; but engage a young man
fond of sport. Break _him_ to your mind; and then, and not until then,
will you have _dogs_ broken to your mind."]

[110:

[Page Header: "SNAP" VISITING THE TRAPS.]

Is it quite certain that the keepers who plead their inability to
devote more time to the improvement of their masters' dogs have never
found time to break in dogs belonging to strangers? If a keeper would
but make it a rule while he is going his rounds by day (to examine
his traps, &c.) to allow each of his pupils in turn to accompany him
in fine weather, and avail himself of that opportunity to give the
young dogs an occasional out-door lesson, they would all be brought
under good subjection, and be taught to obey implicitly every signal
of the hand--which is half the battle--without taking him from his
other occupations, and without his having devoted more than a few
hours exclusively to their preparatory education. If a keeper feels no
pride in the conduct of his dogs--if he is not animated with a spark
of the enthusiasm that incites the huntsman to such willing exertion
in the education and performance of his hounds, he (the keeper) had
better change his profession. He may attain to eminence in another, he
certainly never will in his present position.

As I have just talked about a keeper "going his rounds" to examine
his traps, it would be wrong not to mention the serviceable "Snap," a
white, short-haired terrier belonging to a gamekeeper of Mr. R----e's,
who for many years has sat as member for Dover. The little animal's
personal qualities are far inferior to his mental, for even his master,
with all his well-known partiality for his petted companion, cannot
call him handsome; but he has a right to quote in the dog's favour
the old saying, "Handsome is as handsome does." Besides other ways of
rendering himself useful, "Snap" willingly considers it a standing rule
that he is to start off alone every morning after breakfast to take
the tour of all the traps. On his return to the lodge, if he has no
report to make, he maintains a discreet silence; but if any of them are
sprung, by vermin or otherwise, he loudly proclaims the fact, and leads
the keeper, whose time and legs he has thus cleverly saved, direct to
any spots requiring his personal attention.]

[111: The reason in my opinion is, that they have not been properly
taught--how to teach.--W. N. H.]

[112: An expeditious method, as is admitted in 191, but there, I think,
all praise ceases.--W. N. H.]

[113: Doubtless a good plan; perhaps the best plan with a bold dog
whose initiatory education has been neglected--and who, in consequence,
will not watch for your signals, nor yet look to you on your whistling;
but the cord might be longer, and the boy should follow the dog to
allow of his range being more extended.--W. N. H.]

[114: Meaning the spike-collar described in 300 of this, and 136 of
first edition. No mention was made in that edition of the milder collar
now spoken of in 301.--W. N. H.]

[115: In the correctness of this reasoning I fully concur.--W. N. H.]

[116: See end of 448.]

[117: If you are attacked by a dog when you have the good fortune to be
armed with a shilelagh, do not hit him across the head and eyes; bear
in mind that the front part of his fore-legs is a far more vulnerable
and sensitive spot. One or two well applied blows upon that unprotected
place will generally disable the strongest dog. Consider how feelingly
alive your own shins are to the slightest rap. I have in India seen a
vicious horse quite cowed under such discipline, and a really savage
nag in that country is, to use an expression common among the natives,
a fellow who would "eat one to the very turban." They will sometimes
cure a biter by letting him seize a leg of mutton burning hot off the
fire--not so expensive a remedy as you may think, where sheep, wool,
or rather hair and all, are constantly sold at 2_s._ each,--I will not
describe how poor,--I have lifted them up, one in each hand, to judge
of their comparative weight. A country bred horse may be conquered by
harsh means; but a true Arab never. It is rare to find one that is
not sweet-tempered; but when he is vicious, his high spirit and great
courage make him quite indomitable.

With a stout stick, a better defence than you may at first imagine can
be made against the attack of a vicious bull. Smart blows struck on the
_tip_ of his horns seem to cause a jar painfully felt at the roots. Mr.
B----n, of A----n, when he was charged in the middle of a large field
by a bull which soon afterwards killed a man, adopting this plan, beat
off the savage animal, though it several times renewed its attacks.]

[118: If my reader is a youngster, he ought to take this as a hint to
mind where he treads when he traverses a turnip-field.]

[119: The common sobriquet of the boy in charge.]

[120: Clover does not retain the wet like common grass, and it affords
some shade in hot weather to the very young birds.]

[121: Until the young birds recover do not let them have access to
any water in which alum is not dissolved in the proportion of a lump
about the size of a walnut to half a gallon of water--also mix such a
quantity of common salt in their food, that the stimulant therein is
quite perceptible to your taste, and feed more sparingly than usual.]

[122: Principally Indian corn-meal. When the chickens are older, the
grain is merely bruised. To full-grown birds of a large species, it is
given whole.]

[123: For reasons already given, I think some animal food should be
added.--W. N. H.]

[124: French eggs, which he purchased cheap in large quantities from an
importing house at Folkestone.]



Transcriber's Notes:

Original accentuation has been retained except for some inconsistent
diacritical marks in the original; the three instances are given below:

(a) In the List of Illustrations: THLEW-ĔE-CHOH-DEZETH

(b) In the illustration caption; THLEW-EE-CHOH-DEZETH

(c) In the text: Thlew-ĕe-chōh-dezeth.

All instances have been standardised as this last example.

Typographical errors corrected:

  rages changed to ranges in paragraph 87
  Impropropriety changed to Impropriety
  recals changed to recalls
  sidge changed to side
  wil changed to will
  836(date) changed to 1836
  implicity changed to implicitly
  Schichallion changed to Schiehallion
  morever changed to moreover for consistency
  cares changed to cures in paragraph 293

Unusual spelling retained:

  immoveably
  villanous and villany
  In the Chapter XIII sub-heading, and the advertisments 'receipt'
  is used rather than 'recipe', which is used elsewhere. Both words
  having the same meaning in the context.

In the original there were two instances of paragraph 55. The first
instance has been renumbered as the 'missing' paragraph 54.

Paragraph 207 was not numbered in the original and has not been changed.

In the original there were 2 instances of paragraph 102, none of 103.
Second instance of 102. renumbered to 103. which agrees with chapter
heading.

Some illustration titles do not match the List of Illustrations.

In paragraph 44 the reference to 'XI. of paragraph 171' should refer to
'XI. of paragraph 141', and has been corrected.





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