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“ Top,'* a pure Bulldog, the property of C. Stockdale, Esq., Shepherd's Bush.
F. Cuvier has asserted that this dog has a brain smaller in proportion than any other of his congeners, and in this way accounts for his assumed want of sagacity. But, though this authority is deservedly high, I must beg leave to doubt the fact as well as the inference, for if the brain is weighed with the body of the dog from which it was taken, it will be found to be relatively
* For the following pedigree of this bulldog I am indebted to his owner
above the average, the mistake arising from the evident disproportion between the brain and the skull. For the whole head, including the zygomatic arches and cheek-bones, is so much larger than that of the spaniel of the same total weight of body, that the brain may well look small as it lies in the middle of the various processes intended for the attachment of the strong inuscles of the jaw and neck. I have never been able to obtain the fresh brain of a pure bulldog for the purpose of comparison, but, from an examination of the skull, I have no doubt of the fact being as above stated. The mental qualities of the bulldog may be highly cultivated, and in brute courage and unyielding tenacity of purpose he stands unrivalled among quadrupeds, and with the single exception of the game-cock, he has perhaps no parallel in
C. Stockdale, Esq., Shepherd's Bush, who has compiled it from sources :
WASP MAD CRIB
RONANEY (Abbott's). (Morrison's). (Morrison's). (Redmond's).
CRIB (Jem Burna's).
(Sire only known.
these respects in the brute creation. Two remarkable features are met with in this breed: Firstly, they always make their attack at the head; and, secondly, they do not bite and let go their hold, but retain it in the most tenacious manner, so that they can with difficulty be removed by any force which can be applied. Instances are recorded in which bulldogs have hung on to the lip of the bull (in the old days of baiting this animal) after their entrails had been torn out, and while they were in the last agonies of death. Indeed when they do lay hold of an object, it is always necessary to choke them off, without which resource they would scarcely ever be persuaded to let go. From confinement to their kennels, they are often deficient in intelligence, and they can rarely be brought under good control by education ; and, from the same circumstance, they show little personal attachment, so that they are almost as likely to attack their friends as their enemies in their fury when their blood is put up. Many a bulldog has pinned his master's leg in revenge for a tread on his foot, and it is very seldom that liberties can be taken with him by any one. There is an old story strongly characteristic of this tendency, which will illustrate this passion for pinning, and also the fondness of the lower orders in some districts for the fighting and baiting propensities of their dogs. A Staffordshire coal-miner was one day playing with his bulldog, an unentered puppy, when the animal became angry and pinned his master by the nose. On this the by-standers became alarmed, and were going to treat the dog roughly, when the owner interfered with—“ Doan't touch un, Bill; let un teaste blood, an it 'll be the meaking on him.” And so the puppy was allowed to hang on and worry his master's nose to his heart's content.
But, when differently treated, the bulldog is a very different animal, the brutal nature which he so often displays being mainly attributable to the savage human beings with whom he associates. Although, therefore, I am ready to admit that the bulldog often deserves the character for ferocity which he has obtained, yet I contend that this is not natural to him, any more than stupidity and want of affection, which may readily be proved to be the reverse of his character, if any one will take the trouble to treat him in a proper manner. For the following remarks I am mainly indebted to Mr. Stockdale, who is a celebrated breeder of bulldogs, and has had a long experience of their various attributes. The antiquity of the breed is unquestionable, and it has always been peculiar to these islands, the Spanish variety having originally been procured from Britain. It is highly probable that the modern bulldog has undergone a change in appearance during the last fifty years, being now decidedly neater in shape than was formerly the case, if we are to judge from the portraits handed down to us. As now exhibited, he is a remarkably neat and compact animal naturally, the deformities sometimes seen being produced principally from the practice of constantly keeping the poor dog tied up with a short chain. It is amusing to any one who has any knowledge of these dogs to read the terrible accounts of their ferocity in various books purporting to give us an insight into canine nature in general, but as these for the most part are merely copies of each other, too much weight need not be attached to them. The only evil of such books is that they find their way into the hands of inexperienced persons, who are easily imposed on by bold assertion. Surely no animal has suffered more at the hands of his would-be historians than the dog, the books on him being composed, one half of improbable stories of his exploits, and the other of silly conclusions from them. Most writers, whether political or otherwise, are fond of dilating on the “Bulldog courage” of Englishmen, yet, in the same breath, they vilely asperse the noble animal from whom they draw their simile. The bulldog has been described as stupidly ferocious, and showing little preference for his master over strangers; but this is untrue, he being an excellent watch, and as a guard unequalled, except perhaps by the bull-mastiff, a direct cross from him. Indeed, he is far from being quarrelsome by nature, though the bull-terrier in many cases undoubtedly is so, and I fancy that some writers have taken their description from this dog rather than from the pure bulldog, which has been at all times rather a scarce animal. If once the pure breed is allowed to drop, the best means of infusing fresh courage into degenerate breeds will be finally lost, except with the addition of extraneous blood which may not suit them; for I believe that every kind of dog possessed of very high courage owes it to a cross with the bulldog; and thus the most plucky greyhounds, foxhounds, mastiffs, pointers, &c., may all be traced to this source. Though bull and badger baiting may not be capable of extenuation, to them we owe the keeping up of this breed in all its purity; and though we may agree to discontinue