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Closely allied to the mastiff, but resembling the Newfoundland in temper and in his disposition to fetch and carry, is the Mount St. Bernard breed, until lately confined to the Alps and the adjacent countries, where he is used to recover persons who are lost in the snow-storms of that inclement region. Wonderful stories are told of the intelligence of these dogs and of the recovery of travellers by their means, which are said to extend almost to the act of pouring spirits down the throats of their patients; but, however, there is no doubt that they have been and still are exceedingly useful, and the breed is kept up at the monastery of Mount St. Bernard. The height is about 28 to 31 inches ; length six feet, including the tail. The coat varies a good deal in length, there being in England two distinct varieties founded upon this point, viz. the rough and the smooth. Mr. Macdona, who has been at great trouble and expense to import both of the best Swiss strains, leans to the rough, but there are many who still adhere to the smooth variety. The smooth dog is red and white, or brindled and white, a broad white collar of white of a peculiar shape distinguishing the true breed. The rough dog is most highly prized when of a deep tawny brindle, still with some white, but not so much as in the smooth kind. Both dogs are remarkably good-tempered, and may be trusted with the care of women or children with great dependence. The absence of dew claw on the hind leg is considered a defect by some judges, and there is no doubt that many imported specimens of the breed have the double dew claw.
This animal, as before remarked, resembles the English mastiff in general appearance, and, being also put to the same use, the two may be said to be nearly allied. According to Mr. Bennet, he is bred on the Himalaya Mountains, on the borders
of Thibet, for the purpose of guarding the flocks and the women who attend them.
The portrait annexed sufficiently describes the shape of this dog, whose colour is a dark black, and his coat is somewhat rough.
The engraving given on next page represents the poodle with the whole of his coat on, but he is generally to be seen shaved in part, so as to resemble the lion in having a mane, and the tip of his tail also having a tuft left on. He is by many supposed to be the produce of a cross between the water and land spaniels, but there is no good reason to suppose that the breed is not quite as distinct as either of them. For many years it has been known in France and Germany, particularly the former country, and it is there occasionally used for sporting purposes, though, as in England, it is chiefly as a companion that this dog is kept. With more intelligence than falls to the lot of any other dog, he unites great fidelity to his master, and a strong love of approbation, so that he may readily be induced to attempt any trick which is shown him, and the extent to which he may be taught to carry out the secret orders of his instructor is quite marvellous. He fetches and carries very readily, swims well, and has a good
nose, but has no particular fondness for hunting game, often preferring a stick or a stone to a hare or pheasant. Two of these dogs which were exhibited in London, in 1829, astonished
every one by their clever performance, sitting up to table gravely, and playing a game at cards as quickly as a human being, the cards being placed before them, and the one to be played being selected by the dog's foot. Of course this was all done