« AnteriorContinuar »
from using his nose, or he could soon be nearly as good with that organ as with the eye. So also Cuvier defines his sixth section as “having an inclination to chase and point birds," whereas they have as great, and often a greater, desire for hares and rabbits. Bearing therefore in mind these trifling defects, we shall consider the dog under the following heads :
CHAP. I. Wild and half-reclaimed dogs, hunting in packs.
CHAP. II. Domesticated dogs, hunting chiefly by the eye, and
killing their game for the use of man.
CHAP. III. Domesticated dogs, hunting chiefly by the nose, and
both finding and killing their game.
CHAP. IV. Domesticated dogs, finding game by scent, but not
killing it; being chiefly used in aid of the gun.
CHAP. V. Pastoral dogs, and those used for the purposes of
CHAP. VI. Watch dogs, House dogs, and Toy dogs.
CHAP. VII. Crossed breeds, Retrievers, &c.
Wild and half-reclaimed Dogs, hunting in Packs. — The Dingo. — The Dhole.
– The Pariah.— The Wild Dog of Africa. — The South-American Dog.– The North-American Dog.-Other wild Dogs.
It is upon the great similarity between these wild dogs and the wolf or fox, that the supposition is founded of the general descent of the domesticated dog from either the one or the other. After examining the portrait of the dingo, it will at once be seen that it resembles the fox so closely in the shape of its body, that an
ordinary observer could readily mistake it for one of that species, while the head is that of the wolf. The muzzle is long and pointed, the ears short and erect. Height about 24 inches, length 30 inches. IIis coat is more like fur than hair, and is composed of a mixture of silky and woolly hair, the former being of a deep yellow, while the latter is grey. The tail is long and bushy, and resembles that of the fox, excepting in carriage, the dingo curling it over the hip, while the fox trails it along the ground.* While in his unreclaimed state this dog is savage and unmanageable, but is easily tamed, though even then he is not to be trusted, and when set at liberty will endeavour to escape. Many dingoes have been brought to this country, and some of its crosses with the terrier have been exhibited as hybrids between the dog and fox, which latter animal they closely resemble, with the single exception of the pendulous tail. Whenever, therefore, a specimen is produced which is said to be this hybrid, every care must be taken to ascertain the real parentage without relying upon the looks alone.
The native wild dog of India, called the dhole, resembles the dingo, in all but the tail, which, though hairy, is not at all bushy. The following is Captain Williamson's description, extracted from his “Oriental Field Sports,” which is admitted to be a very accurate
* The engraving of the Dingo was taken from an animal in confinement, in which state the tail is seldom curled upwards.
account by those who have been much in India. “The dholes are of the size of a small greyhound. Their countenance is enlivened by unusually brilliant eyes. Their body, which is slender and deep-chested, is thinly covered by a coat of hair of a reddish brown or bay colour. The tail is dark towards its extremity. The limbs are light, compact, and strong, and equally calculated for speed and power. They resemble many of the common pariah dogs in form, but the singularity of their colour and marks at once demonstrate an evident distinction. These dogs are said to be perfectly harmless if unmolested. They do not willingly approach persons, but, if they chance to meet any in their course, they do not show any particular anxiety to escape. They view the human race rather as objects of curiosity than either of apprehension or enmity. The natives who reside near the Ranochitty and Katcunsandy passes, in which vicinity the dholes may frequently be seen, describe them as confining their attacks entirely to wild animals, and assert that they will not prey on sheep, goats, &c.; but others, in the country extending southward from Jelinah and Mechungunge, maintain that cattle are frequently lost by their depredations. I am inclined to believe that the dhole is not particularly ceremonious, but will, when opportunity offers, and a meal is wanting, obtain it at the expense of the neighbouring village
“The peasants likewise state that the dhole is eager in proportion to the animal he hunts, preferring the elk to any other kind of deer, and particularly seeking the royal tiger. It is probable that the dhole is the principal check on the multiplication of the tiger; and although incapable individually, or perhaps in small
numbers, to effect the destruction of so large and ferocious an animal, may, from their custom of hunting in packs, easily overcome any smaller beast found in the wilds of India.” Unlike most dogs which hunt in packs, the dholes run nearly mute, uttering only occasionally a slight whimper, which may serve to guide their companions equally well with the more sonorous tongues of other hounds. The speed and endurance of these dogs are so great as to enable them to run down most of the varieties of game which depend upon flight for safety, while the tiger, the elk, and the boar diminish the numbers of these animals by making an obstinate defence with their teeth, claws, or horns, so that the breed of dholes is not on the increase.
• THE PARIAH.
This is the general name in India for the half-reclaimed dogs which swarm in every village, owned by no one in particular, but ready to accompany any individual on a hunting excursion. They vary in appearance in different districts, and cannot be described very particularly; but the type of the pariah may be said to resemble the dhole in general characteristics, and the breed is most probably a cross with that dog and any accidental varieties of domesticated dogs which may have been introduced into the respective localities. They are almost always of a reddish brown colour, very thin and gaunt, with pricked ears, deep chest, and tucked up belly. The native Indians hunt the tiger and wild boar, as well as