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fusion has the disadvantage of making the deerhound thus bred attack the deer too much in front, by which he is almost sure to be impaled on the horns, so that, in spite of the high courage of the breed, it is from this cause quite useless in taking deer.
The rough Scotch greyhound, as used for coursing, averages about 26 inches in the dog, and 22 or 23 inches in the bitch ; but, as above remarked, its use is almost abandoned in public, and those which are still bred are either used in private, or are kept entirely for their ornamental properties, which are very considerable, and, as they resemble the deerhound, they are very commonly passed off for them. They are of all colours, but the most common are fawn, red, brindled (either red and black mixed, or fawn and blue), grey, and black. The coat is harsh, long, and rough, especially about the jaws, where the hair stands out like that of a Scotch terrier. In speed they are about equal to the smooth greyhound, but they do not appear to be quite so stout, though of late we have had no opportunities of judging, as a rough greyhound in public is rare in the extreme. Mr. A. Graham, who formerly was celebrated for his breed of these dogs, has now abandoned their use, excepting when largely crossed with the smooth greyhound, for which purpose they seem well suited, when the former are too small or too delicate for the work they have to do. But as these are now bred of a much more hardy kind than formerly, so that they will stand cold and wet almost as well as the Scotch dog, there is little necessity for resorting to the cross, and it is accordingly abandoned by almost all the breeders of the animal. Nevertheless, some of the best dogs of the present day have a strain of the rough dog in them, but it is gradually dying out as compared with ten or twenty years ago. It is alleged, and I fancy with some truth, that the rough dog runs cunning sooner than the smooth, and hence the cross is objected to; and certainly many litters of greyhounds bred in this way within the last few years have been remarkable for this objectionable vice.
The points, or desirable external characteristics of this breed, with the exception of the rough coat, are so similar to those of the smooth greyhound, that the two may be considered together.
THE SMOOTH GREYHOUND.
This elegant animal appears to have existed in Britain from a very early period, being mentioned in a very old Welsh proverb, and a law of King Canute having precluded the commonalty from keeping him. Numberless hypotheses have been brought forward relative to the origin of the greyhound, Buffon tracing him to the French nation, and some other writers fancying that they could with more probability consider him as the descendant of the bulldog or the mastiff. But as I believe that it is impossible to ascertain with any degree of certainty the origin of the species Canis, so I am quite satisfied with the conclusion that no longstanding rariety can be traced to its source. We must, therefore, be content to take each as we find it, and rest content with investigating its present condition ; perhaps in some cases extending
our researches back for fifty or a hundred years, and even then we shall often find that we are lost in a sea of doubt.
Until within the last twenty-five years public coursing was confined to a very limited circle of competitors, partly owing to the careful retention of the best blood in the kennels of a chosen few, but chiefly to the existing game laws, which made it imperative that every person coursing should not only have a certificate,
but also a qualification, that is to say, the possession of landed property to the value of one hundred pounds per annum. Hence the sport was forbidden to the middle classes, and it was not until the passing of the present game laws, in 1831, that it was thrown open to them. From that time to the present the possession of the greyhound has been coveted and obtained by great numbers of country gentlemen and farmers in rural districts, and by professional men as well as tradesmen in our cities and towns, so that the total number in Great Britain and Ireland may be estimated at about fifteen or twenty thousand. Of these about five or six thousand are kept for public coursing, while the remainder amuse their owners by coursing the hare in private.
Various explanations have been offered of the etymology of the prefix grey, some contending that the colour is implied, others that it means Greek (Graius), while a third party understand it to mean great. But as there is a remarkable peculiarity in this breed connected with it, we need not, I think, go farther for the derivation. No other breed, I believe, has the blue or grey colour prevalent; and those which possess it at all have it mixed with white, or other colour; as, for instance, the blue-mottled harrier, and the blotched blue and brown seen in some other kinds. The greyhound, on the contrary, has the pure blue or iron grey colour very commonly; and although this shade is not admired by any lovers of the animal for its beauty, it will make its appearance occasionally. Hence it may fairly be considered a peculiarity of the breed, and this grey colour may, therefore, with a fair show of probability, have given the name to the greyhound.
In describing the greyhound it is usual, and indeed almost necessary, to consider him as used for the two purposes already mentioned, that is to say,—1st, as the private, and 2ndly, as the public, greyhound; for though externally there is no difference whatever, yet in the more delicate organization of his brain and nerves there is some obscure variation, by which he is rendered more swift and clever in the one case, and more stout and honest in the other. In the horse the eye readily detects the thoroughbred, but this is not the case here; for there are often to be met with most beautifully formed greyhounds of private blood, which it would be impossible to distinguish from the best public breeds by their appearance, but which in actual trial would be sure to show defective speed and cleverness. This being the case I shall first describe the general characteristics of both, and afterwards those in which they differ from one another.
The points of the greyhound will be described at length, because as far as speed goes, he may be taken as the type to which all other breeds are referred; but, before going into these particulars, it will be interesting to examine the often-quoted doggrel rhymes, which are founded upon a longer effusion originally published by Wynkyn de Worde in 1496, and to institute a comparison between the greyhound, of the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries. In the former of these periods it was said that this dog should have
" The head of a snake,