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master should accustom his puppies from the earliest age to place a restraint upon their appetites when ordered to do so; and if he will provide himself with pieces of biscuit and will place them within reach of the dog, whilst he prevents his taking them by the voice only, he will greatly aid the object he has in view. Many breakers carry this practice so far as to place a dainty morsel on the ground before the dog when hungry, and use the word “ Toho” to restrain him; but this, though perhaps hereafter useful when inclined to run in upon game, is by no means an unmixed good, as the desire for game in a well-bred dog is much greater than the appetite for food, unless the stomach has long been deprived of it.
Besides these lessons prior to breaking, it will be well to teach the dog to come to heel, and to keep there, also to run forward at the word of command, to lie down when ordered, and to remain down. All these several orders should be accompanied by the appropriate words afterwards used in the field, viz.
WORDS OF COMMAND USED TO THE POINTER AND SETTER. 1. To avoid breaking fence—“Ware fence.”
2. To come back from chasing cats, poultry, hares, &c.—“Ware chase.”
3. To come to heel, and remain there—“To heel,” or “Heel.” 4. To gallop forward—“Hold up." 5. To lie down—" Down,” or “Down charge.”
6. To abstain from taking food placed near, equally applied to running in to birds—“Toho.”
When these orders are cheerfully and instantly complied with by the puppy, it will be time to take him into the field, but not till then. Many breakers during this period accustom their dogs to the report of the gun, by firing a pistol off occasionally while they are a short distance off, and in a way so as not to alarm them. This is all very well, and may prevent all danger of a dog becoming “shy of the gun;” but with a well-bred puppy, properly reared, and not confined too much so as to make him shy in other respects, such a fault will seldom occur. Nevertheless, as it does sometimes show itself, from some cause or other, the above precaution, as it costs little trouble or expense, is not to be objected to. It is also advantageous to accustom the dog to drop when the pistol is discharged, and, if he is of high courage, he may be drilled to this so effectually that he never forgets it. By the aid of a “check cord,” wherever the dog is when the pistol is discharged, he is suddenly brought up and made to drop with the command “ Down charge;" and in process of time he associates one with the other, so that whenever he hears a gun he drops in an instant. Timid dogs may however be made shy in this way, and unless the puppy is evidently of high courage, it is a dangerous expedient to resort to; as, instead of making the dog, it may mar him for ever.
Next comes the teaching to “ range,” which is about the most difficult part of breaking. Many sportsmen who have shot all their lives are not aware of the extent to which this may be, and indeed ought to be, carried; and are quite content if their dogs “potter” about where they like, and find game anyhow. But the real lover of the dog, who understands his capabilities, knows that for perfect ranging the whole field ought to be beaten systematically, and in such a way as to reach all parts in succession, the dog being always as near to the gun as is consistent with the nature of the ground, the walking powers of the man, and the degree of wildness of the game. All these varying points of detail in the management of the dog while beating his ground will, however, be better considered at a future stage of the inquiry; so that at present, taking it for granted that what I have assumed is the real desideratum, we will proceed to inquire how this mode of ranging is best taught. It must be understood that what we want is,-first, that the puppy should hunt freely, which soon comes if he is well bred ; secondly, that he should range only where he is ordered, and that he should always be on the look-out for his master's hand or whistle to direct him. This also is greatly dependent on breed, some dogs being naturally wilful, while others from their birth are dependent upon their master, and readily do what they are desired. Thirdly, great pains must be taken to keep the puppy from depending upon any other dog and following him in his line, and also from “pottering,” or dwelling on “the foot-scent,” which, again, is a great deal owing to defective blood. Now, then, how are these points to be attained ? By a reference to the annexed diagram, the principle upon which two dogs should beat their ground is laid down; the dotted line a a a a representing the beat of one, and the plain line b b b b that of the other dog. But, with a raw puppy, it is useless to expect him to go off to the right while
his fellow proceeds to the left, as they afterwards must do if they perform their duty properly; but, taking an old dog into a field with the puppy, the former is started off with the ordinary words “ IIold up” in either line laid down, which, being properly
broken, he proceeds to follow out, accompanied by the puppy, who does not at all understand what he is about. Presently the old dog "finds,” and very probably the young one goes on and puts up the birds, to the intense disgust of his elder companion, but to his own great delight, as shown by his appreciation of the scent, and by chasing his game till out of sight. At the present stage of breaking, the puppy should by no means be checked for this, as he knows no better, and the great object is to give him zest for the work, not to make him dislike it ; so that, even if he runs in to half a dozen pairs of birds, it will do him no harm, however jealous it may make the old dog. As soon, however, as the young one seems decidedly inclined to go to work by himself, take up the old dog, and hunt the young one till he is thoroughly tired or till he begins to point, which he will often do before that time arrives if he is well enough bred. At first, when he comes upon a scent, he will stop in a hesitating way, then draw rapidly up and flush his birds, chasing them as before; but gradually, as he tires, he gains steadiness, and, after a time, he assumes the firm attitude of the true pointer or setter, though this is seldom shown in perfection for the first two or three days. Let it be clearly understood, that the present lesson is solely with a view to teach the range, steadiness in the point being at first quite subordinate to this quality, though in well-bred dogs it may often be taught at the same time. Hundreds of puppies are irretrievably spoiled by attempting to begin with teaching them to stand, when, by undue hardship and severity, their relish for hunting or beating the ground is destroyed; and they are never made to do this part of the work well, although their noses are good enough when they come upon game, and they stand for a week if allowed to do so. Keep to