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therefore requires considerable practice, and theoretical knowledge as well; and, for this reason, the young courser should not fancy that he can at once compete on even terms with the experienced hand. Let him therefore content himself with creeping before he runs, and let him undertake a brace or two at the most for a season, before he rushes into the thick of the contest. No one can hope for much success who keeps a very large kennel under the management of one man, because he cannot do justice to more than eight or ten running dogs; but at first he had better content himself with half that number, and he will find afterwards that he has made many mistakes about these. It is also very difficult to purchase good dogs, though occasionally they may be met with ; but when a young courser begins he wants the experience which is required to know how to select them. On all these accounts therefore he had better begin by sporting a brace, and in the mean time he can be bringing forward a moderate number of puppies bred by himself, which will be ready for work in a year or two.
The kennel management of greyhounds has been described at page 226, and it only remains to describe the method of training which is adopted for the purpose of enabling them to bear the severe work often experienced in going through a stake. Many a greyhound will run one course quite as well without training as with, that is, if it is not a long one ; but there are few untrained dogs that will go on through a series of courses as well as if they had had the pains bestowed upon them which a man of experience would be able to give. It is often said that certain dogs
have run better untrained than trained, but this only shows that the training in their particular case was mismanaged; for, if they had been treated properly, they would not have been worked to the extent which produced the change for the worse. Scarcely any two dogs require the same treatment, and the chief art in training is to discover the exact amount which each will bear and require in order to bring him out to the best advantage. It must therefore be understood, that by training is here meant the act of preparing a dog for certain public performances in the way best fitted for each individual; and that it does not by any means consist in putting him through a specified course of physic, diet, and work, which, in his case, may be altogether unsuited to him.
Before commencing to train a greyhound, it is necessary to consider what condition he is in at the time, and what amount of work he is likely to bear, judging from his breed, and also from his bodily formation. The first thing to be done is to see that his health is good, and that his liver and kidneys are doing their work properly, withcut which it is useless to attempt to train him. If he is known to be descended from a stock which has been accustomed to severe preparatory work, and if he also has a stout frame and good feet, it may reasonably be expected that he will bear as much training as his progenitors, and he may be treated accordingly. If on the other hand he comes of a soft strain, that has never been used to road-work, and of which the dogs composing it have always trained themselves in their play to the highest pitch of which their frames are capable, then it will be safer to follow suit, and to take the descendant of these latter animals out for two or three hours a day on the greensward, simply keeping him moving, and encouraging him to play with his fellows till he is tired. Less than three hours' exercise can never be sufficient, as the dog is only compelled to walk, and any faster pace is voluntary, and will not be attempted if he is at all exhausted. From this it will appear that the trainer's art greatly consists in apportioning the proper quantity of work, which he can only do by studying the constitutions and breeding of the dogs under his charge; after which he will determine in his own mind the probable amount of work which each will bear, and will proceed to put his theory into practice, always carefully watching the progress which is made, and altering his plans as he goes on, according as he finds that he has calculated erroneously. One great guide which he has is the weight which is gained or lost ; for if he finds the dog is putting on flesh when he wants some off, or if he is losing it when he is already too light, there must be some alteration made, or the dog will not come out fit for his duties. Thus, then, the trainer first fixes in his mind the weight to which he wishes to bring his dog on a certain day, and then, by apportioning the work, physic, and food according to his ideas of the dog's constitution, he endeavours to attain that standard of proportion; altering his plans as he goes on if necessary. It must, however, always be remembered, that training should not attempt to produce an unnatural condition, but rather the highest state of health consistent with that free play of the lungs and heart which will enable the dog to continue
his highest speed for the longest time, and guarantees the retention of his spirit and courage, so as to induce him to exert it.
Work for training purposes is effected in two ways: the object being to get rid of the superfluous fat, which interferes with muscular action, and with the free play of the lungs; and also to accustom the muscles, ligaments, and tendons to severe and long-continued exertions. These two methods are often combined ; and indeed, though the one by means of slipping is effectual by itself, yet the other, or horse-exercise alone, will not develop the wind sufficiently, and, if it is adopted, it must be aided by slipping the dogs as well. Horse-exercise is chiefly confined to countries where the courses are very long and severe, and where also much of the work can be given on turf, so that it is only in down countries that it is very available, but there it is almost essential to full success in training the greyhound. The amount of this kind of exercise which a greyhound of stout blood will take with advantage is very great, and it is sometimes more than one horse will be able to lead; but this is not often the case. Few greyhounds will be the better for more than fifteen miles every other day, and this is quite within the compass of a horse's powers, especially when it is considered that not more than two or three miles of this distance should be at the gallop. But the great object of horseexercise is not to produce a fast pace, so much as to insure a sufficiency of slow work ; for there are few trainers who will walk fifteen or sixteen miles a day on foot, and yet in order to keep the dogs out for four hours they ought to do so. A
certain amount of road-work is essential to the hardening of the feet, but this should be commenced two or three months prior to the time of training, as it cannot be done without time to cause the growth of the thick horny matter which covers the sole of the foot. If, therefore, horse-exercise is to be adopted, it is better to commence it two or three months before the meeting for which the dog is to be trained, and after giving him two or three days a week, up to within a fortnight of the time, discontinue it, and proceed to develop the highest degree of wind, by slipping the dog to its trainer's call. A short gallop of a couple of miles on turf will be nearly as beneficial, but the long dragging road-work, which will serve to prepare the dog earlier in his training, is now to be discontinued, because it interferes with the spirit, and will render him disinclined to exert himself with that fiery courage which is requisite for success. The slipping-work is effected by the aid of an assistant, who leads the greyhounds off in one direction, while the trainer walks to another point; and when half a mile apart or thereabouts the dogs are let loose, one after another, the trainer whistling and shouting to them, so as to excite them to their highest speed. The assistant should be a stranger to them, and it is better to buckle a stirrup-leather round his waist with the noose at the end of each leading-strap inserted, so that he may have both his hands at liberty to unbuckle the collars in succession. If there is a gently sloping valley composed of ground similar to that over which the public coursing is to take place, it is better to select it, as the dog then sees