« AnteriorContinuar »
every species of game, with these dogs, which have good noses and hunt well, and though they are not so high-couraged as our British hounds, yet they often display considerable avidity and determination in “ going in ” to their formidable opponents.
THE EKIA, OR WILD AFRICAN DOG.
The native dogs of Africa are of all colours, black, brown, and yellow, or red; and they hunt in packs, giving tongue with considerable force. Though not exactly wild, they are not owned by any individuals among the inhabitants, who, being mostly Mahometans, have an abhorrence of the dog, which by the Koran is declared to be unclean. Hence they are complete outcasts, and obtain a scanty living either by hunting wild animals where they abound, or, in those populous districts where game is scarce, by devouring the offal which is left in the streets and outskirts of the towns. The Ekia, also called the Deab, is of considerable size, with a large head, small pricked ears, and round muzzle. His aspect in general resembles that of the wolf, excepting in colour, which, as above remarked, varies greatly, and in the tail, which is almost always spotted or variegated. These dogs are extremely savage, probably from the constant abuse which they meet with, and they are always ready to attack a stranger on his entrance into any of the villages of the country. They are revolting animals, and unworthy of the species they belong to.
THE NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICAN DOGS.
A great variety of the dog tribe is to be met with throughout the continent of America, resembling in type the dingo of Australia, but appearing to be crossed with some of the different kinds introduced by Europeans. One of the most remarkable of the South-American dogs is the Alco, which has pendulous ears, with a short tail and hog-back, and is supposed to be descended from the native dog found by Columbus ; but, even allowing this to be the case, it is of course much intermixed with foreign breeds. The North-American dogs are very closely allied to the dingo in all respects, but are generally smaller in size, and are also much crossed with European breeds. In some districts they burrow in the ground, but the march of civilisation is yearly diminishing their numbers throughout the continent of America.
OTHER WILD DOGS.
Many other varieties of the wild dog are described by travellers, but they all resemble one or other of the above kinds, and are of little interest to the general reader.
“CADEK." A Deerhound of the pure Glengarry breed, 28 inches high, 34 inches in girth.
Bred by W. Meredith, Esq., Torrish, Sutherland.
DOMESTICATED DOGS HUNTING CHIEFLY BY THE EYE, AND KILLING
THEIR GAME FOR MAN'S USE.
The Rough Scotch Greyhound and Deerhound.— The Smooth or English
Greyhound. - The Gazebound. The Irish Greyhound, or Wolf-dog. – The French Mâtin.- The Hare-Indian Dog.— The Albanian Dog.– The Grecian Greyhound. -- The Turkish Greyhound. — The Persian Greyhound. - The Russian Greyhound.— The Italian Greyhound.
This breed of dogs is, I believe, one of the oldest and purest in existence, but it is now rapidly becoming extinct, being supplanted in public estimation, for coursing purposes, by the English grey'hound, or by a cross between the two. The rough greyhound is identical in shape and make with the pure deerhound, and the two can only be distinguished by their style of running when at work or play ; the deerhound, though depending on his nose, keeping his head much higher than the greyhound, because he uses this attitude in waiting to pull down his game. By some people it is supposed that the smooth variety of the greyhound is as old as the rough ; but, on carefully examining the description given by Arrian, no one can doubt that the dog of his day was rough in his coat, and in all respects like the present Scotch dog. In shape the Scotch greyhound resembles the ordinary smooth variety, but he is rather more lathy, and has not quite the same muscular development of loin and thigh, though, the bony frame being inore fully developed, this is perhaps more apparent than real.
In spite of the external form being the same in the rough Scotch greyhound used for coursing hares, and the deerhound, there can be no doubt that the two breeds, from having been kept to their own game exclusively, are specially adapted to its pursuit by internal organisation, and the one cannot be substituted for the other with advantage. Generally speaking, the deerhound is of larger size than the greyhound, some being 28 inches high, though this size is not very uncommon in the greyhound, and dogs of 264 or 27 inches are often seen. Mr. Scrope, the talented author of “Deer-stalking,” gives the following description of Buskar, a celebrated deerhound belonging to Captain McNeill of Colonsay, viz. : height, 28 inches ; girth round the chest, 32 inches; running weight, 85 lbs.; colour, red or fawn, with black muzzle. To these external qualifications were added great speed and strength, combined with endurance and courage, while the sagacity and docility of the dog made him doubly valuable. He was used for coursing the deer, but his nose was good enough for hunting, even a cold scent, as was the case with all of his breed. Whether or not the deerhound can now be procured in a state of purity I am not prepared to say, but that they are extremely rare is above dispute, though there are numberless animals resembling them in form, but all more or less crossed with the foxhound, bloodhound, bulldog, &c., and consequently not absolutely pure. Mr. Scrope himself, with all his advantages, could not succeed in obtaining any, and had recourse to the cross of the greyhound with the foxhound, which, he says, answered particularly well; as, according to his experience, “you get the speed of the greyhound with just enough of the nose of the foxhound to answer your purpose. . . . . In point of shape they resemble the greyhound, but they are larger in the bone and shorter in the leg. Some of them, when in slow action, carry the tail over the back like the pure foxhound; their dash in making a cast is most beautiful, and they stand all sorts of rough weather.” (p. 314.) He advises that the first cross only should be employed, fearing that, as in some other instances, the ultimate results of breeding back to either strain, or of going on with the two crosses, would be unsatisfactory. “Maida,” the celebrated deerhound belonging to Sir Walter Scott, was a cross of the greyhound with the bloodhound, but some distance off the latter. The bulldog in