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Hunting Dogs

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<SPAN name="C11"></SPAN> <h3>CHAPTER XI.<br> SELECTING THE DOG.</h3> <p>Different hunters have different ideas as to the style of dog best suited to their purposes. We can only approach the subject, by giving views of experienced breeders, and the reader may choose as he is inclined.</p> <p>From a Canadian Hunter comes the following:</p> <p>This question of the right kind of dogs to select is a matter on which many sportsmen differ in opinion. Some prefer the small, some the medium and others the large hound. For me I like a hound to be from 24 to 27 inches high at the shoulder and well put together, with a lot of bones, straight front legs with strong and compact feet, "but not too large" with good strong nails well set in, the body to be long and not short of flank with a wide chest and a moderate deep chest and with a strong broad back, hind legs with the right kind of bend, that is neither straight or too much curved in, with well furnished thighs.</p> <p>Dogs with straight hind legs cannot run and jump over logs and fences with the same ease as those having a marked bend. These dogs can buckle and unbuckle with more quickness and power, such as is required in the gallop than dogs having a round barrel shaped chest, with both the front and hind legs straight. Dogs having a nearly round chest cannot stand any length of hard running, such as those having a narrow chest because a dog with a moderate deep and narrow chest has better wind as he is able to alter the cubic contents of his chest more rapidly and thus inhale and expire a larger volume of air. Therefore, a dog with a deep or flat chest will always have a greater speed than one with a round one. This is a well known fact in all animals remarkable for their speed, such as deer, wolf and greyhound.</p> <p>I like dogs with good muscular thighs with a fine long tapering and graceful wavering stern, ears to be well set and not too long and not thick and slabby, neck to be long and well set between the shoulders, the head and muzzle, this is only a matter of taste. Those I prefer are those having a long and narrow forehead and a fairly square muzzle, ears from 7 to 9 inches long, lips loose but not hanging low, throat loose and roomy in the skin and a good coat of hair so they can stand cold and water, and with a good loud tongue and keen nose. The color has nothing to do, the main point is the staying quality, the speed, scent and endurance; the intelligence and the particular style of ranging or beating the ground for trail as well as to run it once found, with great speed.</p> <p>Some say a fine looking hound should be a good hunter. Well, any hunter of experience in the handling of hounds is fully aware that it is not always the dog which carries the prizes at the shows that is the best dog in the field. The same thing exists with the horse. Some people claim that it all depends on the breeding, others on the training. The fact is that both are required as well as the right shape the dog should have to be able to stand hard work day after day.</p> <hr width="10%"> <p>The most essential thing to the value and working capabilities of fox hounds is purity of blood, declares another. Too much care, therefore, cannot be taken in selecting and breeding fox hounds. Hounds for running the red fox should be selected from the best possible blood that can be obtained. I like a hound with a long clear voice &mdash; one that can be heard at least two miles away on an ordinary calm day &mdash; and one that gives tongue freely when running and trailing but not one that gives tongue when he has run over the trail and lost scent.</p> <hr width="10%"> <p>In selecting a night hunting dog I prefer one that is three-quarters or at least one-half fox hound. The reason is, the fox hound has a good nose, also a good voice and speed. While I do not condemn a dog that is bred in any other way, I prefer one bred as I have stated for the reasons given above.</p> <p>Some prefer a dog that is part beagle, but if any reader of this book has ever tried to train a dog with good beagle blood in his veins to hunt coon, he has been up against the real thing. The trouble is, the beagle has it bred right in him to run rabbits, and blood will tell. The only point in favor of the beagle is his nose. With the exception of the bird dog the beagle has the finest scent of the whole dog family. I know this to be true by observation. A fox gives off more scent than a rabbit, so does a coon and all the other animals.</p> <p>During the "nesting season" birds give scarcely any. This is a wise provision of Nature to protect them from their enemies during this important period.</p> <p>One day I saw a fine English setter almost step on a grouse that was sitting on her nest. He never scented her until she went whirling out the ridge right in front of his nose. That dog's actions told more plainly than words could have done, how deeply he regretted the incident. I have also seen a beagle run a rabbit after a heavy rain, the rabbit, to my knowledge, having run before the rain fell.</p> <hr width="10%"> <p>Many writers say that a dog's pedigree and his being registered, does not amount to the paper it is written on. Now I do not wish to criticize any of my brother sportsmen, but I think it is the only way to know if one's dog is well bred, and to have a well bred dog means much less trouble in training him. Do not get discouraged if your dog does not train as easily as he should, and always remember that much depends upon you. Stay with your dog if you want him to be a good sticker. Many a dog has been spoiled by leaving him to run for nothing.</p> <p>In selecting a dog to hunt all kinds of game, get a good bred hound. I have no use for mongrels or curs. They are dear at any price. Get a thick, hard, round-footed, long ears coming out of head low down, well developed chest, shortish tail, large at root or next to body, long from hip to gamble joint, with broad strong back, wide nostrils and long pendant lip. Now this is my idea of a good all around hunting dog. I don't expect you to find all of these qualifications in any one dog.</p> <hr width="10%"> <p>Have decided that for my use, a full blooded hound. That is a good, fast and reliable trailer, one that will stay with the trail, cold or hot, and never think of giving up until asked to. One that will bark treed on a cold trail just the same as if he had run him up a sight chase. One that should he in cold trailing run across a hot trail and tree, will after catching go and take up cold trail again and tree.</p> <hr width="10%"> <p>When it comes to large hounds for coon, fox, etc., a cross of the right kind of American fox hounds and the right kind of blood hounds fills the bill to perfection. The blood hound has the keenest scent of any dog living. The American fox hound has the speed. If a man has a combination of the two he is starting on the right trail. I prefer a fox hound bitch bred to bloodhound dog. How many ever saw a thoroughbred bloodhound? They are a heavy built hound, medium size heavy head, long ears, square deep muzzle, with heavy rolls of wrinkles on head just over the eyes, which gives him a surly look. I have seen what were called and sold for bloodhounds to a sheriff to trail man. They would trail fairly well, but they came a long ways from being thoroughbred bloodhounds. Any hound trained when young can be taught to trail man or beast.</p> <p>Hunters differ as to the kind of dog to use for coon hunting. The best coon dog I ever had (and I've had a good many) was a half Scotch terrier and I don't know what the other half was. He was black and white spotted with curly hair and weighed but thirty-two pounds.</p> <p>Some hunters prefer the shepherd dog and again some would hunt with nothing else but a hound. I don't know as it makes much difference what kind of a dog one uses, just so it is one of the hunting kind, a good trailer and thoroughly well trained. Of course, not every dog, even of the hunting kind, will make a good coon dog; about the only way to tell is to try.</p> <hr width="10%"> <p>As to picking a pup for a coon hound, it is very hard to do, but I want a full bloodhound, one that tongues on trail and a free barker at tree. I want the old style hound, as the modern fox hounds are too nervous for good coon hounds, although you may get one once in a while that will work a cold trail very well.</p> <p>A cross between the old style, long eared hound and the fast trailing hound with large, heavy shoulders, deep chest, a large fore leg, large broad head, long ears, rather short coupled back, slightly roached back, with a good square nose, rather large neck, set well down in the shoulders. While this is my kind of hound for coon, do not understand me to say that I want an extra slow trailer, for I do not, but I want him to be steady, and when he has a trail he can work it fast. This is my kind of a dog for coon, but he would not be in it with an up to date fox hound on a fox chase, but running fox and coon are different, and I want a different kind of a hound.</p> <hr width="10%"> <p>We have made a success in raising bear hounds, and find the only way to get a good pup with the hunting habit, is to have it bred in them first, says a California Brother. One has to have good parent hounds, and while the mother dog is carrying the pups she must be worked on whatever you want your pups to run. For instance, we have a black and tan long eared bitch, bred her to a good hound, one quarter stag. Before she had these puppies we caught three bears with others, letting her get in and fight hard.</p> <p>These puppies when a month old would crawl on a bear hide rug, chew and shake at it, and when three months old, would track, bark and fight. Now they are five months old and know considerable about it. We treed an old bear, and these pups kept right on and treed two cubs, and barked up and stayed until we found them after we had the old one skinned and cut up. They have the instinct in them, and are beauties with just enough stag in them to have a good crop of whiskers.</p> <SPAN name="pic115"></SPAN> <h5><ANTIMG src="images/115.jpg" alt="Embryo Trailers."><br>Embryo Trailers.</h5> <hr>
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