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Hunting Dogs

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<SPAN name="C12"></SPAN> <h3>CHAPTER XII.<br> CARE AND BREEDING.</h3> <p>As we must raise the dog before concerning ourselves with his culture, let us begin with the pup.</p> <p>I commence to care for the pups by giving the bitch plenty of exercise before they are born. Then as soon as they are born, put them in a clean, dry place, where they will be comfortable, &mdash; if in winter, where cold winds cannot reach them; if in summer, in a cool place out of the hot sun. Feed the bitch well on good food of different varieties; do not chain her, but rather shut her up in a park of something of the kind, where she can exercise but not get out to run, for if she should run she gets hot and you may loose some if not all of your puppies.</p> <p>By the time the pups are three weeks old, you will need to commence feeding some milk twice each day, gradually increasing the amount as the bitch becomes dry, and when she weans them, feed three times a day, until about six months old; after which I only feed twice a day.</p> <p>In this connection we quote from an article in a current magazine, the truth of the contentions being borne out to a greater or less extent by our own observations:</p> <p>After her puppies are about five weeks of age a bitch will begin to vomit the contents of her stomach for the puppies. I have known many breeders of experience argue that but few bitches do so. Over and over again have I been able to convince persons who, having immediate care of the bitch and her litter, deny that the bitch ever vomits to her puppies, that they are wrong. Many bitches never vomit when the attendant is about, and only appear to do so at night; hence the belief that they do not do so at all. It is the natural manner in which the bitch feeds her whelp with partially digested food, after her milk supply ceases to suffice for their requirements. If the bitch is of good constitution and in good health, the puppies flourish remarkably on the diet thus provided, and in such cases my experience leads me to believe that puppies left with their dams do better than when separated from them and, strange to say, bitches who are in the habit of picking up all sorts of apparently undesirable odds and ends do not seem to do their puppies less well under these circumstances than cleaner feeders do.</p> <p>Many bitches eat the young soon as they come if not closely watched, especially the first time. There should be an attendant at time of whelping. Whelps must be removed to a basket of warm cloths and kept away till all have come and then place to matron for nursing. There is no danger of her devouring them thereafter.</p> <p>To resume: This is what I feed pups: grind rye without bolting and sometimes oats ground very fine; then run through a coarse sieve, and bake into bread without soda or baking powder, or make into a thick mush and feed it with plenty of milk if convenient. As they grow older add cornmeal and scraps from the butcher shop to the feed, and give them enough to keep them nice and sleek, but do not overfeed.</p> <p>By the time they are three weeks old they will be running everywhere, and let them have plenty of room to run and play. Change their beds as often as needed, which is a good way to prevent fleas. Should fleas get on them as they are sure to do, put a tablespoonful of oil of tar in a quart of warm water, take a fine tooth comb, dip in tar water, and comb them until the hair is thoroughly saturated; repeating as often as needed.</p> <p>For bedding, the best is leaves from the woods; straw will answer, but I prefer the leaves to anything I have ever tried, but whatever is used it should be changed often and kept dry. For the dog with a damp place to sleep, will soon have the mange, and it is far easier to keep a dog healthy than to cure him after he has become diseased. In warm weather I use no bedding as it is only a harbor for vermin.</p> <p>The best place by far, to keep your dogs, is in a park, where there is shade in summer, with running water, and slope enough to the land, to allow it to be well washed whenever it rains. Then provide dry, comfortable quarters to sleep, and you have an ideal home for dogs. In case you cannot have a place of this kind nor even a small park, and must keep your dog chained, attach a good heavy wire to the dog house and the other end to a tree, where your dog can get to a shade if possible; then attach a chain to the wire so your dog can travel along the wire; but be sure that he cannot get tangled up and have to lay out some wet night.</p> <p>Some are situated far better than others for taking care of dogs and I am sorry to say there is an occasional sportsman (or at least he owns a dog or two), who is inclined to let his dogs shift for themselves. I pity the dog that is unfortunate enough to have such an owner.</p> <p>My experience is that too much meat is not good for the foxhound, and if they get a mess of old stale meat just before you want to run them, the chances are that they can't make the race. I have seen good dogs that couldn't run an hour, simply because they were filled up with old dead hog or horse. If you want to make a good race with your dog, keep him tied two or three days before you intend to run him, feed him corn bread (well baked) and sweet milk. If you run at night, give your dog a good feed at noon and very little at night when you start, and if your hound has the "stuff" in him he is good for all night.</p> <p>I think rotten meat will affect the smelling of a dog as well as heat them up, so they can't make a good race. To let your dog run loose until you are ready for a chase, where he can find slop and such stuff to be filled up on, and have your friend meet you with his hounds in fine shape and lead your hound all the time, well you know how you would feel.</p> <p>Some say you must have it bred in a hound to run. That is all true enough, but a well bred hound with all grit can't make a good race if he isn't in shape to do it.</p> <p>The foregoing is borne out and added detail given in the following contribution from New York State:</p> <p>I find that fox hounds which I feed on old stinking pork or stinking meat of any kind are quite stupid and very careless about hunting. They cannot keep on the trail, neither do they wish to run fast or continue running long. Old stinking pork seems to be the worst I could feed to a fox hound, and corn bread and some milk on it seems to be the best.</p> <p>When my dogs are fed on cornbread and milk they display the most activity, and can follow a fox or rabbit more accurately and accordingly run faster. When I want to make my hound run slow I feed him some meat, and the more it stinks the less he can smell anything but the fumes of this in his stomach. I can easily tell by the smell of my dog's breath whether he has eaten fresh mutton or rotten horse recently, and I think any healthy person can easily.</p> <p>Here are another hunter's views on this same subject:</p> <p>In rearing hounds, to have them hardy and intelligent you must feed them right and provide them with a lot of good fresh water as well as to give them daily exercise. When I feed beef, I have a small axe with which I chop all the bones into fine pieces. They also get scraps from the table with some vegetables mixed with cooked rolled oats. I feed the old ones once a day with raw meat and once with porridge. I see that they get just enough to keep them always in good running condition, that is neither fat nor thin. I like a dog with a good rolling skin. I never take a skeleton dog in the woods as I have often seen hunters going deer hunting with dogs which you could read a newspaper through.</p> <p>Now of what use are such animals as these? Some say that a thin dog will run better than a fat one. Yes, if the fat one is hog fat; but a dog with about one-half inch of hard fat on the ribs will out-do a dozen of these starved dogs of which you can count the bones at one hundred yards from them. No, a dog with just the skin and bones cannot stand any work for the reason that he has no bottom.</p> <p>Young pups should be fed at the very least three times daily, four times is still better. Never give them more than what they can eat, and in the meantime see that they just get enough so as to clean the dish well at every meal and in no case should the pan containing the food be left in the intervals with the puppies if they have not cleaned it out as they will become disgusted with it and next time refuse to feed. Keep everything clean and dry and always feed at the same hour daily. It is much easier to rear a pair of pups than a single one.</p> <p>Before weaning the dew-claw should always be removed. These are of no use but only serve to bother the dogs and hounds should always have them cut off.</p> <p>Worm medicine should always be given to all young dogs and kennels should be lime washed at least three times a year and never allow your dogs to sleep near the stove and then turn them out in the cold. If you desire a lazy hound allow him to burn himself at the stove, but if on the contrary you wish a lively dog, provide him with a good dry kennel and if you keep several dogs see that each one has his own stall. This has the advantage of preventing them from fighting and from the risk of taking cold by lying out of the kennel.</p> <p>When your dogs return from the hunt always examine their feet and legs and if you find any sore spots attend to them at once. If the dogs return wet to camp always allow them to dry near a stove before turning them to their kennel which should be a good dry one.</p> <p>If you desire your dogs to stand hard work day after day you must look after them with as much care as a jockey attends to his horse.</p> <p>The very moment you notice your dog is looking dull ascertain at once what is the cause, and if you are of the opinion that it is a cold or distemper, don't wait until you see his eyes and nose running, to doctor him, but attend to him immediately.</p> <SPAN name="pic124"></SPAN> <h5><ANTIMG src="images/124.jpg" alt="A Versatile Ontario, Canada, Dog Family."><br>A Versatile Ontario, Canada, Dog Family.</h5> <hr>
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