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Hunting Dogs

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<SPAN name="C22"></SPAN> <h3>CHAPTER XXII.<br> POINTERS AND SETTERS. &mdash; SPANIELS.</h3> <p>It is not within our province to dwell at length upon the subject of "bird" dogs. We will content ourselves with briefly pointing out some more salient points of appearance and character. Those who wish to make a study and follow extensively wing shooting, and raise and train suitable dogs for the purpose, may obtain books relating exclusively to that subject.</p> <p>While adapted to the same purposes in the field, there are differences in the appearance and methods of pointers and setters that give rise to two distinct classes.</p> <p>In the field, if we may take for granted the claims of men long schooled in wing shooting, we may say in a general way, that the pointer excels in woods &mdash; heavy cover, and brushy sections. In such places a slower dog is required as well as one that willingly hunts close to the shooter.</p> <p>For work in open fields or over prairie land, the setter is perhaps better suited, because he, as a rule, "has greater speed, wider range, greater endurance and staying qualities. If retrieving from water came into play, the setter also would have the preference. As to which of the two breeds has the best nose, and which is the better bird finder, nothing can be said with a degree of certainty &mdash; they are equal, but there is a vast difference in individuals. The same is true as to retaining inculcated training."</p> <SPAN name="pic211"></SPAN> <h5><ANTIMG src="images/211.jpg" alt="Royal Sports. Pointers in Action."><br>Royal Sports. &mdash; Pointers in Action.</h5> <p>The pointer is the older breed, being a product of the middle ages. He bobs up, ever and anon, in the history of hunting down to the present. There has been now and again some inclination to cross the pointer and fox hounds, among huntsmen, some claiming even in this day that it improves either type of dog for his given duties. Purists, however, insist on keeping them pure and undefiled.</p> <p>In appearance the pointer is larger than the setter, and gives one an impression of solidity and strength; his coat should be soft and mellow, but not absolutely silky. The hair is short and straight.</p> <p>The setter's coat should be long, straight and silky (a slight wave is admissible) which should be the case with the breeches and fore legs, which, nearly down to the feet, should be well feathered. The color may be either white and black, white and orange, white and lemon, white and liver, or black, white and tan; those without heavy patches on the body, but flecked all over, called Belton, preferred.</p> <p>There is, as in most other questions of hunting and shooting experiences, wide difference of opinion as to the relative values of the two breeds for practical field work and bench purposes.</p> <p>The casual field shooter will not go wrong in selecting either kind, so long as he secures a creditable and really representative individual.</p> <SPAN name="pic213"></SPAN> <h5><ANTIMG src="images/213.jpg" alt="Setter."><br>Setter.</h5> <p>A distinct setter strain is the black and tan Gordon. Writes an authority: "The Gordon is a much heavier dog in all his parts than the English setter; coarser in skull, thicker in shoulders and usually carrying lots of useless lumber. As a consequence he lacks the speed of his English brethren, and for this reason he is not a desirable field trial candidate, but as a steady, reliable dog, with more than average bird finding ability, he will always have a number of admirers."</p> <p>The Irish setter is another interesting one of the setter family. He is not as popular in America as the others, though a handsome and capable performer. His color is red, with white on chest, throat or toes, or a small star on the forehead.</p> <p>The manner of judging pedigreed field dogs has been reduced to an almost exact science. After all, however, all this is not for the casual hunter and many an embryo sportsman tramps the fields after capable, though not so high-toned dogs, and enjoys it all more than the nervous owner watching his dog in the field trial.</p> <p class="center">SPANIELS.</p> <p>Spaniels are not utilized to any extent as hunting dogs in this country, although they are sometimes crossed to good advantage with other hunting dogs. About the water, the water spaniel is well adapted. For instance some spaniel blood in a mink dog is well worth considering.</p> <p>All of the spaniels, readily develop into retrievers, and this is their principal use at present, although they can be taught to hunt with considerable effect and judgment, where too much is not expected of them. They are lively, happy little workers, and on grouse in dense coverts, no dog possesses a better nose for the purpose. Their size, too, is against them for most practical purposes.</p> <hr>
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