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rabbits, &c., and to bring them uninjured to his master. After a time, he may be taught to bring a ball or glove from the water, which he does more readily even than on land, but is very apt at first to deposit it on the shore, as soon as he reaches it, in order that he may shake himself clear of the water hanging to his coat. This should be discouraged, as it is very apt to induce the dog to leave his game on the edge of the water as soon as he comes out. When these dogs are required for punt-shooting as well as river-hunting, their education is better commenced on the river-side than in the punt. Nothing answers better for this purpose than the shooting of“ flappers," which usually comes on in July and August. The water being then warm, and the young birds awkward, and not very good divers, great encouragement to persevere is afforded to the dog, and he may be easily induced to swim more or less for hours, and to hunt the side of a brook in the most ardent manner. There is very little difficulty in entering these dogs to wildfowl, as they seem to have a natural bias that way; but they should be carefully broken from rats, which abound on the banks of rivers and ponds. The only art consists in confining their range, by making them beat to hand, and in persuading them to retrieve wounded or dead birds. The range is much more easily taught the water spaniel than the land variety, because he is almost always in sight of the shooter, and always within the sound of his voice. If, therefore, the puppy has been taught to come in at the word “ Back,” and to turn to the right and left on land, in obedience to the hand, as in ordinary spaniel-breaking, he will be sure to obey in the water, where he seems to ask for the directions of his master. The eye of the swimming dog is only able to command a small circle, being very little raised above the level of the water, and therefore he cannot see far from his nose; but by watching the hand of his master-for the voice should not be used more than necessary—he is often directed to the right spot, and afterwards is glad to claim the assistance which is found to be so useful.
RABBITING-RABBIT DOGS-FERRETS AND
RABBIT TERRIERS - THE ENGLISH TERRIER -THE SCOTCH DOG - THE
DANDIE DINMONT - THE SKYE TERRIER-THE HALF-BRED DOGFERRETS USED IN AID OF THE GUN - DESCRIPTION -REARING AND FEEDING-DISEASES-MANAGEMENT IN HUNTING.
THE Terriers which are used for rabbiting, either with or without ferrets, are the smooth English dog, more or less crossed with the bulldog, the Scotch terrier, also, more or less similarly crossed, and the Dandie Dinmont. The Skye terrier is sometimes used for this purpose, but he is not equal to the above kinds. In any of these varieties, the terrier is a strong, useful little dog, but unless he has a cross of the bulldog, he is generally a rank coward.
Whatever dogs are employed for the purpose of working rabbits out of hedgerows and small coppices, whether terriers, spaniels, or beagles, if ferrets are also employed, should be carefully broken to them, for otherwise a valuable ferret may easily be killed or spoiled. No dog answers better than a good terrier, which is easily kept in command, and is more readily quieted at the moment when silence is all-important; I shall therefore merely allude to the varieties of this dog which may be used.
The Old English Terrier is a smooth-haired dog, weighing from seven to twelve pounds. His head is flat, with a jaw tapering neatly off, and slightly overhung, if not crossed with the bulldog ; eye small and bright; ears, when not cropped, short and slightly pricked, but turning over at the points ; neck strong and long ; body very neat and compact, with strong loins and deep chest, the back ribs not being very deep ; fore legs strong and straight, and the feet round and
hare-like, not resembling those of the cat; tail fine, not carried over the back; colour most frequently black and tan, but some breeders assert that true terriers are of almost every colour which can be mentioned. My own opinion is that, unless they are crossed with the bulldog, the colour should be black and tan, with as little white as possible. This dog hunts rabbits well, but he has not courage enough for vermin.
The Scorch Terrier resembles the English dog in all but his coat, which is rough, wiry, or broken haired, three terms for the same thing. The colour may be black and tan mixed with white hairs, or red, mixed in the same way, or white with more or less of the other colours above mentioned. This dog is more hardy in all respects than the English terrier, and has an equally good nose.
The Skye Terrier is a very long, low, and strong dog, and if bred in or near his native country, he is quite capable of being used to hunt rabbits ; but in the south he has so long been kept for toy purposes only, that it is scarcely necessary to allude to him here.
The Dandie Dinmont Terrier immortalized by Sir Walter Scott, is intermediate in size, roughness, and length between the Scotch and Skye dogs. When of a good strain, he is an excellent rabbit dog. In colour he is invariably either “pepper” or “mustard,” the former being greyish black with tan legs and muzzle, and the latter red shot with
hairs. Both have long, silky hair over the eyes, and standing out from the muzzle ; the legs are short, body long, shoulder low, back slightly curved, head large, jaws long and square, ears large, and hanging close to the face, eye full and intelligent, tail slightly curved and carried over the back like that of the hound; weight about fourteen pounds.
The Half-bred Terrier consists of any of the above kinds crossed with the bulldog, and shows the general appearance of the particular stock with a larger head and jaw, which is more or less overhung. These dogs are far more courageous than the pure bred terrier, and will stand wet and cold, as well as hard work, much better; the cross is, therefore,
' generally preferred for ferreting or hunting rabbits, but it should not be nearer than the third or fourth remove from the bulldog.