nel of pointers, spaniels, setters, and retrievers may be kept at from 12 to 14 pence per head per week.

During the summer months dogs will not require such strong food as when they are at work; the porridge may be made much thinner, and very little flesh or greaves employed; and, if a good garden be at hand, a drumhead cabbage occasionally, cut up into small pieces, boiled in the soup, will be very beneficial: twice a week will not be too often—it will keep the dogs cool, and prevent constipation, to which some dogs are subject when kept at home. They should, however, have exercise every other day; and if they can conveniently be let out every day, if only for a few minutes, in a grass-field, it will be attended with good effects.

During the summer months, whether dogs exhibit any sign of mange or not, they should all be once thoroughly dressed, and a little nitre, sulphur, and antimony occasionally given. The kennel should likewise be thoroughly cleansed, and whitewashed all over with a mixture of lime and water, not omitting the benches, which should be movable by hinges, so that they may be raised when necessary, and no dirt whatever be allowed to accumulate underneath them.

Great care must be taken that there is always a constant supply of fresh water, with a few pieces

[ocr errors]

of brimstone at the bottom of the vessel; and I must not omit to add, that there should always be an abundant supply of salt in the kennel, to be used at all times in the food. Dogs enjoy their food more with salt, and its use is essential to their health.

Although I have partially alluded to the treatment of hounds in a kennel, having had more particularly in view the arrangements necessary for the management and care of shooting dogs, I have only recommended the use of one boiler, which will suffice for at least twenty dogs; in fact, with twenty couple of harriers, I have known one boiler answer every purpose r in a large kennel of foxhounds, of course two boilers will be required, one for the preparation of meal, the other for the boiling of flesh; but the same system which I have before suggested must be adopted. The great advantage of the two boilers is, that you can better regulate the consistency of the food after it is made, by the addition of either liquid or solid, as circumstances may render advisable, and, by one being kept hot and the other cold, can also manage that the food be exactly the proper warmth when hounds return home, which, as I have previously intimated, is important; however, a good man in the kennel, who has twenty couple of hounds to attend to, will rarely be at fault with one boiler. These matte rs of detail merely require method, with regular and assiduous attention. A man who in any way neglects his dogs ought immediately to be discharged.

I cannot close this chapter without again insisting upon the great importance of the strictest cleanliness being maintained in a kennel of pointers and setters: this is essential to the nicety of their noses, and as sport much depends upon this particular, every sportsman will do well to see that his kennel is kept as it should be. The kennel should be on high and dry ground thoroughly drained, and facing the south-east —not on low damp ground surrounded by trees, where there is no free circulation of air.


No French chasseur considers his chien tfarret of any value unless he brings his game both by land and water, and every small town in France swarms with chasseurs; hence it may be readily imagined that several persons in each locality gain their living by instructing dogs in this particular. In several French towns where J have resided there were three or four persons who devoted their time and ingenuity, 'a faire dresser les chiens a, hien rapporter a terre et a l'eau.' The price for this instruction, when completed, was 50 francs, or 21., besides 5 or 6 francs a month pour la nourriture. A dog can be taught to bring by land at any season of the year, but to bring from the water the summer is the only suitable time. It requires about two months to complete a dog's education [in both qualifications. A good hand will break half-a-dozen dogs in the same period of time, but not more, as. he must devote two hours a day to each dog.

I have made use of the term chien oVarret, which literally means pointer, but is applied in France to all dogs that point their game: it would have been a misnomer, in our sense of the word, to have made use of the term pointer, as we understand by it a particular breed of dog, whereas the chien oVarret of France is almost a nondescript. It is true he points; but he embodies and combines every species of dog, and it is difficult to say to which breed he bears the closest resemblance and affinity—something of the chien griffon, pointer, sheep-dog, setter, and poodle being occasionally discernible. Some few French-gentleman chasseurs, who are particular as to their dogs, have English pointers and setters; but les bourgeois, who form the greater

portion of the French sporting community, possess this mixed race of dog.

To point game is, however, in the chasseur's estimation, a secondary consideration to the fetching and carrying perfectly—as these dogs are valuable for the winter's sport, being used for duck-shooting, and, from being taught with the spike-collar, never refuse water in the coldest weather

The next virtue in the chien $ arret is speed; one, therefore, that can catch a wounded hare by chasing, however long he may be absent, is considered invaluable: hence every dog of this description is taught to chase, especially hares, and 'down charge' is an unknown virtue.

On my first going to France, many years since, having taken up my abode in a part of the country suitable for sporting, I was desirous of purchasing a dog or two, to commence operations. A Frenchman brought me one for trial, which he stated to be a chien d'arret de la premiere qualite. The dog appeared to combine the three breeds of pointer, setter, and sheep-dog, and was very long in the legs; he had been dressS for both Varret et le rapport. We went out into the open country in quest of game, to put the dog's virtues to the test: he worked tolerably well, but I thought him rather slow, and made this remark to the owner. His reply was, 'Attendez un moment, Monsieur,

« ForrigeFortsett »