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MR. FRED. BOTTOMLEY and MR. CLEMENT HODGSON are both satisfied with the type of to-day. The former considers greyhound classes at shows would be much better patronised if there were more running classes, though he admits that entries have very much improved lately, and there was a record entry at Richmond, where Mr. Bottomley judged. Mr. Hodgson is in favour of a specialist club being started, which, he thinks, would tend to greatly improve the breed, and popularise it from the show-bench point of view. He considers them the truest and most faithful dogs.
In my humble experience of the breed I can testify to the courage as well as to the devoted affection of the greyhound, for the very pluckiest dog I ever had was of this variety. In a “bobbery” or scratch pack, which I kept in India for jackal coursing, amongst many divers canine elements was a gaunt brindle and white greyhound, born of parents imported from England, and, as the freight of a dog is 65, the parents must have been presumably worth more than their passage money. Chris (short for Christmas) was his name, and when I bought him to add speed to my pack I conceived he would not be up to the mark of tackling a jackal, so I purchased a Rampur hound, a much heavier animal, and altogether stronger and more savage. But Chris, as soon as he had been entered to the sport, proved himself by far the best dog of the two, and Billy, the Rampur, always yielded him the go-by when they were approaching their quarry. I should be sorry to say how many jackals Chris assisted in killing, doing the major part of the work, and on several occasions I have known him sally forth, when his keen eyes detected something from my verandah, to have a hunt on his own account, and kill a jackal to his own cheek. Amongst many plucky feats which he accomplished the finest was a battle royal with a huge jungle cat, a young leopard in miniature, which he
followed into a small cave or hole, where he had no room to turn, and fought in the dark, Billy standing respectfully at the entrance and encouraging him. Wild cats in many he killed his proboscis was chronically swollen, so that his muzzle often looked more like a Great Dane's than a greyhound's, from the effects of these maulings in the face from poisonous fangs and claws; but no bull terrier could have tackled the cat in the cave more valiantly than he did, and I have never known a more remarkable deed performed by a non-fighting dog. His devotion was equal to his enterprise ; he would follow me out snipe-shooting, though he hated wetting his feet, and I have seen him go into water after a wounded duck. The quaintest exhibition he ever made of himself was in a clumsy attempt to climb a tree after a squirrel ; he got halfway up, and stuck, and set to work howling to be helped up! When other sport failed he would do a bit of mousing, or kill a scorpion or two—a trick many dogs learn in India, who crack them with their teeth, their lips tucked back, as neatly as may be. Unfortunately in the district I resided in there were no wolves, but from the big dog-jackals he manfully overcame I make no manner of doubt Chris would have had a go at a wolf. Whether he would have come out of it victor I cannot say, but this I can say—he would never have funked. It is years since I had him, but his memory is green, and I often find myself recalling his feats. He developed his sense of smell amongst other things, and would frequently put up game for me out shooting which he tracked to cover by scent alone.
There are many descriptions or Standards of Points of the greyhound, which may differ a little in a detail here or a detail there, but lay down the same general
rules. One of the most succinct is the famous one of Wynkyn de Werde, printer and poet, written in 1496, and certainly more quoted than any other dog description has ever been :
Headed lyke a snake,
And chyned lyke a bream. A greyhound conforming to this description would be considered a good one to-day. But in order to amplify it I append the fullest Standard of Points of the several I have compared :
STANDARD OF POINTS OF THE GREYHOUND HEAD.-Should be long and narrow, slightly widening at the back; low between the eyes ; not cut away, however, or “dished,” along the nose. Jaw lean and full-muscled.
EYES. - Bright, quick, full, and denoting animation.
Ears.—Small, and carried close, folded back ; semi-prick when in animation.
Teeth.—White, strong, level, and of sufficient length to take and retain a firm hold.
Neck.–Length and pliability are of the greatest importance. A short neck will not only impede action but pace as well. It should be slightly arched, well muscled, but not enough to affect its flexibility and suppleness.
CHEST.-Should be deep and hatchet-shaped, and yet not too wide for the shoulders to play smoothly upon. It must have capacity to hold heart and lungs, and as width undoubtedly interferes with the movement and action of the forequarters, in depth only can the heart and lungs get free action.
Back.-Should be broad and square, well arched, with a roll of muscle standing clear above each side of the spine. The length of the back between the shoulder and last rib should be rather more than between last rib and hip bone. The loins should not only be wide and strong but deep, with good measurement around.
Tail.—Should be fine, long, tapering, and nicely curved ; never ringed ; not too coarse, though it may be heavy at the butt.
FOREQUARTERS.-Elbows straight, neither turned in nor out; the distance from the elbow to the knee should not be less than double the distance from knee to ground. Shoulders should be oblique, to allow the legs to be well thrust forward. Shoulders muscular, without being over. developed or loaded. Strong pastern joints, well stood upon.
Feet.-Compact, rather round than long ; perfectly straight knuckles, well up; toes close, with long claws; soles thick and tough.
HINDQUARTERS.—Should be strong and wide across; the stifle well bent ; legs set straight, with no tendency to cow-hock, medium well apart, and short from hock to ground, with plenty of strength below the hock. Muscles hard and firm, and unless they are large and powerful in haunches and thighs, both speed and endurance will be lacking. The hind feet should not be too round, nor toes too upright.
COLOUR.—Brindle, black, fawn, red, slate, blue, and these colours interspersed with white; coat should be neither coarse nor fine, but carry a good gloss. Point VALUES
Head and eyes
Total . . 100 Weight varies from 40 to 70 lbs., though well-known specimens have been known both under and over these limits.
I have selected for illustration the show-bench champion dog Pterodactyl, and Ch. True Token.
Ch. Pterodactyl, the property of Mr. Clement Hodgson, was bred by Captain Johnson, by Jim Crow out of Laughing Water, and was whelped in March 1895. He stands 28 inches at shoulder, weighs 68 lbs., and is a black dog, with white breast and two white hind feet. His owner describes him as a fine upstanding hound, with strong, muscular body and limbs, built to go over rough country and for great staying power ; wonderful round fore limbs, the very best of cat feet, low hocks, good length of tail, deep brisket, arched loins, and well tucked-up flank. Eyes dark brown, teeth perfectly level and well fitting, and nose black. He has won seven championships, and about 350 prizes of all sorts, and has sired some good whelps. He has also won several courses, but his fame in the field has been eclipsed by his triumphs on the show-bench.
Ch. True Token, the property of Mr. Harding Cox, was bred by Mr. Tom Wright, by Penigant out of Brilliant Betty. She was a brindle bitch, weighing 61 lbs. Her owner describes her as a most remarkable greyhound, combining great merit in the
coursing field with almost ideal show-bench form, and only once led to her hare (after having been run to a standstill in the previous course). She was not only very fast, but could stay for ever. Only she was a bad killer. She won the Peterborough Cup and the All-aged Stakes at the Newmarket champion meeting, as well as other important trophies. Her symmetry was lovely, and her quality wonderful. Exception has been taken to her flat ribs; but to this she owed her great turn of speed, for she had tremendous depth through the brisket, wonderful staying powers, and lovely Aush shoulders. She was very seldom exhibited on the show-bench, but easily gained her championship title, Unfortunately she was not a breeder, and has left no progeny behind her.