Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

worry. The first time old Myall was ever shown, soon after he arrived from Australia, was at Cruft's some years ago. He got a nasty bite through the fore foot from an elkhound in the ring. This was attended to by Mr. Cawdle, and each morning when Mr. Cawdle approached the kennel he was in, this wild dog put his paw out for him to examine. At that time I lived three miles from the nearest station, and as Myall refused to walk (on account of his paw) I ordered a cab to meet me at the station. However, it failed to turn up, and no other vehicle being available, I started to walk, carrying Myall on my shoulder, and leading a bulldog. About two and a half miles on the road Myall spied a sheep stuck in the hedge, and jumped down and made for it. After this he evidently realised that it was no good shamming to be lame, and went on all right. Only I wished the sheep had occurred earlier in the walk ! Myall was an excellent worker with ferrets. His son, Chelsworth Myall, will also work with ferrets, and is a grand watch-dog and personal protector. He is, however, sometimes uncomfortably ferocious, his mother, Macquarie Belle, having been an absolutely untamable bitch, and when he has a bad-tempered fit on, he will go for anything, no matter what it is."

THE ELKHOUND

From several interesting letters from Lady Cathcart I glean the following particulars :—"My Norwegian elkdog Jäger comes from Swedish Lapland, just on the borders of Norway, which is the best district for the true, pure-bred hunting-elk and bear-dogs. They are rare, and the natives very loth to part with them, and

are now exceedingly expensive to purchase in their native land. When bred in and in, in this country, the breed deteriorates and gets smaller. Under present quarantine regulations it is difficult to import the new blood that is so urgently needed. There have been no regularly defined points laid down for this breed by the Kennel Club, but Sir Reginald Cathcart, who has had a very large experience of them hunting in Norway, says the best specimens are dark-grey, occasionally with tan points ; very straight legs; round, cat-like feet; dense, thick, furry coats ; face like a fox; prick ears ; very keen eyes; tail twisted tightly, and sometimes carrying a double twist. The elk-dog is a most attractive pet. Although so wild by instinct and nature he becomes most devoted and docile towards his owners. In their own country the dogs are used entirely for sporting purposes, for tracking elk and bear, and have nothing to do with the dogs which are used in the Norwegian farms for cattle and sheep. In this country they might be made useful for tracking deer, for they have wonderful noses. Also extraordinary powers of endurance. In one instance Sir R. Cathcart went with a single dog after a wounded bear; the dog followed it for twenty-four hours, when the bear tried to cross a river and was drowned. These dogs when hunting have been known to wind reindeer four miles off. Even in their comparatively tame state in England they are inveterate hunters whenever they get a chance. It is a great pity they are not more widely known and recognised, but they are so few and far between, and the difficulties of importing them so great, that the many people who take a fancy to them cannot indulge it. The natives of Norway ask large prices for the purebred animals; in fact, for a dog really entered to bear and elk they cannot be tempted with any price. The dogs' coats are impervious to rain, and in Norway they often sleep in the snow.”

Some very fine benches of elkhounds have been seen at some of our English shows, and on occasions separate classes have been given for them. Lady Cathcart has generally carried off the leading prizes with the splendid and unique team she exhibits. Mr. A. W. Hicks-Beach is another exhibitor of this variety.

Jäger, the subject of my illustration, was bred by Mr. S. Hanson, by Pil ex Polka, and born in May 1896. He is a darkgrey in colour, stands 20 inches at shoulder, and weighs 50 lbs. Lady Cathcart describes him as having “dark, large, keen, brown eyes ; ears carried erect ; tail in a tight double twist, very thick and furry, like a fox's brush; dense, thick coat ; stands very straight on his legs. A keen sporting dog, but a charming and devoted pet, most faithful to his owner. He is considered by all judges to be the most typical elkhound in the breed. He has won twenty-five first prizes, and is the sire of several winning sons and daughters."

THE PERSIAN GREYHOUND

I am indebted to Mr. H. C. Brooke for the interesting illustration of the Persian greyhound, Persian Arrow, which I am able to publish. He describes the breed as one of the most graceful of all sporting dogs, as well as one of the most ancient, having existed before most of our modern breeds were dreamt of, and being probably the original greyhound. It is certain that the greyhounds sculptured on the monuments of Egypt are a fringe-eared species, and the Afghan and Grecian greyhound both have this distinctive feature. Mr. Brooke goes on to say that “the Persian greyhound is certainly of eastern origin. The several varieties of eastern greyhounds differ chiefly in coat; thus that of the Afghan dog is far more profuse than that of the Persian, and it is more cruel and savage in disposition ; getting

[graphic][subsumed][merged small][ocr errors][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« ForrigeFortsett »