Page:Descent of Man 1875.djvu/540

This page has been validated.
Part II.
The Descent of Man.

strongly attracted by males of a large size.[1] The well-known veterinary Blaine states[2] that his own female pug became so attached to a spaniel, and a female setter to a cur, that in neither case would they pair with a dog of their own breed until several weeks had elapsed. Two similiar and trustworthy accounts have been given me in regard to a female retriever and a spaniel, both of which became enamoured with terrier-dogs.

Mr. Cupples informs me that he can personally vouch for the accuracy of the following more remarkable case, in which a valuable and wonderfully-intelligent female terrier loved a retriever belonging to a neighbour to such a degree, that she had often to be dragged away from him. After their permanent separation, although repeatedly shewing milk in her teats, she would never acknowledge the courtship of any other dog, and to the regret of her owner never bore puppies. Mr. Cupples also states, that in 1868, a female deerhound in his kennel thrice produced puppies, and on each occasion shewed a marked preference for one of the largest and handsomest, but not the most eager, of four deerhounds living with her, all in the prime of life. Mr. Cupples has observed that the female generally favours a dog whom she has associated with and knows; her shyness and timidity at first incline her against a strange dog. The male, on the contrary, seems rather inclined towards strange females. It appears to be rare when the male refuses any particular female, but Mr. Wright, of Yeldersley House, a great breeder of dogs, informs me that he has known some instances; he cites the case of one of his own deerhounds, who would not take any notice of a particular female mastiff, so that another deerhound had to be employed. It would be superfluous to give, as I could, other instances, and I will only add that Mr. Barr, who has carefully bred many bloodhounds, states that in almost every instance particular individuals of opposite sexes shew a decided preference for each other. Finally, Mr. Cupples, after attending to this subject for another year, has written to me, "I have had full confirmation of my former statement, that dogs in breeding form decided preferences for each other, being often influenced by size, bright colour, and individual characters, as well as by the degree of their previous familiarity."

In regard to horses, Mr. Blenkiron, the greatest breeder of race-horses in the world, informs me that stallions are so frequently capricious in their choice, rejecting one mare and

  1. 'Dogs: their Management,' by E. Mayhew, M.R.C.V.S., 2nd edit. 1864, pp. 187-192.
  2. Quoted by Alex. Walker 'On Intermarriage,' 1838, p. 276; see also p. 244.