The New Student's Reference Work/Dog


Dog, a domestic animal found among all peoples, civilized and uncivilized. Dogs were domesticated before historic times, the first animal domesticated by man. The dog was the only animal the North American Indians had tamed before the coming of white men. Their remains are found with those of man of the stone-age. The Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and earlier peoples all had dogs. It is likely that they are descended from wolves and jackals, but they were tamed so long ago that the parentage of the dog is uncertain. The dogs of uncivilized tribes are still close to the wild state, but the dogs themselves become civilized in association with a higher grade of people. There now are many varieties, adapted to different purposes, that have been produced by breeding. The chief races of dogs are the wolf-dogs, the hounds, the spaniels, the mastiffs and the terriers. The lowest of the wolf-dogs are those of the Esquimaux, being little more than partly-tamed wolves, while the shepherd-dogs, which belong to the same race, are the most intelligent of all the breeds of dogs. The Scotch collie is one of the best of the sheep-dogs. The Newfoundland and the Great St. Bernard are usually classed with the wolf-dogs. The former seem to be descended from the wolf-dogs of Labrador, and, as their name implies, were imported from Newfoundland. They are expert swimmers, and have saved many children from drowning. The St. Bernards are large, powerful animals. They are kept by the monks of the monastery of St. Bernard, situated on one of the Alpine passes between Switzerland and Italy, and are trained to rescue travelers lost in the snow. By their keen scent they are able to find those that are lost and by loud barking attract the attention of the monks. The hounds make a large group. The bloodhound, a large, powerful animal, with a remarkably keen scent, is now rare, It was used to track criminals and to pursue fugitive warriors. It is said that Robert Bruce escaped from bloodhounds by walking a long distance in a stream of water, and then pulling himself out by an overhanging branch, thus breaking the scent. They were also used by the Spaniards in the conquer of Mexico and Peru. Those that were used in the south in the pursuit of runaway slaves were different from the Old World variety in having shorter ears and a more pointed nose.

The Siberian bloodhound is the dog called the Great Dane, and is now often seen as an imported variety in various parts of the United States. The staghound was a large, fleet animal, slimmer than the bloodhound. It was used in the chase of deer, but is rare now, as the stags of the forests of the Old World have become rare. The foxhound has taken the place of the staghound in England as a dog of the chase. Although smaller, by careful breeding it has reached a high degree of strength and swiftness. The harehound is smaller still, and is used in hare and rabbit hunting. The pointer is supposed to be descended from an old Spanish breed of the hound. It has been trained to stand, and point with its nose, when game is scented, and it, above all others, is the sportsman’s dog. The ungainly dachshund, with its long body and short, crooked legs, is the German badger-dog. The greyhound stands in a class by itself and is not a true hound. The Irish and English varieties differ as to the quality of their hair. They hunt by sight, and have almost lost the power of scent. They are very slender and noted for speed. The spaniels make another race of dogs. Among them are the common spaniel, the water-spaniel and the setter. These are hunting-dogs, and the group also includes various fancy-pets. The mastiffs form still another race. They have a short broad nose, an enormous head with powerful jaws and a heavy body. The color of the common mastiff is usually buff. It is now used chiefly as a watch-dog, and is rarely met with in its pure form. The bull-dog and the pug belong to the mastiff race. The former is the fiercest of the domestic dogs. It has a thick bullet-head and a scowling expression of the eyes. It is smaller than the mastiff, but very compactly built, and its color is usually brindled or black and white. It is the most brutal of the dogs, and when once its teeth are set it can scarcely be made to let go. The pug presents the appearance of a bull-dog on a small scale, but is timid and good-tempered. The terrier is one of the oldest dogs of Great Britain. It is a bold, active, intelligent little fellow, ordinarily of a black and tan color, with short hair, and is very successful in catching rats and other small animals. Other varieties are the Scotch terrier, the fox-terrier, the Skye terrier, the Irish terrier and the Airedale terrier. The bull-terrier is a cross between the terrier and the bull-dog.

In Belgium the dog acts as the poor man’s horse; singly, in pairs, by threes and fours, they are harnessed to carts, and often made to draw very heavy loads. In Alaska and parts of the far north the sledge-dog is a creature of prime importance; since the Klondike excitement every school-child has become familiar with the “huskies,” without whose aid gold-seeker and explorer would be sadly handicapped. These dogs show marvelous endurance, and are able to draw light loads with great speed. The typical Eskimo dog very closely resembles the gray wolf in appearance, and is a mixture of good and bad qualities; both cowardly and courageous; is an irredeemable thief as regards food, but can abstain for a long time. He seems to take great pride in being of service, and in the sledge-train carries himself as if proud of his task. These dogs do not bark or bay like the civilized dog, their utterance being the wolf-howl.

The character of the dog as a pet might well be dwelt on; its faithfulness, unselfish devotion, courage, endurance, intelligence and docility. Though a favorite household associate, few know how to treat this companion and playfellow; as a rule it is overfed, and is neglected in the matter of cleanliness, Hodge in Nature Study and Life proffers this brief advice: “For an adult dog one meal a day, given in the evening, is generally better than two or three. It should consist of dog-biscuit or the coarser table-scraps, bread-crusts, brown bread, oatmeal, bones with not too much meat and vegetables. In severe weather or with much exercise in the open air a dog needs to be fed oftener and to have more food. The best indication as to whether the feeding is proper is the condition of the animal. He should be neither lean nor fat, but sleek. One should be able to take up a handful of soft, loose skin anywhere on the dog’s body. A gnawing-bone is the dog’s tooth-brush, and he should be kept well-supplied at all times, both for business and amusement. Too much meat and a lack of cleanliness are apt to give rise to offensive odors, the ‘doggy’ smell of animals not properly cared for. Fleas are the great burden of a dog’s life. To kill every flea on a dog it is necessary only to lather him completely with some mild, clean soap, let it stay on for two or three minutes, then rinse in clean water or let the dog take a swim.” See American Kennel and Sporting Dogs, by Bruges; Watson’s Dog-Book; and The Dog in History and Folk-lore (in Sketches and Studies by R. J. King).


DOGS—Plate I

NSRW Dogs 1.jpg

1 German Shepherd Dog   2 Scotch Collie   3 Spitz Dog   4 Doberman’s Terrier   5 Airedale Terrier   6 Irish Terrier   7 Poodle   8, 9  Smooth Haired and Shagged Pinchers   10 Dwarf Spitz   11 Maltese Dog

NSRW Dogs 2.jpg

12 German Bulldog   13 Mastiff   14a Shorthaired   14b Long Haired St. Bernard   15 Newfoundland   16 Bull Terrier   17 English Bulldog   18 French Dwarf Bulldog   19 Pug Dog


DOGS—Plate II

NSRW Dogs 3.jpg

1 Greyhound   2 Russian Hound   3 Scotch Hound   4 Fox Hound   5 Fox Terrier   6 and 7 Short and Longhaired Dachshund   8 Spaniel

NSRW Dogs 4.jpg

9 Bloodhound   10 Bloodhound   11 Pointer   12 Irish Setter   13 English Setter   14, 15 and 16 Short haired, Wirehaired and Longhaired Setters