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importance of lesson No. 1. On it Dogs, and how to make them good depends the dog's whole future Companions,' a recipe for making career—whether you are to keep a puppy come to heel is given. It him, present him to a friend who is this :will give him a home, or endeavour to sell him. In the latter case, if "Begin by calling the pup to you you are an honest man, you will by saying heel, keep him close behave to describe him as "partly him and say, 'hie on,' giving a forward
hind you for a little while, then pat broken," "only wants work," " will swing of your right arm. Practise make a first-class dog under a good this persistently, preventing him with keeper,” &c., &c., all of which your stick from going in front of you, means that the animal has beaten and calling him up sharply if he lags you and you want to get quit behind. Severe cases may be met by of him. If
, on the contrary, you leading with a strap, but if possible a are successful with him in his first tom your dog to come to heel on your
lead should be dispensed with. Accuslesson, you will be astonished how waving your right arm backwards.” easily you will teach him his second. The very first day you This is dreadfully “happy go have him out — be it on "the lucky.” “Keep him close behind twelfth” or “the first”—he will you for a little while.” “Call him up be all but steady and retrieve his sharply if he lags behind.” If you birds well, and before another can do all this it is simple enough, month is over his head you will the battle's won : but a headstrong have a fairly good retriever. dog would be all over the place; a
Now, how are we to make a dog timid one would probably lie down reliable and steady? The first thing if you called him “sharply"-more towards that desirable result is to especially if you are flourishing a teach him his proper place; and stick about. that, whether on the Queen's high- You will never teach a young way or on the moor, is at your dog anything, except disobedience, heel, or, properly speaking, at by such a course of instruction. your left side, with his head in The dog will not understand, and line with your thigh, and this posi- will not know what is expected of tion he should never leave without him. You must at first keep him permission. He should run when always on the cord, but on no acyou run, stop when you stop, and count allowing him to pull at it. If wheel with you to the right or left he lags behind or gets in front, give as the case may be. In Training him a reminder by jerking the
1“ Are the poor dogs, then, never to have a run ?" I hear some one ask. Most certainly they are. It is of the greatest importance, more especially for young dogs, to have a grand gallop every day; and if you are fortunate enough to have a field, they should be turned out for half an hour, or longer if you can manage it, to enjoy themselves to their heart's content. During this time they should be entirely on the “free list.” To try to enforce discipline is a mistake; and this you should impress on your kennelman, should you be unable to be present yourself. A dog chasing or being chased by his companions, and tumbling over and over in the grass, pays no heed to whistle or word of command, and you should not expect him to do so. When the hour for exercise is over, assert your authority again, watch your opportunity, and call each dog up, put the couples on if young ones are unruly, and march them back to their kennels, as the gentlemen in variegated suits are marched after work to their cells across the shingle at Portland or the dreary waste at Dartmoor.
cord, instantly easing your hand this part of a puppy's education by again and accompanying the action throwing something for him to by the words “Come back "—that fetch, and they are quite pleased is, “ to your proper place." Have if he bounds after it in the most the whip ready in your hand to perfunctory fashion, won't come show him you are in earnest: a near you with it, and finally, after slight crack if your words are not you have entreated and retreated, attended to, or drawing the lash throws it down under the impresacross his forelegs if he threatens sion that, notwithstanding all the to be wild, will be quite sufficient. trouble he has taken, you are When he understands this on a rather displeased with him. The cord, keeps his place and does not verdict of most keepers under such pull at it, free him and try him circumstances would be, "It's no' without it; but on no account let that bad for the first time.” Now, him leave your heel, immediately it is as bad as bad can be. The you do so. Keep on cautioning bim dog has committed two faults, by word and deed, put him on the which, unless promptly eradicated, cord again, occasionally freeing will cause you an endless amount him, and he will soon learn that of trouble. He has gone from you mean him to remain by you your heel without waiting for leave, under either condition. Many and he has failed in bringing the young dogs are spoilt by keepers object “to hand”—that is, right in their anxiety to get game. up to you in his mouth, and keepRather than let one bird or even a ing it there till you take it from wretched rabbit escape, they will him. A puppy, of course, is far slip a dog as if he was a candidate
more eager to go after a ball1 when for the Waterloo Cup, often, by he sees it rolling away, or anything the way, instigated thereto by else when flung away, than when their masters, who, caring for he is checked for a couple of nothing but the bag, shout at minutes. Then he is discouraged, them if there is a moment's delay. and in most instances seems to Under such circumstances neither forget all about it. By adopting keeper nor dog has a chance. On the following method, however, the other hand, by keeping your you will soon get him to take an pupil well in his place, watching a interest in his work, and he will bird struggling in the heather, or learn nothing he has to unlearn. a partridge running, as partridges Put the pupil on the cord, and the only can run, for a fence, you may, object you decide on using in his it is true, occasionally lose your mouth. He will in most cases be quarry altogether, but you will only too eager to take it from you. break your dog properly, and you If he should hesitate, a little perwill be rewarded in the long-run. suasion is all that is required.
And now, having taught your Keep him in his place exactly as pupil his proper place, how are we you have been in the habit of doing to teach him to retrieve? By pur- before you asked him to carry anysuing the same tactics—beginning thing. Take the object from him him on a cord, freeing him after and give it him back. Should he wards. Nearly every one begins drop it, replace it in his mouth,
1 A ball is a bad thing to use ; they are apt to drop it, it runs away from them, and they take to playing with it. Something 10 or 12 inches long, and covered with cloth or leather, is much better.
always putting your hand under dog. Moreover, even if you can the jaw and keeping it there, get it, a bird looks rather mean telling him to “hold it.” Make and dishevelled after rough treathim wheel and turn with you as ment; but rabbits may be rebefore, your great aim being to trieved by two or three dogs, and see that he carries the thing pro- dragged through hedges and across perly, comes right up to you when ditches with impunity. As Tate you tell him to “come on with it” Sullivan said of the "ould famior “fetch it,” and holds it till you lies,” they “keep their looks to the tell him to "give it up."1 The last." lesson should on no account be Whenever the dog gets to where prolonged beyond a few minutes, you know the rabbit is, call to him and the puppy should not be re- or whistle instantly. Do not let warded till he carries the object him linger if you can help it. back to the house, or to his kennel, “Why, you don't give him time to as the case may be ; for he should pick the beast up,” said a friend be made to do this, teaching him to me when we were watching a that what he retrieves is of value trial together.
trial together. "No dog of mine, (Bevan) and is never thrown away. if he gets up to his prey, will The lesson may be varied later on come back without it," was my by throwing the object into thick reply, and back came the dog at a grass or any sort of cover, which gallop. Many sportsmen — and will make the puppy put down good sportsmen too—will not let his head and use his nose, or over their retrievers carry ground-game a fence to see that he holds to it till they are in their second or under more difficult surroundings; third season, believing that it but
your main object at this stage, makes them wild and inclined to as I have just said, is to see that chase. This I never could underhe retrieves quickly and cleanly, stand. If you have confidence in and always "to hand.”
yourself, the more temptation you I generally finish this part of put in the way of a young dog the a puppy's education by making better, and hares and rabbits are him retrieve a rabbit or two. It the very things you require to enlarges his ideas, and gives him a steady him. I am convinced that foretaste of what is to come. Ac- Henry Michie,” if you put him on custom him to carry it first, then his mettle, and he had to work drag it across a field for a con- against time, would take a dog, siderable distance, and let him without a cord, among any numfind it by means of his nose. ber of the quadrupeds in question A rabbit is the best thing to use, in three weeks after the animal had for several reasons: you cannot been intrusted to him. I mean, of get a partridge or pheasant at any course, if it had not been handledtime of the year; but the bunny, and spoilt—by some one previously. like the poor, is always with us, Your pupil is now, let us supand he is particularly odoriferous, pose, perfect in this part of his which is encouraging to a young education. He stays at heel with
1 It is useful to increase the length of the cord and give him more freedom, and eventually, of course, to dispense with it altogether.
2 For fourteen years in the employ of Mr Lloyd Price, and incomparably the best breaker and the most humane I ever saw-master of his work in every detail, careful to a fault, and ready with a reason for everything he does.
out a slip, retrieves without a fault, and off he would bound the minute and does not fear the gun. “The he got leave, understanding the Twelfth " has arrived, and you take whole situation. No. Steadiness him out on active service.
is of more importance, to begin less or over-confident man has now with, than retrieving. Of course an excellent opportunity of undo- you must put the pupil on a cord ing in one short half-hour, or very for the first few lessons. When much less, the work of many weeks. a bird falls walk him up to it, The dog up to date may be nearly cautioning him the whole way; perfect, but he has never had the pick it up yourself and put it in temptation he will be exposed to his mouth, make him follow you to-day. He has never seen a covey with it, keeping him in his place of grouse get up at his feet or a as of old, and giving him great hare bound off in front of him. praise when he does well. The He has never heard shot after shot bird, of course, will be strange to fired in rapid succession, or pos- him, and he may not take hold at sibly been accustomed to any one's first readily, especially if it be company but your own; still I alive; and feeling he has now got repeat that, under a competent hold of something worth carrying, man, he ought to do well the first he may show reluctance to give it day. Ignorant breakers are always up when told: but if you have in a hurry to make their pupils brought him up properly, I will retrieve, and even should the bird undertake to say he will, before he fall within 20 yards, and lie ex- has seen a dozen birds shot, receive posed to view, they send them for them as readily, carry them as it. Do not fall into this error. well, and give them up as freely The use of a retriever, roughly as he did the article he was accusspeaking, is to find birds that you tomed to in his more boyish days. cannot find yourself, and an intel- How soon you may dispense with ligent dog will soon understand the cord and free him depends this. Many a time I have walked entirely on circumstances. Some forward to pick up a bird in the dogs are much more headstrong heather, only to find that it wasn't and excitable than others, and where I thought it was. Either I must be treated accordingly; but had marked the place badly or the one thing is certain, you can never bird had run. " Where is it, my be too careful with a young one. man? I can't find it," I would If you have more guns out than say to the dog. “Let me try,” he usual, and anticipate more firing, would reply with eyes and tail, or if in cover-shooting you are sent
1 I have a young bitch just now, a very dashing and persevering worker, and steady beyond almost anything I have seen in so young a dog. When a bird falls she is so far from running in that she turns round at once and stands looking up in my face asking for permission to go. In that position she will remain as long as you like till she gets the word ; then, reversing herself on her own axis, she is off like the wind. She has also a beautiful mouth, and used, when "at walk," to retrieve the ducks incautiously straying from the burn-side, very much at first to the indignation, but eventually to the amusement, of the proprietor,and I am almost inclined to think of the ducks. One bird, to my certain knowledge, was retrieved three times, and when released from a somewhat embarrassing position would give herself a good shake and walk off, “no'a preen the waur," with that graceful gait which is the distinguishing characteristic of this domestic fowl.
a funk which, in nine cases out of tisement means anything, it means ten, is permanent. How to make presumably to satisfy those who him come to heel or to his proper look upon the failing as place is treated of later on; and how hereditary taint latent in the to handle him so as to put him at canine race -a taint of a most once beyond the possibility of being mysterious nature, ready to break “gun-shy” is of vital importance. out with complications at any
A gun-shy dog, it goes without time, like the influenza, and consaying, is useless to a sportsman. clude that “Rab and his friends” The very mention of the word -I mean Bang, Rex, and Co.carries consternation with it. The having had many attacks, have wretched animal proved to be outgrown the disease, and are not suffering from this vice, or disease, likely to have any more. "Shiror whatever you please to call it, ley's dogs often turn out gun-shy,” is straightway doomed to destruc- said a friend to me when we were tion; and were he the handsomest one day conversing on things and best-tempered dog in the ken- canine. Now, no dogs “turn nel, the sentence is ruthlessly out” gun-shy, whether they becarried out without loss of time; long to Mr Shirley or to any one and so apprehensive are the pur- else; they are made gun-shy by chasing public of being "let in," the ignorance and imbecility of that advertisements akin to the the keeper or breaker to whom following, which appeared in the they are intrusted for their edu' Field' quite recently, are occasion- cation. A gunshy dog is simply ally met with. Condensed it runs a timid dog mismanaged in breakfollows: “ Messrs Warner,
ing. The same dog would almost Sheppard, & Wade will sell to a certainty be a whip-shy dog,
Bang,''Rex,'' Don,'” &c., naming or an umbrella-suddenly-opened-inseven pointers. “All are steady his-face-shy dog, to make rather a and reliable dogs, and have been long adjective of it.
Say that heavily shot over. * Box,' a first- two or three puppies were playing rate no-slip retriever, All above in a farmyard, and a pack of are warranted not gun-shy.” What hounds came suddenly through, would be thought, I wonder, of an the servants cracking their whips advertisement describing a hunter after the stragglers like pistolas “a very fine fencer and tem- shots, what would the puppies do? perate, suitable for an elderly Bolt, every man of them-one to gentleman, has been broken." Yet the stable, another to the byre, the latter advertisement is no more another among the ducks and ridiculous than the former. How geese. One, however, it might dogs that are afraid of the gun can be, would stand his ground longer be described as heavily shot over than the rest. Say, on the other and perfect no-slip retrievers passes hand, that the hounds were passmy comprehension. If the adver- ing some fields away, with the
1 “Goad, I wudna wonder if he's rinnin' the sheep," I once overheard a Lowland keeper remark, whose dog had unaccountably disappeared ; and “rinnin' " them he was with a vengeance, being about three-quarters of a mile away with a lot of “Cheviots" in front of him; and this man had had the dog under his charge from puppyhood in a country where there was little else than sheep!
2 When I advertised recently two puppies for sale, six weeks old, an individual wrote to ask if I would guarantee them not gun-shy !