Irish Wolfhound Times
(Irish Wolfhound Database and Breed Information Exchange)
THE DEARHOUND. By WATTLEBABK.
(The Australian (Melbourne) March 1910)
Of all varieties of the bound, each in its particular way having its merits and beauty, there are none that for grace ' and symmetry outvie the Scottish deerhound. This hound comes from an ancient race. Mr. E. Weston Bell, in his book, "The Scottish Deerhound," quotes extensively on that subject, both from modern and ancient writings, and that well-known authority concludes his comments on the-breed as follows:-After careful consideration and research. I am inclined to favour the theory that the present stock of the deerhound is descended from a family of its own, lost in remote ages, and the earliest records we have are the models of the ancient Egyptians, and that by slow degrees this family spread westward as civilisation advanced and the various divisions of'the wild places of the country became peopled, and after a lapse of centuries arrived in our sister island, and were known there by the name of Irish wolf hounds, or wolf dogs. From this point only can we come to any definite conclusion regarding the deerhound's ancestry.
In reviewing the position of the deer hound to-day, Mr. Bell gives the approx mate area of the Scottish deer forests at 2,550,000 acres. He sent a circular to 67 of the foresters, and obtained from them 64 replies. It appeared from the replies that only in three of the 64 forests were deerhounds used in their legitimate occupation, but in all cases tracking dogs were kept, which were crosses of collie, retriever, and deerhound.
Mr. Bell by, in his book of the "Dog in Australasia" , traces the history of the deer hound in these colonies, and mentions that Messrs. J. Robertson, D. Svtae, W. Kenneally, W. D. Robertson, W. J. Murray (Warrnambool), A. Watson, J. Mac Meikan, M. Cecil Davies, and Southwell were instrumental in importing or breeding or both, the deerhound in Australia, Mr. Davies was-and I suppose still is-an enthusiast of the breed, and imported some fine animals, including that beautiful bitch Newton Spey. That bitch was a great winner here, and her blood is found in the more prominent winners of to-day.
Southwell, mentioned above, was a dealer in dogs, and has been known about Melbourne for many years. I think I have known of him for quite 40. I remember that in those times I had little knowledge of canine values, my idea for any dog running to something under xx pound. At the same time, I was anxious to buy a dog, and mentioned the matter to Southwell, who suggested a deerhound pup. That seemed all right, so I mildly broached the subject of -price. "Ah!" said Southwell, "these, hounds run into figures." Almost blushingly-for I could blush in those days-1 suggested that he mention the price. "Well. do you know what those pair of hounds are worth to me?" pointing to a pair of deerhounds that were lying near the kerbstone, searching for fleas. I re plied that I did not know, but was anxious to learn. "Well," said Southwell, "I would not take a penny less for that pair than twelve hundred pounds." This announcement had a remarkable effect upon me, and the shock it gave me I have scarcely yet got over.
Amongst other breeders in the sister States may be mentioned Messrs. F. .Fewjings (Sydney), R. Chriptieon (Hughenden), I J. M'Oonnell (Crossbrook); all of these fanciers being importers.
Deerhounds have been kept to type by their legitimate work. Here in Australia they have proved most successful in the old days in running down the dingo and kangaroo. Now they are used for foxes, which abound in Australia, thanks to some dunderhead who imported them in the interests of "sport." In the old days a cross of the deerhound wjth the greyhound was very popular, They were termed kangaroo cross, following the deerhoumd was an active, handsome fellow, and used to give good sport to bushmen in following on horseback' the kangaroo. The illustration is from the "Field."
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