Irish Wolfhound Times
(Irish Wolfhound Database and Breed Information Exchange)


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The Gentleman's Recreation: In Four Parts, Nicholas Cox, John Manwood - 1721
Including Notes on Hounds and Wolfdogs



Of Dogs In General Page 19

As there is no Country in the World wherein there is not plenty of Dogs, so no Animal can boast of greater Variety both in Shape and Kind. , Some Dogs are very great, as the Wolfdog, which is shaped like a Greyhound, but by much taller, longer, and thicker; some are for the Buck others for the Boar, Bear, and Bull; some for the Hare, Coney, and Hedgehog and some are both for Water and Land, and they are called Spaniels, other are called Lurchers, Tumblers,. Brachers, Beagles, etc. As for Shepherds Dogs, foisting cubs, such whom some fond Ladies make their daily, and nightly companions too, I shall pass over, being neither worthy to be inserted into this Subject, not agreeable thereunto: Wherefore I shall only treat of such whose Natures do incline them to Game, for Man's Pastime and Recreations

Of the Gaze-Hound Page 26

This Dog is little beholding in Hunting to his Nose or Smelling, but of Sharpness to Sight altogether, by the Virtue whereof it makes excellent sport with the Fox and Hare. This Dog will chase and separate from amongst a great Flock or Herd, and such a one will it take by Election, as is not lank or lean, but full, fat, and round. If a Beast be wounded, and go astray, this Dog will seek after it by the stedfastness of the Eye; if it happen to return, and be mingled with the residue of the Herd, this Dog will soon spy it out, leaving the rest untouched and after he hath set sure Sight upon it, he separateth it from the Company; and having so done, never ceaseth till he hath wearied it to Death. This Dog is called in Latin agasaeus, because the Beams of the Sight are so steadfastly settled, and unmoveably fastened. These Dogs are much used in the Northern Parts of England, much more than in the Southern; and ,on Champaign Ground, rather than in bushy and woody Places: Horsemen use them more than Footmen.

If it happen so at any Time that this Dog take a strong way, the Master making some usual Sign and hand token, he returneth forthwith, and taketh a right and ready course, beginneth his Chase afresh, with a clear voice, and a swift foot, followeth the (xxxx ocr error) with as much courage and nimbleness as he did.

Of the Grey-Hound Page 26

The first among the diverse kinds of hunting Dogs, the GreyHound, by reason of his swiftness, strength, and sagacity to follow and pursue his game, deserveth the first place, for such are the conditions of this Dog, as a Philosopher observeth, that he is reasonably scented to find our, speedy and quick of foot to follow, and fierce and strong to take and overcome: and yet silent, coming upon his Prey at unawares, according to the Observation of Grotius.

Sic Canis ilia fitos taciturna supervenit bostes.

The best Grey-Hound hath a long body, strong, and reasonably great, not so big as the Wolf-Dog in Ireland; a neat sharp Head, and splendent eyes, a long mouth; and sharp teeth , little Ears, and thin gristles in them; a straight neck, and a broad and strong breast, his fore Legs straight and short, his hinder legs long and straight; broad shoulders, round ribs, fleshy buttocks, but not fat , long tail, strong, and full of Sinews. Thus Nemejian eloquently describes the best of Grey. Hounds:

Sit rigidis, multamq; geratsub petlore Lito,
Qua pnjtm rursus Jiccast colligat alvo:
Cuiq; ninth molles fluitent in curjthus Anns,
EUge tune cur/u facilent, facilemq; recurfu,
Dun suferant vires, dum Uto jlort juventus.


The Grey-hounds which are most in request among the Germans, are called Windspil, alluding to compare their swiftness to the wind; but the French make most account of those that are bred in the mountains of Dalmatia, or in any other mountains, especially of Turkey; for such have hard feet, long ears, and bristle Tails.

The Grey-hound (called by the Latins Leporatius ) hath his Name from the Word Gre, which Word soundeih Gradm in Latin, in English Degree; because among all Dogs, these- are the most Principal, having the chiefest place, and being simply and absolutely the best of the gentle kind of Hounds.

Other Hounds Page 34

Now for Hounds, the West Country, Cheshire, and Lancashire, with other wood-land and mountainous countries, breed our slow hounds which is a large great Dog, tall and heavy.. Worcester, Bedfordshire, and many well mixed soils, where the Champaign and avert are of equal Largeness, produce a middle-sized Dog, of a more nimble Composure than the former. Lastly, The North Parts, as Yorkshire, Cumberland, Northumberland, and many other plain Champaign Countries, breed the light, nimble, swift, slender, Fleet Hound. We train up most excellent Grey hounds ( which seem to have been brought hither by the Galls ) in our open Champaigns. All these Dogs have deserved to be famous in adjacent and remote countries, whither they are sent for great Rarities, and ambitiously sought for by their Lords and Princes; although only the fighting Dogs seem to have been known to the ancient Authors; and perhaps in that age, hunting was not so much cultivated by our country men.

The Marks of a good and fair Hound Page 36

His Head ought to be of a middle proportion, rather long than round; his Nostrils wide; his ears large; his back bowed; the fillets great; the Hauches large ; the thighs well trusted; the ham straight; the tail big near the Reins, and the rest slender to the end ; the Leg big at the sole of the foot dry, and formed like a fox's, with the claws great.

Reference to the Wolfdog Page 46

Although we have no wolves in England at this present, yet it is certain, that heretofore we had Routs of them, as they have to this very day in Ireland; and in that country are bred a race of Grey hounds, (which are commonly called Wolf-Dogs) which are strong, fleet, and bear a natural enmity to the Wolf. Now in these the Grey-hounds of that Nation, there is an incredible force and boldness, so that they are in great estimation, and much sought after in foreign parts, so that the King of Poland makes use of them in his hunting of great beasts by force. Wherefore it may well be intended of the great fierceness which these Dogs have in assaulting, that when the Romans saw them play, they thought them so wonderful violent, as that they must needs have been ferreis caveis advetti, brought up in Iron Dens.

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