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Educated dogs of to-day 1916 By Kate Sanborn,
(Deerhound by Dr. Q. Van Hummel)


Writing in The American Book of the Dog, Mr. Harry Malcolm, president of the American Gordon Setter Club and a most enthusiastic admirer of this breed, relates a remarkable instance of the hunting instinct in a Gordon puppy. When first shown in England about 1860, the Gordon setter attracted general attention but was denounced by some as a cur and a mongrel, partly because of the large size of the dog but chiefly because the opposition had no previous acquaintance with the breed. To disprove such claims, a Mr. Pearce had a Gordon puppy brought up where it could not possibly see game. When at the age of nine or ten months this dog saw game for the first time, he "not only beat his ground in fine style, but at the end of a few hour's work began to stand his birds as only a well-bred pointer or setter will do, without any artificial education of any kind."

An equally remarkable instance of a hunting dog's memory, this time in the case of a Scotch deerhound, is told by Dr. Q. Van Hummel, who states that in his opinion this breed surpasses any other in memory with the possible exception of the greyhound. "I have sold old dogs," he says, "and have not seen them for two years, and without seeing me they would at once recognize my whistle when they heard it and would come bounding to me in a perfect ecstasy of delight." The instance mentioned occurred while he was coursing deer with his two Scotch deerhounds Bevis and Leda.

"The ease with which the deerhound may be educated to do a certain part of any sport is remarkable," he writes. "In a portion of the Pocono Mountains north of the Blue Ridge, deer were at that time plentiful. Much of the country is very rough, and it was impossible for the deerhounds to catch a deer that was not wounded; so we used to take a pair of slow trail-hounds to drive the deer into and across the valleys, and would then take the deerhounds into the valleys to sight the deer as they came out. The second time we went there with our dogs was in November, 1856. We arrived about daylight, and our trail-dogs struck a track and gave tongue before we had our team unhitched from the wagon. While we were putting out the team the deerhounds got away from us, and we supposed they had followed the yelping trail-hounds. We ran to the valley below, some half mile away, as fast as we could, knowing that the game would cross there. When we got within sight of the runway, to our great astonishment we found Bevis and Leda at their posts eager for a sight of the game.

"When I say that on our previous hunt, one month earlier, we had kept collar and leash on these dogs and that they caught on that hunt but two deer at this point, the remarkable sagacity of the deerhound may be realized. Had the foxhounds started a trail in the Blue Ridge Mountains the deerhounds would have gone with them to catch the fox; but not so here. They had been here once on different business and so well did they remember it that they immediately sped to their posts of duty."

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