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"The Country", Magazine 1876
The Scotch or Rough Haired Greyhound
By Cobsincon


Dogs Of The Day. IV
The Scotch or Rough-haired Greyhound.

This variety of dog is now rarely met with except on some show benches, mixing with his larger brethren the deerhounds, and assuming their name. The popularity and great increase of public coursing seem to have rung his death knell, and, althongh he still exists in out-of-the-way places, he has to a very large extent become absorbed in the more modern smooth-skins, most strains of which have had more or less of the rough blood in their veins. It is now nearly thirty years since I last saw a rough greyhound competing in a coursing match, and he won it. When I say it was in a parish where every one was a courser and that can boast the production of such good greyhounds as Cutty Sark, Scotland Yet, Wigan, Canaradzo, etc, it will be a sufficient guarantee that good stuff was pitted against the big, red lanky dog with hirsute muzzle, whose name I forget, and who, I well remember, had his life closed on the day of hie victory, some undiscovered scoundrel having that night cut his hock sinews, when, of course, he had to be destroyed.

A celebrated public performer was Gilbertfield, a rough brindled dog that flourished forty years ago ; but, although rough himself and the sire of rough dogs that proved themselves good ones, his sire was of tho smooth variety.

The shape of the rough greyhound corresponds closely with that of the deerhound ; but he is not so large and powerful, averaging about 26in. at shoulder against 29in. or 30in. in the deerhound. That both sprang from the same original stock I think there can be ne doubt, the existing difference gradually becoming established by the work to which they were kept and the selections in breeding that would naturally be resorted to mould and modify the animal to the purpose for which he was required.

In most points the rough—or, as it has been called, the wiry-haired—greyhound corresponds with the smooth, except that he is larger boned, not quite so elegant in shape, or perhaps, more correctly, wanting in that beautiful finish that stamps the modern greyhound as the highest effort of man's skill in moulding this plastic animal to his will. The rough, harsh ooat adds to this effect, and the hairy jaws make, the head look coarse ; this, however, it is in reality the head being wider between the ears, which are also apt to be rather large and carried in an ugly manner. From its general resemblance to the deerhound, many specimens have been sold as such, and, being kept as companions and crossed with deerhounds, have swelled the ranks of the latter and helped to deteriorate their size. I believe there is still to be met with in Wales ; also specimens of the rough greyhound. I have no personal knowledge of them; but, from information furnished me, I believe they in all respects correspond with the Scotch, and are no doubt descendants of the dogs that rid the Principality of its wolves.

Cobsincon, March 16 1876

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