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My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind,
So flew'd, so sanded; and their heads are hung
With eares that sweep away the morning dew;
Crook-kneed, and dew-lapp'd like Thessalian bulls;
Slow in pursuit, but match'd in mouth like bells,
Each under each. A cry more tuneable
Was never hallowed to, nor cheer'd with horn,
In Crete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly:
Judge, when you hear.

A Midsummer Night's Dream.

HE bloodhound, formerly called the sleuth-hound (from the word slouth, probably meaning scent), slow or slough hound (as he frequently pursued over bogs or sloughs), limier or lime-hound (so called because he was often led in a leathern thong), is the most ancient breed of hounds in England; and although the favorite of the painter, and universally admired for his majestic and dignified appearance and for his associations with the old-time romances in which he took such an exciting part, and which have been celebrated so frequently in song and prose, he is not common even in England, and is perhaps less understood than any other of

the canine race.

Until comparatively recent times these hounds were only to be found in the kennels of the nobility, and even now well-bred bloodhounds are in the hands of very few breeders, and are all closely related.

Jesse says the earliest mention of bloodhounds was in the reign of Henry III. The breed originated from the talbot, which was brought over by William the Conqueror, and seems to have been very similar to the St. Hubert, a breed from St. Hubert's Abbey in Ardennes, which, according to the old legends, was imported by St. Hubert from the south of Gaul about the sixth century. The talbot was the popular hound from the twelfth to the sixteenth century, but became extinct about the end of the last century. The southern hound, another very old breed showing many characteristics of the bloodhound, is very difficult to find now in his pure state, although many of our old packs of harriers are descended chiefly from him. The best authorities agree that the St. Hubert, talbot, and bloodhound are all very closely allied.

Many writers assert that all our English breeds of hounds are descended from the bloodhound; but I am not aware that any attempt has been made to prove this, and must regard

these statements as conjectural. At the same time I do not know that any one can trace our other breeds of hounds to any other source than the bloodhound or talbot, and certainly this conjecture seems a very probable one.

One of the most careful and best informed authorities on hound lore, who contributes to "Baily's Magazine" under the signature of "N.," contends that the foxhound is not descended from the bloodhound, but is a hound of pure race, indigenous; or, if not indigenous, that probably his ancestors were brought back by the crusaders, as Xenophon describes a Grecian hound that is very similar. The same writer warns us not to accept the statements of those who assume

that when fox-hunting became a really national sport, some 150 years ago, the dog now known as carry it out, instead of being already in existence, and, as I may say, only waiting to be put to that special use.

the foxhound had to be manufactured in order to

The old English bloodhound is quite different, both in appearance and disposition, from the Cuban bloodhound of slave-hunting notoriety. An authority says:

used in tracing the Indians of Cuba were the same We are not of opinion that the dogs which were with the bloodhound here alluded to. The dogs of South America were undoubtedly introduced by Columbus from Spain; and, if we mistake not, the Cuban dogs were of such a make and shape as would be produced between the mastiff and pointer, both of which breeds were common to Spain. The British bloodhound is more of an indigenous nature, of sagaces and celeres, or sagacious and swift-footed, originally cultivated from a mixture of olden races whereas the Cuban dogs were, in all probability, rived from an intermixture between the pugnaces, or dogs of war, and celeres.


Bloodhounds were originally used for tracking wounded game, and afterwards in the pursuit of outlaws.

"The Actis and Deidis of Wallace," by Blind Harry the Minstrel, who is believed to have written about 1470, contains a description of a pursuit of that chief made with the assistance of a bloodhound; and a bloodhound plays an important part in the poem of Barbour's, written in the fourteenth century, which recites how Sir Aymer de Valence and John of Lorn assembled a large force to attack the Bruce.

In Nicholson and Burns, "History of the

Antiquities of Westmoreland and Cumberland," published 1777, we find that

slough dogs were for pursuing offenders through the sloughs, mosses, and bogs that were not passable but by those that were acquainted with the various and intricate by-paths and turnings. These offenders were peculiarly styled moss-troopers: and the dogs were commonly called bloodhounds, which were kept in use till within the memory of many of our fathers.

And all along the pursuit of "hot trod" (flagrante delicto), with red hand (as the Scots term it), was by hound and horn and voice.

At a still later time bloodhounds were used for the capture of sheep-stealers and others, and a tax was often levied for their maintenance for this purpose.

It is only in very old writings that we find talbots, or white bloodhounds, mentioned. The "thick, round head" Somerville describes would certainly not be admired now, and I believe was never an accurate description of the bloodhound. A long, narrow, peaked head is indicative of great scenting powers, and large flews and dewlap of a deep, mellow voice.

The bloodhound has a much more delicate nose than any other known breed of hound, and can puzzle out a cold scent under the most adverse conditions. He is remarkable for adhering to the scent of the animal on which he is laid. Some years since a pack of staghounds was kept in Derbyshire, and it was no infrequent occurrence for the hunted deer to take refuge among a herd in some park. In this case the pack was whipped off and a couple of bloodhounds laid on, who stuck to the hunted deer until they got him clear of the herd, when the pack was again laid on.

The bloodhound is easily entered to hunt anything, and with a strong scent will sometimes absolutely sit down on his haunches for a few seconds and throw tongue in sheer delight. The note is very deep, mellow, and prolonged, and may be heard for miles. The bay, or "singing," of a kennel of bloodhounds just before feeding or exercising is most melodious. The bloodhound was originally so slow that in border warfare he was taken up and carried on horseback for a time when the pursuers came to soft ground, where the trail was visible. If the horse of that period was faster than the bloodhound, the latter must indeed have been slow.

Lord Wolverton owned a pack of bloodhounds a few years ago with which he hunted turned-out deer in Dorsetshire and the Blackmoor Vale. He finally gave them up, and Lord Carrington brought them to hunt in Buckinghamshire, but only kept them a season, as he either had not the key to Lord Wolverton's

management, or the country was not so suitable for them. In 1881 the greater part of this pack was sold to Count le Couteulx de Canteleu, who has kept a number of pure English bloodhounds for many years, and used them with others crossed between the bloodhound and some of the old French breeds, hunting deer and wild boar.

Count le Couteulx told me that he found the pure bloodhound very suitable for this purpose, except that he is often not so courageous as is desirable for boar-hunting. He showed me the head of a boar which was brought to bay in the middle of a forest and killed eight hounds before the horseman could get up to perform the happy dispatch.

Some years since Mr. Selby Lowndes hunted outlying deer in Whaddon Chase with a small pack of bloodhounds, and sometimes hunted deer-stealers and sheep-stealers with them also, to the great discomfiture of these outlaws. An old man now living who used to hunt with these hounds relates that a hound called Gamester was the most reliable man-hunter they had, and that on one occasion when hunting a sheepstealer, the man had gone away from his cottage some considerable distance to an old shed or cow byre, where he had literally buried himself in the manure which had been allowed to accumulate there; but the dog found him at once, and he was forced to come out from his hiding-place.

Mr. Lowndes bought Gamester out of a higgler's cart which he was drawing (although quite a puppy), giving £10 for him. Soon afterwards he refused £100 for the hound. The old servant referred to above stated that Gamester was so powerful that he could take up a horse's head, such as a man could only lift with some little difficulty, and leap on his high bed with it. He would hunt a buck through all his travels in the night and find him the next day.

Until a comparatively short time since, each keeper in the New Forest was required to keep a couple of bloodhounds on his walk. They called them talbots, and one keeper named Primer, on the Boldrewood walk, used to boast that he had had the breed in his family for more than three hundred years.

Some forty to fifty years ago Mr. Thomas Nevil of Chillend, New Winchester, procured one or two couples of these hounds from Primer, and from them originated a small pack which is deserving of a separate article. These hounds were described as being much like our present bloodhounds, but somewhat lighter in build, although Random, one of the finest hounds Mr. Nevil bred, is said to have been so high that he could walk round a high dining-room table and with his forefeet on the ground help

himself to anything he liked. Mr. Nevil took a fancy to have them all as nearly black as he could, marked like black-and-tan terriers, in fact,—and so they were at his death. He always destroyed the lighter-colored puppies. Mr. Nichols, one of our most noted bloodhound breeders, obtained a hound called Countess from Mr. Nevil about 1876, and the cross was so successful that there is scarcely a bloodhound living to-day that has not some of this blood in his veins; and through Mr. Nevil's fancy for this color, which had become so emphasized in his pack, the general color of our bloodhounds is much darker than formerly.

Speaking of Mr. Nevil's black St. Huberts, a writer in "Baily's Magazine" says:

They were the descendants of that pack of which William Rufus was master. They were certainly splendid-looking hounds when we saw them, and their deep bay was a grand thing to hear. Mr. Nevil hunted everything with them, from the wild jackal and the lordly stag to the water-rat and "such small deer." . . In the summer time, when the St. Huberts were taking holidays, no better sport could be imagined, said Mr. Nevil, than a run with a fine water-rat; and the earnestness with which he described to us a "run" of this sort, and the wonderful behavior of the St. Huberts under rather trying circumstances, was most amusing. He had trained his hounds to hunt the stags he kept in a paddock adjoining his house, and to trot home together side by side, the hunters and the hunted, after the stag had been taken. We have mentioned a jackal — an animal that lay on the rug like a collie dog, and was quite willing to be hunted by the St. Huberts and return to his rug after the hunt was over; but his chief loves were the stags. He had taught them to come to his call and feed out of his hand. He had taught the hounds that hunted them one day to be their companions the next, while the jackal went in and out as an occasional visitor.

There is not now any established pack of bloodhounds in England. Mackenzie's "History of Northumberland," published at Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1811, gives the following account of a pack of partly bred bloodhounds:

SPITTLE HILL, PARISH OF MILFORD. The late William Bullock, Esq., of this place, was a keen and skillful sportsman, and kept a small but choice and valuable pack of hounds. So excellently were they trained that, like sleuth-dogs of the borderers, they could trace out a thief through all his turnings and windings. Whenever a hen-roost was robbed, geese killed, or other depredation committed by reynard in the neighborhood, Mr. Bullock was applied to and seldom failed to exterminate the nocturnal robber. At one time a most extraordinary instance occurred of the quality of two of his hounds. He threw off his pack in a covert near this place when beating the bushes, a fox was unkenneled on the flank of the near hounds. They doubled upon him with their usual eagerness, and

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after a spirited chase lost his track; but the two leading hounds were missing, and they neither came up at the voice of the huntsman nor the sound of bugle. The fox took towards Rothbury Forest, where he was seen followed by the hounds. Here it would appear he was headed off, when he directed his course to a stronghold on Simonside Hill, from whence, being still pursued, he ran northward and crossed the Coquet at crag-end, where he expected to find an asylum. Being again disappointed, he made towards Thrunton Crag, where he was equally unsuccessful. He then stretched across the country towards Cheviot. A shepherd on the skirts of that mountain in the evening heard the cry of hounds in the distance, and shortly after saw a fox coming towards him at a slow pace, and two hounds a few yards behind, running abreast and alternately chanting in a feeble key. The man confined his cur and stood stationary till they came up to the fox, which they tumbled down and fell upon but were unable to worry. The spectator then sprang to the spot, took reynard by the brush and pulled him forward in order to dispatch him, but he was already at the point of expiring. As soon as the hounds were a little recovered, he gave them some pieces of bread, and then conveying them to his cottage entertained them with the best viands his cupboard could afford. He had them called at Wooler market and the neighboring churches, but no person claimed them. They continued under his hospitable roof until Mr. Bullock accidentally heard of their place of residence, when he instantly recovered his two favorites and liberally rewarded their kind host. The zigzag course they had run in the chase was computed at upwards of seventy miles, and, what is remarkable, the fox seemed perfectly acquainted with all the strongholds in this passage. The writer has often heard these anecdotes repeated in this part of the country, where he resided for some time."

In "Boyle's Life and Works," by T. Birch, 1772, I find the following remarks "On the Strange Subtilty of Effluviums":

A person of quality, to whom I am nearly allied, related to me that to make a trial whether a young bloodhound was well instructed (or, as the huntsmen call it, made), he caused one of his servants, who had not killed or so much as touched any of his deer, to walk to a country town four miles off,

and then to a market town three miles distant from thence; which done, this nobleman did, a competent while after, put the bloodhound upon the scent of the man, and caused him to be followed by a servant or two, the master himself thinking it also fit to go after them to see the event; which was that the dog, without ever seeing the man he was to pursue, followed him by the scent to the abovementioned places, notwithstanding the multitude of market people that went along in the same way, and of travelers that had occasion to cross it; and when the bloodhound came to the chief market town, he passed through the streets without taking notice of any of the people there, and left not till he had gone to the house where the man he sought rested himself, and found him in an upper room, to the wonder of those that followed him. The par

ticulars of this narrative the nobleman's wife, a person of great veracity, that happened to be with him when the trial was made, confirmed to me.

When we consider the marvelous attributes of the bloodhound, it is difficult to understand how it could possibly have gone almost out of use, as it evidently did. Probably this decadence began when he was no longer required in border warfare. For some reason he gradually ceased to be used as a limier, and the. pursuit of criminals by means of bloodhounds was entirely given up long before the public learned to regard the new police, established in 1829, as their natural protectors. As a matter of course the breed became very scarce, and was only kept up by old families who were loath to part from their ancient traditions, or who had deer parks and used bloodhounds for tracking wounded deer. Fortunately, dog shows came to the rescue, or the breed would probably have by this time become extinct.

I fear that dog shows and their attendant changes of fashion have done an immense amount of harm to some of our most useful breeds; but luckily the bloodhound has been estimated most highly for his best and most characteristic qualities, and the long, narrow, peaked head, always associated with special scenting powers, and the long ears and immense dewlap, indicative of voice, are much more common now than ever before. The chief alteration has been in the lines denoting speed, and we now have a very much faster hound than in the moss-trooping days; in fact, many bloodhounds are quite as fast as average foxhounds. They have seldom been hunted in packs, and it would take generations of careful breeding and handling to make them suitable for English fox-hunting.

Nothing but the foxhound would work with a mob of perhaps 200 or 300 horsemen crashing behind him, and then trot home gayly after 10 or 12 hours of hard work. The huntsman of a pack of foxhounds has to lift them constantly and often guesses his fox to death, but the bloodhound would not stand this treatment. He likes to work out a scent carefully and cast himself, and will not brook much interference. No doubt he might be modified in this respect if it were thought desirable to do so; but it must be remembered that for generations many of our most experienced men have spared neither time, trouble, nor money in the perfection of our foxhound, and for his particular work it would seem scarcely possible to produce a more suitable hound. Probably out of 100 foxhound puppies bred annually at Belvoir Castle all but about 20 are drafted, and out of these 20 one-half are not bred from again; and this kind of care ful selection has been going on all over England

for nearly a century. I should think that for every bloodhound reared in England there are five hundred foxhounds; and of course foxhounds have had the advantage of being bred for work, which has not latterly been the case with bloodhounds. We have, however, been intensifying the type and formation indicative of the special properties inherent in him, and I am satisfied that with a reasonable amount of careful training we may obtain much more wonderful results in the tracking of criminals than have ever been attained before. We have now few hounds trained to hunt the "clean boot,"i. e., merely the natural scent of a man through his boots,-and the very few bloodhound owners who attempt anything of this kind do not devote sufficient time to the pursuit to bring their hounds to even a moderate degree of excellence.

I am convinced that the time has now come when we may hope to see this matter taken up in a thoroughly intelligent manner; and if this is done, we shall, in a very few years, be quite unable to understand why the bloodhound was ever allowed to fall into disuse for this purpose. Each succeeding generation of trained hounds must become much more proficient than the last one; and when they have come into general use the deterrent effect on crime will be incalculable. Such detectives would be incapable of accepting a bribe, and would often discover criminals when other means could only end in failure.

At the Warwick dog show of 1886 some bloodhound trials were attempted in the castle park. Seven hounds were entered, but unfortunately several of them had evidently never been trained, and the courses run were made much too short for any real test of the capabilities of the hounds. Still three of them ran the line very accurately, although they had not been trained at all until about two months before the trials.

Some few years ago the idea of the use of bloodhounds for detective purposes was mooted in the daily papers, and the howl of horror at the barbarity of such a proceeding that it raised from the uninformed was most amusing to those who know the tractability of the bloodhound. He was associated with the tales of slave-hunting in "Uncle Tom's Cabin " and "Dred," and was supposed to be a ferocious monster, endowed with witch-like attributes, and capable of pursuing his victim successfully under any conditions until caught, when he would certainly tear him limb from limb.

The horrible murders committed in the East End of London last year and the complete failure of the police to trace the perpetrator of these outrages were the means of calling attention once more to the qualifications of

this old-time detective. The daily papers were filled with letters advocating his use; but, from the thoroughly impracticable nature of many of these epistles, I fear that the change in public opinion was due more to a strong desire for vengeance on an exceptionally loathsome miscreant than to increased knowledge of the disposition of the bloodhound. At one time the police received about 1200 letters daily containing various suggestions, and of these some


police authorities and various representatives of the press, and sufficiently demonstrated the facts that the hounds will run a man who is a complete stranger to them, that when they have come up to their man they will not molest him in any way, and that although the line may be crossed by others they will not change. While in London I never ran them without the line of the hunted man being crossed (often by quite a number of people),

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400 proposed the use of bloodhounds. Some of the newspaper correspondents seemed to believe that the police had only to take a bloodhound of any kind to the place where a murder had been committed weeks or months before, and the animal would at once scent out the trail of the murderer in preference to thousands of others and infallibly run the man down.

In the beginning of October I was consulted by Sir Charles Warren, then the Chief Commissioner of Metropolitan Police, as to the feasibility of employing bloodhounds to track the Whitechapel murderer, and after some correspondence I took two hounds up to London to experiment with. We ran them repeatedly in the parks for the information of 1 The engravings in this article were drawn by

R. H. Moore from dogs owned by the author.

but the hounds never once changed. They could carry the line across and for a short way along the gravel paths in the parks, but the experiments made on the London stones could not be considered as satisfactory as we should have wished. Hunting the clean boot on a London pavement is, I believe, the most severe test that any hound can be put to, and will of course require special and careful training.

I think I know every breeder of bloodhounds in England, and am not aware that this has ever been attempted before. I have not the least doubt that an intelligent, patient trainer, with wellbred hounds, can surmount these difficulties. At present I believe that no one does more training to hunt the clean boot than myself, but I am unable to give my hounds one-tenth of the work necessary to show really first-rate results.

One method of training advocated is to rub with blood the boots of the man who runs for the hounds, and to discontinue this gradually as the hounds

become more expert. This is a very bad system. It is quite easy to enter bloodhounds without any artificial aid of this kind, and it is much more difficult to get them to run a man after they have become accustomed to a stronger scent. I consider that hounds work better when entered to one particular scent and kept to that only, and I never allow my hounds to hunt anything but the clean boot. I begin to take my pups to exercise on the roads when three or four months old, and a very short time suffices to get them under good command. You can begin scarcely too early to teach pups to hunt the clean boot. For the first few times I find it best to let them run some one they know; afterwards it does not matter how often the runner is changed. He should caress and make much of the pups and then let them see him start, but get out of

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