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Archive for the ‘working dogs’ Category

Central European retrieving tests require the dogs to retrieve fur, including foxes.

Note that this GSP has not been docked.

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Pavel the West Siberian East Kentucky Laika goes ermine hunting in Alberta:

Source.

You don’t see the ermine, but he’s from old sable hunting stock.

 

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vermont foxhunter and hound

The hound is of a strain that was called the old black and tan foxhound, which was common through the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. It was not a pack hound, but it was used by the fur-taker and market hunter. I believe these dogs are descended heavily from a English hound called a “Southern Hound,” which was primarily used to hunt deer and hares.

The many political crises of the British Isles in the seventeenth century resulted in large numbers of dispossessed people relying upon poached deer as a source of protein, and when things eventually settled down, the forests were depleted of deer. The nobles began to develop their hound packs for the pursuit of the red fox.

And the old Southern hounds found themselves without a job. They simply couldn’t run the fox as well as the true fox hound.

So large numbers of these dogs were sent to the North American colonies, which were full of deer and other game that didn’t need to be run as hard as a fox.

Further, red foxes were uncommon south of New York State until the end of the nineteenth century, and when the red foxes wandered down through the Eastern US, these dogs were used to drive foxes to the gun.

The Vermonters would have had a long time to train and develop foxhounds for gun before the rest of the East got their chance.

This photo comes from Fox Trapping (1906) edited by A.R. Harding, which says that the range for the red fox is from Virginia to Alaska. They’ve since made it as far south as Florida.

***

It is one of the great myths that North American red foxes are derived from English imports that were brought over in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Our red foxes are native but only colonized south of New York State after colonization.

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pavel killed thunderchicken

Dave has had Pavel out “bark-pointing” ruffed grouse in Alberta.

The other dog is Riley, a Swedish vallhund gnome wolf.

Pavel treed two grouse, and Dave shot both.

But one wound up falling into a deep hole where the only thing that could get it would be a little terrier or maybe a ferret.

 

 

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This one was a hunting mastiff from the north of Italy. My guess is the scars come from the dog’s use as a boar catcher. I doubt that the dog is 10 or 12 years old, but it is certainly an older dog. This is probably very similar to the kind of mastiff-type that the Alani would have had.

Source.

 

 

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Hunting Days

This is a pretty good documentary about the foxhunting controversy in the UK.

Source. (Part II is here).

I’m not actually much of an animal rights activist, so some scenes, like where they kill dairy bull calves with a bolt gun to feed the hounds really don’t get me going.

I don’t think this documentary makes the hunt saboteurs look very good. Covering up their faces  like that reminds me of the Shining Path terrorists in Peru.

Or the Klan.

These people have created a cult where the fox is like the sacred cow of India. Don’t ever kill a fox! Fox hunting is dog fighting!

Anyone who has ever seen how dogs, even very nice ones, react to the sight of a fox will tell you that dogs don’t think of foxes as being the same species.

Plus, even if it were two members of the same species, it’s not fighting at all. The fox almost always gets away without a dog laying a fang on it.

But when you have a Labour Party that decided to stab its most hardcore supporters in the back in the 1980’s, then have Tony Blair come in and continue the job as a “socialist” prime minister, the only bone it could throw to its “base” was to come up with convoluted foxhunting ban (which is full of loopholes).

And then St. Tony of the Foxes proceeded to join the Great Texan Liberator into the clusterfuck and outright crime that was the Iraq War.

He was more willing to push for the perceived rights of foxes than for the rights over how many people were killed in Iraq.

And that is the story of how perverse the modern political world is.

The left is left protesting badger culls and signing petitions to save the life of giraffes while the whole damned project of building decent societies based upon social democratic principles is being eviscerated.

If you want to know the big reason I don’t care too much for animal rights activism, it’s because it’s a giant distraction.

And it allows scumbags like Tony Blair to claim to be for progressive ideals while doing the exact opposite.

 

 

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foxhounds john emms 1896

Here’s a little poem by one of the great British houndsmen, Ikey Bell.  (He was actually born in America and became one of the doyens of the modern foxhound in the UK).  It’s good advice for all dog breeders, who call themselves “presevationists” or “breed improvers.”

 

Cherish us for our courage

Instead of for our looks;

Look on us more as comrades,

And less as picture books.

Breed to the strains that serve you

The best throughout the chase;

Remember that your stewardship

Spells trustee to our race.

 

The duty now before you

Is not to mess us up,

And not go running riot

To gain some silver cup.

Condition us and feed us

as care’ly as you know,

So that no fox, however stout,

Can ever make us blow.

 

And don’t distract us Master,

When treading out of line!

Mistake no foxhound’s challenge

For silly puppy’s whine!

Your steaming horse keep from us,

Or we can’t feel the scent;

If to a holloa should you lift,

Show us which way he went.

 

Should roads be rough, or stony,

We’ll pick and choose out tracks;

Don’t let your eager servants

Drive us by their whip-cracks.

Lets lap a drop of water

When we have caught your fox;

And, when grown old in serving you,

Don’t leave us on the rocks.

 

You need but treat us kindly

And we’ll work hard for you.

Much more can we do for you,

Than you could ever do.

We’ll fairly catch your foxes

If you’ll but trust us;

And should we for an instant check,

Don’t fly into a fuss.

 

 

For, if you will but watch us

Until we’re beat at last,

When handle us you have to,

You’ll make a brilliant cast!

Your fame will spread as huntsman,

Your praise will go the rounds;

The reason being that we are

A clinking pack of hounds.

 

 

So don’t think Man’s a hunter!

It’s strictly a hounds game.

Hunters we are by birthright;

You are but one in name.

So if you never cheat us,

And always treat us well,

We’ll hunt your fox from Hanover,

into the depths of H–alifax!

 

 

We’ll fly straight to your halloo!

Or notes upon your horn.

The field will say, By jingo,

The finest huntsman born!

We’ll tell you now our secret

In whispers (not above):

It’s but our way of thanking you,

And shouting you our love.

 

 

 

 

 

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