Dog Breeds of the World
by Freeman Lloyd
Something About Their Development, Origin, and Uses throughout the Ages
(continued from May Issue)
By FREEMAN LLOYD from the American Kennel Club Gazette June 1935. “This will be article one of three published by Freeman Lloyd in 1935. I will post the second next week. These articles have been donated by Don Frames from the scrapbook collection of Gertrude Hooft.”
THE Whippet For Sport and Play” might well be used as a title for a treatise on the diminutive greyhound; a clog which may be used for rabbit hunting and coursing, as well as a gambling medium for racing purposes. Or if we cut out the public tracks or courses, much amusement, recreation, and healthy pastime may be enjoyed on the home meadow where races of 150 to 200 yards might be arranged for an afternoon’s party for dog-loving friends and neighbors.
It has been already written that the whippet makes an excellent dog for the house or apartment. He is of a nice size for the domicile; clean and smart in appearance, while his upkeep in the way of food, does not amount to anything expensive. Moreover, it is seldom a whippet grows into fatness or grossness; his coat is too short to harbor fleas, while his small feet do not carry street or country road dirt that might injure expensive carpets.
It was the affection of a whippet that caused a book to be written on this breed as a racer; a work that has remained the vade mecum for whippet dog racers during the last 40 years!
It was Alice Tatham, a black, 16-pound bitch, whelped in or around Rochdale, England, which gave the idea for a book on whippet racing which proved to be the precursor to the dawn of the era of greyhound racing, which now, seemingly, has taken possession of the earth— from Florida to China; from England to Australia; from east to west; and from north to south. Greyhound racing is now carried on wherever long dogs exist, and wherever sport and speculation remain parts of the recreations and diversions of men; and women, too.
Alice Tatham had been brought to London by John Arthur Tatham, a member of the well-known family of iron masters, of Rochdale, Yorkshire.
THE Tatham sons had a passion for sport, and, in the case of John, a liking for the pen in its sport-writing sense; an inclination to put in print the thoughts and conclusions of a man who had studied horses, dogs, natural history, and much of that musing which develops the brain of the thinker and the naturalist who likes to look upon a dog as something other than a mere creature with four legs, a head, a body, and a tail.
Rather than look upon a dog as a fancy creature, Tatham into a large run some 25 feet wide and 75 feet long.
ADAM and her litter occupy each side of the little house.
Surrounding this house is a broad, wooden porch upon which mother and puppies may sun themselves when the surface of the run is damp.
At the time of my visit, Ch. Nanda von Loheland, a beautiful fawn bitch, was living on one side, and Puma von Loheland, an equally nice brindle bitch, was in the adjoining apartment. Both had puppies, Nanda von Loheland’s being by the great Warrendane show and stud dog, Ch. Jamas von Loheland.
The second of the smaller buildings is a puppy house, 10 x 10 feet, which is used for litters after weaning. It sits in the middle of a large grass run.
Mr. and Mrs. Warren experimented considerably with feeding when they first organized Warrendane, and it took a little time before they settled upon the present daily schedule of feeding. At the present, the grown dogs have two meals a day—a breakfast and a dinner. They have breakfast the first thing in the morning. It consists of oatmeal, raw eggs, and a quart of fresh milk, or twice-baked bread made of either rye or whole wheat flour.
The dinner is the main meal, and it is served about four o’clock in the afternoon. Meat is the principal item on the menu. Each grown dog receives from 3 to 4 pounds of either cooked or raw meat every day, alternately. The shins of beef, cut into cubes, has been found the best for them. Brown rice is used as a filler when the meat is put into the kennel stew, and crackers or shredded wheat also is provided when the meat is fed raw.
Leafy vegetables supply roughage. Spinach and lettuce are favorite vegetables. No root vegetable other than the carrot is fed.
FREQUENTLY tomatoes are put into the stew, and sometimes tomato juice is used. Ch. Jamas von Lobeland has a somewhat special diet, and besides the regular food, every day he gets two extra quarts of milk.
The weaning of puppies starts at the third week. Two Guernsey cows are maintained to provide plenty of rich milk for the youngsters; and at the starting of the weaning process they have two meals. At 11 A.M., they have milk and a raw egg. In the afternoon, they have cooked hamburger and broth. Besides that they receive cod-liver oil, calcium glucanate, and orange juice. Calcium glucanate is to build bone. The number of meals for puppies increases up to the fourth week, when they have five a day. But by the sixth week this has been cut down to four meals, and by the seventh or eighth week they have only three a day.
The Warrendane dogs certainly reflect their excellent feeding and exercising. They seem to be everything that a finely bred Great Dane should be, and are as trim as terriers. The king of them all, of course, is that grand brindle specimen, Ch. Jamas von Loheland, which the Warrens started at the Long Island K. C. show in 1934, shortly after his importation. He went first in limit, and then reserve winners. He duplicated this at the Ladies Kennel Association of America show; and then, beginning with the Ridgewood K. C. show, he began collecting points, going winners and best of winners.
Ar Bryn Mawr and at Devon he went up further to best of breed.
He was winners at Troy. At Lehigh Valley lie went all the way from the would try and find out whether it was instinct or thinking that was responsible for a dog being able to find his way home from a distant part; discovering its route without being able to read the signs on finger posts, or asking for the right road to, let us say: Tatham’s Iron Works at Rochdale, as important in its way as that of Henry Ford at Detroit, is now. So no one could be surprised when “Master Jack” put a good deal of money into the production of the kennel publication, The Canine World, and came to London, to edit that weekly.
WITH the arrival of The Canine World, in the British metropolis, there was launched a whippet racing campaign; a bigger and better dog racing amusement for what was styled “a superior class of people.” On the demise of The Canine World—from the ruins of which sprang The British Fancier, which in turn gave birth to Our Dogs—one of the most successful kennel publications of all time, Mr. Tatham gave the whippet Alice to me, as I had been a columnist and dog show reporter on his staff.
“Lloyd, I want you to accept Alice, all the pictures on the walls, and the books on the library shelves.”
And so it was that the “wreck” of a doggie journalistic enterprise became a ladder on which I was destined to ascend.
Pictures, books, and a beautiful black devil in the form of a show and racing whippet! What more might a Fleet Streeter pray for, save money for rent, cakes and ale!
With the stoppage of a salary that had been regular, and another unexpected collapse of a publication, there was felt a shortage of ready cash: the needful for the household! So sitting at my writing table, looking out of the window, the while striving for a solution of the near- broke problem, Alice Tatham sprang on the desk, licked the face of her new owner, and supplied a suggestion that might bring forth the rent.
“Right O’, Alice ! I’ll draw up a synopsis of a book on whippets, and offer it to Mr. Upcott Gill in The Strand!”
FORTHWITH the headings and -11-. proposed “guts” of 16 chapters were jotted down, and taken to the old office of The Bazaar, and delivered at the business counter. It was at once sent upstairs for Mr. Gill’s inspection and the caller asked to wait. Those were anxious moments !
“Yes,” was the verdict! “Ask him if he wants any money ?”
And so I was advanced the sum of 30 golden sovereigns ($150), and asked to call on the following Monday, to sign a contract that incidentally is drawing a royalty until this day! What is more, the handicapping suggestions, as printed in The Whippet or Race Dog, have, for 40 years, been used throughout Christendom and beyond it.
Alice Tatham, the whippet, provided a nest egg; the books and pictures helped to complete a stock-in- trade: part of the merchandise of a journalist !
The book was a success. It was its powder that set a-travelling, dog racing where dog racing hitherto had not been known.
IN the foregoing chapter of this series on whippets, it was mentioned that straight-away tracks or racing courses were essential for whippet racing. In these go-ahead days, other methods and forms of tracks are being utilized; indeed, my old friend and dog racing enthusiast, Felix Agnus Leser, who, thank goodness, has become hale and hearty after five years of residence at Saranac Lake, in the Adirondacks, New York, informs me that a brand new electric circular track was installed, last year, for whippets at Riviera Beach, Maryland. This, it is believed, is the first time that a public course of the kind has been built, especially for the whippet breed. It is, of course, patterned on the greyhound track with its electric hare; but everything is done on a smaller scale.
William J. Kelley, formerly professional trainer at The Maryland Whippet Club, Baltimore, says that he had little or no trouble training former straight-running dogs for the circular track. In fact, he had serious difficulty only with two dogs out of sixty-odd; and after three or four schooling races, had them going nicely.
This type of racing is the latest idea, and in time is likely to supersede straight-running. Circular racing is much more spectacular, and allows a better and closer view of the dogs at all times. It also has the added advantage of doing away with human runners-up. Many would-be whippet owners have hesitated from taking up the sport on account of the robust exercise it demands.
There is every reason to anticipate that the Marylanders’ innovation in the way of artificial hare or rabbit coursing with whippets will become general, pretty well everywhere.
IT will be what galloway or pony racing is to full-height thoroughbred horseracing, in the Sport of Kings. Moreover, the small dog-racing may be carried on at much less expense when whippets are trained at home, or at least in private quarters.
The racing will be much more open and not so liable to be permeated with questionable practices or procedures, as when all the dogs are trained in the same kennel or under one management. It stands to reason the owners of tracks or their trainers are well-advised as to the merit or otherwise of almost each and every dog, in the club’s aggregation of racers. Consequently, in the important matter of wagering, the “big shots” should be in a position to get inside information, and act accordingly. It is in such instances and under such circumstances, that dog-racing becomes a racket, which in time kills any sport.
As the whippet is a small dog, he may be kept in a small place. Thus the poor man will return to his “racehorse.” It may be predicted we are on the eve of a come back or reorganization of whippet racing; and, for that we have to thank the sportsmen and sportswomen of the state that gave America the Chesapeake Bay retriever dog.
WHILE artificial hare or rabbit whippet racing may be looked upon as new, it will be well to remember it was no other than Phineas T. Barnum who introduced into England, circular or “round-the-arena” whippet running. It was ‘way back in the ’90’s, after the Olympia, London, had just been opened, that the Connecticut Yankee crossed the Atlantic with his greatest show on earth to receive the plaudits of another nation. I was present on the opening night. In the same box sat Mr. Tatham.
IT was a magnificent entertainment with Imre Kiralfy’s “Fall of Rome” as the spectacular event; while the skeleton of the giant elephant, Jumbo’ once the children’s pet at the London Zoo—stood gaunt and grim as a remembrancer that an Indian pachyderm had become among the best known beasts in the Old and the New Worlds.
Later, Frank Perley, the show’s press-agent, introduced the London dog racer to the mighty showman from the Nutmeg state. Barnum was pleased to learn that his form of dog racing was novel to the English people.
Probably not one per cent of that vast audience had before seen a dog of the whippet breed: it was a North of England dog; but it was Barnum who carried coals to Newcastle, and demonstrated to Britishers what their own dogs could and would do in the way of racing in a circle.
There can be little doubt that the “Greatest Show on Earth” suggested dog racing to the Cockney millions, and in a measure popularized a sport among the Westenders, that hitherto had been only practiced and enjoyed by lowlier members of the sporting fraternities of the remote, and it might have been not over respectable, parts of the capital. Here the dog racers were of ten too poor to buy leather straps to be used as dog collars. So they rigged up old-shirt neckbands with the buttons as buckles, to lead their “race horses” to the dismal, low lying tracks on the Essex marshes. There the bookmakers would not turn away your three-penny bit (6 cents) bets.
The March of Time sends us many changes. Great oaks from little acorns grow. The chronicler of today may live to write of the changes—vast changes—of the future. What Barnum did, the Riviera of Maryland is making a thousand times more colorable. The make believe circus act has grown into a hundred times more thrilling actuality!
Although the whippet is a “saint” about the home or house, he is often a very “devil” after being trained to run to a towel, and taken out for a run on a cinder path or grass track. The very sight of a rag excites him. He has not a savage disposition-mind you; but his is an instant inclination to run and fasten on to the fabric.
THIS run-and-grab disposition was in the blood of his greyhound and terrier ancestry. He desires to run after and lay hold of some object that he has become to look upon as a bloodless enemy: something to worry something on which to use his teeth.
Therefore, if the whippet is so dead-in-earnest when he runs after anything that neither smells nor tastes of blood or flesh, what demonical devil he must possess while coursing a good imitation of a “live” hare or rabbit ! If the circular track does not take away from the whippet’s ordinary speed on a straight-away run, then, it is likely a 22-pound dog or bitch will be likely to cover more than 16-17 yards, in 12 seconds of time.
One of the most peculiar traits ever observed in any dog, was in the instance of a wire-haired, red-colored whippet bitch named Beauty. She was owned by an elderly cousin, named John Lloyd Thomas, of Crickmail and Carew Farms, Bosherston, Pembroke, Wales. John, in his younger and wilder days, had seen much of the world; he had been among those who followed the “Forty-Niners” of the California Gold Rush; indeed, he used to love to tell of his experiences in the Sierras, these stories being doubly interesting to his kinsman who had already visited two of the greatest of the world’s gold camps.
Always, as we went to count his flocks of sheep on the downs o’er looking the broad Atlantic, we took Beauty; for, truth to tell, rabbits were almost as plentiful as the guillemots that literally covered the far-famed Eligug Stack Rocks—one of the greatest of onithological sights in Great Britain.
Beauty was not only fast enough to run down and kill a rabbit on her own ground; but she owned a good nose. She could wind a rabbit in its form on the top of a bank or hedge, from a distance of ten or more yards. Walking, and not actively hunting, along the road to Bosherston, Beauty would now and then come to a halt, when she winded or scented the sitting bunny. Instinctively, she would run down the highway, leap through the bars of a gate, and return to where she evidently thought the rabbit would bolt when driven out by her human companion. The game would be likely to break away, cross the field, and find sanctuary in some bury or burrow. But, if the break-away was favorable for Beauty’s purpose, that rabbit’s moments were numbered.
THE strange thing about this bitch was she would play with a rabbit half grown, while she was wickedness itself in the case of an adult. No one may anticipate the size of the rabbit hidden, as it sits in its closely-protected thorn-and-grass concealed form. For all the hunter knows, the object of the dog’s attention might be a seven or nine pound hare. All is game for the net until the animal shows itself.
So it often happened that a young rabbit was driven out by the beater: and the course was on! What, it was wondered, passed through the mind of the red-haired Beauty, as she actually played with the not fully developed rodent; while a full grown rodent was – as a zebra is to a lion – a toothsome meal to be caught and instantly killed!
Did Beauty pity the young and hate the old? Anyway, her concern for the young bunny was so great that she would carry the live, almost uninjured creature to her master or his friend. In the case of an older buck or doe, Beauty, if left alone, would crunch every bone in its body.
It is confessed that this lower animal “psychology,” is beyond my powers to explain, especially after looking up the word and finding that the dictionary -explains “psychology” means “pertaining to the human mind or soul and its operations.”
The question, however, seems to be: does “instinct” suggest to the dog sort that young rabbits be kindly treated and allowed to attain full age and size, before being ruthlessly destroyed?
Here, it may be mentioned, it takes a very smart dog to catch an European wild rabbit on its own ground; and what is more, a fast whippet is more suitable for this short and swift form of coursing, than a dog of the size of a greyhound. The greyhound is too long in the leg, and high off the ground, to always be capable of stooping enough to reach the fleeing rabbit, which, because of its comparative smallness, is much closer to the ground than is the seven pound hare. So the greyhound fails where the whippet succeeds.
To illustrate the different heights of the hare and the rabbit, it may be mentioned that about the first lesson given to the young person while learning to set rabbit snares, is that he place the lower part of the wire off the ground, at a height of the closed fist placed sideways: approximately 3 1/2 inches. For a hare-set, the thumb is held upwards which may give 2 to 3 inches more height off the ground, for the snarer’s silent instrument. Thus, it will be gathered, a greyhound has to stoop 3 inches lower to catch a rabbit than a hare – a performance the long- legged coursing dog often fails to accomplish.
ON the other hand, the whippet, if sufficiently speedy, seldom, in a long course, fails to catch and kill a rabbit.
When the whippet is used for the dastardly pastime of enclosed coursing: a captured wild rabbit being turned down on a strange field, and two dogs slipped at the unfortunate creature, the whippet is called a “snap dog.” The ordinary rules of greyhound coursing do not apply. There are no points allowed for the faster or better dog in the run-up, the wrench, the turn, and go-bye. The one and only point that counts is the “snap” or kill. The winner in a greyhound trial between two dogs, need not be the killer: the verdict goes to the faster and cleverer dog. Snap dog rabbit coursing should be reported to the police or other officers of the law. The pastime is not only unsportsmanlike, but a disgrace to civilization. The rabbit has no chance.
When the black or negroid races of South Africa, first saw the white men’s whippets, they expressed the greatest delight in speech and deportment: they clapped their hands, and jumped off the ground, in their joyousness. In the case of the Zulu, Kafir, and Hottentot, these mannerisms were almost similar, although Zulus, as became the head of the Bantu race, appeared less excited.
Had not their Zulu forefathers dwelled in Egypt of old: a land that had, down through the misty ages, taken great pride in its greyhound-like dogs, as the traveller to the ancient City of Thebes shall bear witness? For there he has seen the sculptures and bas-reliefs—those undestructible pictures in stone which tell their own illustrated tales of how the ancient Egyptians enjoyed the sports of hunting and coursing!
IT is true the Zulus of the ’90s of the last century had, hitherto, not seen the little racing dogs; but they at once anticipated their speed and capabilities.
“Good for catching blue bucks,” they said: the little antelopes the circumferance of tobacco pipe sterns; and the smallest of all the horned and cloven-footed creatures.
The whippets were not big, strong and longwinded enough for running down and holding the next larger antelopes such as the steinbok and duiker, said the Zulus; and those sons of Ham were right! Here was practical knowledge expressed by those noble Ethiopians than whom none may be better informed regarding the more suitable dogs for running down native game. It was their pleasure to give advice to the pale-faces from across the “big rivers.”
If Richard Crosby-Wade had only been with us as an interpreter—for he is a master of the tongues and dialects of the Zulu, Kafir and Bushmen – then, indeed, there surely would have been much interesting and first-hand matter to write about.
As kennelmen, race-track attendants, runners-up, and slippers, the colored natives were successes. They gloried in the sport of dog racing, and when a dog received a flesh cut or suffered from sore feet, these boys gathered herbs growing on the veld, pounded them into a pulp, and with the vegetable paste dressed the injured parts, and healed the wounds. Here was dog- doctoring in the raw.
SOMETIMES, it is thought, I may pay a return visit to Natal so that the proffered and honored services of my old friend, Major Crosby-Wade, the sugar planter near Ifafa Falls, Natal, might be accepted. And with him as interpreter—and a famous judge of terriers at that—what might be learned from his dog and big-game sporting friends, the Zulus in Zululand! For, in the years of his youth, did not Dick Wade supply the famous John Dunn, with greyhounds: and was not Dunn at the right hand of that mighty monarch, King Cetewayo?
What strange and romantic stories might be unearthed and retold for the benefit of a new generation, regarding the young sportsman, John Dunn, who, so impressed the ruler of Africa’s most powerful impis (regiments of warriors), when the white man killed four out of the six lions that passed over a ridge during a hunt that Cetewayo bade him welcome among the Zulu people.
IS Dunn waxed older and richer, the King allowed him to wed 64 lawful wives that gave to the white chief 133 children, 93 of whom are said to be still alive. All of John Dunn’s offspring were educated according to the colonial custom. Moreover, his well built homes had greyhounds as dogs for sport, companions, and “fancy.” The small greyhounds were destroyed. Consequently there did not arrive a race or family of whippets. His natives alone lived in kraals.
Could there have been any wonder that the Zulus who gave the white men’s whippets the “once-over” knew what they were talking about as they classed such dogs as useful for this, that or the other purpose of sport? For the legends and traditions of the blacks may be as trustworthy as the written words of the whites. As we know, the catholicity of coursing dog-ownership is undeniable.
R. C. A. Samuelson in his “Long Long Ago” (Durban, 1829) tells, that in 1879, after Cetewayo had been taken prisoner, he was incarcerated at Capetown Castle, and subsequently at Oude Moulin, Mowbray, a suburb of the capital. At both places, the King’s dogs were maintained as companions. For a part of their diets, the Government allowed and paid for the upkeep of two cows. On the other hand, the fallen monarch’s private attendants, including old-time Zulu nobles and ladies- in- waiting, had to be content with a canned lacteal of the condensed kind.
As foreigners we introduced dog-racing to Africa, and it was in Johannesburg, the famous commercial center of the South African Republic, that the totalizator or pari-mutuel betting or wagering machine was first used in connection with whippet-racing.