Dog-A Word of Warning by Kennel Club rules a puppy attains to the dignity of doghood at the end of twelve months, though the railway companies, sublimely indifferent to sporting considerations, fix this period at the age of six months. A rule that appears somewhat unreasonable, for a toy of six years is surely cheaper to convey than a Great Dane of as many months. Still, so it is, and to be remembered.
A Canine Dietary
By the age of a year, a healthy and well-trained dog should be a valuable acquisition. His owner will still have the pleasure of seeing his beauty develop, especially in the case of the larger breeds, but he should by this time be obedient, clean, and intelligent in his particular business, whatever that may be. If the rules given in the previous article have been observed, as regards food, exercise, and training, he will give but little trouble, for his constitution will be so far established as to render him less liable to that dread scourge, distemper, and to other canine ailments of coat or stomach. It is little known how prevalent is indigestion among highly bred dogs, due, as a rule, to unsuitable feeding. Dogs. like men, have their physical idiosyncrasies, so watch your puppy, and notice what disagrees with him, for indigestion is a fruitful cause of that foe to rough-coated dogs, eczema.
Two meals a day are sufficient for the average dog. Take, as an example, that strong, rough-coated terrier, the Scottie. A biscuit or stale brown bread, with perhaps a little gravy, for breakfast, and a good meal about seven o'clock of meat, biscuit, well-boiled rice, brown bread, and a little gravy are an excellent dietary. House scraps, if devoid of much fat, game, or chicken bones, and such rich foods as pork, pastry, and the like, are good, as well as remains of milk puddings and such simple wholesome fare. In fact, the sort of food that suits a healthy child usually suits a dog. Feeding between meals should be discouraged for the sake of health, and at table for the sake of manners. Nothing is more heartily disliked by one's friends than one's spoilt dog, and few practices tend to ruin a dog's digestion and manner so quickly as feeding between meals.
Water is a dog's best drink when grownup; milk is only suitable for invalids or puppies, with certain exceptions. Do not trouble to keep a piece of rock sulphur in his trough; it is insoluble, and therefore useless. Instead, see that the vessel is immaculately clean-and full!
A whip, with a swivel and a hook at the end, should always be taken out with the dog; if chastisement is necessary, use the whip, but for most slight offences a severe scolding and putting on the lead is sufficient. An intelligent dog should be amenable to the voice entirely. One of his earliest lessons should be to obey the command, "To heel!" Obedience to this order should be enforced at once.
A very important point in the care of a dog of any breed is the choice of his sleeping place. If at all possible, let him sleep in the house. In the first place, he is a more efficient guard, being less liable to the attentions of the burglar. In the second, it is better for him in a climate like ours. But if a kennel is deemed necessary for either night or day, then do your utmost for him. Get it from one of the many firms who make kennels a speciality, and let it be the best you can afford.
The aspect chosen for a kennel should always be looking south; the spot should be sheltered from wind and weather, and the kennel should be raised clear of the ground. Straw, constantly changed, is a good bedding, though many prefer wood-wool. Such dusty substances as sawdust, shavings, or peat-moss are objectionable, as being apt to spoil the coat and produce a littered appearance in the courtyard.
If a dog is chained for part of the day, then be sure to use a stop-link chain, and thus prevent any risk of injury from straining at it. But the chaining of dogs is cruel and barbarous, and to be avoided. For dogs that sleep in the house, too, precautions are necessary. No dogs should sleep in draughts; hence by a door or at the foot of the stairs are unsuitable spots. A dog basket or box is the best place, well out of draughts, and for luxury provided with a piece of old carpet, that can be shaken daily. Delicate toys, of course, need more luxury than hardy terriers, but every dog is worth
Damiana (by Champion Donington) dam of Quorn Riot, winner of
60 first prizes and a championship in one year. The type of a well-bred, healthy dog, alert and in the pink of condition a snug bed. A cotton or linen-covered cushion is best for long-haired varieties, such as Yorkshires or Pomeranians, whose coats require constant attention, and would be apt to be broken if given such rougher bedding as straw. Too hot a bed is bad for any dogs.
Whippets, Italian greyhounds, and other very thin-skinned dogs require bedding more warmly, and often appreciate a coverlet. They should also be provided with clothing, and care taken that this is not removed too suddenly, or a chill may supervene. Bull-terriers, and even bull-dogs, are often clothed. Climate and commonsense will guide owners in this respect how to avoid coddling and yet take reasonable care. For the same reason, dogs that are taken in motors, exposed to strong currents of wind, are equipped, like their owners, with goggles. Whether a dog is benefited by being taken in a motor is another matter. Boots for delicate toys, in wet weather, are often a source of scoffing and amusement; but, again, if such delicate specimens of dog-flesh are thought worth breeding, they must be preserved in health. And, of course, costly carpets are the gainers by the luxury.