In the following pages an endeavour has been made to summarise the progress, and describe the Sporting varieties of the dog as they are at present known, and, I believe, appreciated, in the British Isles. Without losing any of the early history, my wish has been to introduce matter bringing the subject up to date; not only so far as the work of hounds and other dogs in the field is concerned, but as they are as companions, and when wanning, or attempting to win, prizes in the show ring.

One or two new features have been introduced, or rather revived, the most important change being in connection with Mr. Wardle's illustrations. With three exceptions these are not portraits, although originally drawn from living examples. They are to be taken as typical specimens of the various breeds they represent. The reasons for this departure from modern custom will be obvious; and no doubt, for future reference, such pictures must be more useful than any portraits of individual dogs could be - dogs whose prominence before the public is more or less ephemeral.

The exceptions are the drawings of the Greyhounds, Welsh hounds, and Kerry Beagles. For the former, the extraordinary work of "Master M'Grath" and "Fullerton," could not be passed over; besides, they form an admirable example of two greyhounds, totally different in make and shape, equally good in the field. This is the first occasion upon which illustrations of Kerry Beagles and Welsh hounds have been published in a work of this kind. The drawing of the former is taken from a photograph kindly lent me by Mr. Clement Ryan, of Emly House, Tipperary, and is, I believe, quite successful in conveying an idea of what a Kerry Beagle is like. The Welsh hounds are portraits of specimens in the kennels of Mr. E. Buckley, of Milford Hall, Newtown, N. Wales, and of the Hon. H. C. Wynn, of Rug, Corwen, N. Wales.

Following the precedent of other writers, a point scale is included in the description of each variety of dog. This is done, not with an idea that mere figures are of the slightest use in proving the excellence, or otherwise, of any animal, but because some readers, accustomed to such tables, might think the book somewhat incomplete without them.

I thank all who assisted in providing subjects for illustration and in giving valuable information that could not have been obtained except from owners who have made particular varieties of the dog a special study. To them I dedicate this work, as a slight return for their kindness and the interest they have taken in its publication.


Brixton. London, May, 1897.