Dog, or Cams, L. a genus of animals supposed to be originally natives of China, and consisting of more than thirty species, of which that most generally known is the familiaris, or domestic dog : this again produces several varieties.— See Blood-hound, Mastiff, Hound,Spaniel, Grey-hound, Terrier, etc.
Dogs are remarkable for their great docility, fidelity, and affection for their master. These useful creatures guard our houses, gardens, and cattle, with spirit and vigilance. By their assistance we are enabled to take both beasts and birds, and also to pursue game through the waters as well as over land ; nay, the Norwegians render them also useful in fishing. In general, they live to the age of fourteen or fifteen years, and seldom survive twenty: the female breeds during the first year, and produces from six to twelve puppies, after a gestation of about nine weeks. Those of a small size bring-forth five, four, and sometimes only two. The whelps are generally Wind, and cannot open their eyes • till the tenth or twelfth day. In the fourth month, they lose some of their teeth, which are soon succeeded by others.
The dog is an animal of quick motion, and remarkable for travelling long journies. He easily follows his master, whether on foot or on horse-back, for a whole day ; and, when fatigued, does not sweat, but lolls out his tongue. It is peculiar to dogs, before they lie down, to run about in a circular direction, with a view to discover the most proper situation for rest. They sleep little, frequently starting, and seem to hear with more acuteness, than while awake.
Dogs possess the sense of smelling in a very high degree. They can trace their master by the smell of his feet in a church, or in the streets of a populous city. In a savage state they are of a fierce, cruel, and voracious disposition ; but when civilized, and accustomed to live in the society of men, they acquire every endearing quality. Gentle, obedient, submissive, and faithful, they appear to have no other desire than to serve and protect their master. - These qualifications, added to then-very great sagacity, justly claim the esteem of mankind. Accordingly, no animal is so much caressed or respected : in short, dogs are so tractable and so much disposed to please, that they assume the . very air and temper of the family to which they belong.
With regard to the qualities of dogs, those reared in Britain are generally considered superior to the dogs bred in any foreign climate. Other nations of Europe uni-formly acknowledge their superiority, by adopting English terms and names, while they thankfully receive the creatures as presents. It is remarkable, however, that almost every kind of British dogs greatly loses its excell nee in foreign countries; and that no art whatever can prevent this degeneracy.
Proper management of dogs.— As these are, at all times, very valuable animals, it is matter of some importance to take care of their health. This depends much on their diet and lodging : the frequent cleaning of their kennels, and giving them fresh straw for their couch, are highly necessary ; or, during the summer, deal-shavings may be substituted for straw, as the former will prevent the breeding of fleas. If they be rubbed with chalk, and brushed and combed once or twice a week,. they will thrive much better: the chalk will clear their skin from all greasiness, and they will be less liable to the disorder called the mange.
Dogs are of a very hot nature ;; hence they should always be provided with clean water, that they may drink when thirsty. with respect to food, carrion is by no means proper for them, as it must hurt their sense of smelling, in which their excellence in a great measure consists. Barley-meal, the dross or grossest part of wheaten flour, or both mixed together with broth or skimmed milk, afford very wholsesome nourishment.— On account of the sanguine constitution of these animals, the greatest relief to them in summer is Couch-grass, or Dog's-grass, to which we refer. Tose who keep a complete kennel of dogs, should purposely cultivate this plant, in a place into which they may be turned every morning : here they will eagerly eat it, to relieve the disorder to which they are subject, and thus to cure the uncommon heat of their blood.
These animals are liable to va-rious disease; of which we shall mention only the following :
1. Bites and stings. If dogs are bitten by any venomous reptiles, such as snakes, vipers, etc. the blood should be squeezed out, and the part washed with salt and urine: a plaster composed of ca-lamint, pounded in a mortar, and mixed with turpentine and yellow wax. till it acquire the consistence of a salve, should then be applied to the wound. A draught, consisting of an ounce of treacle dissolved in wine, if given to the animal affected, will greatly contribute to its recovery.
2. Mange, to which we refer.
3. Poison. If there be reason to suspect that A dog is poisoned with nux vomica (which is often employed for that purpose by warren-ers, and causes convulsive fits), the most effectual remedy is to make him swallow, without loss of time, a considerable quantity of common salt, dissolved in the smallest proportion of water : this simple remedy may be administered by opening his mouth, and placing a stick across, to prevent him from shutting it, while his throat is filled with the solution. Thus, by holding his mouth upwards, a sufficient dose may be introduced, both to purge and vomit him. As soon as the stomach is properly cleared by a free passage downward, some ' warm broth should be frequently given to relieve his extreme faint-ness, which otherwise might prove fatal.
4. Worms; a disorder, with which young dogs in particular are very frequently troubled. All bitter substances are so offensive and nauseous to worms, that they are often voided in consequence of the animals taking two or three common doses of aloes, in the course of a week. Should this remedy fail, an ounce of the powder of tin, mixed up with butter, may be given in three portions, which generally destroys the worms, together with their seed.
5. Coughs and Colds. Dogs are very subject to a cough, attended with extraordinary paroxysms of choaking, which is often the consequence of a cold. In this case, it will be necessary to bleed the animal affected, in small quantities; but if the disorder proceed from what is called the distemper in dogs, and they anpeaf to be very low in spirits, blood-letting must not be attempted. Meat-broth, or milk-broth warmed, should then be the principal part of their diet, and the following medicine administered: lake flour of sulphur, cold drawn linseed oil, and salt-petre, of each one ounce; let them be well mixed together, and divided into four doses; one of which is to be taken every other day. Meanwhile, the creature affected should be furnished with plenty of elean straw to lie upon, an i likewise swallow, at least, one spoonful of honey every -day.
6. The scab, or itch, though a rare disease in dogs, is sometimes very obstinate : it may, however, be easily cured by an ointment made of hogs lard and sulphur, with which a part of the back of the animal should be rubbed every day, and the application gradually extended, till the whole back, from head to tail, and at length all the affected parts, have been anointed. Thus, the requisite portion of sulphur, which is a specific in those cases, will be introduced into the system, both by absorption, and the constant licking of the diseased creature.
7. Madness. See Bite and Hydrophobia.