Thomas Thacker.

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other ; and as the seed is from the blood and the organs in each generation,
the offspring takes the shape and appearance of the parents, one offspring
resembling the father, while others resemble the mother, which may
arise from a variety of causes, and particularly as to one being in a better
state of health than the other at the time the offspring was generated ;
thus one offspring will take after one ancestor, and another offspring from
the same parents take after another ancestor.



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54 BREEDING.

his attention to them soon after ; since that time a multitude of
authors have undertaken their examination. Amongst them,
Hewsoui Dumasi and Prevost ; who all agree in the main facts*
They have found globules in the blood of all animals. To ascer-
tain this, it suffices to put a little drop of blood upon a plate of
glass, taking care to spread it gently witliout crushing. Upon the
edges are always found insulated globules, easy to be observed
and measured. The blood globules move with such a velocity,
that when an experiment commences, the observer suffers at first
a species of vertigo ; but immediately tlie circulation becomes
slower, the capillary vessels present merely a tranquil current,
and the globules seeqi to drag themselves with effort in the
fluid which floats them along ; they creep into the little vascular
ramifications, lengthen themselves if the space be too narrow for
them, and remain often caught in those strainers to the moment
when the successive efforts of those which follow them are enabled
to make them free the obstacle. Sometimes they happen to meet
with a sudden shock from the obstacle presented by the narrow
space which separates the two vessels ; one would then tliink for
a moment they beheld a floating, very flexible bladder, which
drove, by its centre of gravity, against whatever obstacle was
opposed to its course. Like it, tlie globule stops and moulds
itself upon the body which obstructs its passage ; the current of
fluid continues to propel it in the same direction, but it oscillates
during a long time, uncertain whetlier it shall pass into tlie vessel
opening on its right, or into that upon its left. They are of a
different diameter in different animalsJ"

It does not, however, appear, that the diameter of the globule
is in any way proportionate to the size of the animal; it is
circular, and of a flattened form. In fowls, the globules are
generally oblong. Prevost and Dumas have formed a table of
dimensions by which they appear to have measured the diameters
of the globules with great nicety, of which I need not give full
particulars of all animals in the five figures of decimals, parts of
a French millimetre, and that as many figures of decimal parts
of an English inch. The man, dog, and rabbit, are classed
together, and are about as 2 to 1.85 of the ass. The ass as 1.85
to 1.5 of die horse, and 1.37 of the deer and chamois, which is



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BREEDING. 55

quite sufficient to show that there is a material difference in the
size of the globules of different animals without that difference
being anj way dependent on the size and bulk of the animals
themselves.

It must, therefore, be obvious, that such a multitude of glo-
bules which are seen obstructed in their passage through those
narrow spaces, of which there is also a multiplicity, must tend
to impede the circulation of the blood in any animal, and that where
the globules are larger in one animal than in another, the circulation
of his blood when propeUed by gallopping must be more impeded
than in the other, and consequently cause more congestion about
the lungs, by which they are more loaded, and cannot act so freely.

Tliat there is this difference of size in the globules between the
blood and the cart horse, may, among other reasons, be fairly
presumed by the extra quantity of blood found in the blood
horse, with a^ corresponding greater number of vessels to convey
it, than in the cart horse (which of itself tends to prove them not
of the same creation) and at tlie san^e time they are well known
to have finer wind. There are other auxiliaries to fine wind in
them, it is true, in their different organization throughout; but all
that is evidently derived from the composition of the blood, and
one is auxiliary to the other. The blood horse has wider nostrils
than the cart horse, a longer neck, and both longer and wider
windwipe, giving power of inspiring and respiring a greater
volume of air.^ These cannot be altered by climate, or any
system of management; as to having a greater capacity of chest,
allowing more room for the lungs to act, it may be naturally so
from the constitution of the blood, or may not; but the capacity
of the chest is subject to be greater or smaller in all animals.



* This at first sight may appear inconsistent with the comparison of the
greyhounds fine long narrow nose to the hound which pursues his game by
scent, baring a wide nose and capacious nostrils ; as the greyhound is an
animal of great speed, requiring good wind, consequently requiring a large
vent for the passage of the air in respiration ; but a greyhound runs with
his mouth open, through which he principally respires when at great speed.



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56 BREEDING.

according to the exercise they have when yonng and growings;
if they have plenty of liberty when young, and take their own
playful gallopsy tliey expand their chests very much by it ; but if
confined^ and prevented taking those playful gallops, their chests
are much more narrow and contracted ; and this is the same widi
both descriptions of horses, and of all animals, even of the human
species.

independent of tlie peculiar adaptation in the formation of the
body for particular destined purposes, it appears that the finer
and better the blood, the more substantial is the matter composing
the body; tlie body, and each organ of it, is less incumbered with
any superabundance of useless and ineffective substance ; if you
look at the nostrils of a cart horse, the skin at the edge is thick
and heavy ; the part which protrudes inwardly almost meets the
opposite side of the nostril; while in a blood horse that protrusion
is not so large, nor does the skin look near so thick and heavy.

The blood is the most essential part of the animal composition ;
many matters, however, concerning it, are yet unknown or un-
defined; Magendie adduces numerous proofs of how much we
have yet to learn on many matters relating to physiology, which
he considers to be jfet in its cradle. It is yet probable, that the
better the quality, and the greater the quantity of the blood, the
better the auimal^s strength will be supported during^ severe and
long protracted exertion, the several organs of the body being there-
by of a finer texture and firmer quality. As the blood is essential to
the body, so is the oxygen of the atmosphere essential to the
blood ; the latter, after leaving the lungs, loses a portion of its
colour in going its rounds of circulation, which seems to be dis-
tributed over the different parts of the body for some purpose, not



The capaciousness of the nostrils, windpipe, &c., may vary some little either
in the blood horse or the cart horse, or in different sorts of dogs, according
as they or their progenitors have had those organs enlarged by exercise, and
thus be constitutional with them ; but this Tariation in those parts of tiie
same breed is by no means so great as the difference in those parts between
the thorough blood and the heavy cart horse.



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BREEDING. 57

yet clearly defined^ in snpport of the animal economy, which
coloor is restored to it again on its return to the lungs by its
contact with oxygen inspired witli the atmospheric air ; the blood
there takes a vermillion colour ; it then follows as a natural con-
sequence, that as the race horse has a greater quantity of blood
than the cart horse, he requires a greater quantity of oxygen to be
conveyed to the lungs as an essential attribute of the blood, and
which we may rationally conclude gives additional strengtli to the
body; hence the necessity for more capacious nostrils and windpipe
to admit a greater volume of atmospheric air to the lungs, which
serve also for a more free respiration. ^ By this we see the ad-
mirable adaptation of every organ and attribute in beautiful unison
with each other, of this complicated and intricate living machine
by the divine Creator, the great Architect, far superior to any thing
human ingenuity can invent.

We have no rational ground for supposing that any difference
exists in the nerves of men, or between any two animals of the
same kind as one creation, further than what urises from the
difference of exercise, exertion, or tlie other variety of causes
which influences the muscles and other organs ; yet we find great
difference in the nerves of different men, and they are a very im-
portant organ in the system, from which are derived greater
strength, hardihood, courage, &c. They, in their turn, derive
tlieir support from the blood, and consequently in animals, differ-
ing in their blood and nature from each other, the nerves are
stronger or weaker.

Magendie says, p. 429, — " It is a general law of the economy,
that no organ contiiraes to act without receiving arterial blood ;



1 Magendie says, — " The chemical composition of tlie ezpued air from
the lungs is different from the inspired air ; the proportion of azote is much
the same, but that of oxygen and carbonic acid is quite different; even
oxygen, when pure, is destructive of life ; and its mixture with azote in
different proportions from that of the air, always kills the animals that
breathe it, sooner or later." This applies very strongly to cleanliness of
kennel management, and will be found more fully explained under that
head.

H



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58 BREEDING.

from tliiB it results, that all the other fnnctions are dependant on
the circulation ; but the circulation, in its turn, cannot continue
without the respiration by which the arterial blood is formed, and
without the action of the nervous system, which has a great in-
fluence upon the rapidity of the current of blood, and upon its
distribution in the organs. Indeed, under the action of the nerv-
ous system, the motions of the heart, and consequently the general
quickness of the course of the blood, are quickened or retarded.^

** The composition of the blood must exercise a great influence
upon the made of action of the organs, but we have still but very
imperfect notions respecting the chemical variations which that
fluid may undergo. There is no doubt that a certain composition
of the blood is one of the most important conditions to a due
exercise of the different functions.^

It is rather singular that Buffon, in his theory of the growth
and re-production of animals, says very little of the blood; he
does not expressly state that the blood is a component part of
each and all the living organic particles derived or extracted from
the several parts of the body, the surplus of which is thrown into
the seminal reservoirs for the purposes of procreation and re-pro-
duction ; yet it follows, as a necessary consequence, that the blood
is a component part of each of those organic particles, and the
blood appertaining to that part vi the body from which each par-
ticle is derived; the particles from the head, for example, take
their seat in, and form that part which constitutes the head of the
foetus ; those from the neck, the arms, the legs, or the trunk, form
those several parts of the foetus ; the same by the particles de-
rived from the skin, the muscle, nerve, tendon, or bone, though
distinct from each other, form those several substances in the
several parts of the foetus, corresponding with the parts of the
body from which they were derived ; the portion of blood forming
a component part of each particle, may, from what is before
given under the physiological authorities mentioned, be deemed
the agency in animating tliose particles for the purpose of re-pro-
duction, forming a component part of them, and conveying them to
the seminal reservoirs, and may regain the agency in the conjunction
of tlie sexes. It therefore follows as a necessary consequence,



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BREEDING. 59

that in the blood of the living animal^ are " all the principleei all
the elemental pf the organs,"" which Magendie states to be found
to be the case " in proportion as the analysis of it is multiplied,
and the process of investigation perfected ;"" the fibrin of the blood
composed of the same matter with that of the muscular fibre ; the
albumen, that which forms so great a number of membranes and
tissues ; the fatty matter which combines ocmazone and albumen,
constitutes the nervous mass ; • the phosphate of lime and magnesia,
which constitute a great portion of the bones, &c.; therefore,
according to both these high authorities, as the blood is, so is the body ;
and as the body is found to be so, must we infer the blood to be.

Therefore it naturally follows that in the new-bom infiint the
whole volume of blood concentrates that portion of the blood
which belongs to each of the several parts of the body. This
accounts for the difference observable between the offspring of
parents who have a natural, a bom, or constitutional defect in
some parts of their body, and the offspring from those parents
yrho have only that defect by accidental injury ; the offiipring of
the former showing that defect, and often in an increased degree
to the parent ; the offspring of the latter showing no defect what*
ever in that part Were it not so, the children of a soldier or
sailor who had lost a leg or an arm in battle, would be bom defec-
tive of a leg or an arm ; but the blood containing the whole entire
elementary parts of the body supplies any deficiency to the o£Espring
which by accident might be defective in the parent.

The dictates of nature are our safest guide, did our judgments
but point out the way of following them to the best advantage.
A number of greyhounds being at large, and at liberty to run
about, if a female go to heat, the males, according to nature,
contend for the prize, gather to her, when some warfare ensues,
and possibly some one more favoured by the female than the
others, is yielded to in exclusion of the rest ; but if no favour be
shown, the master dog secures her to himself, for that time at
least During this courtship, consummation, and consequent
hanging together, some time elapses; the servant or master is
apprised of it, and the female is secured. It is not unreasonable
to suppose that the master dog, though he may not appear to the
eye the largest and strongest, has yet the firmest and most power-



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GO BREEDING.

fill bodily frame, and his full share of coarage to overpower or
overawe his antagonistsi the natural inference from which is, tliat
the^ produce would be better than had the selection of sire from
among the same dogs been made by the owner himself, as the
firmest bodily frame will of course produce the most powerful
progeny,*

In rutting time, amongst deer in a park, tlie males contend for
the mastery, and when obtained, which is by firmness of muscular
and bodily strength and courage, they are allowed by the females
their supremacy ; so, in some measure, it is with hares, though
the contest is not so conspicuous ; yet after the time of copulation
the females, if coursed, are generally found strong, while some of
the males are found exceedingly weak, and others not so ; which
shows that some jack hares have many jills to serve, which
weakens them very much, while others have very few; in addition
to which, the female, after the heat is satisfied, has no further
attraction of the organic particles to the seminal reservoirs, and
consequently those particles are directed to, and employed in sup*
porting the organs of the body for exertion. In the male, those
organic particles are continued to be directed to the seminal reser-
voirs, and the more he is used for the purpose of procreation, the
greater is the attraction of those particles to the seminal reser-
voirs ; more of them are extracted from the organs, consequently
fewer remain to support them under exertion. This applies
equally to greyhound dogs and bitches after copulation, and it is
well known that a bitch, for a few weeks after being warded, and
her heat gone off, runs as well as at any time. It is an
acknowledged axiom, that hares left to nature's guide, and un-
aided by the art of man to select their own food and mates for
procreation, continue to beat the greyhound^) at the present day
equally as much as in olden times;' so is it possible and not



> Since writing the above, a friend of mme lost two of his best dogs by
their contention to gain the favoar of a fair maiden. They fought to such
a degree that they both died soon afterwards frt>m their wounds.

' It is held by persons possessed of anatomical knowledge, and the
physical powers of tiie animal system, that in the union of the seed, the
combination is stronger on the part of the sire than of the dam ; and if so,



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BREEDING. 61

altogether improbable, that by the dispensation of Providence we
are not permitted to increase the speed of the animal intended for
the purpose of thus parsuing the hare beyond its original creation,
otherwise they might destroy the whole race of the animals they
are destined to pursae. Although this is mere speculative conjee*
ture, yet we do know that if we do not breed greyhounds from
the best of litters, that the breed will degenerate ; we also know,
that where there is one thorough good dog to breed from, there
are very many good bitches, which may also be a dispensation of
Providence, as one dog will serve many bitches, while one bitch
need only be served by one dog. Hares, it is true, are not always
bred from the strongest male or female, yet that is no contradic-
tion to the breed of them continuing to beat the dogs as formerly,
and their doing so being chiefly owing to their being produced
from the master males ; as where it happens not to be so, the
inferiority of breed naturally arising in the produce, is, on cours-
ing grounds at least, not likely to be continued to go on to a
general degeneracy of the breed, as the weakest and worst harea
soonest fall victims to their pursuers, while the strongest and best
are enabled to save tJieir lives, and to continue the breed in its
greatest perfection and strength. This points out to us the
utility of selecting none but the very beat dogs to breed from. ^



it certainly h essential, on general principles, that the sire should be pos-
sessed of great powers and good blood, to keep the breed from degenerating.
Experience confirms this hypothesis ; the breeders of horses, for instance,
seldom put a cart stallion to a fall blood mare to breed cocktails, because
they generally find that a blood horse put to a cart mare produces the best
and most useful stock, while those produced firom the contrary cross are
very inferior.

1 Arrian jsays, p. 151, — " The greyhound bitch is fleeter than the dog,
but the dog has more bottom than the bitch ; and because he can run
through the whole year, is a much more valuable acquisition ; and as good
bitches abound, but it is no easy thmg to meet with a thorough good dog,
the latter is on this account more specious. And again, it is fortunate if
the bitches preserve their speed to the fifth year, whereas dogs retain theirs
even to the t€nth ; for all which reasons, in my opinion, a really good, high
bred dog, is a great treasure — one that &lls not to the lot of a courser with-
out the favour of some god. For such a blessing he should sacrifice to



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e2 BREEDING.

Experience also shows, and the Conrsers^ Manual confirms it, that
where tliere is a very superior dog, such as ISfajor Topham^s
Snowball for instance, or Mr. Hassall's Bergami, and Hercules, and
some others belonging to different gentlemen, their produce
occupy a conspicuous situation in the list and number of prizes
won by tliem and their descendants, in comparison with those
won by tlie descendants of dogs not above mediocrity in their
own powers and performances.

Mr. Langdon's Grasper was an excellent runner, and won
many stakes, but was only in a medium way in point of size and
strength. Many of his early productions were small, but others,
as he grew older, where the cross suited, were of a very superior
order, and are to this day running winners of different prizes.
His son, Mr. Hassall's Harold, was an amazing, powerful, and fine
dog, and has won a prize at every meeting he has run. Hb
produce have not, however, run successfully; this paradox, or
falling off, is not the dog's fault ; it is owing to the mismanage-
ment of his owner. He had all his best bitches put to him ; but it



Diana Venatriz. Markham says, — ** It is an old received opinion amongst
many men of the Leashe, that the greyhound bitche will ever beate the
greyhounde dogge, by reason of her more nimbleneifie, quicknesse, and
agillity, and it is sometimes geene that a perfect good bitche indeed hath
much advantage over an ordinary dogge : but if the good dogge meet with
the good bitche, there is then no comparison, but the dogge will be her
master, inaimuch as he exceedeth her both in lengthe and strengthe, the
two main helpes in coursing; for her nimblenesse is then no helpe, sith
a good dogge in the tome will lose as little ground as any bitche whatever."
I cannot he]p here differing from my friend Gervase, as I think he is going
rather too far, when he says that ** the nimblenesse of the bitche is no
helpe, and that the dogge will lose as littie ground in Aie turn as any bitche
whatever ;" for independent of experience, if you go upon the reason of the
dog beating the bitch by having more length and strength, he must of
course go with greater velocity, and consequently overshoot the ground
more than the bitch ; besides, if the dog make a longer stride, the bitch's
nimbleness will enable her to strike quicker, and thus come nearly to the
same point of speed ; we sometimes see, although but seldom it is true, that
a bitch will beat a dog of an acknowledged superior cast, in both shape,
speed, and breed, and that she will beat such dog in speed in the first run
up to the hare.



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BREEDING. 63

muBt be observed, that those bitches had, year after year, been
fed principally upon a sameness of diet, and that principally of an
unnatural sort — ^horse flesh jelly, and very rarely any bone, con-
sequently their constitutions impaired. The puppies, after a few
months of plenty of good milk, kept on the same unnatural food,
without bone, and without a sufficiency of exercise, consequently,
though many of them were fine looking puppies, they were not
firm and solid in their frame. Very few of other people's bitches
were allowed to be sent to him ; and those restricted not to be
parted with to any one who was likely to bring them into a public
coursing field to run against the owner of their sire ; so that very
few of his produce have come into the public lists with any chance
of ultimate success.

It must be remarked, however, that his bitch puppies have been
more successful than his dog puppies ; many of them are exceed-
ingly handsome, some of which have won cups and sweepstakes ;
but I do not know of one dog who has proved himself a real good
one, though many are fine, powerful, likely-looking dogs. It
would therefore appear, that any defect in rearing is more pre-
judicial to dogs than to bitches ; the powers of the latter requiring
less support and exercise than those of the former ; this difier-
ence of the sexes is observable in most animals as well as in the
human species, and may be one reason why we have so many
good greyhound bitches for one really good dog. The only son
of Harold that I have heard of, who was highly thought of where
he ran, was one who had the misfortune to break a leg when
about arrived at full age, and he ran a tolerable good one after-
wards ; but this must be observed, and it is well worthy of atten-
tion, he was reared by the same person who reared Harold him-
self, old Grasper before him, and two very superior dogs in
succession before Grasper. There needs no clearer proof of
Harold^s stocks^ want of success being owing to a defect in
rearing. Grasper, from his own excellence, and that of some



Online LibraryThomas ThackerThe courser's companion → online text (page 7 of 46)