WITH Alsatian dogs to be seen about everywhere, it is unnecessary to emphasize the descent of the dog from the wolf, but it should be borne in mind with reference to the treatment required and our companions relationship to ourselves.
The hunger of the wolf is proverbial; he is a good-sized animal and lives on raw meat, which cannot be obtained without much exercise. Hence the dog must be a great deal on the move in order to properly digest his rations. The meat need not be raw unless the dog be in delicate health, but the food ought always to contain a Large element of meat or have at least the flavour of it, or the dogs dinners will be dull ones.
A good plan, if there are not enough scraps for the dogs daily meals, is to boil some meat daily with such vegetables as onions or turnips, and give this solid food as a days food, using the Boup from it next day with stale bread or broken dog-biscuits, on which it should be poured while hot and allowed to cool.
One need not buy any but the cheapest oats or offal for a dog, but it should be sound; liver is particularly liked, and is a laxative, so must be used with discretion. Such items as pie-crust, pudding and porridge, will all help to swell the menu, the main point being to proportion the amount of meat to the exercise the dog is getting – which, in a town, is usually not so much as he should have.
Sweets are Forbidden
It is no kindness to encourage a dog to eat sweets and confectionery, but if he likes fruit he can have it either fresh or dried.
Milk is always handy for a change, especially for young and delicate animals.
A dogs meal should consist of two courses, first the soft food and a big bone or biscuit to follow, over which he can take his time. A large dog needs only one meal a day, and should not have this too late if he is expected to be on guard all night. Smaller dogs should be fed at least twice a day and puppies oftener still.
As the dog inherits the wolfs hearty appetite under the changed conditions of – captivity he is easily over-fed, 60 that hard articles of food are particularly beneficial in giving emplosrmcnt to his jaws without hurriedly gorging.
Cleanliness is Necessary
As everyone knows, he will hide surplus food, but the habit is not one to be en-couraged, as the bones, etc., may be dug lip and consumed when stale and offensive. Bones of a sort which are liable to splinter, and small ones which might be swallowed, are to be avoided or they may cause serious trouble.
When several dogs are fed together, it is important to see that each has its own dish, and that a greedy one does not poach on its neighbours provisions. All dishes should be carefully cleaned every day, and a constant supply of clean water maintained in a shady spot and kept in a vessel also cleaned daily.
Position of Kennel
Casual picking up of food in streets, etc., should be discouraged and also its acceptance from strangers, as this is one of the ways in which dogs can be doped or enticed away and stolen. The more varied a dogs diet, and especially the raw meat element in it, the less likely it will be for him to be thus tempted.
The more a dog is outdoors the better, provided he is not exposed to sun-glare, draughts or damp; his kennel should be 825 located so as to avoid these inconveniences and raised slightly off the ground. There should be a platform in front of it for him to lie upon, and a good bedding of dry straw in winter; in summer a mat will be better and cooler. The straw should often be changed and the mat washed, a spare one being kept so as to make sure of a dry change.
Even an indoor dog should not be allowed to lie on a cold stone or oilcloth floor or in the draught of a door.
Brushing is Necessary
Woo to them that shear her, says Maeaulay of the wolf in The Lays of Ancient Rome, and wolves manage to keep in good coat, except during the summer shedding season, without any toilet attentions – certainly they never got a wash, unless, as many dogs will do, they take a bath in hot weather. A good brush down now and then, especially when shedding coat, is all an average dog needs, but a very heavy-coated one may be kept clipped in summer.
When a female dog is ready to mate, she must be guarded against dogs of a different breed or size, for few people want cross-bred pups, and even if the mother herself has no pedigree, union with a dog much bigger than herself may result in her death in giving birth to pups large for her. No after-results, however, other than this need be apprehended from any mismating, unless the animal contracts a strong attachment for an unsuitable partner and refuses others which her owner approves.
Care of Pups
The gestation period is nine weeks, and the young pups are, as everyone knows, born blind, but their eyes will open at ten days old, and about three weeks afterwards can be introduced to some artificial food. Mothers of pups should be left alone and not troubled much with 28 visitors; in fact, some females are not very safe to interfere with when nursing a litter. The pups should of course have a soft and safe bed provided.
Dogs should never be chained if this can be avoided, and for taking them out on a lead, a harness, such as is commonly used nowadays, is better than the old-fashioned collar. Longevity in Dogs
People often complain of the short lives of dogs, so it is worth recording that a dog treated rationally may live quite a reasonably long time. A greyhound was recorded in The Times in 1932 as having been a winner in coursing matches in her day, and still, at twenty years of age, ready for a two-mile spin with a dog-cart, and looking like living for some time yet. The wolf life evidently is the ideal one – a dog should run and bite and have plenty of meat.
It ought to be mentioned that wolves generally hunt in couples or singly; the pack is a business association for overcoming difficult prey in hard times, and cannot be regarded as an integral part of the wolfs way of living, so that the dogs master can hardly be in his mind the embodiment of the pack-spirit, as is often advanced.