Saturday, April 20, 2013
A General History of Quadrapeds - The Bull-Dog
Is the fiercest of all the Dog kind, and is probably the most courageous creature in the world. It is low in stature, but very strong and muscular. Its nose is short; and the under jaw projects beyond the upper, which gives it a fierce and unpleasing aspect. Its courage in attacking the Bull is well known: its fury in seizing, and it invincible obstinacy in maintaining its hold, are truly astonishing. It always aims at the front; and generally fastens upon the lip, the tongue, the eye, or some part of the face; where it hangs, in spite of every effort of the Bull to disengage himself.
The uncommon ardour of these Dogs in fighting will be best illustrated by the following fact, related by an eye-witness; which at the same time corroborates, in some degree, that wonderful account of the Dogs of Epirus, given by Elian, and quoted by Dr Goldsmith in the history of the Dog; – Some years ago, at a bullbaiting in the North of England, when that barbarous custom was very common, a young man, confident of the courage of his Dog, laid some trifling wager, that he would, at separate times, cut off all the four feet of his Dog; and that, after every amputation, it would attack the Bull. The cruel experiment was tried, and the Dog continued to seize the Bull as eagerly as if he had been perfectly whole.
Of late years this inhuman custom of baiting the Bull has been almost entirely laid aside in the North of England; and consequently there are now few of this kind of Dogs to be seen.
As the Bull-Dog always makes his attack without barking, it is very dangerous to approach him alone, without greatest precaution.
A General History of Quadrapeds - The Bull-Dog, Thomas Bewick, 1807