Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Getting Medieval on Them

Terriermen and women have always been an uncommon lot, but at least we have a little bit of history!

The pictures below are from
Count Jacques du Fouilloux's 1560 book entitled La Vernarie (The Art of Hunting), the cover of which is pictured to the left.

This book was ripped off by George Turberville who translated the book and put it out as his own.

Turberville, however, called Fouilloux's dogs "terriers" rather than "bassets". Fouilloux's "bassets" were probably early dachshunds, as terriers were net yet common on the Continent.

Lies about the size of working dogs have always been with us.

Ancient Post Hole Diggers

Want to learn a little more and see more terrier tools from 1560? >> Just click here.

1 comment:

Retrieverman said...

Turberville also confused some retriever people.

Richard Wolters used Turberville's description of the St. Hubert Hound to suggest that the St. John's water dog came from the St. Hubert hound.

Here's the description:

"The hounds which we call Sainct Huberts houndes, are commonly all blacke, yet neuerthelesse, their race is so mingled at these dayes, that we find them of all colours. These are the hounds which the Abbots of Sainct Hubert haue always kept some of their race or kynde, in honour and remembrance of the Sainct which was a hunter with Sainct Eustace. Whervpon we may coniecture that (by the grace of God) all good huntsmen shall follow them into Paradise. To returne vnto my former purpose, this kind of Dogges hath been dispersed thorough the Countries of Hennault, Lorayne, Flanders and Burgonye, they are mighty of body, neuerthelesse, their legges are lowe and short, likewise they are not swift, although they be very good of sent, hunting chaces which are farre straggled, fearing neyther water nor colde, and do more couet the chaces that smell, as Foxes, Bore, and suche like, than other, bycause they find themselues neyther of swiftnesse nor courage to hunte and kill the chaces that are lighter and swifter."

Somehow Wolters thought that the line about sending the dogs after "farre stragged" game was retrieving or something like it. It was not.

These heavy scent hounds were used to track wounded game, usually following the scent and blood spoor. As far as I know, the fact that these dogs followed blood spoor is the most reasonable etymology I can find for calling these dogs bloodhounds.