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For breeding purposes, relieve the bitches of work in the winter, that the rest may help them to produce a fine litter towards spring, which is the best growing season for hounds. They are in heat for fourteen days. [2] Mate them with good dogs near the end of the period, that they may the sooner become pregnant. When they are near their time do not take them out hunting continually, but only now and then, or love of work may result in a miscarriage. The period of gestation is sixty days. [3] After the birth of the puppies leave them with the mother and do not place them under another bitch; for nursing by a foster mother does not promote growth, whereas the mother's milk and breath do them good, and they like her caresses. [4] As soon as the puppies can get about, give them milk for a year, and the food that will form their regular diet, and nothing else. For heavy feeding warps the puppies' legs and sows the seeds of disease in the system, and their insides go wrong. [5]

Give the hounds short names, so as to be able to call to them easily. The following are the right sort: Psyche, Thymus, Porpax, Styrax, Lonchê, Lochus, Phrura, Phylax, Taxis, Xiphon, Phonax, Phlegon, Alcê, Teuchon, Hyleus, Medas, Porthon, Sperchon, Orgê, Bremon, Hybris, Thallon, Rhomê, Antheus, Hebe, Getheus, Chara, Leusson, Augo, Polys, Bia, Stichon, Spudê, Bryas, Oenas, Sterrus, Craugê, Caenon, Tyrbas, Sthenon, Aether, Actis, Aechmê, Noes, Gnomê, Stibon, Hormê.1 [6]

Take the bitches to the hunting ground at eight months, the dogs at ten. Do not slip them on the trail that leads to the form, but keep them in long leashes and follow the tracking hounds, letting the youngsters run to and fro in the tracks.2 [7] As soon as the hare is found, if they shape well for the run don't let them go at once; but as soon as the hare has got so far ahead in the run that they can't see her, send them along. [8] For if the huntsman slips good-looking, plucky runners close to the hare, the sight of her will cause them to strain themselves and crack, since their bodies are not yet firm. So she should be very careful about this. [9] But if they are poor runners there is no reason why he should not let them go, for as they have no hope of catching the hare from the first, they will not meet with this accident. On the other hand, let the youngsters follow the track of the hare on the run until they catch her; and when she is caught, give her to them to break up.3 [10] As soon as they show reluctance to stick to it and begin scattering, call then in, until they grow accustomed to keep on till they find the hare, lest if they get into the way of misbehaving when they seek her, they end by becoming skirters—a vile habit. [11]

Give them their food near the purse-nets so long as they are young, while the nets are being taken up, so that if they have gone astray in the hunting ground, through inexperience, they may come back safe for their meal. This will be discontinued when they come to regard the game as an enemy; they will be too intent on that to worry about their food. [12] As a rule when they are hungry the master should feed the hounds himself; for when they are not hungry they do not know to whom that is due; but when they want food and get it, they love the giver.

1 The names are significant of the colour, strength, spirit, sagacity or behaviour of the hounds. Hebe and Psyche are still in the list of bitches' names, and modern equivalents of several of the other names are in use, e.g., Lance (Lonche/), Sentinel (Phylax), Ecstasy (Chara), Blueskin (Oenas), Crafty (Medas), Hasty (Sperchon), Vigorous (Thallon), Impetus (Horme/), Counsellor (Noes), Bustler (dog) or Hasty (bitch); cf. Sperchon. For Πολύς we should probably read Πολεύς, “Rover.”

2 But how is the hunter to know whether the hounds are on the trail leading to the form or on the track of a running hare?

3 Not to eat. Some hunters object more or less strongly to this injunction; but Beckford (Thoughts on Hunting), quoted by Blane, goes so far as to say, “I think it but reasonable to give the hounds a hare sometimes. I always gave mine the last they killed, if I thought they deserved her.”

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