Alaunt Gentil of the UK

Alaunt Gentil of the UK

Postby freed on 17. November 2014, 05:20

Image

t's said that the ALUNT GENTILE should be made like the shape of the greyhound but with more substantial bone structure, a heavier, shorter muzzled head and a squarer jaw. And it was "side that was better shaped and stronger for harm than any other beast."

A number of different terms were used by various nations to describe the type. In France it was the Alaunt Gentil, in Spain, the Lebrel; and in Britain, the Irish Wolfhound. Care must be taken to distinguish the Alaunt Gentil from the Lurcher, a breed and or breed type developed during the 1600's from a cross of the Irish Wolfhound, (Alaun Gentil), and any pastoral breed, such as the Collie, and or the Terrier breeds. A small to medium sized hunting dog of varying breeds, the Lurcher was a hunting dog used for the poaching of small game: Lurcher, from the Romany word Lur, meaning thief. The Lurcher having been the commoner's dog and the Alaunt Gentil, that of the noblemen. The Lurchers were often the choice dog for and therefore associated with Gypsies, vagabonds, wanderers and thieves. Today, the modern Lurcher has risen well above it's past, becoming a well formed and distinct breed prized for it's abilities.
Picture
Artwork of the Celts show dogs walking along with cattle drawn wagons. Are we to think the Celts did not make use of their dogs to guard and butcher cattle? Interesting, as the Celtic War Dogs were known to take horse by the nose and throw horse and rider to the ground. By 600 BC, the Celts had arrived in Spain, and joined the Iberians - they introduced cattle to the British Isles. In 55 BC, the Romans invaded the British Isles, where the Celtic Wolfhounds fought fiercely against the Romans..."The Romans found, not mastiff-like dogs in Britain, but course-haired, strong-headed, medium-sized 'fighting dogs'....such fighting dogs were much more of the Irish Wolfhound phenotype." The Mastiffs The Big Game Hunters, Hancock, MBE. ' "The Greek and Roman writers, Pliny, Silius Italicus, Arrianos, Ovid, and Strabo are loosely quoted by many authors, without a reference to page, or volume, or book, as speaking of these Irish hounds. They really do not even mention them. But Quintus Aurelius Symmachus, who was a Roman Consul in the year 391, does more than mention them in a letter to his brother Flavianus. He writes: “In order to win the favour of the Roman people for our Qumstor you have been a generous and diligent provider of novel contributions to our solemn shows and games, as is proved by your gift of seven Irish dogs. All Rome viewed them with wonder, and fancied they must have been brought hither in iron cages." These dogs must have been very powerful and fierce; they were employed by the Roman Consul to fight men, or wild beasts, or other dogs, or among themselves. For in two previous letters Symmachus speaks of bears, lions, and twenty-nine Saxons which were sent, or to be sent for the combats of the circus. He complains bitterly that the twenty-nine Saxons cut their own throats the night before the games, not wishing to butcher each other “to make a Roman holiday.” ' The History of the Irish Wolfdog, Edmund Ignatius Hogan - 1897.

Rome then introduced the Alans and their Albanian procured Alaunts to the British Isles, where they were interbred with the Celtic Wolfhounds. By the Middle Ages, the Celtic Wolfhounds had been so interbred with Alaunts that a specialized type of this combination was so named the Alaunt Gentil or in Spain as the Lebrel. "The 'friendly Alaunt' described in the same place, with great hunting ability, is more likely the ancestor of the Irish Wolfhound and Deerhound." Fighting Dog Breeds, Dr. Dieter Fleig. "In 1775 William Bowles, a very competent writer who was born in a village near Cork, about the year 1714, published in Spain an Introduction to the Natural History of Spain. In 1752 he was employed by the Spanish Government to establish and direct a Museum of Natural History. In his chapter on Biscay he wrote: “In the woods may be met with by chance a wild boar. The ordinary wolves (lobos comunes) are rare. . . . Should one be seen he is at once hunted and killed, for which work are excellent the greyhound dogs (perros lebreles) which they have brought hither from Ireland.” According to the Spanish Dictionaries of Stephens in 1724, of Pineda in 1740, of Delpino in 1763, lebrel is “an Irish greyhound, though some will use it for a common greyhound, which is not proper, these being called galgos;” and the Dictionary of the Royal Academy of Spain, in I832, defines lebrel as “a dog whose body is thin and lean, with long head and legs, and large eyes, very light of foot, used in hunting the larger game, such as venison and wild boars, etc.” In the Portuguese Dictionary of Michaelis, edited in I893, lebrél is defined“ a large Irish greyhound.” The History of the Irish Wolfdog, Edmund Ignatius Hogan 1897. These many definitions and descriptions of the lebrel clearly match descriptions of the Alaunt Gentil as a heavy greyhound or a light made mastiff. As well, the many descriptions of the Irish Wolfhound show them to be a mild tempered and relaxed dog with people; a gentil alaunt. “There were in Ireland two kinds of wolfdogs—the greyhound and the mastiff. Till within these two years I was possessed of both kinds, perfectly distinct and easily known from each other. The heads were not sharp in the latter as in the former, but there seems a great similarity of temper and disposition, both being harmless and indolent." Earl of Altamont 1797. Here we have direct evidence, one of many, to the gentle nature of the Irish Wolfhound, thus the Alaunt Gentil.

The Celtic Wolfhounds were the original "Prey" type or "Chase" type War Dogs which were interbred with Alaunts and other imports that gave rise to the Bandogs of England and to the Presa, Fila, and Cuban Bloodhound used in the 15th century during the Spanish Conquests of the Americas. "The Irish greyhound is a dog of great size and strength, and led to the chase in leather slips or thongs." Pennant, 1776-1781 ...."These dogs seemed to be immortal and supernatural in their ability to distinguish between hostile and friendly groups and to track and rip apart the former. Rodrigo Rangel, traveling with De Soto in Florida, recounts that, sent in pursuit of an 'Indian fleeing from Christians the next day, a noble greyhound from Ireland plunged after him into the multitude of Indians that were on a densely wooded hill." A History of Dogs in the Early Americas, Schwartz,
1997. "Well before the 16th century Europeans had developed several breeds of large dogs that were used to herd animals, to hunt, and to do battle with and terrorize men. These were the mastiff (mastin), a short-haired, heavily muscled dog that could withstand long marches and hold its own against wolves, and was favored in herding sheep and pigs. The swift, lean greyhound (lebrel), was used to hunt and attack large animals such as deer and wild boars, and it could also be trained as a war dog. A third type of dog, the alano, was a large attack dog, evidently of several breeds, including large mastiffs and Irish Wolfhounds. Such dogs were used against the Moors in the Reconquest , against the Guanches in the conquest of the Canary Islands, and quite naturally they were taken to the New World to be used against the Indians. The most vicious of these war dogs had to be chained and managed by handlers. But these fierce dogs knew the difference between Spaniard and Indian, and some of them could be sent to chase down a particular Indian." Knights of Spain, Warriors of the Sun, Charles Hudson.

Below from left to right are period renditions of the French Alaunt Gentil, the Irish Wolfhound and the Spanish Lebrel, all of which fit the earliest descriptions of the Alaunt Gentil.

There is confusion concerning what the Spanish Lebrel was and whether the name comes from the Spanish "liebre" (Hare) or if this is a modern translation based on the use of the modern Spanish Galgos, a greyhound used for hunting the rabbit. Period texts from Spain, Portugal, France and England from various eras all define the Lebrel as being an Irish Wolfhound. If the term Lebrel derives from the Spanish 'Liebre', why then was the Lebrel described as a wolfhound and not the literal translation as a hare or rabbit hound? Why would a rabbit hound be an option of the Conquistadores when the large ferocious Irish Wolfhound was easily attainable and much more suitable? There are several references of the Chroniclers who write of the Irish dogs accompanying the Conquistadores. The Lebrel is said to be extinct, however, according to history, the term, as literally translated as a rabbit hound was not the dog of the Conquests and not the dogs mentioned by so many writers so many times in the past, including the Spanish Chroniclers. It would seems as though the modern day dog now used in Spain for rabbit hunting, now called Galgos, according to translation, should more realistically be called the Lebrel rather than the Galgos...dog of Gaul. "The Irish Wolf-dog in Spain. In some interesting notes communicated to the Royal Irish Society in January last (Proc. R. I. Acad. 3rd ser. i. pp. 333—339), Prof. J. P. O'Reilly gives some extracts from Bowles' 'Introduccion a la Historia Natural y a Geografia fisica de Espana,' 1775, showing that the so-called wolf-hound was at that date distinguished from the greyhound, and that the former was introduced into Spain from Ireland. The Spaniards call the greyhound galgo, as having obtained it first from Gaul; the wolf-hound they call perro lebrel." Zoologist: A Monthly Journal of Natural History. 3rd Series Vol. XIV - 1890. "An Irish Greyhound, though some will use it for a common greyhound, which is not proper, these being called Galgos." Spanish Dictionary of Stephens 1724.

Despite common misconception, the Alaunt Gentil/Lebrel was not a Greyhound, rather, it was "made like the shape of the greyhound but with more substantial bone structure, a heavier, shorter muzzled head and a squarer jaw." The Welsh Laws of Hywel Dda, (Hywel the Good, c. 880 – 950), make a clear distinction between mil-gi ("swift-hounds") and gel-gi ("great-hounds"); sight-hounds for coursing and a light made mastiff type bred for bringing down large animals such as were the, Irish Wolfhounds, Spanish Lebrels, or French Alaunt Gentil.

© Ray Lane & Heather Wilkins

http://alaunts.weebly.com/the-alaunt-gentil.html
freed
 
Posts: 694
Joined: 2. January 2014, 16:51
Gender: Male

Re: Alaunt Gentil of the UK

Postby da pink on 17. November 2014, 12:45

Great post and dogs close to my heart.

Though a lurcher can be, and is commonly, as small as a whippet. . . . .whippet/bedlington being a very popular cross
da pink
 
Posts: 1053
Joined: 2. January 2014, 15:22
Country: United Kingdom (uk)
Gender: Male

Re: Alaunt Gentil of the UK

Postby da pink on 25. February 2015, 10:46

My Dog
Image

Image


No idea what make up she has, definately grey hound, and I'd guess smooth coat fox terrier or similar given her coat/markings.

I pick her up in two weeks, will take her out with my mates' saluki/collie x in due course, if she seems tractable enough (being deaf) - rabbits beware. We of course would absolutely not under any circumstance allow them to take anything else as that would be illegal :o


She's primarily a pet but my Gran makes a lovely rabbit stew . . . .
da pink
 
Posts: 1053
Joined: 2. January 2014, 15:22
Country: United Kingdom (uk)
Gender: Male

Re: Alaunt Gentil of the UK

Postby freed on 25. February 2015, 20:09

Congratulations mate. She looks very good. I wish you a lot of fun with her.
freed
 
Posts: 694
Joined: 2. January 2014, 16:51
Gender: Male

Re: Alaunt Gentil of the UK

Postby Bandog on 26. February 2015, 16:16

My congratulations too. She sounds like a great dog that you have given a proper shot at a good life. Thats what owning a dog is all about. I look forward to your updates on her.
Bandog
 
Posts: 377
Joined: 6. December 2014, 04:21
Country: Australia (au)
Gender: Male

Re: Alaunt Gentil of the UK

Postby da pink on 27. February 2015, 10:27

I didn't get her :( :( :cry: :cry: :cry:

Went to collect her, spent 20 mins with her, taught her a couple of new signs (amazed how quick she learned) Then had a final chat with one of their behaviourists (I'd not met this one, she'd been on holiday but was the lady who had been responsible for Bella during her stay there) and more details of her issues came out, and how she reacts in certain situations. We talked for about an hour and both agreed in the end it wouldn't work. Bit gutted, really had fell for her and hate the thought of her in kennels....but the last thing anyone wants is me to have to take her back.

The main issue is she needs constant reassurance you're aware of her. As this can't be done by sound it's all hands on. She gets very distressed when she isn't getting this attention and can mouth you quite forcefully and /or get very destructive. As she's deaf it's very hard behaviour to break and as you can't gain her attention without getting up and catching her eye. All these things I'd cope with except at work. . . .there's times when I simply can't give her that time. I can't have her jumping on computers or biting my employees etc. I know all behaviour can be unlearned but they've struggled to break these patterns with her & I can't stop work for a couple of months to train her.

I hadn't seen any of this behaviour as obviously during my visits she had my full attention . . . .bit frustrating no one else had mentioned it, and so sad for Bella but if I'm one thing, I'm a good dog owner and I don't think either of us would be happy.

Meh

I'm definitely going the rescue dog route though
da pink
 
Posts: 1053
Joined: 2. January 2014, 15:22
Country: United Kingdom (uk)
Gender: Male

Re: Alaunt Gentil of the UK

Postby Full Throttle on 19. August 2015, 18:37

A fine looking Bull Lurcher:

Image

Image

Image
Full Throttle
 
Posts: 45
Joined: 19. August 2015, 18:30
Country: United Kingdom (uk)
Gender: Male

Re: Alaunt Gentil of the UK

Postby freed on 20. August 2015, 04:47

I like these Alaunt Gentil of Britain a lot.
@ Full Throttle
What Alaunt Veantre crosses are around at the moment. I mean in the past some Veanters were very tall. Are there Veanters around that are around 80cm?
I think in Australia they have some Great Dane and also Irish Wolfhound crosses.
freed
 
Posts: 694
Joined: 2. January 2014, 16:51
Gender: Male

Re: Alaunt Gentil of the UK

Postby da pink on 20. August 2015, 12:24

It's almost exclusively greyhound or whippet x terrier/bull terrier

Starting to see salukis used too

We haven't any prey large enough to need bigger
da pink
 
Posts: 1053
Joined: 2. January 2014, 15:22
Country: United Kingdom (uk)
Gender: Male

Re: Alaunt Gentil of the UK

Postby Gun on 20. August 2015, 14:49

Yeah Britain lost its big game and consequently lost its big game dogs. If it didn't then the bully kuttas British origins would be as obvious as the gull terrs.
Gun
 
Posts: 1094
Joined: 15. May 2014, 10:35
Country: Australia (au)
Gender: Male

Re: Alaunt Gentil of the UK

Postby freed on 21. August 2015, 03:25

Maybe some of the big breeds that were used for hunting dangerous game just need heavy culling and no crosses would be needed. I say "maybe".
freed
 
Posts: 694
Joined: 2. January 2014, 16:51
Gender: Male

Re: Alaunt Gentil of the UK

Postby Full Throttle on 21. August 2015, 03:54

freed wrote:I like these Alaunt Gentil of Britain a lot.
@ Full Throttle
What Alaunt Veantre crosses are around at the moment. I mean in the past some Veanters were very tall. Are there Veanters around that are around 80cm?
I think in Australia they have some Great Dane and also Irish Wolfhound crosses.


Basically what Gun and Da Pink said, nowadays the focus is on being swift enough to catch rabbits so wolfhound admixture is not necessary.
Full Throttle
 
Posts: 45
Joined: 19. August 2015, 18:30
Country: United Kingdom (uk)
Gender: Male

Re: Alaunt Gentil of the UK

Postby sunnyAK on 21. August 2015, 14:53

Full Throttle wrote:
freed wrote:I like these Alaunt Gentil of Britain a lot.
@ Full Throttle
What Alaunt Veantre crosses are around at the moment. I mean in the past some Veanters were very tall. Are there Veanters around that are around 80cm?
I think in Australia they have some Great Dane and also Irish Wolfhound crosses.


Basically what Gun and Da Pink said, nowadays the focus is on being swift enough to catch rabbits so wolfhound admixture is not necessary.


I agree, although I wish there was an old school large game hunter around like the old type German Mastiff. My favourite type in terms of structure and the whole phenotype.
Just click on the Image and it will enlarge: A sight to be seen. 8-)
Image
sunnyAK
 
Posts: 897
Joined: 20. December 2013, 19:17
Country: Germany (de)
Gender: Male

Re: Alaunt Gentil of the UK

Postby Full Throttle on 21. August 2015, 17:37

sunnyAK wrote:
Full Throttle wrote:
freed wrote:I like these Alaunt Gentil of Britain a lot.
@ Full Throttle
What Alaunt Veantre crosses are around at the moment. I mean in the past some Veanters were very tall. Are there Veanters around that are around 80cm?
I think in Australia they have some Great Dane and also Irish Wolfhound crosses.


Basically what Gun and Da Pink said, nowadays the focus is on being swift enough to catch rabbits so wolfhound admixture is not necessary.


I agree, although I wish there was an old school large game hunter around like the old type German Mastiff. My favourite type in terms of structure and the whole phenotype.
Just click on the Image and it will enlarge: A sight to be seen. 8-)
Image


Yes they certainly must have been impressive, that's why I love the big Wolfhound mixes they have down in OZ, some look like they've been lifted straight from a Medieval tapestry.
Full Throttle
 
Posts: 45
Joined: 19. August 2015, 18:30
Country: United Kingdom (uk)
Gender: Male


Return to Gentils of the UK - Lurchers and longdogs

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron