Sir Charles Warren is going to employ bloodhounds in case there is any addition to the series of mysterious and horrible murders which have lately been perpetrated in the East End of London. Such a notification will no doubt be comforting to the public mind as bloodhounds have in many instances successfully tracked persons who have committed a murder, and in the notorious case of Fish, the Blackburn murderer, the animal which was the means of bringing the culprit to justice was crossbred between a bloodhound and mastiff.
Sir Charles Warren witnessed a private trial of bloodhounds in one of the London parks at an early hour on Tuesday morning. The hounds are the property of Mr. Edwin Brough, of Wyndgate, near Scarborough, who for years past has devoted himself to bloodhound breeding. It has been Mr. Brough's practice not only to breed for bench points, but to train his animals to exercise those peculiar faculties with which they were endowed by nature. On the 4th of October Mr. Brough was communicated with by the Metropolitan Police as to the utility of employing bloodhounds to track criminals and negotiations followed which resulted in that gentleman coming to London on Saturday evening, bringing with him two magnificent animals named Barnaby and Burgho. Of the two Barnaby is better known on the show benches, but Burgho, in body, feet, and legs, is as nearly perfect as possible. Burgho is nearly two years younger than kennel companion. He is a black and tan, and is a rare stamp of hound, powerful, well formed, and exceedingly well grown. His head measures twelve inches in length, and he is one of the fastest hounds Mr. Brough has ever bred. Burgho has been trained from a puppy to hunt the clean shoe - that is to say, follow the trail of a man whose shoes have not been prepared in any way by the application of blood or aniseed, so as to leave a strongly marked trail. Barnaby has been similarly taught, but his training was not commenced until he was at least twelve months old. The hounds have been accustomed to working together, which is a considerable advantage in following a trail. Mr. Brough told a Central News reporter that his system of training the hounds is as follows:-
When they are puppies, four or five months old, he give them short runs of about 100 yards to begin with on grass and up wind. To encourage the young dogs everything is made as easy for them as possible, The man whom they are going to run is always someone whom they know, and he caresses and fondles the puppies before he starts. The dogs are allowed to see him start, and the quarry gets out of sight as quickly as possible and conceals himself. The trainer, who must know the exact course the man has taken, puts the puppies on the line, and encourages them by voice and gesture to follow up the trail. It is quite likely at first that some of the litter, perhaps all of them, will not put their noses down or understand what is required of them; but the trainer takes them along until they reach the man, and he rewards them with some dainty. This is repeated until very soon the hounds know what is required of them, and once started on the trail work for themselves. The difficulties are gradually increased, but not until they are twelve months old can the animals be taught to go across country. Eventually, they can be trained to cross roads and brooks, and when they are at fault, say by overrunning the line, they will make their own casts and recover the track. Mr. Brough tried Barnaby and Burgho in Regent's Park at seven o'clock in the morning. The ground was thickly coated with hoar frost, but they did their work well, successfully tracking for nearly a mile a young man, who was given about fifteen minutes start. They were tried again in Hyde Park at night. It was, of course, dark, and the dogs were hunted on a leash, as would be the case if they were employed in Whitechapel. They were again successful in performing their allotted task and at seven o'clock on Wednesday morning a trial took place before Sir Charles Warren. To all appearances the morning was much better one for scenting purposes than the day previous, though the contrary proved to be the fact. In all, half a dozen runs were made, Sir Charles Warren in two instances acting as the hunted man. In every instance the dogs hunted person who were complete strangers to them, and occasionally the trail would be crossed. When this happened the hounds were temporarily checked, but either one or the other would pick up the trail again. In one of the longest courses the hounds were checked at half the distance. Burgho ran back, but Barnaby making a fresh cast forward recovered the trail and ran the quarry home. The hound did this entirely unaided by his master, who thought that he was on the wrong track, but left him to his own devices. In consequence of the coldness of the scent, the hounds worked very slowly, but they demonstrated the possibility of tracking complete strangers on whose trail they had been laid. The Chief Commissioner seemed highly pleased with the result of the trials, though he did not express any definite opinion on the subject to those present. The Echo of Wednesday evening says it was shown to be easier for a hound to follow a trail over dirty pavement than over frozen field. The grease on the former preserves the scent for the dog.