SHELL-TOOTHED. An epithet applied to a horse that, from five years to old age, naturally and without any artifice, bears the mark in all his fore teeth; insomuch that, at twelve or fifteen, he appears with the mark of a horse that is not yet six. For in the nippers of other horses the mark disappears towards the sixth year, in consequence of the wearing of the tooth. About the same age it is half worn out in the middling teeth, and towards the eighth year it disappears in the corner teeth; but after a shelltooth horse has marked, he marks still equally in the nippers, the middling, and the corner teeth; which proceeds from this, that having stands at the head of the first class of farm dogs. This breed of dogs is said to be preserved in the greatest purity in the northern parts of Scotland. In driving a number of sheep to any distant part, a well-trained dog never fails to confine them to the road; he watches every avenue that leads from it, and pursues the stragglers, if any should escape, and forces them into order without doing them the least injury. If the herdsman be at any time absent from the flock, he depends upon his dog to keep them together; and, as soon as he gives the well-known signal, this faithful creature conducts them to his master, though at a considerable distance.
Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835.
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