From Anecdotes of Dogs, by Edward Jesse, Esq., London: Bell & Daldy; 1870; pp. 479-481.
This variety, which seems almost extinct, is lighter, smaller, and more active than the mastiff, from which he is descended by a cross with a foxhound. He is not nearly so powerful a dog as the former, but is more fierce in his natural disposition; and from his descent possesses a finer sense of smelling. His hair is rougher, generally of a yellowish or sandy grey, streaked with shades of black or brown, and semi-curled over his whole body, excepting his legs, which are very smooth. Although he generally attacks his adversary in front, like the mastiff and bull-dog, it is not his invariable practice, for he is sometimes seen to seize cattle by the flank. His bite, says Bewick, is keen and dangerous.480
Two near neighbors in the county of Suffolk, a tanner and a farmer, entertained great friendship for each other, and kept up a close intimacy by frequent visits. The tanner had a large ban-dog for watching his yard, which, from some unknown cause, had conceived such an inveterate hatred to the farmer, that he could not go with safety to call on his friend when the dog was loose, and on this account the tanner loaded him with a heavy clog, that he might not be able to fly at him.
As the farmer and one of his ploughmen were going about the grounds one day, the latter espied at a distance something on a stile. As they drew near, they perceived it was the tanner’s dog, which, in attempting to leap the wall, had left the clog on the other side, and was thereby almost strangled. The ploughman, knowing the enmity which the dog had to his master, proposed to despatch him by knocking him on the head; but the latter was unwilling to kill a creature which he knew was useful to his friend. Instead of doing so, he disengaged the poor beast, laid him down on the grass, watched till he saw him recover so completely as to be able to get up on his legs, and then pursued his walk. When the farmer returned to the stile, he saw the dog standing by it, quite recovered, and expected an attack; but, to his great astonishment, the creature fawned upon him, and expressed his gratitude in 481 the most lively manner; and from that time to the day of his death he attached himself to his benefactor, and never could be prevailed upon to go back to his former master.