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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Rosa Bullar   9 June 1868

Mrs. Bullar thinks Mr. Darwin may like to hear that a 〈    〉 black retriever 〈    〉 her daughter’s1 al〈ways〉 burrows before she has her puppies altho she has a comfortable kennel & plenty of hay given to her & she always keeps them in the hole she makes for some time tho in bad weather she has allowed herself & pup〈pies to〉 be moved into the kennel after a few days—

Mrs Bullar writes this in 〈co〉nsequence of seeing the〈se〉 facts noticed in Mr. Darwin’s very interesting book as of rare occurrence—2 if Mr. Darwin cared to see the dog or hear more about it Mrs. Bullar would be happy to let him know when she was likely to burrow again—

Bassett Wood— | Southampt〈on〉

9th. June 1868—

CD annotations

Top of letter: ‘Review | Burrowing of Retriever’ pencil


Probably either Anne Mary or Edith Penelope Bullar.
In Variation 1: 27–8, CD commented that feral dogs in La Plata (Argentina), like wolves and jackals, burrowed holes for their young, as did a half-bred dingo reared in England. CD did not add to this section of Variation in the second edition.


Reports case of black retriever that always burrows in earth before giving birth and keeps pups in hole thereafter. CD’s book says this habit rare.

Letter details

Letter no.
Rosa Bullar
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Basett Wood
Source of text
DAR 160: 373
Physical description
3pp † damaged

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6237,” accessed on 18 June 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16