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are used with packs of hounds than when Blaine wrote, and, unless under exceptional circumstances, a master will leave the fox, which has contrived to get safely to ground, with his mask safe and his brush intact, if a little bedraggled. With an increasing love of hunting, so apparent during the past century, there was no wonder the terrier came to have consideration with some men little inferior to that bestowed on the hound himself. Pretty nearly each hunting country held its own particular strain, and that these were for the most part dark in colour (usually black and tan), that which has been read in these introductory pages, I think, forms fair evidence. That three varieties were common, large, medium, and small in size, too, is apparent, and that such were both smooth and rough or wire-haired; but how they were originally produced there is no evidence to show. The early-time terriers were bred for work and not for ornament, and, unless they would go to ground after the manner of the ferret, their heads would not be kept long out of the huge butt of water in the stableyard. Rats they had to kill, and, unhappily, often enough cats too; but fox terriers were less seldom used to work as spaniels or retrievers than is the case to-day. Our ancestors believed in each dog having its own vocation: the setter to set, the pointer to point, the spaniel to beat the coverts, and the terrier to make pilgrimages underground. Nor did they condescend to train the latter to run after rabbits, as in modern coursing matches; and they took for the most part the bull terrier to bait the badger and perform in the rat pit. “A dash of bulldog blood" was always said to improve the pluck of a terrier (it certainly does not add to his elegance of form), and so no doubt came the brindle marks on some few of the modern fox terriers. Careful crossing has almost effaced the first named, now considered a blemish, and in its place the rich tan and black, or hound markings, have been introduced. Originally these gaudy colours were produced by some beagle blood, which, I fancy, came to be infused about thirty-five years ago. The large, flapping, almost hound-like, ears which still occasionally crop up, and were excessively common twenty years back, likewise suggest this beagle cross, and I have no doubt, from a modern black and tan terrier and a hound-marked pure beagle, careful selection would in very few generations produce a fox terrier with a black and tan head and a patch on the body or at the root of the stern. Of a whilom champion a well-known admirer of the variety was wont to declare, “she had ears like a blacksmith's apron.”
An excessive size of the aural appendages is not an attribute of the terrier proper, any more than are the hound markings. I am inclined to believe that if ever there was an original terrier he had semi-erect ears, which, standing quite upright at times, were, when their owner came to be at work, thrown back into the hair of the neck, which for purposes of protection Nature provided stronger and more profuse there than on any other part of the body. To a great extent fancy has outdone Nature in this respect, and few of the terriers seen winning on the benches now have that strong, muscular, hairprotected neck required for thorough workers. Neatness and quality are sought. In nine cases out of ten where a dog show man possesses a fox terrier with a greater profusion of hair on the neck than elsewhere on the body, it would be taken off in order that a neatness and cleanness there would better attract the eye of the judge.
The popularity of the fox terrier commenced to make itself apparent some thirty years or so ago, and during the decade which immediately followed that date its progress in the estimation of the people was phenomenal. Those days are still spoken of as the “good old times,” and so long as a dog was white, with a patch of black or brown or tan on him—even brindle was not then considered disqualification—weighed anything between I Ilb. and 3olb., and had his tail docked, he was called a fox terrier, and sold as such. He had a pedigree made for the occasion perhaps. And if his ears were too big, they could be sliced down, as they sometimes were, and if they stood up erect instead of dropping, they could be cut underneath, and often were, and made to hang in the orthodox fashion. The British public had not then learned to distinguish between one dog and another, long heads, straight legs, round feet, and other important essentials were considered secondary considerations when placed against an evenly-marked “black and tan’’ head—“tortoiseshell headed " a clerical friend called my little terrier, and he thought he had made a good joke, too. With the multitude came, for once at least, wisdom ; the youngsters studied from their elders, hob-nobbed with fanciers, and so by degrees obtained an inkling as to the requirement and appearance of a perfect terrier, or one as nearly perfect as possible. Any kind of rubbish almost could have been palmed off as the genuine article twenty-five years since; but a difference prevails In OW. Go to a dog show to-morrow, and eighteen out of every twenty persons you meet (ladies of course excepted) will argue with you as to the relative merits of this dog and about the defects of that one. They wonder at your presumption, perhaps, as you give your opinion against theirs; why, they will even talk to the judge himself, and tell him where he has done wrong, and how that terrier ought to have won and the actual winner only been placed third. Further inquiry might elicit the fact that the person so laying down the law was an interested party, and had shown a dog (in the same class as that in which he was criticising the awards) as long on the legs and as defective in ribs and loins as a whippet, and was highly indignant that it had not won the Cup. I have known a man to judge fox terriers who had never bred one in his life, had never seen a fox in front of hounds, had never seen a terrier go to ground, had never seen either otter, weasel, or foulmart outside the glass case in which they rested on the wall in a bar parlour, and had not even seen a terrier chase a rabbit. His slight experience of working a terrier had been obtained at a surreptitious badger bait in the stable of a beerhouse, and a violent attack on a dozen mangy rats by a mongrel terrier in an improvised pit in the bedroom of the landlord of the same hostel. However, such things are not so now, and the popularity of the fox terrier is as great as ever it was.