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terrier was “Stonehenge,” who, in 1855, published his “ British Rural Sports.” In the early edition of that valuable work, he mentions bull-terriers, smooth English terriers, both white and black and tan; a Skye terrier, a Dandie Dinmont, a roughhaired terrier, and a toy terrier, and at the same time conveys the impression that there are other varieties, as there no doubt were, of less general interest and importance. How the varieties have increased, or at any rate how they have been defined and distinguished, since that time is in evidence wherever we turn, and, forming an opinion from what has taken place during the past ten years, there may be more so-called varieties of the terrier yet to come. Since “Stonehenge's "“Dogs of the British Isles” was first published in 1867, which included the same varieties he had given eight years earlier in his “Rural Sports,” great strides have been made in the improvement and classification of our terriers, and the volumes of the Stud Book of the Kennel Club contain varieties which, by careful selection, no doubt originally came from one stock, with the additions of various crosses. Our newest strains have become popularised, and as it were individualised, including the Welsh terrier, the Airedale terrier, the Clydesdale or Paisley terrier, and perhaps the Scotch and Irish terriers (though I fancy that both these varieties are actually much older as such than they are usually given credit for); whilst the bull-terriers, Bedlington terriers, Skye terriers, fox terriers (rough and smooth), black and tan terriers, white English terriers (including English and other smooth-haired terriers), broken haired Scotch and Yorkshire terriers, with the toy terriers, rough and smooth, had places given them in the first volume of the “Kennel Club Stud Book,” published in 1874. It is, perhaps, interesting to state that the first two dog shows held, which took place in 1859, at Newcastle-on-Tyne and in Birmingham, did not offer prizes for terriers; but at the latter show the following year classes were provided for black and tan terriers, white and other English terriers, Scotch terriers (both winners being Skye terriers) and for toy terriers (the four classes having twenty-three entries, seven of which were “toys"), ten Scottish (Skyes), four white English and two black and tan terriers. Now, thirty years later, we can hold a show of terriers that will produce over a thousand entries, and at an exhibition at the Agricultural Hall, Islington, in February, 1893, there were 162 classes provided for terriers, and they contained something like 880 competitors. Such figures as C
these prove the extraordinary popularity terriers have attained during the present generation, and, whilst years ago a ten-pound note was considered a high price for one of the best of them, ten times that sum and even more, will be given for a perfect specimen at the present day. As I write this, £300 has just been given for a fox terrier called Despoiler, which by the greatest stretch of imagination could not be considered of greater quality than second class. No doubt the appearance of the terrier all round has generally improved, though whether this is at the expense of his ability to work and do the work for which nature originally intended him is an open question. Perhaps a word or two as to the shapes and sizes of our modern terriers may not be amiss. In size they vary greatly, for, whilst a “toy" may perhaps not scale more than 4lb. to 5lb. in weight, an “Airedale" is not out of place if he scales 45lb. to 50lb., and there are terriers of every weight between the two. Perhaps some time the weight of the terrier may be restricted to 20lb.
at most. This is, however, not likely to be the case, for few of the varieties are now required to go underground after the fox, or badger, or otter, a majority of them being used for purely fancy purposes, as companions and house-dogs, or as casual assistants in the shooting field. As a matter of fact, those best adapted for hard work either with foxhounds or otterhounds are cross-bred, hardy dogs, specially trained for the purpose, although many of the “pedigree " animals will do similar duty to the best of their ability, but their “pedigree" and no doubt inbreeding to a certain extent, has made them constitutionally and generally weaker than their less blue-blooded cousins. “Some terriers have long bodies and short legs,” says an old writer, and so they have at the present time. Dr. Walsh (“Stonehenge") ascribed those long-bodied, crooked-legged terriers to the fact of a cross with the dachshund. Personally, I consider that this deformity—and crooked fore legs are a great deformity, and one that should not be allowed in any terrier, Scottish, Dandie Dinmont, or Skye, any more than it is allowed in an Irish terrier or a fox terrier—arises from the dogs having been bred for length of body. This long, unnaturally long, body, heavy too, has gradually forced down the legs until they have become bandy or crooked through sheer weakness— an “inherited deformity " that some breeders have come to look upon as the correct thing. All these unduly long-bodied terriers have more or less “crook” on their fore legs, like unto those of the basset and dachshund. These hounds would be better with straight legs, so would the terriers. The Dandie Dinmont is, perhaps, the most crooked legged of any of our terriers; he is not an active dog, and is little use for work in a “stone wall country,” nor is his “crook” the slightest advantage in any way. I fancy breeders are now trying to produce them with legs as straight as possible, and this can be done if length of body is to an extent sacrificed. The prototype of the original Dandie Dinmont was a more active and useful animal than is the case with our modern specimens. The Scottish terrier is another crooked legged dog, but his admirers have already seen that he is more active and comely on straight fore legs; and in due course we shall see as few Scottish terriers winning whose legs are crooked as we do fox terriers and black and tans with a similar deformity; and I repeat emphatically that no terrier should have crooked fore legs. I have had them, Dandie Dinmonts and Scottish ones too, Skye terriers likewise; but, game and well trained as they were, they were of little use with hounds. They could not keep up with those with which we used to hunt the otter, much less with the fleeter foxhound; and again, in an earth amongst the rocks and crevices, a short-legged, heavily-bodied terrier might get down a shelf up