« ForrigeFortsett »
to be a Welsh terrier, which proved to be a moderate specimen of the ordinary white and tan marked wirehair of the present day. The standard adopted by the judges at all recent shows appears now to be generally uniform. The dog of which we write must, according to them, be not more than about 18lb. weight, black and tan in colour, quite free from white, though white on the breast or feet does not amount to absolute disqualification ; coat hard, close, and water and weather resisting; head, jaw, ears, build, and general appearance identical with the modern fox terrier; but the crisper coat and darker colour give the Welsh terrier a more dare-devil and determined appearance than the fashionable beauties of the present time, such as are shown by Mr. R. J. Vicary and others. Now I have known dogs of the above description since my boyhood in the north of England; specimens as good as anything seen nowadays I came across long before ever the Welsh terrier was even thought of as it is now, and some of the leading winners to-day, especially in the dog classes, are probably descended from the same strain, for they have come from the north of England. Most of those of Welsh origin that appeared at the earlier shows were lighter and weaker in jaw than the English variety, finer or lighter in bone, and with more than a tendency to be round or domed on the skull. This was especially to be noticed in Dau Lliw, a smart little bitch, about 151b. in weight, I should say, who for some time was at the head of her race, but her teeth were not quite level. Mr. C. H. Beck's Fan was another excellent bitch of similar stamp, but scarcely so round between the tops of the ears as the one previously mentioned. Major Savage more recently showed some first rate terriers that were much of the same style. We have thus quite four diverse opinions, let alone two or three more which emanated from the decisions of modern show bench judges who had awarded prizes to narrow-chested, flat-ribbed abortions, soft in coat, and minus all character, animals certainly dear at one-fourth the sum that has been paid as their entry fees. “We must encourage the breed,” said one judge, in reply to my strictures for his award of a prize to such a creature. “Right enough,” replied I; “but you encourage no breed when you award a prize to a mongrel like that.” Nor did he, although the specimen in question was shown from the kennels of a well-known member of the Welsh Terrier Club. Failing, then, to obtain much uniformity of opinion orally, I had recourse to letter-writing, and from Wales, the northern portion thereof, where these terriers find most favour, in due course my reply came. Certainly it was altogether in favour of the identity and purity of the breed, and, being from an ardent admirer of the type, and one who knows what that type is, the opinion expressed must be of that value I take it to be. Twenty years ago my informant possessed “two rare, nice terriers of the type shown now. Common enough then, they were generally used in the country for the ordinary terrier purposes. At Dolgelly a strain had been kept in the family of Mr. J. G. Williams for three generations. Mr. Griffith Williams, Trefeilar; Mr. Owen, Ymwlch ; and Mr. Edwards, Nanhorn Hall, Pwllheli, had all owned Welsh terriers for fifty or sixty years; and Mr. Jones, of Ynysfor also, the latter gentleman never being without a few couples running with his scratch pack of hounds upon and about the wild, rough country surrounding Beddgelert. Again, the late Mr. J. Rumsey Williams, of Carnarvon, was an ardent admirer of this variety, and several of the earlier strains which have won show bench prizes can be traced from his stock—Mr. Dew's Topsy, Mr. J. E. Jones's Tansy, and Mr. C. W. Roberts's Welsh Dick being the most notable examples.” Leaving North Wales and going southwards, the same correspondent says that Welsh terriers have been known there for one hundred and fifty years in connection with the Glansevin Hunt, and likewise with the Abererch Hunt for almost as long a period. Now all these dogs, of somewhat different strains, were produced of similar type. Some were larger than others, some shorter and thicker in head, nor were they all identical in build and height from the ground; still, a similarity in appearance ran throughout, which plainly betokened a common origin. In addition to this practical argument in favour of the Welshness of these terriers, classes were first made for them at Welsh shows, the one held at Carnarvon in July, 1885, I believe, being the earliest of all; but it was at Bangor, in the following August, that the meeting took place which inaugurated the club, following a suggestion made by a correspondent in the columns of the Field some short time earlier. Returning for a moment to the various animals exhibited as Welsh terriers, it is remarkable that by far the three best dogs up to a certain date were English-bred ones, and of English extraction, and two of them came from the district of South Durham and North Yorkshire. The latter were the Welsher, first shown by Mr. A. Maxwell, Croft, near Darlington, and the puppy Mawdwy Nonsuch, purchased from the same gentleman at an enormous price by Mr. E. W. Buckley, who for a long time showed an unbeaten certificate. The third was the well-known terrier General Contour, whose pedigree is unknown, but he is credited with being an Englishman so far as blood is concerned. Another good dog about that time was little Bob Bethesda, a true Welshman, and such dogs as Lieut.-Col. Savage, Mr. W. S. Glynn, Mr. W. J. M. Herbert, and other exhibitors now show, are for the most part “pure Welsh; ” at any rate for some few generations back. A fairly, and not more than fairly, distinguishing type has been produced, of which Mr. J. H. Harrowing's Brynhir Joe, his sister, Dolly; Mr. W. Hassell's Nan; Mr. W. S. Glynn's Dim Saesonaeg; Mr. W. J. M. Herbert's Cymro Dewr II. ; Miss Parker's Mona Fach and Lady Cymraeg, Mr. Roberts' Lady Ceredwen, and Lieut.-Col. Savage's Sir Launcelot are perhaps about the best that are being shown at the present day. But I am sadly afraid if one went very carefully into the pedigrees of some of the Welsh terriers entered as such, one would find little Welsh about them beyond their names. Just now there are many energetic admirers of the Welsh terrier, including Miss Parker, Mr. Rotherham Cecil, Mr. W. B. Davenport, Mr. W. C. Roberts, Mr. F. Bouch, Mr. W. J. M. Herbert, Mr. M. T.