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'of the coat, they are also called the linty-haired terrier.”
With a character such as the above there is no wonder that there came a run on the Bedlington terrier, though some correspondents had written of him as a dainty feeder and a “bad doer ” generally, which in many cases he remains to the present day.
Following came sundry other communications, all pretty much to the same effect, and great praise was given to a dog known as Ainsley’s Piper, which lived between 1820 and 1830, and claimed by many to be the best of his race. This dog had attained a reputation for great pluck and courage. He was entered to badger when but eight months old, and from that time until he was almost blind was fully employed with the otter, fox, foulmart, badger, and vermin of all kinds. When fourteen years of age, grey and toothless, he drew a badger, which other terriers had failed to move, but shortly before this old Piper was a hero in another quarter. In 1835 Mrs. Ainsley was in the harvest field and had left her four months' old baby in a basket under the hedge with old Piper in charge. A ferocious sow came prowling around when the labourers were out -of hearing, and attempted to get at the child, which vno doubt it would greedily have devoured. But
Piper would allow nothing of the kind, and kept the creature at bay until assistance came, and the grunter, much against its will, was driven off to the stye, shortly afterwards to be destroyed. It was always believed that Piper saved the baby’s life, and so the poor old dog was duly cherished, as were all his progeny, for the canny Northumbrians loved their children as well as they did the sport given them by their dogs. Piper was fifteen years old when he died, and to this day his name and blood are valued in the pedigrees of the Bedlington terrier.
In 1869 the following interesting and valuable history of this breed appeared in the Field, and hasbeen copied since without proper acknowledgment :
“Owing to the interest lately evinced in theBedlington terrier in the pages of the Field, I am encouraged to contribute my quota of information. But, as I find myself in opposition to most of your previous correspondents, I had better first give you, sir, and through you the public, the guarantee of one who has made the acquaintance of the breed in its native district. I am also suppoted by the high authority of Mr. Joseph Ainsley, the first owner and breeder of the Bedlington terrier proper. Mr. Thomas Sanderson, too, a breeder of forty years’ standing, has given me the benefit of his extensive
experience; and I could name others who have bred and owned this dog for twenty and thirty years respectively.
“To make myself understood, I find it necessary to premise that during the first quarter of the present century Mr. Edward Donkin, of Flotterton, hunted a pack of foxhounds well known in the Rothbury district. At that time he possessed two very celebrated kennel terriers, Peachem and Pincher, which are alluded to in the pedigree below. A colony of sporting nailors then flourished at Bedlington, who were noted for their plucky breed of terriers. But a reform was at hand, and the old favourites were obliged to make way for new blood. To Joseph Ainsley, a mason by trade, belongs this honour. He purchased a dog named Peachem of a Mr. William Cowen, of Rothbury ; and the result of a union of this dog with Mr. Christopher Dixon’s Phoebe, of Longhorsley, was Piper, belonging to James Anderson, of Rothbury Forest. Piper was a dog of splendid build, about 15in. high and 151b. weight; he was of a liver colour, the hair being a sort of hard woolly lint; his ears were large, hung close to the cheek, and were slightly feathered at the tips.
“In the year 1820 Mr. Howe, of Alnwick, visited a friend at Bedlington, and brought with him a terrier bitch named Phoebe, which he left with Mr. Edward Coates, of the Vicarage. Phoebe belonged to Mr. Andrew Riddel, of Cramlington, who subsequently made a present of her to Ainsley; but, from the fact of her home being at the Vicarage, she was generally known as “Coates’s Phoebe.” Her colour was a black or black-blue, and she had the invariable light-coloured silky tuft of hair on her head. She was about 13in. high, and weighed I4lb. In 1825 she was mated with Anderson’s Piper, and the fruit of this union was the Bedlington terrier in question. Of the sagacity and courage of Ainsley’s Piper, one of their offspring, a volume may be written, and to submit a list of the best known specimens would be tedious. There were Ainsley’s Crowner, ]in, Meg, and Young Phoebe, the Bow Alley dog, Rinside Moor House dog, Angerton Moor House dog, Ainsley’s Ranter (of Redheugh, Gateshead), Coates’s Peachem, VVeatherburn’s Phoebe, Hoy’s Rocky, Fish’s Crib, and, in short, a host of good and tried ones.
“The old and true breed is now scarce, and there are few indeed, even in Northumberland, able to furnish a reliable pedigree of the original doughty specimen. In some instances the cross with the otter hound has been indulged in, but the result was disappointment. The hull strain has been intro
duced, it is supposed for fighting purposes; and for rabbit coursing the ‘leggy’ beast has been bred; but one and all diverge from the original, either in size, shape, or some other important particular.
“The model Bedlington should be rather long and small in the jaw, but withal muscular; the head high and narrow, and crowned with the tuft of Silky hair of lighter colour than that on the body; the eyes small, round and rather sunk, and dull until excited, and then they are ‘ piercers ’; the ears are filbert-shaped, long, and hang Close to the cheek, free of long hair, but slightly feathered at the tips; the neck is long, slender, and muscular, and the body well-proportioned, slender, and deep-chested; the toes must be well arched, legs straight, and rather long in proportion to the height, but not to any marked extent ; the tail varies from 8in. to 12in. in length, is small and tapering, and free of feather. The best, and indeed only true, colours are—first, liver or sandy, and in either case the nose must be of a dark brown flesh colour; or, secondly, a blackblue, when the nose is black.
“The Bedlington terrier is fast, and whether on land or in water is equally at home. In appetite these dogs are dainty, and they seldom fatten; but experience has shown them to be wiry, enduring,