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north of England, where a few are still bred, as they are in the Midlands, but fewer in the Metropolis. The most recent London-bred specimens I have seen have been comparatively toys, under IOlb. in weight, and with that round skull, or so-called “apple head,” so persistent in making its appearance in liliputian specimens of the dog—a peculiar result of inbreeding.
The English white terrier in appearance is an attractive dog, small in size—he should not be more than I6ll). weight, the Club allowed him up to zolb. ——cleanly and elegant, but he is not particularly noted for his intelligence, as I am sorry to write is the case with all these smaller smooth-coated terriers that for generations have had their ears cut. This was unfortunately the custom with the one of which I write—at any rate, this evil result of cropping is my experience, as it has been of others who have kept this variety, and the black and tan terrier likewise.
Now that cropping is thoroughly done away with, one great drawback to his becoming a fashionable favourite has been removed; still, however his elegance and the purity of his white coat may fill the eye, he is by no means a hardy dog. Then he is like other varieties not easy to breed in perfection; the puppies are as likely to come with patches on them as not. He is not easy to keep in condition for exhibition, and is particularly subject to total or partial deafness, which may be hereditary or arise from other causes, perhaps from a delicacy that is supposed to appertain to totally White animals, especially such as are inbred to a great extent, as is the case here. I have heard that at least one of the most successful bitches of the early time, and from which many of the best were descended, was “ stone deaf.”
For show purposes, which mean when it is required to place the animal before the judges to the best advantage, it was usual to cut off the whiskers, and to singe or clip the under part of the tail where it might be clad with coarse hair. Indeed, this trimming was done to such an extent, and evidently acknowledged as being quite honest and straightforward, that at the autumn show of the Kennel Club in I893 I saw an exhibitor clipping hairs from the ears of a white terrier whilst on its bench, in full view of the company present; and strangely enough this public “faking” did not appear to attract any attention. A little later than this, considerable agitation was being caused in what are known as “kennel circles” with regard to this trimming. The English White Terrier Club asked to be allowed to trim the tails of the dogs in whose interests it had been formed, but the request was refused, though a similar one had been conceded to the Bull Terrier Club.
During 1893 some attention was drawn to the decadence and seeming neglect of the breed, and it was almost sad to hear one of its admirers, and the owner of specially good specimens, expressing himself pretty much in the same strain as I have done as to the anxiety the keeping in show form this terrier causes. Dr. Lees Bell wrote as follows :—
“All breeders have, I daresay, experienced the same difficulty of breeding pure white puppies with level heads and fine skulls, together with proper English terrier lines of body. The puppies are either foul-marked, or have domed skulls and Whippet bodies, or they have level heads, with the thick skull and wide chest and general stoutness of body of the bull terrier. But apart from those difficulties which it is the art of breeding and selection to overcome, the great amount of trouble requisite to keep white English terriers in form and to prepare them for exhibition naturally exercises an influence inimical to the popularity of the breed. The cropping of the ears, the trimming of the tail, shaving the ears, the washing and general anxiety to keep the dog spotless till after the show, all combine to make the hobby too tiresome to allow the breed to be popular with those at any rate who have little leisure for the indulgence of their pet hobby. The appearance of red wounds, too, on the white ground is also a great drawback. For all these reasons I doubt it is too much to expect that the breed can ever become popular, especially when there are other breeds of terriers better suited for the special purposes for which pet dogs are kept. Such terriers as the Irish, for example, are game, gay, and always the same, ready fora fight, and rarely .much the worse for a shindy, while they can be picked up and set on the show bench with the least possible trouble-—' and What more do we want? While regretting extremely the decay of the white English terrier, I am afraid they must bow to the inevitable, and give place to dogs better suited to the wants and conveniences of the present day than they unfortunately are.”
With all of which I cordially agree, and in this age we must be content with the “survival of the fittest.” It is only to be expected that in the common course of events, when we are introducing new varieties of the dog from foreign countries and re-popularising varieties of our own, that the least suitable must, sooner or later, go to the wall. We had imagined that there had been a turn in the tide so far as this dog was concerned, for during 1895 the classes at the various shows were certainly better filled than had been the case for years, and hoped that, “ cropping being dead,” a more popular future was in store for this graceful and elegant variety of the terrier. But our hopes have been doomed to disappointment, and this little dog is now as low in the scale of popularity as it can be, if not in danger of actual extinction.
At one time some of the best of our white terriers were to be found in Scotland, for which there was no particular reason, as the Scottish shows gave them no more encouragement than they received this side the Border. Mr. Ballantyne, at Edinburgh, has a particularly good kennel, but at the time of writing this he and Mr. and Mrs. E. Walsh appear to be the only persons who take. very much interest in the white English terrier. Mr. Walsh, who was the secretary to the club, has for many years taken a great interest in the variety, and sadly laments its decadence. He thinks more highly of it than of any other terrier, praises its hardihood, and instances as its breeding true to type the fact that his Lady Superior was one of a litter of five which all became champions.
Generally, the English white terrier ought to be constructed on pretty nearly the same lines as a black and tan terrier, but he must never reach the