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I IMAGINE that were one of our great-grandfathers to be shown a specimen of the modern black and tan terrier he would be unable to recognise it as the same variety of dog that, when he was a boy, ran about the stable yards, destroyed vermin, and was usually a household pet. The original fox terrier was a black and tan terrier; at any rate, many terriers used for the purpose Of driving foxes from their holes were black and tan in colour, and from them must have sprung the “black and tan ” as he is seen to-day, crossed probably with some lighter built dog, maybe with a small greyhound. With his rich red-tan markings, his deep black colour, pencilled toes, and thumb marks on the feet, elegant shape, sprightly appearance, and general gameness, he is no doubt a dog that might have had a popular future in store. But the fates decreed otherwise, and fashion suggested that he would look better with a portion of his ears cut Off, and man carried out the needless mutilation. This system of cropping, once so general, now happily discountenanced, illegal, and a thing of the past, I have already descanted upon in the chapters devoted to the bull terrier and to the white English terrier, and there is no more to add on the subject. I am of opinion that had as much care been used in producing on the black and tan terrier a small thin drop ear, or a neat semi-erect one, as 'there has been in breeding for colour, he would be a more popular and commoner dog to-day than is the case. He had everything to recommend him for a house dog. He is not too big, is smooth-coated, handsomely shaped, intelligent in expression, brilliant in colour, which, being dark, is less liable to show dirt, and therefore in advance of any white animal in a town, where grimes and smuts prevail and dirt forms one of the common objects of the streets.
I am not alone in the opinion that the ear cropping, having continued for so many generations, has had a most injurious effect upon the health and general nature of the black and tan terrier, and I believe that his spirit has in many cases been destroyed thereby, so making him a less game and less smart a dog than he would have been if let alone. At least, this is my experience of