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CHAPTER IV.

THE BLACK AND TAN TERRIER.

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

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carried out the needless mutilation. 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

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

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black and tan terriers ; and others who have kept them as house dogs bear a similar opinion to that expressed here.

He is now a purely fancy creature, i.e., he is not used as an assistant to the gamekeeper or to destroy vermin, foxes, and such-like creatures. He may kill rats and rabbits, indeed, he can be trained until he is quite an adept at the first-named rude branch of sport.

It is much to be regretted that the endeavours to put a stop to “ cropping” were not earlier successful. So far back as 1879, at the instigation of the late Mr. James Taylor, of Manchester, the Birmingham committee, or one of its members, gave special prizes for “black and tans with uncut ears, and these prizes were continued for three years, though they received little or no support from exhibitors. Then the old Black and Tan Terrier Club, established in 1884, followed in the same line, and offered prizes at many exhibitions up and down the country, but with no better result. They received no encouragement in their good work from the Kennel Club. I know several admirers of the variety who gave up breeding their favourites, because to compete successfully against what

against what were perhaps inferior specimens the ears had to be operated upon.

To continue my subject, let me say that the black and tan terrier as he is found to-day is of

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