Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

and a general independence of manner, which is thrown aside at the sight
of a gun.
Value of Points-

Positive Points
Head, jaw, and eyes
Ears
Neck .
Body
Fore legs.
Hind legs
Feet
Stern .
Coat
General appearance

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

20

Total negative points . My illustration represents Lucky Shot, who carried off the first honours at the Kennel Club shows of 1900-01-02. He was bred by Mr. H. M. Fitz Herbert, but his pedigree and date of birth are unknown. Mr. Stansfeld, his owner, describes Lucky Shot as follows: “Liver and white in colour, standing 22 inches at shoulder and weighing 50 lbs. ; head long and narrow, with long, deep muzzle ; eyes small, deep amber-hued in colour ; ears well clothed with hair inside and out; body large and deep; large nose ; shoulders low, chest deep, back and loins strong and muscular. Coat curly, very slight tendency to top-knot. He has won numerous first prizes and a championship on the show-bench, and obtained a first-prize certificate at field trials. In the illustration, owing to the unevenness of the ground, he appears to slope from shoulder to stern, instead of sloping, if anything, slightly the other way, as is the case really.”

THE IRISH WATER SPANIEL

which brierescribed as a good

ALTHOUGH we write and talk conventionally of "the Irish water spaniel,” there were two varieties of the dog indigenous to Ireland—one in the north and the other in the south. The former was a dog with short ears, unfeathered, and a coat in which there was a good deal of white, so that it was often described as a brown and white dog. With which brief description it may be dismissed as having nothing to do with the subject of this section, which is confined to the south of Ireland variety, a liver-coloured dog, with long, fringed ears, that occasionally measured 30 inches from tip to tip of feather, a body covered with short, crisp curls, a comical top-knot on the crown of its head, and an absolutely bare face and tail, which gives the dog a very odd appearance, quite unlike that of any other breed.

The breed is not an ancient one, and probably came to be created about the first quarter of the last century. M'Carthy is the name with which to conjure in this fancy. He was foster-father to the breed, and gave a portion of his knowledge concerning it to the world through the columns of the Field something over forty years ago. Writing in 1859, he said that he had owned specimens of the breed for thirty years, and sent numbers of them all over Ireland and into England ; and

[graphic][merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

that the best dog he ever possessed was Boatswain, the ancestor of several of the modern dogs, for he was a grand old sire, who attained the age of eighteen years, and left a numerous progeny behind him. Mr. M'Carthy has left on record a description of the Irish water spaniel of his strain, which was about 22 inches at the shoulder, and carried ears that measured from 24 to 26 inches from point to point; the face from the eyes down being perfectly smooth, and the unfeathered tail short and stiff as a ramrod. But of whence the dog came, and how compounded, Mr. M'Carthy made no mention, and in this respect left the world very little wiser than when he found it. Still, he dowered it with a very fascinating species of dog, and perhaps he thought a gift horse should not be looked at in the mouth !

Happily, in this dilemma as to antecedents and component parts of the breed, I am able to avail myself of the particular knowledge of Mr. F. Trench O’Roorke, the Honorary Secretary of the Irish Water Spaniel Club, who is able to write with as great authority as any other living fancier, and has sent me the following note :

The origin of the breed seems somewhat veiled in mystery. The late Mr. Justin M'Carthy, who first took up the breeding of this variety about 1830, and during thirty years or longer brought it to much perfection, is silent as to how he obtained his strains first. Doubtless in years gone by many crosses were tried with this spaniel, notably the bloodhound, retriever, poodle, and setter. Any such cross, however, is to be greatly deprecated. One of the most noted specimens of the breed in recent times, which certainly must be looked upon as a bright pillar of the Stud Book, was Madam Blair. This bitch was the result of breeding a daughter to her sire, her pedigree being by Ch. Blair ex Juno III., by Ch. Blair, a grandson of Mr. M'Carthy's Boatswain. This bitch was only exhibited on two occasions : on the last, when she won at Dublin, she was disqualified for having a small portion of her tail removed, which up to this time appears to have been a

« ForrigeFortsett »