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dog, whatever it may do so far as appearance is concerned. Much more could be written about the poodle as a sporting dog, but as one of the Modern Dogs of Great Britain he is used only as a pet and companion, purely a fancy dog and as a performer on the stage, in the circus, or in the streets. He is a “show dog” in the proper acceptation of the term, and although there are other varieties of the canine race taught to perform tricks of various kinds, the poodle is accepted as the performing dog par excellence. It is he who stands on his head, climbs ladders, walks on rolling barrels, turns somersaults both backwards and forwards, feigns death, and performs a host of other accomplishments of which terriers are his imitators. Writers on dogs have always had anecdotes to tell of the sagacious poodle. Even Colonel Hutchinson, in his excellent work on “Dog Breaking,” cannot pass over the performances in Paris of a celebrated poodle named Domini, who not only made up any number that might be desired by selecting corresponding cards upon which numbers had been written, but told the time by the clock, played a good game at dominoes, and otherwise so astonished the gallant Colonel that he gives two or three pages and an illustration to this well-trained animal. This had happened something like fifty years ago, but long before that time dogs had been trained to perform certain parts in the circus or elsewhere. In the Bodleian Library there is a manuscript of the fourteenth century, upon which is drawn a performing dog, i.e., one sitting upon its haunches, and Strutt tells us that none of these early illustrations represent the dog in any other position than the above, when he is supposed to be in the throes of his performance. The Bodleian dog is, however, not a poodle; it might be a beagle or it might be a terrier, probably it represents the mongrel of that period. “Dogges that dance the morrice" appeared at Bartholomew Fair towards the end of the sixteenth century. Early in 17oo, there was a showman, Crawley by name, who performed in London and out of it, with a troup of poodles highly to the satisfaction of the curious at that time. “The Ball of Little Dogs” he called his exhibition; the dogs he said came from Louvain (even then we had a taste for something foreign), and had performed before Queen Anne, greatly to Her Majesty's delight. These dogs danced, two of them, with the grandiloquent titles of Marquis of Gaillerdain and Madame de Poncette, showing extraordinary training by the manner in which their movements kept time and cadence with the music which accompanied them. When Sadlers Wells was a more fashionable place of amusement than is the case now, at the beginning of this century, much interest was taken in some performing poodles, one of which, dressed as a lady, was carried by two other dogs and seated at a table where a banquet was supposed to be spread, of which the “lady dog" and some others partook, their attendant waiters being canines of less aristocratic appearance. This same body of dogs concluded their performance in the part of soldiers, first attacking and then taking a toy fort by storm. This company is said to have consisted of about eighty animals, most of them small poodles, the remainder little spaniels. However, all these feats are not one tithe better than may be seen at our shows and exhibitions at the present time. I have seen a poodle turn a double somersault, others turn somersaults either backwards or sideways at the will of their trainers; they can still “take a hand” both at cards and dominoes, and their tight-rope walking on the hind legs, or on all-fours with a monkey on their backs, and their steeplechases with monkey riders, are certainly ahead of anything in the way of poodle training presented before the public in olden times. Only the other day I saw two little poodles on the stage at Westminster Aquarium that gave an excellent bout at boxing, standing on their hind legs, the gloves being placed on their fore paws, and sparring and striking each other in the face and neck with as much pugnacity as two bipeds might display. As I write, I should say there are now in 1893, at least half-a-dozen troupes of performing dogs in the metropolis, and each contains several poodles. The writer of “Stonehenge's" article lamented the fact that so few poodles were kept in this country at that time, although they had long been fairly established as a British dog. The Kennel Club Stud Book was first published in 1874, and the following year poodles were included in its pages, but there were only half-a-dozen entries. Later, the variety became more popular, and now each year's registration contains on an average between thirty and forty poodles. This increase is, no doubt, owing to the establishment of a Poodle Club, which was done in 1886. It contains a fair number of subscribers, whose object is, like that of other members of specialist clubs, to improve the dog and to encourage his exhibition at shows, where they provide special prizes for him.
A well-arranged schedule would contain two classes for previous winners of three or more first prizes, i.e., one for blacks, the other for whites, and even these might be sub-divided according to sex. Then there would be separate open classes for black corded dogs and for bitches; the same for white corded dogs and bitches; and four distinct divisions for black or white other than corded. Although some admirers do not set great store by the brown and parti-coloured poodles, two classes should certainly be made for poodles any variety other than black and white. Perhaps in countries where the poodle is more numerous than is the case here, it might be advisable to make the classification according to weight.
Some of my readers may wonder why a dog with all the intelligence and faithfulness of the poodle is not the most popular of his variety. Scientists have told us that his “cerebral cavity is more capacious than in other dogs, that the frontal sinuses are fully developed, and that the general formation of the head and skull exhibit every indication of extraordinary intelligence.” But the poodle is, like most dogs with curly coats, a rather strong smelling animal, and not always quite a pleasant companion to have in the house. In other