Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

CHAPTER LXII

OTHER DIMINUTIVE TOY DOGS

It is not the worst feature in human nature that displays itself in a liking for the little—a disposition to care for and caress the diminutive. Of course, there are giant minds that find no room in their affections for trifles, and can stoop to deal with nothing less than the fundamental laws and colossal forces of Nature; and yet of such Thackeray could write:

How very weak the very wise.
How very small the very great are!

The diminutive animal appeals to us for help and protection, and that touches one of the secret springs of action in the best side of our nature, and is, probably, the foundation of our liking for little pets. Indulgence in this natural tendency is excellent in effect when properly regulated, but when excessive, or unwisely directed, it is harmful alike to the person and the pet. It is most to be condemned when wasted on abortive products, the result of some infraction of Nature's laws.

The Black-and-tan Terrier (miniature)

Three decades or so ago, and even less, a large proportion of the Black-and-tan Toy Terriers (as they were then called) were of the sort called by "fanciers" "apple-headed 'uns"—that is, round-skulled, and with prominent foreheads; and this variety was supposed to owe these features to a cross with the King Charles Spaniel. Another variety, finer in the head, and generally showing the wheel back and tucked-up flank of the Italian Greyhound, owed its peculiar features to a cross with the last-named dog. Both of these have now, however, given place to a much neater animal, showing truer Terrier character—being, in fact, a pocket edition of the large Black-and-tan Terrier, dwarfed by constant selection of the smallest and continued in-and-in breeding.

This continued consanguineous breeding is not, however, an unmixed good, and in some instances appears to have already been carried to the utmost extent it can be with safety, great delicacy of constitution being one result, and another the loss of hair, many specimens being almost bare on head, face, and neck; this is a great disfigurement, and one that can only be permanently remedied by judicious breeding.

The points of the Black-and-tan Toy Terrier are the same as in the larger breed, and to that readers are referred. There is more difficulty experienced in producing a good animal, well marked, and rich in colour, of the desired size—weighing from 31b. to 51b. at most—than there is in breeding dogs 2o1b. and over.

As these fragile creatures are thin in the skin, and but lightly covered with hair, they should be kept clothed when out of doors.

The great difficulty breeders find in producing perfect specimens of this variety is shown by the scarcity of them on the show-bench. For the last twenty years at least there have usually been one or two specimens so far superior to the general run that each, while its turn lasted, took the chief prizes wherever exhibited. Such were Boulton's Little Wonder, Whitehouse's Little Emily, Howard Mapplebeck's Belle, Mrs. Foster's Diva, Tom Swinburn's Serpolette, Alf George's Little Princess, and Mrs. Hamp's Jubilee Wonder (the last named a perfect specimen), Mrs. Lyne's Sisserietta, and the dogs associated with the name of Mr. T. Adams, of Oxford.

The Blue (known as the Blue Paul) and the Blue-and-tan are often by enthusiasts dignified as distinct varieties, but they are not entitled thereto. They are mere colour " sports," and generally, as far as type is concerned, inferior to the Black-and-tan. Some years ago these "sports" were encouraged; and where Nature had not given them the requisite colour, this was supplied by Art.

Though it is very desirable to take the greatest care of these somewhat delicate dogs, yet it is not a good plan to coddle them and bring them up like hot-house plants, any more than it is to allow them out when cold winds are blowing or during inclement weather generally. The best coated dogs will usually be found amongst those that during suitable weather have been kept in a well-ventilated but cosy out-door kennel. In winter it is safest to keep them indoors, but not to allow them to snooze away their existence in a basket before the fire. That the brood bitch and her whelps need special treatment admits of no doubt; for it would be the height of folly to allow the delicate young puppies to be exposed to cold blasts of wind, wet, and snow. For natural purposes it is the fancier's rule to provide a tray containing peat moss, sanitary sawdust, or the special mould sold for cats, to which the dam and her puppies can repair. This has been found to answer well.

As with many other varieties, it is not judicious to attempt to breed from the small bitches. Far better is it to rely upon a bitch of medium size (81b. or so) that also comes of a small strain, and utilise her as a brood bitch, mating her to a dog renowned for siring small puppies. If the puppies are born in winter, they must be kept in a fairly warm room, and at night, when the fires are out, the lined basket or box should be lightly covered. In spring and summer no such precaution is necessary, and at any rate in sunny, warm weather the mother and her whelps will be benefited by being kept outside. With puppies so reared, the tendency to skin disease, so prevalent with these dogs, is minimised, and the coat is correspondingly improved. Should the coat get bare upon the head, as it often does, a little vaseline pomade rubbed in after washing the dog with one of the pet-dog soaps will be beneficial. Teething troubles affect puppies very much, and the coat and ear-carriage are alike bad. Though in the big Black-and-tan but one type of ear is acknowledged, with these pocket editions it is not unusual to find two or three different kinds—erect, rose, drop. So long as the carriage of either is correct and the dog be otherwise of good quality, the actual shape of ear is not of great moment, or at least it does not appear to be. The dietary of all these Toy dogs must be as varied as possible, and minced lean meat should be given as a change food.

The White Toy Terrier

Occasionally diminutive White Terriers of 31b. or 41b. weight turn up at a show, but do not seem as yet to be looked on as worthy of distinct classification. Those usually seen have been too bullet-headed; but by close in-breeding of the now well-established White English Terrier, a very pretty class of Toys might be produced, and, if bred in sufficient numbers, a class would soon be made for them at our best shows.

The Chihuahua Dog

Another atom of dog-flesh now and again seen at our shows is the Chihuahua. Those specimens that we have seen appeared to differ considerably as to type. According to a correspondent who wrote about these dogs in the Field a few years ago, the true Chihuahua "is very small, has smooth hair of different colours except black (which is not recognised), a fine nose, large, prominent eyes, slender feet, a

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

small depression on the skull, and large, erect ears." There are also long-coated specimens.

At the Kennel Club Show of 1898 one of these scarce (so far as this country is concerned) little animals was exhibited by Mrs. F. H. Adams, Arun Bank, Rudgwick, Sussex. Fig. 131 illustrates this mite. Her owner characterised her as a very lively little pet. Although weighing but 41b. 20z., she was very plucky, and had the temerity to tackle a cat. Chihuahua dogs generally have the reputation of being delicate; but there was nothing delicate about Mrs. Adams's bitch at the time she was exhibited. When she first came into her owner's hands, she was very timid; but she soon outgrew this, and would romp about with a handsome Retriever that was exceedingly kind to his small friend.

The Affenpinscher

At one time this Monkey Terrier, as it is called by some, was now and then found at a few of the larger shows. Since the advent of the Brussels Griffon, however, the Affenpinscher is not as often seen. To judge by the appearance and monkeyish expression of these two varieties, one could readily imagine that the former contained a big preponderance of the latter.

The Affenpinscher is an alert, intelligent little dog of some 71b. to 81b. in weight. It has a round skull well covered with stiff hair, large, dark, round eyes, black-bordered eyelids, and bushy eyebrows. As the name denotes, the expression is that of a monkey. The ears are erect, and on the Continent cut to a point. As in the Brussels Griffon, there is a prominent chin, with a hair-tuft and a moustache. Though the lower jaw is a trifle the longer, the teeth must not show. The body is short and compact; the fore legs are straight and well boned; while the round feet are well furnished with hair between the toes. The colour is different shades of red, as well as grey and yellowish; while there is often a black mask. The coat is wiry in texture. The tail is docked to about two-thirds its length.

The Butterfly Spaniel Or Squirrel-dog

In some quarters there is a disposition to popularise this longcoated toy-dog. It scales somewhat heavier than the Affenpinscher, and, like that variety, is of Continental origin. The names above adopted are in reference to two decided characteristics that the dog possesses. The former is in allusion to the ear-placement and carriage, which have been fancifully likened to the expanded wings of a butterfly; the latter to the tail being carried over the back. The skull is rounded, with round dark eyes placed somewhat low. In body the dog is not so compactly built as our English Toy Spaniels. The coat is a chestnut-brown or a combination of that colour and white; while in texture it is soft to the touch. On the face parts and in front of the legs it is shorter than on the body.

CHAPTER LXIII

THIBETAN DOGS

Elsewhere has been figured and described the large Thibet dog known as the Thibet Mastiff; there is also the huge Thibetan Sheepdog that Mr. Wilson had some few years since, and exhibited at the more important shows. The one is but a modification of the other. Of still more importance than either to English fanciers is the Lhassa Terrier, an interesting little breed formerly found under the inappropriate name of Bhuteer Terrier. Lhassa is the chief home of these Terriers, which by the Fancy in Northern India are classified as Thibetan. Until Mr. Lionel Jacobs enlightened the fanciers of this country by means of his very practical contributions to the Kennel press on the dogs of India, but very little was known here, and much confusion reigned, especially when, as in the case of the Lhassa, two distinct types obtain. Though desirable acquisitions, the true Lhassas are by no means abundant even in that capital, and are correspondingly expensive.

As stated above, two distinct types of Lhassa exist—one (the true) approaching the Skye Terrier in character, but with the tail carried over the back, as is usual with Thibetan dogs, the other more closely approximating to the Japanese Spaniel. In India, as here, separate classes for the breed are provided; but the dogs there do not appear to grow as much hair upon the face, head, and ears as do the specimens met with here. This, as Mr. R. T. Clarke points out in a letter sent to Mr. Lionel Jacobs and by that gentleman contributed to the Field, is probably the result of greater attention to the dog's toilet. Mr. Clarke describes the Lhassa as "very affectionate and attached, and do not thrive unless petted and taken a good deal of notice of. They are very jealous, and desperate fighters when their blood is up. When fighting, they are as determined to kill as any Fox or Irish Terriers, and always attack at a vulnerable spot."

Mr. Lionel Jacobs, when dealing with the breed in the Kennel Gazette of 1901, speaks in the highest praise of the bitch Marni, owned by Colonel Walsh, and compares her in type and general appearance to Mrs. Maclaren Morrison's Kepvich Tuko, that had

« ForrigeFortsett »