Artwork and excerpts from:
British Dogs: Their Points, Selection and Show
Published in 1903
Note: A large portion of this passage appears to
be a slightly updated version of the original narrative appearing in
Hugh Dalziel's British Dogs...
THE BLACK-AND-TAN TERRIER
Among the numerous varieties of Terriers now
recognized and classified, the Black-and-tan is one of many
altogether unfitted for the work which gave the generic name to the
whole family ; for after the refining processes to which this
variety has been subjected by breeders for exhibition, it would make
a poor figure at underground work. The legs and feet are too
slender for digging, and the thin, satin-like coat is not the sort
of covering in which to face wet grass and dank underwoods.
While speaking of the coats of Terriers, a rather
curious supposition of Youatt's should be noticed. He says :
"The Rough Terrier possibly obtained his shaggy coat from the Cur,
and the Smooth Terrier may be derived from the Hound." The Cur
he elsewhere describes as a cross between the sheepdog and the
Terrier. But there are rough-coated as well as smooth-coated
Hounds , and the Terrier was placed by Caius among the
Hounds-between the Harrier and the Bloodhound, in fact-and he stated
him to be the "smallest of the kind called Sagax." Now, if
there always have been Hounds, both smooth and rough, it is surely
quite as likely that there have always been Smooth and Rough
Terriers ; and reasons have been given for considering that Youatt's
description and his opinion of Curs are erroneous.
Caius says nothing about the length of coat or
the colour of Terriers. Daniels, in his "Rural Sports," makes
mention of the elegant and sprightly smooth-coated Terrier, black in
body, and tanned on the legs ; and in Foxhound kennels of the early
part of the last century Terriers of all colours are kept--red ones,
brindled, brown pied, white pied, pure white and black with tanned
faces, flank feet and legs, and all of these were kept for work and
not for show--working requiring the strength, ardour, fortitude and
indomitable pluck of a genuine Terrier, for a working Terrier worthy
of the name should be as hard as nails, active as a cat and lively
as a cricket.
The old style of Black-and-Tan Terrier was
stronger than, but not so elegantly built as, his modern
representative, and the stouter-limbed, broader-chested,
thicker-headed and coarser-coated that illustrates the original form
from which our show dog has sprung is occasionally still to be met
with. Dog shows have, no-doubt, had much to do with
transforming the rather cloddy Black-and-tan of former years into
the graceful and refined now to be seen on the show bench.
Noted among breeders who have had a large hand in producing this
"dog of the day" was Mr. Samuel Handley, who in earlier years of dog
shows successfully exhibited and became general recognised as the
greatest authority and most expert judge of this breed, some of the
best dogs exhibited tracing back to his strain. That a cross
has been resorted to in bringing about this change is more than
probable ; the great length of the head, the tendency to show a
tucked-up flank, and a something in the general contour, gives one
the impression that Greyhound blood is in the breed ; and if so it
was probably obtained through the Whippet. some specimens show
the wheel-back of the Italian Greyhound a very decided fault in a
Terrier of any breed. In the Black-and-tan the skull is
certainly much narrower in proportion to length and to the size of
the dog than in the Greyhound, and rumour says that this end has
been obtained by continued compression with wet bandages during
With improved elegance of form was gradually
introduced a finer coat, and richer and more decided contrast in
colours ; and when Nature had not been so kind as was desired
in that respect, it was no uncommon thing a few years back for some
of the votaries of the breed to assist her. Staining, dyeing
and painting are not so commonly resorted to now as was the case
in former days when the preparation of these Terriers for the show
bench was quite an art. To such an extent was this preparation
carried out and condoned by judges that a dog show in his natural
condition had little chance of success. Careful breeding has done
much toward bringing these dogs to perfection, but the more
stringent rules of the Kennel Club as to legitimate preparation for
the show-bench and the enforcement of penalties where an
infringement of these regulations is discovered may account for the
diminution of cases in which "faking" (which cannot be too severely
censured) is resorted to.
Although the modern Black-and-Tan Terrier is
unfitted for the hard rough work at which his progenitor was so
adept, it must not be inferred that he is a useless dog ; on the
contrary he is game enough and death to vermin as all the Terrier
family are, but he is simply not fitted to stand rough weather.
He is also a remarkably active and cheerful companion, and makes a
first-rate house-dog, being generally quite free from any
objectionable smell, and does not harbour fleas, or carry dirt on
wet days into the house, as rough-coated dogs do.
The Black-an-Tan is frequently called the
Manchester Terrier and for many years it was so designated by the
Kennel Club in their stud book ; but for some time past this
definition has been dropped and the breed now appears under the
heading of Black-and-Tan Terriers. This is as it should be, as
this dog is really an old English Terrier ; and although at one
time, many of the principle breeders and exhibitors resided in
Manchester and the surrounding district, numbers of these Terriers
are bred in other parts of the country.
There is probably no dog so difficult to breed in
anything like perfection as the Black-and-tan Terrier, for in
addition to all of the other points required in other breeds, colour
and correct markings are essential qualifications. The black
should be intense and jet-like, the tan a rich, warm mahogany, the
two colours where they meet being distinctly defined--not running
into each other. Occasionally, but very rarely, a blue-and-tan
puppy will be found in a litter. These are, of course, useless
for show purposes, but should not be too readily discarded by the
breeder as they evidently come from an old train of Terrier, and
will frequently be found to be exceptionally good in markings and
all other points, except being blue instead of black, and the
puppies bred from them are, as a rule, of the orthodox colour.
On the head the tan runs along each jaw, running down almost to the
throat ; a small bright spot of tan appears on the cheek, and
another above each eye, each clearly surrounded with black, and well
defined ; the inside of the ears is slightly tanned. There
should be spots of tan on each side of the breast. The fore
legs are tanned up to the knee ; feet tanned, but the knuckles
should have a clear black line, call the "pencil mark," up their
ridge ; and in the centre of the tan, midway between the foot and
the knee, there must be a black spot, called the "thumbmark," and
the denser the black and the clearer in its outline the more it is
valued. The inside of the hinds legs is tanned also the
underside of the tail ; but tan on the thighs and outside, where it
is often to be found, producing the appearance called "bronzed" is
very objectionable. The vent has also a tan spot, but it
should be no larger than can be well covered by the tail when
pressed down on it.
A point on which great stress was laid until
recently was the cutting of the ears, and unless this was what was
called artistically done there was no chance of an otherwise
first-rate dog winning. This custom of cropping Terriers' ears
was strongly deprecated by the late Mr. Dalziel and others, and no
valid argument in its favour could be offered by the supporters of
the practice. It entailed great cruelty on the dog for, in
addition to the great pain inflicted by the actual cropping, much
suffering was caused by the after-manipulation of the ears, which
frequently continued for many weeks, in order to insure the ears
being carried as Fashion dictated. Prizes were from time to
time offered for the best dog with uncut ears, but it too frequently
happened that a dog having successfully competed for these prizes
was taken home and cropped, so that the boject of those offering the
prizes was not attained. The Kennel Club was for many years
urged by those who were desirous of seeing this practice
discontinued to take steps to put down cropping, but it was not
until 1898 that was rule was introduced prohibiting any dog cropped
after a certain date from competing for prizes at shows held under
the Club's rules. Naturally, as no attention had been paid to
the shape of the ear for so many years--cropping rendering this
unnecessary--breeders have found much difficulty in breeding the ear
now required ; but this is a difficulty which has to a great extent
been got over, and one that will be altogether surmounted in course
The subject of the illustration (Fig 106) was
only 7 months old when the photograph was taken, and consequently
was not "made-up" the dog, therefore, appears longer in the body
than a black-and-tan Terrier should.
The following is the Black-and-Tan Club's
description of the variety ; but the writer does not agree with the
definition given of the correct ears in the Toys. He considers
that the Toy Terrier should be as nearly as possible a facsimile in
miniature of the large Terrier, and that the drop ear is desirable
in both, although it is very difficult to obtain a neat drop ear in
the Toy variety.
Head--Long, flat, and narrow, level and
wedge-shaped, without showing cheek muscles; well-filled up under
the eyes, with tapering, tightly-lipped jaws and level teeth.
Eyes--very small, sparkling and dark, set fairly
close together, and oblong in shape.
Ears--The correct carriage of the ears is
debatable point since cropping has been abolished. Probably in
the large breed the drop ear is correct, but for Toys either erect
or semi-erect carriage of the ears is desirable.
Neck and shoulder--The neck should be fairly
long, and tapering from the shoulders to the head, with sloping
shoulders, the neck being free from throatiness, and slightly arched
at the occiput.
Chest--Narrow but deep.
Body--Moderately short and curving upwards at the
loin ; ribs well-sprung, back slightly arched t the loin and falling
again at the joining of the tail to the same height at the
Legs--must be quite straight, set on well under
the dog, and of fair length.
Feet--More inclined to be cat- than hare-footed.
Tail--Moderate length, and set on where the arch
of the back ends ; think where it joins the body and tapering to a
point , and not carried higher than the back.
Coats--Close, smooth, short and glossy.
Colour--Jet black and rich mahogany tan,
distributed over the body as follows : On the head the muzzle is
tanned to the nose, which, with the nasal bone, is jet black ; there
is also a bright spot on each cheek, and above each eye, the
underjaw and the throat are tanned, and the hair inside the ear is
of the same colour ; the foreleg tanned up to the knee, with black
pencil lines (pencil marks) up each toe, and a black mark (thumb
mark) above the foot ; inside the hind legs tanned, but divided with
black at the hock joint ; and under the tail also tanned ; and so is
the vent, but only sufficiently to be easily covered by the tail ;
also slightly tanned on each side of the chest. Tan outside of
hind legs--commonly called breeching--is a serious defect. In
all cases the black should not run into the tan, or vice versa, but
the division of the two colours shouldbe well-defined.
General appearance--A terrier calculated to take
his own part in the rat pit, and not of Whippet type.
Weight--For Toys, not exceeding 7 lb.; for the
large breed, from 16 lb. to 20 lb., is most desirable.