Home   |   Members Only   |   Contact Us   | 

Historical Notes

Excerpts from: House Dogs and Sporting Dogs
By John Meyrick
Published in 1861



The English Terrier.

There are two varieties of this dog:—one, used as a toy dog, and bred with a view to his ornamental points; the other, a heavier, stronger and gamer dog, which has probably at some period received a cross of the Bull-dog.

In the Toy Terrier, the colouring, which is always black and tan, should be deep and rich: the coat should be fine and exceedingly glossy, and not a single white hair should be seen on any part of it.

The palate and nose should be black. The ears are generally cropped; and some importance is attached to the way in which the operation has been performed.

The legs should be light, but strong and straight: the feet fine, round and split up like a hare's. The tail should be thin in bone, with little hair, and should be carried low/

The head should be narrow, high in the forehead, and the jaw strong, but tapering to the nose. The eye small and bright.

The chest should be deep, and the neck and shoulders well covered with muscle but not heavy.

The London fanciers have crossed the Toy Terrier both with the Italian Greyhound and the King Charles's Spaniel: the latter cross destroys all symmetry of shape and beauty of coat, and the result is a short-nosed, large-eyed dog, with loose skin, and a thick coat, pretty enough in his way, but without any of the characteristic points of the Terrier.

As a general rule, the eye should be the first point looked at in the Terrier; and if it be full and prominent, or watery, the dog may be rejected at once.

The cross with the Italian Greyhound is difficult to detect; but long, thin legs, the back ribs much caught up, and a shrinking timid manner in the dog may be always suspected as evidences of this cross.

The weight should not be over 6 lbs., but is often only 3 or 41bs. At the dog show held in December 1860 at Birmingham, the maximum was fixed at 5 lbs., but I have seen a full-grown Toy Terrier which weighed only 1| lb.; so small a dog as this, however, is an abortive and imperfect animal, he seldom lives longer than a few months, his intellect is defective, his body stunted and weakly, and he can afford no rational satisfaction to his possessor.

The larger English Terrier has all the points of the toy dog, from which he only differs in possessing greater size, strength, and pluck. He is oftener, however, white, or white with red or black patches; and this, together with his greater courage, has led to the supposition that he has some Bulldog blood in, him, though he does not possess those marks -which betoken a near cross with that breed, and which I shall mention when describing the Bull-terrier. The English Terrier averages in weight 8 lbs.

The Bull-terrier.

It is a current axiom among dog fanciers that no gameness can. be got in any dog, without a taint, or cross, of the Bulldog. The Bull-terrier is a signal proof of this theory; for the pure Terrier, though active, is by no means distinguished for pluck; whereas the Bull-terrier is scarcely inferior in this quality to the Bulldog himself, and in vivacity and activity he surpasses him.

The Bull-terrier varies greatly, according to the predominance of either the Terrier or the Bulldog blood. It is difficult, however, to decide from the appearance of the dog, how much he owes to each breed. As a rule, when the nose is short, and the jaw much underhung, the bulldog predominates; but this is not invariable, for it is no unusual to see both long and short faced puppies in the same litter of Bull-terriers...


Home   |   Members Only   |   Contact Us   |