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their play as freely as others do over the turf. For this reason, as well as the sweetness of their skins, and their short and soft coats, they are much liked by the ladies as pets.
Their points are as follows: General appearance low and thickset, the legs being short, and the body as close to the ground as possible, but with an elegant outline. Weight from 6 to 10 lbs. Colour fawn, with black mask and vent. The clearer the fawn, and the more distinctly marked the black on the mask, which should extend to the eyes, the better ; but there is generally a slightly darker line down the back. Some strains have the hair all over the body tipped with “smut," but on them the mask is sure to shade off too gently, without the clear line which is valued by the fancier. Coat short, thick, and silky. Head round, forehead high ; nose short, but not turned up; and level-mouthed. Ears, when cut, cropped quite close, naturally rather short but falling. Neck of moderate length, stout but not throaty. Chest wide, deep, and round. Tail short, and curled closely to the side, not standing up above the back. It is remarkable that the tail in the dog generally falls over the off side, while in the bitch it lies on the near.
The legs are straight, with small bone, but well clothed with muscle. Feet like the hare, not cat-footed. No dew-claws on the hind legs. The height is from 11 to 15 inches.
These are of the various breeds described under the head of the terrier, but of smaller size than the average, and with great attention paid to their colour and shape. The smooth English terrier, not exceeding 7 lbs. in weight, is much prized; and when he can be obtained of 3 or 4 lbs. weight, with perfect symmetry, and a good rich black and tan colour without a white hair, he is certainly a very perfect little dog. The black lines (“pencilling') of the toes, and the richness of the tan on the cheeks and legs, are points much insisted on. Most of the toy terriers now sold are either crossed with the Italian greyhound or the King Charles spaniel. If the former, the shape is preserved, and there is the greatest possible difficulty in distinguishing this cross from the pure English terrier ; indeed, I am much inclined to believe that all our best modern toy terriers are thus bred. They have the beautiful long sharp nose, the narrow forehead, and the small sharp eye, which characterises the pure breed; but they are seldom good at vermin, though some which I have known to be half Italian have been bold enough to attack a good strong rat as well as most dogs. Many of these half-bred Italians are used for rabbit-coursing, in which there is a limit to weight, but it is chiefly for toy purposes that long prices are obtained for them. When the cross with the spaniel has been resorted to, the forehead is high, the nose short, and the eye large, full, and often weeping, while the general form is not so symmetrical and
compact; the chest being full enough, but the brisket not so deep as in the true terrier, or in the Italian cross.
The Skye terrier, as used for toy purposes, is often crossed with the spaniel to get silkiness of coat. See
See page 81. The points are as there described.
Scotch terriers are seldom used as toys, and are not considered such by the fanciers of the animal.
The Halifax Blue tan terrier is a toy dog, whether the weight is 16 lbs. or 3 lbs., between which every gradation may be found. The colour of the back is a blue sometimes stained with fawn, all the rest of the body being a rich golden tan. The hair is long and silky, always parting down the middle, and very long at the muzzle, from which it hangs like a beard. The shape resembles that of the Scotch terrier.
The Italian Greyhound has been already described at page 44.
Retriever.-Bull-Terrier.—Lurcher.– Dog and Fox Cross.
ALTHOUGH many of the breeds which have been enumerated in the preceding chapters were most probably originally the produce of crosses between distinct varieties, yet at present they are continued by breeding from a sire and dam of the same kind, whereas, with those which we are now considering, there is constantly a necessity for having recourse to the original breeds. For instance, many breeds of the greyhound are known to be crossed with the bull, and the identical animal with which the cross first commenced is well ascertained, as in the case of Sir James Boswell's “ Jason,” Mr. Etwall's “Eurus," &c.; so also with the foxhound, though here the particular cross is not so well ascertained, but it is admitted to have taken place within the last century. Yet these are not called mongrels, and the breed, instead of being despised as such, is more highly prized than those of the pure strain which formed one side of the parent stock. The term mongrel may more properly be applied to those chance crosses which occur from accident or neglect, the bitch selecting
her own mate, and being guided by caprice, without reference to the fitness of the match in reference to the progeny resulting. Hence we see the monstrosities which disgrace our streets, animals which might puzzle the most learned in dog-lore to say in what proportions they are allied to recognised varieties of the species Canis, but which are sometimes highly valuable in point of utility, and are often broken by the poacher to perform the most difficult feats. Indeed, it often happens that a poaching labourer, who is the worst kind of poacher, selects some mongrel in preference to a better-bred dog, in order to escape notice; but the gamekeeper should never despise the most wretched-looking animal on his beat, if the cur has size and strength to do what is required.
In speaking of the retriever, it is generally understood that the dog for recovering game on land is meant, the distinct kind known as the water spaniel being already alluded to at page
115. With regard to the propriety of using a separate dog for retrieving in open or covert shooting, there is a great difference of opinion, but this subject will be better considered under the next division of this book, and I shall now confine myself to a description
• See also Frontispiece.