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Breeding For Size

When I joined the Boston Terrier Club in 1895, there were two classes for

weight--the light weight, from 15 to 23 pounds, and the heavy weight, from

23 to 30 pounds, inclusive. This, of course, has been changed since to

three classes--the light weight, 12 and not to exceed 17 pounds; middle

weight class, 17 and not to exceed 22 pounds, and heavy weight, 22 and not

to exceed 28 pounds and a class, for Toys, weighing under twelve pou

has been added. The Boston terrier dog was never intended, in the writer's

estimation, to be a dog to be carried in one's pocket, but such an one as

the standard calls for, and which the oldest breeders have persistently

and consistently bred. To my mind the ideal dog is one weighing from 15

pounds for my lady's parlor, to 20 or 25 pounds for the dog intended as a

man's companion, suitable to tackle any kind of vermin, and to be an ideal

watch dog in the house should any knights of the dark lantern make their

nocturnal calls.

During the past few years we have had (in common, I suppose, with all

large breeders), a great many orders for first class dogs, typical in

every respect, weighing from 30 to 40 pounds. The constant tendency among

men of wealth today is to move from the city onto country estates, where

they stay the greater part of the year, and in many cases all the time.

They are looking for first class watch dogs that can be kept in the house

or stable, that are thoroughly reliable, that do not bring too much mud in

on their coats, that do not cover the furniture with long hairs, that are

vigorous enough to follow on a horseback ride, and which will not wander

from home. I was in the company of a party of gentlemen the other day who

had bought a number of estates in a town twenty miles from Boston, and the

subject of a suitable breed of dogs for their residences was under

discussion. All the fashionable breeds were gone over, some were objected

to because they barked too much, others because of their propensity to

rush out at teams; some that their coats were too long and they brought a

great deal of mud, etc., in, and still others that their fighting

disposition was too pronounced, but they all agreed that a good-sized,

vigorous, good natured Boston terrier just about filled the bill. Said the

nephew of Senator Henry Cabot Lodge to me last week: Edward, I want a

Boston big enough to take care of himself if anything happens, and of me

also, if necessary, weighing about 35 pounds. A Boston banker, who has a

large place in the country, would not take two dogs weighing under 35

pounds. Last week I received a letter from a Mr. W. B. Bogert, of the firm

of Bogert, Maltby & Co., commission grain merchants, Chicago, ordering a

very heavy weight dog of kindly disposition and good blood. I can get out

here any number of light weight dogs, but I do not like them. Kindly send

me what you think will suit me. These are only a few sample cases, and I

can say that my orders today call for more first class heavy weight dogs

than for any other size. This is, of course, a comparatively new feature,

but all up to date breeders will see the necessity of being able to fill

this class of orders.

The small sized toys will always be in demand, as they make ideal little

pets, suitable eminently for a city flat or an apartment house, to be

carried by the lady in her carriage, or to accompany her in her walks, and

they make first rate playmates for children. This class is by far the

hardest to breed. For best results mate a bitch weighing about fifteen

pounds, that comes from a numerous litter, to a twelve-pound dog that

comes from small ancestry. Some of the pups are bound to be small. One

important feature in the production of small pups is this: Bitches that

whelp in the fall, the smallest pups are raised from, especially if the

pups are fed a somewhat restricted diet, whereas puppies that are raised

in the spring, that are generously fed, and have vigorous exercise in the

sunshine, attain a far greater size. A great many breeders underfeed their

young stock to stop growth, which I believe to be a very grave mistake.

There is no question whatever it accomplishes the result wished, but at

the expense of stamina and a fine, generous disposition. The pups from

stock advanced in years, or from bitches excessively fat are very apt to

run small, as are also the offspring of inbred parents. One very important

fact in regard to breeding for large sized dogs to be considered is this:

While a great many breeders always select for the production of large pups

large bitches and dogs, yet experience has proven that the majority of big

ones have been the offspring of medium sized dams that were bred to

strong, heavy-boned dogs of substance. I bred a bitch weighing twenty

pounds to a large bull terrier that weighed forty-five pounds for an

experiment, and the pups, five in number, weighed at maturity from

thirty-five to forty pounds, with noses and tails nearly as long as their

sire's, and his color, but were very nice in their disposition, and were

given away for stable dogs. Progressive up-to-date kennel men will see

that they have on hand not only the three classes called for by the

standard, but the fourth class, so to speak, that I have mentioned above,

those weighing anywhere from thirty to forty pounds. Quite a number of

breeders in the past have put in the kennel pail at birth extra large pups

that they thought would mature too large to sell, but they need do so no

longer. This precaution must always be taken where there are one or more

of these large size puppies, viz., to look out that they do not get more

than their proportionate share of the milk, or later the food, as they are

very apt to crowd out the others.

Remember that the Boston terrier of whatever size will always hold his own

as a companion, a dog that can be talked to and caressed, for between the

dog and his owner will always be found a bond of affection and sympathetic