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Every person who has bred Bostons for any length of time knows that a good

dog sells himself. I do not imagine there is practically any part of this

great country where a typical dog, of proper color and markings and all

right in every respect, fails to meet a prospective buyer, and yet, of

course, there are certain places where an A 1 dog, like an ideal saddle or

carriage horse meets with a readier sale, at a far greater price tha

others. New York city, in particular, and all the larger cities of the

country where there are large accumulations of wealth, offer the best

markets for the greatest numbers of this aristocratic member of the dog

fraternity, and from my own personal knowledge the larger cities of the

countries adjacent to the United States furnish nearly as good a market,

at a somewhat reduced price. Were the quarantines removed in the mother

country, which England no doubt has found absolutely necessary, it would

not surprise me in the least to see an unprecedented demand for the Boston

at very high prices, and I am going to make a prediction that on the

continent of Europe it will not be long before the American dog will

follow the trotting horse, and will work his way eastward, until jealous

China and strange Japan will be as enamoured with him as we are, and his

devotees at the Antipodes will be wondering where he got his little screw

tail, and why that sweet, serene expression on his face, like the Quaker

Oat smile, never comes off. This to a person who knows not the Boston may

seem extravagant praise, but to all such we simply say: Get one, and then

see if you are not ready to exclaim with the Queen of Sheba, when visiting

King Solomon and being shown his treasures: Behold, the half was not told

me! Perhaps the system of sales that has always been followed by us may

be of interest to many engaged in the breeding of the dog, and while we do

not hold a patent on the same, or even suggest its adoption by others,

must confess it has worked with entire satisfaction in our case, and we

have never once failed to receive the purchase money. We must say in

explanation that our customers practically are all bankers and brokers,

and that our dogs have never been sold by advertising or being exhibited

at shows, but by being recommended by one man to another, starting many

years ago by the first sale to a Boston banker, then to several members of

his firm, going from Boston to their correspondents in other cities, until

the orders come in from everywhere. We had three orders from as many

countries in one mail last week. I merely mention this to show how the

demand for the dog has grown. When we commenced to sell dogs we adopted

the following plan, which we conceived to be just and equitable alike to

buyer and seller: When a dog is ordered we send on one which we believe

will fill the bill, accurately describing the dog, stating age, pedigree,

etc., and stating that when the customer is perfectly satisfied with the

dog (as long a trial being given as may be wished) in every respect, a

check will be accepted, and not before. Should the dog at any time prove

unsatisfactory in any way, the purchase money will be cheerfully refunded,

or a dog of equal value will be sent in exchange. In the case of a bitch

that fails to become a good breeder, the same plan, of course, is

followed. In regard to the sale of puppies, we guarantee them (barring

accidents, and the showing of them, when owner assumes risks) to reach

maturity, and in case they do not, refund purchase money, or send on

another puppy of equal value.

Of course, where the buyer is not known, or personally recommended, then

the seller has to adopt entirely different methods. Still, I see no reason

why an honest man who has a Boston, or any other dog, for sale, or, in

fact, any article of merchandise, should not be willing to send on the

same to any honest buyer. This is on the assumption, of course, that both

parties are honorable men. To the seller I advise the purchase money being

received before the dog is shipped, and express charges guaranteed, if the

buyer is not known or unable to supply absolutely reliable references.

Decline to receive any order where the object sought is to obtain a dog to

use to breed to a bitch, or several, as the case may be, and then be

returned as unsatisfactory. We have had no experience in this line, but

are informed it has frequently been done. If such a customer presents

himself, simply tell him he can inspect the dog or have an expert do so

for him if too far away to come, but that when the deal is closed and the

money paid that under no conditions whatever can the dog be returned. In

regard to the seller shipping the dog to its destination, we will say that

we think he will run practically no risk in so doing. If the dog is all

right in every way it is dollars to doughnuts that he will arrive in

perfect condition. We can say that in over twenty years' shipments of dogs

to all parts of the country and beyond we have never had a dog die en

route, lost, exchanged, or stolen. I think the express companies of this

country, Canada, Mexico, and beyond, are to be highly commended for the

excellent care they take of the dogs committed to their charge, neither do

I think the express charges are ever excessive, when one considers the

value of the dogs carried.

We will now consider the case of the buyer, assuming, of course, he is

known or capable of presenting suitable references. We always advise him

to deal with kennels or dealers of established reputations. Run no chances

with any other unless you desire to be trimmed. Pray do not be misled by

glowing advertisements (stating that they have the largest kennels on

earth) in every paper that does not know them. I have investigated quite a

number of these so-called kennels and found they usually consisted of an

old box stall in a cheap stable, or a room over an equally cheap barroom,

and their stock in trade consisted of two or three mutts.

Be very suspicious of any man who advertises that he has dogs for sale

that can win in fast company for fifty or a hundred dollars, or A 1

bitches in whelp to noted dogs for the same price. Any man who possesses

these kinds of dogs does not have to advertise their sale. There are

plenty of people here in Boston only too glad to buy this kind of stock at

three or four times this price.

I attended the last show in Boston with a number of orders in my pocket,

but failed to discover any dogs I picked out possessing the quality

described at anything less than a good stiff price, for Boston terriers

with the hall mark of quality have been, are, and, I believe, always

will be, as staple in value as diamonds.

The number of letters we have received from all over the country,

particularly from the West, complaining of the skin games played upon them

by fake kennels and dealers, would make an angel weep, and make one almost

regret that one ever knew a Boston. If the same ingenuity, skill and

patience employed in the getting up of these fake advertisements had been

devoted to the breeding of the dog, this class of advertising gentry (?)

would have produced something fit to sell. It is stated on the best of

authority that in some cases nothing was shipped for money received.

In spite of this vast number of unscrupulous breeders and dealers

scattered abroad, I think the chances for reliable kennels was never so

good as now in the history of the breed. Cream will always rise, and right

dealing, whether in dogs or diamonds, will ever meet with their just

returns. Remember that one never forgets being taken in in a horse

trade, and when, instead of a horse a dog is involved, I think one never

forgives as well. To that number of persons who, in their daily walks of

life are fairly honest, but who, when it comes to a trade in dogs are apt

to lose that fine sense of justice that should characterize all

transactions, we would say with Shakespeare: To thine own self be true.

Thou canst not then be false to any man. Yea, we would repeat the command

of a greater than Shakespeare, to whom, I trust, we all pay reverence,

when He lays down for us all the Golden Rule: Whatsoever ye would that

men would do to you, do ye even so to them.

To go back to the responsible buyer who is in the market for a good dog,

we say: Send your orders to responsible men, with said dogs to sell,

stating exactly what you want, and the price you desire to pay, agreeing

to send a check just as soon as dogs prove satisfactory, assuming, of

course, express charges. Reputable dealers and breeders are looking for

just such customers.

To all breeders and dealers who have not an established reputation, would

say: Advertise accurately what you have for sale in first class reliable

papers and magazines. In regard to prices, the following scale, adopted by

us many years ago, and which we have never seen since any reason to

change, is practically as follows:

For pups from two to three months old, from fifty to seventy-five dollars.

When six months old, from seventy-five to a hundred: From six months to

maturity, from one hundred to two hundred. These prices are, of course,

for the ordinary all-around good dogs. With dogs that approximate

perfection, and which only come in the same proportion as giants and

dwarfs do in the human race (I believe the proportion is one in five

thousand), and the advent of which would surprise the average kennel man

as much as if the President had sent him a special invitation to dine with

him at the White House, the price is problematical, and is negotiated

solely by the demand for such a wonder by a comparatively few buyers.

I think Boston terriers as a breed occupy the same position amongst dogs

as the hunter and carriage horse does amongst horses. Each are more or

less a luxury. A well matched pair of horses of good all-round action, of

desirable color and perfect manners and suitable age will sell in the

Eastern cities (I am not sufficiently acquainted with the other sections

of the country to know values there) at from eight hundred to two thousand

dollars, but with a pair of carriage horses able to win on the tan bark,

the price will be regulated by the comparatively few people who have

sufficient money to spare to purchase this fashionable luxury, and ten

times the amount paid for the first mentioned pair would be a reasonable

price to pay for the prize winners. I think the winners of the blue in the

Bostons would fetch a relative sum.

The important factor of the cost of production in the case of the dog

necessarily enters into the selling price. Good Bostons are as hard to

raise as first class hunters, and a correspondingly large sum has to be

obtained to meet expenses, to say nothing of profit, but in the writer's

experience the best dog or horse sells the readiest. Do not be misled by

the remark that a dog is worth all he will bring. Generally speaking,

this is sound logic, but not always. Many dogs have been sold for very

little by people not cognizant of their value, but this in no way changed

the intrinsic worth of the dog. On the other hand, many dogs have been

disposed of at many times their real value, but this transaction did not

enhance their worth in the slightest degree. A gold dollar is worth one

hundred cents whether changed for fifty cents or five hundred. An article

of intrinsic value never changes. Our advice to all who have dogs for sale

(or any other article, in fact), ask what you know is a good, honest, fair

value, and although you may not sell the dog today, remember that there

are other days to follow. What I am going to add now I know a great many

dealers and breeders will laugh at and declare me a fit subject for an

alienist to work on, but it is fundamentally true just the same, and is

this: Never ask or take for a dog more than you know (not guess) the dog

is worth. This is nothing but ordinary, common everyday justice that every

man has every right to demand of his fellow man, and every man that is a

gentleman will recognize the truth and force of.

I was reading a novel this summer, and one statement amongst a great many

good ones impressed me. It stated that all men were divided into two

classes: those that behaved themselves, and those who did not. We all

know that society has divided men into many classes, but I think any

thoughtful man will confess, in the last analysis, that the novelist's

classification was the correct one. I need not apply the moral.

It will be somewhat of a temptation to resist taking what a party,

liberally supplied with this world's goods, will frequently in their

ignorance offer for a dog that appeals to them, but which the owner knows

perfectly well is not worth the price offered. If he belongs to the class

that behaves themselves he will tell the prospective buyer what the dog is

intrinsically worth, and point out the reasons why he is not worth more.

You may depend that you have not only obtained a customer for life, but

one that will readily advertise your kennels under all circumstances. I

shall have to ask the reader to overlook the apparent egotism of the

statements I am now about to make, but as this book is largely the

outgrowth of the author's own experience, of necessity personal matters

are spoken of.

A number of years ago I received an order from the Western coast, through

a Boston house, for a good all-round puppy at two hundred dollars. I sent

the puppy on, and much to the surprise of the customer, stated my price

for him would be one hundred instead of two. The pup matured into a very

nice dog, as I expected he would, being a Cracksman pup out of a good

bitch. What has been the result of this treatment? Ever since (and no

later than yesterday), orders for dogs from this gentleman have been

coming right along.

Another case, and this is only a sample of several from the same city: A

number of years back a New York lady, accompanied by her husband, came to

our kennels to purchase a dog. I had quite a handsome litter of five or

six months old pups by Merk Jr., out of Buster stock on the dam's side,

one of which, a perfectly marked seal brindle female, at once took her

fancy, and she said: We have just come from another large kennel in

Boston where they asked us three hundred dollars for a little female I do

not like nearly as well as this one. Her husband was one of the leading

men of one of the largest trusts in the country, and money was apparently

no object, and when I replied, Mrs. Keller, that dog you select is not

worth over fifty dollars (the price I afterwards sold her for) and the

best dog in the litter I shall be glad to let you have for seventy-five,

she seemed much surprised. I then, of course, told her that the dogs were

not worth more as their muzzles were not deep enough to be worth a higher

price than I wanted. I recently received a letter from her stating that

her dog was still as active and much loved as ever, and the number of

orders that have come to me through the sale of this dog would surprise

the owners of those kennels who stick their customers with an outrageous

price, and who find to their sorrow that no subsequent orders ever come,

either from the customer or any one else in the vicinity. People have a

way sooner or later (usually sooner) in discovering when they have been

overcharged and act accordingly.

One other recommendation I wish to make in place here is: Never try to

fill an order that one has not the dogs to suit. Frankly say so, and

recommend a brother fancier that you know has. One good turn deserves

another and he may have a chance later to reciprocate. This creates a

kindly feeling amongst kennel men, and is productive of good will, and

ofttimes a large increase in business. A few years ago a lady from

Connecticut came to see me to buy a first class dog or a pair, if she

could get suited. I knew that in the past she had paid the highest price

for her Bostons, and she wanted a dog in the neighborhood of two thousand

dollars. I told her at once I had nothing for sale to suit her, but that I

knew a man who owned a dog I considered worth about that sum, and

recommended her strongly to buy him, and sent her to Mr. Keady, who sold

to her Gordon Boy for that price. The sequel to this is somewhat amusing

and shows how reciprocity did not take place. I went to see a litter of

pups at Mr. Keady's house soon after, and expected to obtain a somewhat

favorable price on the pup I picked out of the litter on account of the

sale of the dog, and offered the gentleman three hundred dollars for him,

upon which he replied: Mr. Axtell, do you think that five weeks old pup

is worth that sum? and upon my replying, I certainly do, instead of

saying, All right, take him, he exclaimed: If that is your opinion, and

I know you always say what you believe, then he is worth that sum to me,

and put him back in the box. He subsequently sold him to Mr. Borden for

over six thousand dollars, the highest price ever obtained for a Boston.

While writing on the subject of sales, I think it will be in order to

speak of a matter that is a source of anxiety to a great many breeders,

and that is the getting rid of the small bitches that are too small to

breed. We have always found a ready sale for these when properly spayed

for ladies' pets, largely in New York city. They make ideal house dogs,

perhaps more winning and affectionate in their manner than others, never

wandering off, and I believe the license fee is the same as for a male.

Great care must be taken that the operation is thoroughly performed by a

competent veterinary, and it is usually best done when the pup is six

months old. My first experience may be of value and interest. I had a

little Buster bitch that I felt assured to my sorrow was to small to

whelp successfully, and being much fancied by a lady doctor in Waterbury,

Conn., advised spaying before being sent. I took her to a veterinary with

a good reputation in Boston, and after the dog had fully recovered from

the operation, sent her to Dr. Conky. What was my surprise to hear that

when nine months old she had come in season. I sent the ex-President of

the Boston Terrier Club, Dr. Osgood, down and an additional cost of fifty

dollars ensued, whereas the first charge of two dollars would have been

all that was necessary if the operation had been properly done in the

first place. Am glad to say I have seen no failures since. I can conceive

of no reason why there should not be a ready sale for this class of dogs

in all sections of the country, and the disposal of the same will

materially help the income of a great many breeders.

In conclusion let me state: Put a price on your dogs that in your best

judgment you know (not guess) to be a fair and equitable one (and if

unable to decide what is right, call in an honorable expert who can) and

take neither more nor less. Always remember that a man can raise horses,

corn, cotton, or dogs (or any other honest product) and be a gentleman,

but the moment he raises 'Cain' he ceases to be one.