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The Black And Tan Terrier

The Black and Tan, or Manchester, Terrier as we know him to-day is

a comparatively new variety, and he is not to be confounded with the

original terrier with tan and black colouring which was referred to

by Dr. Caius in the sixteenth century, and which was at that time

used for going to ground and driving out badgers and foxes.

Formerly there was but little regard paid to colour and markings,

and there wa
a considerably greater proportion of tan in the coat

than there is at the present day, while the fancy markings, such as

pencilled toes, thumb marks, and kissing spots were not cultivated.

The general outline of the dog, too, was less graceful and altogether


During the first half of the nineteenth century the chief

accomplishment of this terrier was rat-killing. There are some

extraordinary accounts of his adroitness, as well as courage, in

destroying these vermin. The feats of a dog called Billy are recorded.

He was matched to destroy one hundred large rats in eight minutes

and a half. The rats were brought into the ring in bags, and as soon

as the number was complete Billy was put over the railing into their

midst. In six minutes and thirty-five seconds they were all destroyed.

In another match he killed the same number in six minutes and thirteen


It was a popular terrier in Lancashire, and it was in this county

that the refining process in his shape and colouring was practised,

and where he came by the name of the Manchester Terrier.

Like the White English Terriers the Black and Tan has fallen on evil

days. It is not a popular dog among fanciers, and although many good

ones may be seen occasionally about the streets the breed suffers

from want of the care and attention that are incidental to the

breeding and rearing of dogs intended for competition at shows.

There are many who hold the opinion that one of the chief reasons

for the decadence in the popularity of the Black and Tan Terrier,

notwithstanding its many claims to favour, is to be found in the loss

of that very alert appearance which was a general characteristic

before the Kennel Club made it illegal to crop the ears of such as

were intended for exhibition. It must be admitted that until very

recently there was a considerable amount of truth in the prevalent

opinion, inasmuch as a rather heavy ear, if carried erect, was the

best material to work upon, and from which to produce the long, fine,

and upright, or pricked effect which was looked upon as being the

correct thing in a cropped dog; hence it followed that no care was

taken to select breeding stock likely to produce the small,

semi-erect, well-carried, and thin ears required to-day, consequently

when the edict forbidding the use of scissors came into force there

were very few small-eared dogs to be found. It has taken at least

ten or a dozen years to eradicate the mischief, and even yet the cure

is not complete.

Another factor which has had a bad effect is the belief, which has

become much too prevalent, that a great deal of faking has been

practised in the past, and that it has been so cleverly performed

as to deceive the most observant judge, whereby a very artificial

standard of quality has been obtained.

The standard of points by which the breed should be judged is as


* * * * *

GENERAL APPEARANCE--A terrier calculated to take his own part in the

rat pit, and not of the Whippet type. HEAD--The head should be 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--The eyes should be very small, sparkling,

and bright, set fairly close together and oblong in shape.

NOSE--Black. EARS--The correct carriage of ears is a 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 ear is most desirable. NECK AND SHOULDERS--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--The chest should be narrow but deep.

BODY--The body should be moderately short and curving upwards at the

loin; ribs well sprung, back slightly arched at the loin and falling

again at the joining of the tail to the same height as the shoulders.

FEET--The feet should be more inclined to be cat- than hare-footed.

TAIL--The tail should be of moderate length and set on where the arch

of the back ends; thick where it joins the body, tapering to a point,

and not carried higher than the back. COAT--The coat should be close,

smooth, short and glossy. COLOUR--The coat should be 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 throat are tanned, and the hair inside the ears is

the same colour; the fore-legs tanned up to the knee, with black 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

joints; 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 the hind-legs--commonly called

breeching--is a serious defect. In all cases the black should not

run into the tan, nor vice versa, but the division between the two

colours should be well defined. WEIGHT--For toys not exceeding 7 lb.;

for the large breed from 10 to 20 lb. is most desirable.