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.