The Miniature Breeds
Except in the matter of size, the general appearance and qualifications
of the Miniature Black and Tan Terrier should be as nearly like the
larger breed as possible, for the standard of points applies to both
varieties, excepting that erect, or what are commonly known as tulip
ears, of semi-erect carriage, are permissible in the miniatures. The
officially recognised weight for the toy variety is given as under
nds, but none of the most prominent present-day winners
reach anything like that weight; some in fact are little more than
half of it, and the great majority are between 4 lb. and 5 lb.
Probably the most popular specimens of the miniature Black and Tan at
the present time are Mr. Whaley's Glenartney Sport and Mr. Richmond's
Merry Atom. Merry Atom is only 4-1/2 lb. in weight, and he is
beautifully proportioned, with a fine, long head, a small, dark eye,
small ears, and the true type of body. His markings of deep black and
rich tan are good, and his coat is entirely free from the bare patches
which so often mar the appearance of these toys, giving the suggestion
The Miniature Black and Tan is certainly not a robust dog, and he has
lost much of the terrier boisterousness of character by reason of
being pampered and coddled; but it is a fallacy to suppose that he is
necessarily delicate. He requires to be kept warm, but exercise is
better for him than eiderdown quilts and silken cushions, and
judicious feeding will protect him from the skin diseases to which he
is believed to be liable. Under proper treatment he is no more
delicate than any other toy dog, and his engaging manners and
cleanliness of habit ought to place him among the most favoured of
lady's pets and lapdogs. It is to be hoped that the efforts now being
made by the Black and Tan Terrier Club will be beneficial to the
increased popularity of this diminutive breed.
For the technical description and scale of points the reader is
referred to the chapter on the larger variety of Black and Tan Terrier.
* * * * *
Of late years Toy Bull-terriers have fallen in popularity. This is a
pity, as their lilliputian self-assertion is most amusing. As pets
they are most affectionate, excellent as watch-dogs, clever at
acquiring tricks, and always cheerful and companionable. They have
good noses and will hunt diligently; but wet weather or thick
undergrowth will deter them, and they are too small to do serious harm
to the best stocked game preserve.
The most valuable Toy Bull-terriers are small and very light in
weight, and these small dogs usually have apple-heads. Pony Queen,
the former property of Sir Raymond Tyrwhitt Wilson, weighed under
3 lb., but the breed remains toy up to 15 lb. When you get a dog
with a long wedge-shaped head, the latter in competition with small
apple-headed dogs always takes the prize, and a slightly
contradictory state of affairs arises from the fact that the small dog
with an imperfectly shaped head will sell for more money than a dog
with a perfectly shaped head which is larger.
In drawing up a show schedule of classes for this breed it is perhaps
better to limit the weight of competitors to 12 lb. The Bull-terrier
Club put 15 lb. as the lowest weight allowed for the large breed, and
it seems a pity to have an interregnum between the large and miniature
variety; still, in the interests of the small valuable specimens, this
seems inevitable, and opportunist principles must be applied to doggy
matters as to other business in this world. At present there is a
diversity of opinion as to their points, but roughly they are a long
flat head, wide between the eyes and tapering to the nose, which
should be black. Ears erect and bat-like, straight legs and rather
distinctive feet; some people say these are cat-like.
Toy Bull-terriers ought to have an alert, gay appearance, coupled with
refinement, which requires a nice whip tail. The best colour is pure
white. A brindle spot is not amiss, and even a brindle dog is
admissible, but black marks are wrong. The coat ought to be close and
stiff to the touch. Toy Bull-terriers are not delicate as a rule. They
require warmth and plenty of exercise in all weathers.
* * * * *
The most elegant, graceful, and refined of all dogs are the tiny
Italian Greyhounds. Their exquisitely delicate lines, their supple
movements and beautiful attitudes, their soft large eyes, their
charming colouring, their gentle and loving nature, and their
scrupulous cleanliness of habit--all these qualities justify the
admiration bestowed upon them as drawing-room pets. They are fragile,
it is true--fragile as eggshell china--not to be handled roughly. But
their constitution is not necessarily delicate, and many have been
known to live to extreme old age. Miss Mackenzie's Jack, one of the
most beautiful of the breed ever known, lived to see his seventeenth
birthday, and even then was strong and healthy. Their fragility is
more apparent than real, and if they are not exposed to cold or damp,
they require less pampering than they usually receive. This cause has
been a frequent source of constitutional weakness, and it was
deplorably a fault in the Italian Greyhounds of half a century ago.
One cannot be quite certain as to the derivation of the Italian
Greyhound. Its physical appearance naturally suggests a descent from
the Gazehound of the ancients, with the added conjecture that it was
purposely dwarfed for the convenience of being nursed in the lap.
Greek art presents many examples of a very small dog of Greyhound
type, and there is a probability that the diminutive breed was a
familiar ornament in the atrium of most Roman villas. In Pompeii a
dwarfed Greyhound was certainly kept as a domestic pet, and there is
therefore some justification for the belief that the Italian prefix is
In very early times the Italian Greyhound was appreciated. Vandyck,
Kneller, and Watteau frequently introduced the graceful figures of
these dogs as accessories in their portraits of the Court beauties of
their times, and many such portraits may be noticed in the galleries
of Windsor Castle and Hampton Court. Mary, Queen of Scots is supposed
to have been fond of the breed, as more surely were Charles I. and
Queen Anne. Some of the best of their kind were in the possession of
Queen Victoria at Windsor and Balmoral, where Sir Edwin Landseer
transferred their graceful forms to canvas.
Among the more prominent owners of the present time are the Baroness
Campbell von Laurentz, whose Rosemead Laura and Una are of superlative
merit alike in outline, colour, style, length of head, and grace of
action; Mrs. Florence Scarlett, whose Svelta, Saltarello, and Sola are
almost equally perfect; Mrs. Matthews, the owner of Ch. Signor, our
smallest and most elegant show dog; and Mr. Charlwood, who has
exhibited many admirable specimens, among them Sussex Queen and Sussex
The Italian Greyhound Club of England has drawn up the following
standard and scale of points:--
* * * * *
GENERAL APPEARANCE--A miniature English Greyhound, more slender in all
proportions, and of ideal elegance and grace in shape, symmetry, and
action. HEAD--Skull long, flat and narrow. Muzzle very fine. Nose dark
in colour. Ears rose shaped, placed well back, soft and delicate, and
should touch or nearly touch behind the head. Eyes large, bright, and
full of expression. BODY--Neck long and gracefully arched. Shoulders
long and sloping. Back curved and drooping at the quarters. LEGS AND
FEET--Fore-legs straight, well set under the shoulder; fine pasterns;
small delicate bone. Hind-legs, hocks well let down; thighs muscular.
Feet long--hare foot. TAIL, COAT AND COLOUR--Tail rather long and with
low carriage. Skin fine and supple. Hair thin and glossy like satin.
Preferably self-coloured. The colour most prized is golden fawn, but
all shades of fawn--red, mouse, cream and white--are recognised.
Blacks, brindles and pied are considered less desirable. ACTION--High
stepping and free. WEIGHT--Two classes, one of 8 lb. and under, the
other over 8 lb.
* * * * *
The diminutive Shetland Sheepdog has many recommendations as a pet.
Like the sturdy little Shetland pony, this dog has not been made small
by artificial selection. It is a Collie in miniature, no larger than a
Pomeranian, and it is perfectly hardy, wonderfully sagacious, and
decidedly beautiful. At first glance the dog might easily be mistaken
for a Belgian Butterfly dog, for its ears are somewhat large and
upstanding, with a good amount of feather about them; but upon closer
acquaintance the Collie shape and nature become more pronounced.
The body is long and set low, on stout, short legs, which end in
long-shaped, feathered feet. The tail is a substantial brush,
beautifully carried, and the coat is long and inclined to silkiness,
with a considerable neck-frill. The usual weight is from six to ten
pounds, the dog being of smaller size than the bitch. The prettiest
are all white, or white with rich sable markings, but many are black
and tan or all black. The head is short and the face not so aquiline
as that of the large Collie. The eyes are well proportioned to the
size of the head, and have a singularly soft round brightness,
reminding one of the eye of a woodcock or a snipe.
The Shetlanders use them with the sheep, and they are excellent little
workers, intelligent and very active, and as hardy as terriers. Dog
lovers in search of novelty might do worse than take up this
attractive and certainly genuine breed.