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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

seven po
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

of delicacy.

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

not misplaced.

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.