Terriers Breeds - The Black and Tan Terrier
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 was 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 coarser.
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 seconds.
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.
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.