The Black-and-Tan Terrier. --In it's early days the Manchester Terrier was an extremely popular dog in the north of England, but like the White English Terrier he has been suffered to fall into neglect and to give place to the Airedale and the Fox-terrier. Formerly there was but little regard paid to his 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 penciled 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 19th 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. W have no terriers now-a-days equal to performing such a feat.
It was a popular terrier in Lancashire, and it was in this country that the refining process in his shape and colouring was practiced, and where he came by the name of the Manchester Terrier. In the Manchester district typical specimens are still to be seen on exhibition, where you may find such admirable representatives as Ch. Young Surprise and Caldercot Patience; but even in its own home the Black-and-Tans has ceased to claim the wide attention it deserves, while at southern shows it is seldom entered in any but the variety classes.
The reason is commonly given that, notwithstanding its many other attractions, it has lost that very alert appearance which was a general characteristic of the bred before the Kennel Club made it illegal to crop the ears. It must be admitted that until very recently there was a considerable amount of truth in the opinion. A rather heavy ear, if carried erect, was the best material to work upon, 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 twenty years to eradicate the mischief, and even yet the cure is not complete.
The standard of points which the Black-and-Tan Terrier should be judged is as follows:
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 wedged 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 the 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 at 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, with which the nasal bone is jet black. There is also a bright spot on each cheek and above each eye; the under jaw and throat are tanned and the hair inside the ears is the same colour; the forelegs 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, 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, or visa versa, but the division between the two colours should be well defined. Weight for Toys not exceeding 7 pounds; for the large breed from 10 to 20 pounds is most desirable.
The Miniature Black-and-Tan: 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 recognized weight for the Toy variety is given as "under seven pounds" 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. He 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 lap-dogs.
* From the personal collection of Jo Ann Emrick, "Wilane Manchester Terriers."