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is when he grows his coat, and how terribly unnatural he looks.

The wire-hair has never been in better state than he is to-day; he
is, generally speaking, far ahead of his predecessors of twenty-five
years ago, not only from a show point of view, but also in working
qualities. One has only to compare the old portraits of specimens
of the variety with dogs of the present day to see this. A good many
individual specimens of excellent merit, it is true, there were, but
they do not seem to have been immortalised in this way. The portraits
of those we do see are mostly representations of awful-looking brutes,
as bad in shoulders, and light of bone, as they could be; they appear
also to have had very soft coats, somewhat akin to that we see on
a Pomeranian nowadays, though it is true this latter fault may have
been that of the artist, or probably amplified by him.

Perhaps the strongest kennel of wire-hairs that has existed was that
owned a good many years ago by Messrs. Maxwell and Cassell. Several
champions were in the kennel at the same time, and they were a sorty
lot of nice size, and won prizes all over the country. Jack Frost,
Jacks Again, Liffey, Barton Wonder, Barton Marvel, and several other
good ones, were inmates of this kennel, the two latter especially
being high-class terriers, which at one time were owned by Sir H.
de Trafford. Barton Marvel was a very beautiful bitch, and probably
the best of those named above, though Barton Wonder was frequently
put above her. Sir H. de Trafford had for years a very good kennel
of the variety, and at that time was probably the biggest and best

Mr. Carrick, of Carlisle, was also a prominent owner years ago, and
showed some excellent terriers, the best being Carlisle Tack, Trick,
and Tyro. The latter was an exceptionally good dog.

Mr. Sam Hill, of Sheffield, had also a strong kennel, always well
shown by George Porter, who is now, and has been for some years, in
America, where he still follows his old love. Mr. Hill's name will
ever be associated with that of his great dog Meersbrook Bristles,
who has undoubtedly done the breed a great amount of good. Mr. Mayhew
is another old fancier, who nearly always showed a good one. Mr.
Mayhew has been in America now for many years. One dog of his, who
it is believed became a champion, viz. Brittle, did at one time a
big business at stud, perhaps not to the advantage of the breed, for
he was possessed of a very bad fault, in that he had what was called
a topknot ring, a bunch of soft silky hairs on his forehead, an
unfailing sign of a soft coat all over, and a thing which breeders
should studiously avoid. This topknot was at one time more prevalent
than it is now. Whether it is a coincidence or not one cannot say,
but it is a fact that in the writer's experience several terriers
possessed of this fault have also blue markings, which again are
almost invariably accompanied by a soft coat, and taking these two
peculiarities together it would seem that at some time, years ago,
a cross with that wonderfully game but exceedingly soft-coated
terrier, the Bedlington, may have been resorted to, though if so it
would appear that nowadays any effect of it is gradually dying out.

Mr. George Raper is one of the old fanciers who has for many years
owned some of the best specimens of the variety, Ch. Go Bang perhaps
being the most notable. Go Bang was a beautiful terrier; there was
no denying his quality. Mr. Raper sold him to Mr. G. M. Carnochan,
of New York, for something like P500, probably the biggest price that
has ever been paid for any Fox-terrier. Mr. Hayward Field is another
gentleman who has been exhibiting the breed for very many years, and
has owned several good terriers. The late Mr. Clear had also at one
time a strong kennel, the best of which by a long way was Ch. Jack
St. Leger.

Mr. Wharton was a well-known exhibitor and judge some time back. It
was he who owned that excellent little terrier Ch. Bushey Broom, who
created quite a furore when first exhibited at the Westminster

Mr. Harding Cox was years ago a great supporter of the variety. He
exhibited with varying success, and was always much in request as
a judge; one knew in entering under him that he wanted firstly a
_terrier_, and further that the terrier had to be _sound_. Mr. Cox
has of course played a big part in the popularisation of the
Fox-terrier, for, as all the world knows, he was the instigator of
the Fox-terrier Club, it being founded at a meeting held at his house.
His love has ever been for the small terrier, and certainly the
specimens shown by him, whatever their individual faults, were
invariably a sporting, game-looking lot. Mr. Sidney Castle has for
many years shown wire-hair Fox-terriers of more than average merit;
and thoroughly understands the variety, indeed, perhaps as well as
anybody. Messrs. Bartle, Brumby Mutter, G. Welch, and S. Wilson, are
all old fanciers who have great experience, have bred and shown
excellent specimens.

In mentioning the names of celebrated men and terriers of years gone
by, reference must be made to a terrier shown some time ago, which
was as good, taken all round, as any that have so far appeared. This
was Ch. Quantock Nettle, afterwards purchased by a gentleman in Wales
and renamed Lexden Nettle. Of correct size, with marvellous character,
an excellent jacket and very takingly marked with badger tan and black
on a wonderful head and ears, this bitch swept the board, as they
say, and unquestionably rightly so.

No article on the wire-hair Fox-terrier would be complete without
mentioning the name of the late Mr. S. E. Shirley, President of the
Kennel Club. Mr. Shirley was a successful exhibitor in the early days
of the variety, and while his terriers were a good-looking lot, though
not up to the show form of to-day, they were invariably hard-bitten,
game dogs, kept chiefly for work.

On the question of size nearly all the principal judges of the
Fox-terrier are agreed. Their maxim is "a good little one can always
beat a good big one." The difficulty arises when the little ones are
no good, and the big ones are excellent; it is a somewhat common
occurrence, and to anyone who loves a truly formed dog, and who knows
what a truly formed dog can do, it is an extremely difficult thing
to put the little above the larger. All big dogs with properly placed
shoulders and sound formation are better terriers for work of any
sort than dogs half their size, short on the leg, but bad in these
points. It is in reality impossible to make an inexorable rule about
this question of size; each class must be judged on its own merits.



There is perhaps no breed of dog that in so short a time has been
improved so much as the Airedale. He is now a very beautiful animal,
whereas but a few years back, although maybe there were a few fairly
nice specimens, by far the greater number were certainly the reverse
of this.

In place of the shaggy, soft-coated, ugly-coloured brute with large
hound ears and big full eyes, we have now a very handsome creature,
possessing all the points that go to make a really first-class terrier
of taking colour, symmetrical build, full of character and "go," amply
justifying - in looks, at any rate - its existence as a terrier.

Whether it is common sense to call a dog weighing 40 lb. to 50 lb.
a terrier is a question that one often hears discussed. The fact
remains the dog is a terrier - a sort of glorified edition of what
we understand by the word, it is true, but in points, looks, and
character, a terrier nevertheless, and it is impossible otherwise
to classify him.

People will ask: "How can he be a terrier? Why he is an outrage on
the very word, which can only mean a dog to go to ground; and to what
animal in the country of his birth can an Airedale go to ground?"
Above ground and in water, however, an Airedale can, and does, perform
in a very excellent manner everything that any other terrier can do.
As a water dog he is, of course, in his element; for work on land
requiring a hard, strong, fast and resolute terrier he is, needless
to say, of great value; and he is said to be also, when trained - as
can easily be imagined when one considers his power of scent, his
strength, sagacity, and speed - a most excellent gun-dog. He is, in
fact, a general utility dog, for add to the above-mentioned qualities
those of probably an incomparable guard and a most excellent
companion, faithful and true, and ask yourself what do you want more,
and what breed of dog, taken all round, can beat him?

The Airedale is not of ancient origin. He was probably first heard
of about the year 1850. He is undoubtedly the product of the
Otterhound and the old Black and Tan wire-haired terrier referred
to in the chapters on the wire-hair Fox and the Welsh Terriers. When
one considers the magnificent nobleness, the great sagacity, courage,
and stateliness of the Otterhound, the great gameness, cheek, and
pertinacity of the old Black and Tan wire-hair, such a cross must
surely produce an animal of excellent type and character.

Yorkshire, more especially that part of it round and about the town
of Otley, is responsible for the birth of the Airedale. The
inhabitants of the country of broad acres are, and always have been,
exceedingly fond of any kind of sport - as, indeed, may also be said
of their brothers of the Red Rose - but if in connection with that
sport a dog has to be introduced, then indeed are they doubly blessed,
for they have no compeers at the game.

Otter-hunting was formerly much indulged in by the people living in
the dales of the Aire and the Wharfe, and not only were packs of
Otterhounds kept, but many sportsmen maintained on their own account
a few hounds for their personal delectation. These hounds were no
doubt in some instances a nondescript lot, as, indeed, are several
of the packs hunting the otter to-day, but there was unquestionably
a good deal of Otterhound blood in them, and some pure bred hounds
were also to be found. Yorkshire also has always been the great home
of the terrier. Fox-terriers, as we now know them, had at this time
hardly been seen. The terrier in existence then was the Black and
Tan wire-hair, a hardy game terrier, a great workman on land or in

Whether by design or accident is not known, but the fact remains that
in or about the year mentioned a cross took place between these same
hounds and terriers. It was found that a handier dog was produced
for the business for which he was required, and it did not take many
years to populate the district with these terrier-hounds, which soon
came to be recognised as a distinct breed. The Waterside Terrier was
the name first vouchsafed to the new variety. After this they went
by the name of Bingley Terriers, and eventually they came to be known
under their present appellation.

The specimens of the Airedale which were first produced were not of
very handsome appearance, being what would now be called bad in
colour, very shaggy coated, and naturally big and ugly in ear. It,
of course, took some time to breed the hound out at all satisfactorily;
some authorities tell us that for this purpose the common fighting
pit Bull-terrier and also the Irish Terrier were used, the latter
to a considerable extent; and whether this is correct or not there
is no doubt that there would also be many crosses back again into
the small Black and Tan Terrier, primarily responsible for his

In about twenty years' time, the breed seems to have settled down
and become thoroughly recognised as a variety of the terrier. It was
not, however, for some ten years after this that classes were given
for the breed at any representative show. In 1883 the committee of
the National Show at Birmingham included three classes for Airedales
in their schedule, which were fairly well supported; and three years
after this recognition was given to the breed in the stud-book of
the ruling authority.

From this time on the breed prospered pretty well; several very good
terriers were bred, the hound gradually almost disappeared, as also
did to a great extent the bad-coloured ones. The best example amongst
the early shown dogs was undoubtedly Newbold Test, who had a long
and very successful career. This dog excelled in terrier character,
and he was sound all over; his advent was opportune - he was just the
dog that was wanted, and there is no doubt he did the breed a great
amount of good.

A dog called Colne Crack, who was a beautiful little terrier was
another of the early shown ones by whom the breed has lost nothing,
and two other terriers whose names are much revered by lovers of the
breed are Cholmondeley Briar and Briar Test.

Some years ago, when the breed was in the stage referred to above,
a club was formed to look after its interests, and there is no doubt
that though perhaps phenomenal success did not attend its efforts,
it did its best, and forms a valuable link in the chain of popularity
of the Airedale. It was at best apparently a sleepy sort of concern,
and never seems to have attracted new fanciers. Some dozen or so years
ago, however, a club, destined not only to make a great name for
itself, but also to do a thousandfold more good to the breed it
espouses than ever the old club did, was formed under the name of
the South of England Airedale Terrier Club, and a marvellously
successful and popular life it has so far lived. The younger club
was in no way an antagonist of the older one, and it has ever been
careful that it should not be looked upon in any way as such. The
old club has, however, been quite overshadowed by the younger, which,
whether it wishes it or not, is now looked upon as the leading society
in connection with the breed.

At a meeting of the first club - which went by the name of the Airedale
Terrier Club - held in Manchester some eighteen or twenty years ago,
the following standard of perfection and scale of points was drawn
up and adopted: -

* * * * *

HEAD - Long, with flat skull, but not too broad between the ears,
narrowing slightly to the eyes, free from wrinkle; stop hardly
visible, and cheeks free from fullness; jaw deep and powerful, well
filled up before the eyes; lips light; ears V-shaped with a side
carriage, small but not out of proportion to the size of the dog;
the nose black; the eyes small and dark in colour, not prominent,
and full of terrier expression; the teeth strong and level. The neck
should be of moderate length and thickness, gradually widening towards
the shoulders and free from throatiness. SHOULDERS AND CHEST - Shoulders
long and sloping well into the back, shoulder-blades flat, chest deep,
but not broad. BODY - Back short, strong and straight; ribs well
sprung. HIND-QUARTERS - Strong and muscular, with no drop; hocks well
let down; the tail set on high and carried gaily, but not curled over
the back. LEGS AND FEET - Legs perfectly straight, with plenty of bone;
feet small and round with good depth of pad. COAT - Hard and wiry,
and not so long as to appear ragged; it should also be straight and
close, covering the dog well over the body and legs. COLOUR - The head
and ears, with the exception of dark markings on each side of the
skull, should be tan, the ears being a darker shade than the rest,
the legs up to the thigh and elbows being also tan, the body black
or dark grizzle. WEIGHT - Dogs 40 lb. to 45 lb., bitches slightly less.

* * * * *

At the time of the formation of the Southern club the state of the
Airedale was critical; possessed of perhaps unequalled natural
advantages, lovely dog as he is, he had not made that progress that
he should have done. He had not been boomed in any way, and had been
crawling when he should have galloped. From the moment the new club
was formed, however, the Airedale had a new lease of life. Mr. Holland
Buckley and other keen enthusiasts seem to have recognised to a nicety
exactly what was required to give a necessary fillip to the breed;
they appear also to have founded their club at the right moment, and
to have offered such an attractive bill of fare, that not only did
everyone in the south who had anything to do with Airedales join at
once, but very shortly a host of new fanciers was enrolled, and crowds
of people began to take the breed up who had had nothing to do with
it, or, indeed, any other sort of dog previously.

Some few years after the foundation of this club, a junior branch
of it was started, and this, ably looked after by Mr. R. Lauder
McLaren, is almost as big a success in its way as is the parent
institution. Other clubs have been started in the north and elsewhere,
and altogether the Airedale is very well catered for in this respect,
and, if things go on as they are now going, is bound to prosper and
become even more extensively owned than he is at present. To Mr.
Holland Buckley, Mr. G. H. Elder, Mr. Royston Mills, and Mr. Marshall
Lee, the Airedale of the present day owes much.

The Airedales that have struck the writer as the best he has come
across are Master Briar, Clonmel Monarch, Clonmel Marvel, Dumbarton
Lass, Tone Masterpiece, Mistress Royal, Master Royal, Tone Chief,
Huckleberry Lass, Fielden Fashion, York Sceptre and Clonmel Floriform.
Nearly everyone of these is now, either in the flesh or spirit, in
the United States or Canada.

In all probability, the person who knows more about this terrier than
anyone living is Mr. Holland Buckley. He has written a most
entertaining book on the Airedale; he has founded the principal club
in connection with the breed; he has produced several very excellent
specimens, and it goes without saying that he is - when he can be
induced to "take the ring" - a first-rate judge. Mr. Buckley has
frequently told the writer that in his opinion one of the best
terriers he has seen was the aforesaid Clonmel Floriform, but, as
this dog was sold for a big price very early in his career, the writer
never saw him.

Most of the articles that have been written on the Airedale have come
from the pen of Mr. Buckley, and therefore but modest reference is
made to the man who has worked so whole-heartedly, so well, and so
successfully in the interests of the breed he loves. It would be
ungenerous and unfair in any article on the Airedale, written by
anyone but Mr. Buckley, if conspicuous reference were not made to
the great power this gentleman has been, and to the great good that
he has done.

The Airedale is such a beautiful specimen of the canine race, and
is, in reality, in such healthy state, that every one of his
admirers - and they are legion - is naturally jealous for his welfare,
and is wishful that all shall go well with him. It is gratifying to
state that he has never been the tool of faction, though at one time
he was doubtless near the brink; but this was some time ago, and it
would be a grievous pity if he ever again became in jeopardy of
feeling the baneful influence of any such curse.

There is one serious matter in connection with him, however, and that
is the laxity displayed by some judges of the breed in giving prizes
to dogs shown in a condition, with regard to their coats, which ought
to disentitle them to take a prize in any company. Shockingly
badly-trimmed shoulders are becoming quite a common thing to see in
Airedales. There is no necessity for this sort of thing; it is very
foolish, and it is impossible to imagine anything more likely to do
harm to a breed than that the idea should get abroad that this is
the general practice in connection with it.



This gamest of all the terriers has been known as a distinct and
thoroughly British breed for over a century, which is, I think, a
fairly ancient lineage. There are various theories as to its original
parentage, but the one which holds that he was the result of a cross
between the Otterhound and the Dandie Dinmont suggests itself to me
as the most probable one. His characteristics strongly resemble in
many points both these breeds, and there can be but little doubt of
his near relationship at some time or other to the Dandie.

The earliest authentic record we have of the Bedlington was a dog
named Old Flint, who belonged to Squire Trevelyan, and was whelped
in 1782. The pedigree of Mr. William Clark's Scamp, a dog well known
about 1792, is traced back to Old Flint, and the descendants of Scamp
were traced in direct line from 1792 to 1873.

A mason named Joseph Aynsley has the credit for giving the name of
"Bedlington" to this terrier in 1825. It was previously known as the
Rothbury Terrier, or the Northern Counties Fox-terrier. Mr. Thomas
J. Pickett, of Newcastle-on-Tyne, was perhaps the earliest supporter
of the breed on a large scale, and his Tynedale and Tyneside in
especial have left their names in the history of the Bedlington.

The present day Bedlington, like a good many other terriers, has
become taller and heavier than the old day specimens. This no doubt
is due to breeding for show points. He is a lathy dog, but not shelly,
inclined to be flatsided, somewhat light in bone for his size, very
lively in character, and has plenty of courage. If anything, indeed,
his pluck is too insistent.

The standard of points as adopted by the National Bedlington Terrier
and The Yorkshire Bedlington Terrier Clubs is as follows: -

* * * * *

SKULL - Narrow, but deep and rounded; high at the occiput, and covered
with a nice silky tuft or topknot. MUZZLE - Long, tapering, sharp and
muscular, as little stop as possible between the eyes, so as to form
nearly a line from the nose-end along the joint of skull to the
occiput. The lips close fitting and without flew. EYES - Should be
small and well sunk in the head. The blues should have a dark eye,
the blues and tans ditto, with amber shades; livers and sandies, a
light brown eye. NOSE - Large, well angled; blues and blues and tans
should have black noses, livers and sandies flesh-coloured.
TEETH - Level or pincher-jawed. EARS - Moderately large, well formed,
flat to the cheek, thinly covered and tipped with fine silky hair.
They should be filbert shaped. LEGS - Of moderate length, not wide
apart, straight and square set, and with good-sized feet, which are
rather long. TAIL - Thick at the root, tapering to a point, slightly
feathered on lower side, 9 inches to 11 inches long and scimitar
shaped. NECK AND SHOULDERS - Neck long, deep at base, rising well from
the shoulders, which should be flat. BODY - Long and well-proportioned,
flat ribbed, and deep, not wide in chest, slightly arched back, well
ribbed up, with light quarters. COAT - Hard, with close bottom, and
not lying flat to sides. COLOUR - Dark blue, blue and tan, liver, liver
and tan, sandy, or sandy and tan. HEIGHT - About 15 inches to 16
inches. WEIGHT - Dogs about 24 pounds; bitches about 22 pounds. GENERAL
APPEARANCE - He is a light-made, lathy dog, but not shelly.

* * * * *

There is a tendency nowadays towards excess of size in the Bedlington.
It is inclined to be too long in the body and too leggy, which, if
not checked, will spoil the type of the breed. It is, therefore, very
important that size should be more studied by judges than is at
present the case. The faults referred to are doubtless the result
of breeding for exceptionally long heads, which seem to be the craze
just now, and, of course, one cannot get extra long heads without
proportionately long bodies and large size. If it were possible to
do so, then the dog would become a mere caricature.

As a sporting terrier the Bedlington holds a position in the first
rank. He is very fast and enduring, and exceedingly pertinacious,
and is equally at home on land and in water. He will work an otter,
draw a badger, or bolt a fox, and he has no superior at killing rats
and all kinds of vermin. He has an exceptionally fine nose, and makes
a very useful dog for rough shooting, being easily taught to retrieve.
If he has any fault at all, it is that he is of too jealous a
disposition, which renders it almost impossible to work him with other
dogs, as he wants all the fun to himself, and if he cannot get it
he will fight for it. But by himself he is perfect. As a companion
he is peculiarly affectionate and faithful, and remarkably
intelligent; he makes a capital house-dog, is a good guard and is
very safe with children.

Bedlingtons are not dainty feeders, as most writers have asserted,
nor are they tender dogs. If they are kept in good condition and get

Online LibraryRobert LeightonDogs and All about Them → online text (page 19 of 30)