The Black and Tan Terrier

This 1916 dog breed profile believes that this terrier should hold its owner with the popular breeds.

From the Archives of Dog World: Enjoy this all-access pass to dog history from the pages of the longest published dog magazine. This content remains in its original form and reflects the language and views of its time. Health and behavior information evolves and only the most current advice should be followed.

Dog World January 1916 As to the Black and Tan Terrier, the breed has been jogging along in a sort of halfhearted way of late years. Recently, however, it has shown a slight but nevertheless unmistakable rise in popularity and the indications are that it will not be long before it equals, and probably exceeds in numbers the dogs of any previous period.

There is no reason why the Black and Tan should not hold its own with the most popular breeds. He has every recommendation of disposition, form and color. He is one of the most alert and active of dogs, as game as a pebble, an ideal watchman, an unexcelled  ratter and all done up in a small package. No dog exceeds him in beauty of outline, and this is enhanced by his sleek coat, with its sheen that the most costly satin does not possess; set off by the rich Tan markings, dainty penciling and thumbing that would puzzle an artist to reproduce.

The age of the breed antedates that of many others. In fact, the Black and Tan is one of the very oldest of Terrier breeds. He was thoroughly established and fully and frequently described by writers of over one hundred years ago. Unlike some other Terrier breeds that time has unquestionably changed, the Black and Tan is still of the same general type, color and characteristics that marked his individuality a century ago. This we know from the early descriptions, prints and paintings of that period. We find that there was also a rough or wire-haired Terrier of the same color that has long since disappeared.

In 1803 Daniel wrote that “No species of dog will fight the Badger so resolutely and fairly as Terriers, of which there are two kinds; the one is rough, short-legged  and long-backed, very strong and most commonly of a black or yellowish color mixed with white; the other is smooth-haired and beautifully formed, having a shorter body and more sprightly appearance, is generally of a reddish-brown color or black, with tanned legs.

Another well-known writer of about that time was Captain Brown, who gives a more detailed description and one that would fit the dogs of the present day. He says, “This is a handsome, sprightly dog and generally black on his back, sides, upper part of his head, neck and tail; the belly and throat are of a very bright reddish brown, with a spot of the same color over each eye. The hair is short and somewhat glossy, the tail rather trunicated and carried slightly upwards, the ears are small, somewhat erect and reflected at the tips, the head is little in proportion to the size of the body, and the snout is moderately elongated. This dog, though but small, is very resolute and is determined enemy to all kinds of game and vermin, in pursuit and destruction of which he evinces an extraordinary and untaught alacrity. Some of the larger English Terriers will even draw a badger from his hole.      
Minatures or Toy exactly the same only under 8 pounds in this country in Canada and England under 7 pounds.

Excerpted from Dog World magazine, December 1916, Vol. 1, No. 12. For back issues of Dog World, click here.

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