This section is from the book "The Terriers. A History And Description Of The Modern Dogs Of Great Britain And Ireland", by Rawdon B. Lee. Also available from Amazon: A History and Description of the Modern Dogs of Great Britain and Ireland: The Terriers.
These dark or black markings on the brown feet of black and tan dogs of all varieties are more or less common, and are found defined to a certain extent on collies of that colour, and on black and tan or Gordon setters. So far as the terriers are concerned, the marks come out more prominently, because they have been bred for, and dogs and bitches with the best markings have been mated together, with the result now seen in the terriers to which this chapter is devoted.
Soon after the formation of the first club some interesting correspondence took place in the Field relative to the description of the variety. Mr. James Taylor, then of Rochdale, wrote on the subject, and so did Mr. Henry Lacy, who at that time owned the best kennel of "black and tans" that had ever been brought together. Moreover he had made the breed a life-study, and it was said what he did not know about black and tan terriers was not worth knowing. However, neither gentleman agreed with the early description that the club had issued, which, however, they stated was subject to revision.
A portion of Mr. Lacy's letter, and his description, are worth producing, although he is in direct antagonism to my opinion as to cropping. He wrote as follows: -
"In the first place," says Mr. Lacy, "let me point out that black and tan terriers are essentially a Manchester breed. Use the phrase ' Manchester terrier' and any fancier knows at once what you mean. Hence it is that all the most famous smooth black and tans have been reared in and around Manchester. Here are a few of their names: Old Gass, Barrow's Pink, Handley's Saff and Colonel, Laing's Charlie, Kade, and Jerry, Lacy's Queen II., General, and Belcher, Justice's Viper and Vulcan, and innumerable others of a true quality.
"I will now lay down what I deem to be the true points by which the quality of a black and tan should be judged, taking a dog weighing from 171b. to 18lb.
Well formed and short. Girth of chest about 2oin. Back nicely arched, falling gently to root of tail.
In length, from occipital bone to tip of nose, 7m. to 8in.; skull, between the ears, almost entirely flat, with a slight hollow up the centre between the eyes, and no material drop at the eyes.
Small, and set well together, neither too far apart nor too near; colour, dark brown.
My opinion on this point is very decided, although I am aware that many fanciers do not share it. I admire a scientifically cropped ear, well up, and pretty long. This gives a sharp bright appearance to this particular terrier.
Not too long, and slightly arched, and betraying no coarseness at the point at which it joins the lower jaw.
Small feet, with the toes well together.
The hind feet should be cat-shaped, but the fore feet should be rather hare-footed, and come to a point in the centre.
The tail should be set on a level with the height of the shoulder, and carried straight or only slightly curved. It should be thick at the base, and taper gradually to the end, measuring from 8in. to gin.
The coat should be short and fine in texture. I have invariably found that when the throat is entirely covered there is a tendency to a heavy coarse coat. I therefore do not object to lack of hair on the throat, as I consider it a distinct characteristic of the breed. I look for a fine silky coat of raven black, with a brilliant glossy appearance.
A rich mahogany tan, of as uniform a shade as possible. Tan spots on the eyes and on each cheek. The tan on the muzzle should begin at the nostril, and continue by the ridge of the nose and then fall under the jaw. The division between this and the pea mark on the cheek should be decided and distinct. The paw mark on the forelegs should be equally pronounced, and each toe should be nicely pencilled. The colour under the tail should be as nearly as possible of the same shade of tan as the other marks, and the tail should cover it almost entirely. There should be no breeching of tan on the hind legs, on the neck, nor behind the ears.
"I claim that if a black and tan possesses all these points, he is of the true breed, as it is accepted and understood by the best authorities in his native county of Lancashire".
So much for Mr. Lacy's opinion, which must of course be taken as coming from one of the very best judges of the variety we have known; still, he does not tell us that the popularity such a handsome dog ought to possess could never be achieved, because it required cropping and so much attention in the way of "trimming" to make it presentable on the show bench. I need hardly say that the writer of the above extract had at one time an extremely powerful kennel of "black and tans," and he with his man, "Bob" Carling, could always send a dog into the ring in proper fashion. It was Mr. Lacy who bought that successful bitch Queen II., who did so much winning at the leading shows about 1870-2. The Rev. W. J. Mellor, then of Nottingham; Mr. S. Laing, Bristol; Mr. C. Harling, Manchester; Mr. W. Hodgson, Harpurhey; Mr. J. H. Murchison, Thrapston; Mr. T. Swinburne, Darlington; all had at one time or another excellent specimens of this variety. A little later Mr. A. George, Kensal Town; the late Mr. W. J. Tomlinson, Mr. G. S. Manuelle, and Mr. Codman, of London, owned some very good terriers indeed, and from what I know of them they were shown without being unduly trimmed, but their strains were not particularly companionable animals.
Perhaps some of the best of the variety are now to be found in Scotland, where Mr. D. G. Buchanan, at Broxham, has a very excellent team, with which he wins a large number of prizes. Mr. Webster Adams, at Ipswich, has another nice lot; Mr. J. Tucker, in Wales, is a noted breeder; and until quite recently Mr. T. Ellis, Cheetham Hill, Manchester, had, perhaps, the best modern kennel, as it contained several dogs that had been purchased for large sums, and finally known with the prefix of Bromfield. Mr. B. Lathom, Eccles; Mr. J. W. Taylor, Oldham; Mr. J. Howarth, Strangeways; Lieut. - Col. Dean, near Birkenhead; Mr. Tom Ashton, Lancashire; Mr. W. Barlow, Farnworth; and Messrs. Hogg, Stand, near Manchester, at the time I write are great admirers of the variety, and possess perhaps specimens quite as good as there are in any other kennels. But the "black and tan" is still bred in considerable numbers round about Manchester, and the would-be purchaser would be more likely to find suitable animals in that locality than elsewhere, though the London and Birmingham dealers could no doubt produce anything that might be required.