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.
Owing to the variety of surroundings that I have named, the black and tan terrier is scarcely a dog that can be recommended for the household. Whether there is anything particularly attractive for the dog stealer in him I cannot say, but I have doubts on the matter, for at least three of my friends who resided in suburban London owned very nice black and tan terriers, and sooner or later the three of them rose on three separate mornings and found themselves three dogless individuals. Their "black and tans" had been stolen, nor were they recovered, and one of the three friends, who liked the variety very much indeed, had a second of the strain stolen. So he got an Irish terrier, which remains with him to this day. Possibly the local thieves couple the Irish dogs with Irish politics, and sensibly enough consider them best left alone.
There are three clubs established to look after the well-being of the black and tan terrier, one arising from the ashes of the original body and established in 1892, and called "The Black and Tan Terrier Club of England," I presume to distinguish it from another club which has its headquarters in Scotland, and has but recently (1893) been established.
The third is the "Manchester or Black and Tan Terrier Club," likewise organised during 1893.
From what I have written it will be surmised that this terrier is one of the most difficult varieties to judge properly and with satisfaction, for not only are the colours and markings to be taken into consideration, but sufficient knowledge is required to detect whether the dog is indebted to Nature alone for her perfections or whether art has been her assistant.
The description and points of the black and tan terrier as adopted by the English club are as follows; they are pretty much the same as those of the Manchester club, the chief difference being that the latter limit their weight to 181b.
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.
Very small, sparkling, and dark, set fairly close together, and oblong in shape.
Cropped and standing perfectly erect, if uncropped, small, and V-shaped, hanging close to the head above the eye.
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.
Narrow but deep.
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.
Must be quite straight, set on well under the dog and of fair length.
More inclined to be cat than hare footed.
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.
Close, smooth, short and glossy.
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 under jaw and throat are tanned, and the hair inside the ear is of 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 joint, 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 chest. Tan outside of hind legs, commonly called breeching, a serious defect. In all cases the black should not run into the tan, or vice versa, but the division between the two colours should be well defined.
A terrier, calculated to take his own part in the rat pit, and not of the whippet type.
Not exceeding 71b.; not exceeding 161b.; not exceeding 2olb.
Colour and markings
General appearance (including terrier quality) ............
Grand Total, 100.
It may be interesting to compare the above with what Mr. Henry Lacy suggested eight or nine years ago, and what was considered good when he wrote would undoubtedly be considered so now.
Of late I have noticed that there is a tendency to breed the black and tan terrier too much of the whippet and Italian greyhound stamp, with tucked-up loins, arched back, and long feet. With such defects, have come round, full, glaring eyes, instead of the smart, piercing,, almond-shaped orbs which ought to be part and parcel of every terrier, whether kept as a companion or as a vermin destroyer. Breeders ought at once to check this tendency, which can easily be done by refusing to use such dogs and bitches in their kennels as are likely to perpetuate defects so glaring and mischievous. So recently as the Liverpool Show of 1894, in conversation with an old and successful exhibitor of black and tan terriers, I had my attention drawn to these prevailing weaknesses, although the variety was not well-represented at that exhibition. Unterrier-like specimens, for the most part, took the leading prizes there.
Our dog-loving cousins in America do not appear to have shown any great affection for the black and tan terrier, nor have the few imported, chiefly by Dr. Foote, of New York, attracted any particular attention when they were benched. Perhaps on the other side of the Atlantic the natives do not possess sufficient knowledge of the breed to fully appreciate the rich colour and correct markings of this, to say the least, peculiar terrier.
Before closing the chapter allusion must be made to the "blue" or slate-coloured terriers which are occasionally produced from this variety, though the parents may be correctly marked themselves. Such "sports" are in reality as well bred as the real article, and are found of all sizes, perhaps more commonly amongst the "toys" and the small-sized specimens than amongst the larger ones. Some are entirely "blue" or slate coloured, others have tan markings. In certain Lancashire towns they are far from uncommon, and have little value set upon them, nor are they acknowledged on the show bench at the present time. Still, at two or three of the earlier canine exhibitions special classes were provided for these "blue terriers," and once or twice in London a fair entry was obtained.
Mr. Thomson Gray, in his "Dogs of Scotland," mentions a dog called the Blue Paul, and earlier writers had also drawn attention to the same animal. I certainly refuse to acknowledge him as a variety, and consider him identical with the "blue terrier" bred from "black and tans." Some specimens described may have been larger, stronger, and generally coarser than a perfect black and tan terrier ought to be, but such is not sufficient distinction to make them a distinct variety. There are many well bred black and tan terriers up to 3olb. weight and over, and I have seen more than one "blue" dog bred from such, and what Mr. Thomson Gray would no doubt have considered "a find" as one of the last of the race of the so-called Blue Paul. Some time or other a fancier had a terrier called Paul, and it being a celebrity in its line, which was to kill rats and fight, and being "blue" in colour was called "Blue Paul" to distinguish it from other eminent dogs bearing a similar name. At least, such is my idea of the origin of the name, notwithstanding how I may upset local historians and others who have said Paul Jones gave the dog its name, having brought a specimen home on his return from one of his piratical expeditions.