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.
"The competition between the brother and sister, Play Boy and Poppy, was always very keen, the bitch being cropped; but the dog carried a pair of beautiful ears. Poppy was the richer in colour, and when young had a very keen and intelligent expression. Play Boy possessed the more substance, but his eyes were somewhat too full, which made him look somewhat quiet and hardly sharp enough.
"Play Boy was not a success at the stud, though he sired a dog named Bogie Rattler, owned by myself, who took after him in looks and good ears, but was lower on the leg, more cloddy, and not of Play Boy's quality. Bogie mated with Biddy III., by Gripper and Cora (drop ears), produced first Champion Bachelor, and, in the next litter, Benedict, which I sold to Mr. Graham. Benedict became the most celebrated stud dog of the day, for he is sire or grandsire of more winners than any other Irish terrier.
"Bachelor was very successful in the show ring, and took after his sire and grandsire in having a good pair of ears. He had also a very hard coat, of good colour, yellow tipped with red, a long neck, which was very muscular, and a well-shaped head, which never grew too thick; his hind quarters were rather short, and his shoulders somewhat coarse, the latter no doubt caused by the amount of work he did. Benedict was a darker colour, with a lot of coat on his fore quarters, but little on his loins or hind quarters, and of rather a lighter make than Bachelor. It may interest my readers to know that in the litter which included Bachelor there were three red, one grey, and five rough black and tan coloured puppies, and in that in which Benedict was produced, there were three red and five rough black and tan in hue.
"A noted rival of Bachelor's on the show bench was Mr. Graham's Extreme Carelessness (afterwards sold to Mr. Graves, of Liverpool), a bitch that when a puppy was almost black, or rather, nearly every hair was more black than yellow. At four years of age the tips of a few hairs only were black, and two years ago, just before she died, I saw the old bitch in Ireland, looking very fit and well, but of a beautiful yellow-red colour, and entirely free from any black tinge. She was given back to Mr. Graham after she had finished her show career. Extreme Carelessness was cropped, her head rather heavy, and she had a slight slackness behind the shoulders, otherwise she was a charming bitch of great character and of good quality. She and Bachelor had many hard struggles for 'specials,' their successes being about equal.
"Erin, two years after her celebrated litter, again visited Killiney Boy, and threw a bitch, Droleen, who, put to a long-headed dog named Michael, by Pagan II., a grandson of both Killiney Boy and Erin, threw for her owner, Mr. E. A. Wiener, the best dog since Bachelor's days, Brickbat by name, who has had a most successful show career, winning the Challenge Cup given by the Irish Terrier Club twelve times, without once being defeated, and finally he secured it outright.
"Brickbat is unfortunately cropped, and his expression requires greater smartness; he is rather too big, and has a mere apology of a stern. Otherwise this excellent terrier is pretty nearly perfect.
"Poppy, to the best of my recollection, only bred one good puppy, called Poppy II., very like her dam, but of a lighter build, and too leggy. I think the above a rough outline of the earlier generation of Irish terriers, bringing them down to the present time, for, although Brickbat has retired from the show bench, he is still alive and vigorous, and in Mr. Wardle's studio the other day he looked quite fresh as he was standing for his picture.
"Although so popular on the show bench, it is as a companion that the Irish terrier has won his way into the hearts of those who own a dog for the house and to keep down vermin. I am glad to say that the show bench has not yet spoiled their good qualities; although many are 'kennel fools,' this is their misfortune, not their fault. I have entered my terriers to all kinds of vermin, except otter, at that they have not had the chance; but one small terrier, bred by a friend from my dogs and given to Mr. Harry Clift, when hunting the otter hounds he kept at Newbury, Berks, was one of the gamest little terriers he ever owned, almost too keen, and quite fearless.
"I remember turning out a badger to see if Bachelor, when he was under a year old, would seize and hold it. At first they fought until almost tired out, then the dog got the badger by the cheek and there held him until they were both quite exhausted. The badger earths in our Buckinghamshire chalk hills are not large, but run very deep, often 16ft. to 18ft., so one cannot dig, and it is little short of cruelty to put a terrier in, as he may get blocked; it is too deep to hear a sound, and Irish terriers are not noisy enough, fighting and taking their punishment in silence, nor do they ' bay' their game like other terriers. I have often run two of my terriers, Boundary and Birthright, into small earths, and found them of no use, as we could not hear where they were, unless the badger grunted or they whined, and they have come out fearfully mauled and bitten.
"I accounted for one fox with an Irish terrier, and this was by accident, as I did not think the dog would kill it in less than half a minute or so, but he rolled it over, bit it through the brisket, and the fox was dead before I had time to get the dog off.
"It is in the water that Irish terriers excel, as they take to it as naturally as a duck, and as a rule retrieve well therefrom. I have a bitch that will dive many yards after a rat, or rather run in shallow water with her head under, trying to grab it. She will also, if about to kill in the river and the rat dives, dive under and kill; but often she has to leave go and come up for breath, when the rat sinks. In clear water I have seen her do this, and afterwards get the rat up, so there is no doubt she often kills under water.