Very small bitches, and especially those belonging to certain breeds which are known to be "shy," are not only often reluctant to breed at all, but are not infrequently very indifferent mothers, while there are great risks to the bitch in pupping where the sire is larger than herself, or where larger dogs occur in the immediate ancestry on either side. For these reasons, brood bitches are always wisely chosen of medium size, and mated to very tiny dogs. In all the breeds which come under the head of toys, smallness is a desideratum, tut the practice of inbreeding which has been extensively resorted to cannot be too highly condemned; while the equally mistaken idea of attaining this end by underfeeding puppies has also contributed to the weakliness of constitution which is an immense drawback to some breeds. Reckoning size by weight is another faulty practice much against the true interests of toys, which we want to be small and healthy at the same time; for a very tiny dog, if compact and sturdy, may weigh much more than a leggy specimen which, to the eye, seems half as large again.

A bitch from 5 lbs. to 7 lbs., if, as I said before, of a small strain, may be safely used for breeding, and the smaller the dog the better, provided he is healthy. The plan of sending away bitches to a stud dog saves the expense of buying a dog of one's own; the sire's wins help to sell the puppies very materially, and the good offices of his owner may generally be reckoned upon to assist the novice; but there are other facets to the question.

These tiny dogs, which are frequently exhibited, are often very unreliable sires; they work too hard, and their owners are sometimes very indifferent as to whether the visiting bitches are satisfactorily attended to. True, the terms always do, or certainly always should, include a second visit free if the first proves fruitless, but there is the loss of time, the disappointment to the owner, and sometimes to the little bitch herself, who may have been quite anxious to breed and not have had a fair chance, and the trouble and expense of travelling for her. On the whole, I am much inclined to advise the novice to, at any rate, begin by rearing up a male puppy of such breeds as Pekingese and Griffons, or the scarcer toy Bulldogs, and using it for the home stud; for the other plan is less likely to result in disappointment when a little knowledge has been gained of the kennel world in general. This, of course, unless the whole thing is gone into under the aegis of some experienced owner, as before suggested.

Some little bitches are exceedingly capricious, and will not take the least notice of a strange dog, where they would willingly mate with one they knew and liked; others are so upset by a journey and a strange place as to be useless pro tern.; others, again, instead of being ready to breed twice a year, as is the usual habit of female dogs, may only come in season once in twelve months, and then but fugitively. In such cases it is a positive necessity to have a dog on the spot. Where a sire must be chosen from among strangers, his points should correct any in which the bitch is deficient; your toy pug may have too small a head, with little wrinkle - you must look for a dog with good head properties as her mate; your Pom may be long in back, and you must seek a male with the opposite quality, and a plume well over and touching his frill.

The first puppies of two young dogs are generally larger than the parents, but I do not believe the theory often advanced that the first litter is always the best. Puppies by a very old sire are usually small.

A toy bitch, if sent away, should be carefully packed in a roomy, warm basket; the provision of draughty, tumble-to-pieces baskets is false economy, both for show and breeding purposes. If possible, a toy dog of either sex should have a cosy little basket kennel, with a door, which it can use at home as a sleeping-place, and in which it can travel; the basket can be fitted with an outer case of wood for greater security, but the dog will stand the journey much better if it is in a familiar basket. Something with a peaked or rounded top should be chosen; the ventilation being safer in this, as flat-sided and flat-topped packages may be so crowded upon with others in a guard's van as to suffocate the inmate.

GRIFFON BRUXELLOIS. Sparklets, the property of Miss Johnson.

GRIFFON BRUXELLOIS. "Sparklets," the property of Miss Johnson.

The usual period of willingness to breed in a toy bitch is, more or less, one week. This is preceded by about a fortnight's preparation, a week or so of gradual enlargement of the parts concerned, and a week of a coloured discharge from the uterus and vagina. Either or all of the stages may last a longer or shorter time; but three weeks is generally accepted as the period. No attempt at mating the bitch should be made during the first two stages; it is when the discharge begins to cease that she is ready, and the correct judging of this time is what chiefly puzzles amateurs, though after they have once been through it they will not find any difficulty. As a rule, bitches are sent away too soon, and as the conveniences for keeping them at the stud dog's house are often few, they are cooped up for day after day, and may become quite "stale" and dull before the real mating time comes - a poor prospect. If the two dogs are in the house together, the male should be kept entirely away from the female from the very beginning of her attraction for him, until she is ready, otherwise he will worry her incessantly and become himself ultimately indifferent and useless in the matter.

Toy dogs should never be left to themselves in breeding matters; it is highly dangerous to do so, especially if they are young and inexperienced, and I strongly advise the beginner either to get some experienced breeder to overlook matters and give advice, or failing this, when the female is ready, to send the two dogs for a few hours to some kind and sensible veterinary surgeon. They should be allowed to be together twice, either on consecutive days, or with a day between.

Once mated, the little toy bitch must be petted and taken good care of: not overfed, but given plenty of good, nourishing food, and systematically exercised. If she is in pup it will become evident about the fifth to the seventh week. Some dogs show it much more than others; whether she has puppies or not, she will have the natural provision of milk for them. If she does not pup, she may very likely come in season again in half the usual time. A failure to prove in pup is generally evidenced by a time of great heaviness and dulness, the bitch sleeping a great deal, getting very fat, and decidedly stupid; under these circumstances give her extra exercise and one or two small doses of sulphate of magnesia in food, to ward off skin irritation, a not uncommon correlative. People are far too apt to decide that "missing" is the bitch's fault; certainly she is apt to miss if she is too fat at the time of mating and Nature often, and very sensibly, arranges that she shall do so when she has been regularly bred from at her seasons for a number of times; but outside these occasions it is quite as often the dog's fault as not.

A question which is frequently asked is as to the desirability or otherwise of giving a toy bitch worm medicine, or an aperient, while she is in pup or just before her babies arrive. It is as well to give one mild dose of worm medicine about the end of the third week, if the bitch is known to be troubled with these parasites to any great extent; but it would be much better to have dosed her before her breeding time came on. As to the aperient before pupping which we often see advised, it is a totally unnecessary interference with Nature, and when castor oil, a violent irritant to dogs, is employed, it is a sheer piece of cruelty, likely to have very bad effects.