This section is from the book "A Manual Of Toy Dogs: How To Breed, Rear, And Feed Them", by Leslie Williams. Also available from Amazon: A Manual Of Toy Dogs: How To Breed, Rear And Feed Them.
In the show-ring things like this are not tolerated, and the really well-bred black-and-tan is not like the little abortions sold - but seldom now, though frequently of old - by itinerant vendors whose characters were far from being above suspicion, and by dog-dealers, as the crime de la crime of pet dogdom. The show black-and-tan toy is like a miniature Manchester terrier - glossy of skin, long and neat in head, with small, dark eyes, oval, not round and goggling; fine, well-made limbs, with the correct pencilling of deep, rich tan on the toes. There must be no tan down the backs of the hind legs, and the ears must be neat and well carried; the tail a whip.
Yorkshire terriers, if small and well coated, always find a sale, and will never be without friends. I like them much as single pet dogs, but a kennel of Yorkshires is a life's work, and only the enthusiast can give them all the care they need. A Yorkie must be brushed (lengthily) every day: it must be rubbed with oils and washes, especially when its hair is breaking, the process which turns the short-coated black-and-tan puppy into the full-blown blue-and-tan beauty of mature age. If the coat is to be done justice to, the puppy must, when necessary, be most carefully washed (though washed as little as possible), restrained from scratching by having little wash-leather socks kept upon its hind feet, and dieted with every attention directed towards the prevention of any skin disorder. No dog can carry a heavy coat unless well nourished, and the old idea that farinaceous foods sufficed for this is exploded. To avoid anaemia, keep the blood pure and rich, and give strength, a Yorkie must have the nourishment of meat. Withal, it is a merry little soul, and if its coat can be to some extent sacrificed, a good companion, fond of outdoor life, very barky and lively, and tolerably affectionate; but a really lovely show Yorkie is not a being for every day.
The breed does not suffer much from "distemper," and, strange to say. in spite of generations of coddling and fussing, and breeding for smallness and coat, is a decidedly healthy one. The white Yorkshires, a new variety some folk have tried to push, is, I think, in no way especially desirable - the Maltese can do all that is necessary in that line; while the attempt to make "silver" Yorkshires popular, too, simply means that bad-coloured dogs without any tan (paleness of tan is the stumbling-block in many a Yorkshire's career), are classed by themselves and offered prizes.
YORKSHIRE TERRIER. " Trixie," owned by Miss O'Donnell.
Toy pugs are, I think, invariably fascinating to those who have a liking for pug kind; they are big pugs in little, and everyone knows the points of a pug. My own toy fawn pugs loved their comforts too much to be perfect dogs for companioning a person of active outdoor habits, but they were sweet-tempered, gentle things, and, as such, to be commended. Pugs as a race seem strangely apt to skin trouble, and the toys are no exception. I have not seen many really good and very small fawn toys, but there are some, and where a pug is to be bought, a toy is really most desirable. They make good house dogs, and are seldom or never noisy, while those of a comparatively active strain, bred to plenty of outdoor fun, and not indulged in the greediness which, alas ! is generally a feature in their character, need by no means acquire the stout, snoring wheeziness which some folk think an elderly pug cannot escape. All the same, I can but say that I prefer the black variety on the whole, for they unite the sweet temper, faithfulness, and gentleness of the fawns with an untiring energy, to my mind one of the best qualities a dog can possess. They are also hardier, less subject to "distemper" and kindred ills, and very alert and intelligent.
One merit, if such it be, they do not share with the fawns - the latter are not expensive dogs, for they are almost always good mothers and prolific breeders. Not that the blacks fail in these respects, but as yet they are comparatively dear - that is, the really good ones. Head properties make much of their value just now, for a good-headed black pug, with a broad skull, large eyes, and plenty of skin and wrinkle, is not in every litter, and narrow skulls are much disliked, though Nature, with characteristic contrariety, seems to rejoice in producing them.
Pugs cannot stand heating foods any more than Yorkshires, which agree with them in doing better upon boiled rice as an addition to meat to make needful bulk, than upon any other farinaceous food. Next to it in value comes wheat meal; oatmeal and Indian corn meal will surely bring skin disaster. Lean meat, underdone for choice, fish, and chicken, may be varied, to make the meals, with a small amount of the needful staple as bulk.
Toy spaniels in general are not difficult dogs to deal with. They are faithful and extremely affectionate dogs, and the Blenheims make good country pets, having often a considerable amount of sporting instinct, even when they come of stock which has been kept for show only for many years. The Marlborough Blenheims are, of course, examples of the sporting Blenheim, though they are not correct in show points; and there is no reason why one of these dogs, toys though they be, and fit to win, should not be a good little country companion. For towns, white longhaired dogs are not to be recommended, because of the occasional washing, which is a vexation alike to dog and owner. The colouring of the Blenheims is very taking, and one with all the show points, spot on the head included, is sure to be admired; but toy spaniels, as a race, the Jap and Pekingese excepted, are very much in the hands of professional exhibitors, and but seldom now seen as pets. The black-and-tan King Charles is inclined to be rather a silly dog, pretty enough, but not "brainy"; a loving little thing, but unintellectual - such, at least, is my experience of him.
The faults of both breeds are generally too much leg, long heads and noses, instead of the big round skulls desired; small eyes, and curliness - the latter a direful mistake. The Prince Charles, or Tricolour, is the King Charles over again in three colours - black, tan, and white; and the Ruby is, as its name implies, all red; rather scarce, this is, to my mind, the prettiest of the toy spaniels. All are very susceptible to damp and cold, and should be carefully dried, especially as to the feet, after being out in rain or mud. They are sweet dogs in skin, and seldom smell "doggy" - a great virtue.
Maltese have a good many friends. These are the oldest of all lap dogs, and a good specimen, with perfectly straight hair - which is, however, but seldom found - is really a thing of beauty. They should be treated like Yorkshire terriers, except that some of the ever-recurring tubs may be avoided by dusting flour or violet powder (pure starch) into the coat and well brushing it out again. They are often spoiled by brown noses, which are a great handicap, and also by the brown marks caused by running of the eyes, which are a great disfigurement in a white dog. Here I may break off to remark that these marks would also spoil white toy Poms, but for the fact that white toys of that breed are scarce. Breeders have done their best to get them, and a good many small ones - under 6 lbs. - have been bred, but the tiny whites shown are generally deficient in some point. Of toy whites, over 6 lbs. and under 8 lbs., there are now many, and good; especially in a certain west-country kennel; but some of the best are dangerously near the limit of weights.
The "tear-channels" which led to this digression can be helped not to exist by using a boracic acid lotion to the eye; but the stains are often ineffaceable.