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past there has not been very much intermingling of blood between the Blacks and those known by the awkward designation of " Any Other Variety," though, of course, all came originally from the same parent stock.

The black members of the family have always been given the pride of place, and accounted of most importance, though latterly their parti-coloured brethren seem to have rather overtaken them.

Among the really old writers there is one mention, and one only, of Spaniels of a black colour. Arcussia speaks of them, and of their being used in connection with the sport of hawking, but from his time up to the middle of the nineteenth century, though many colours are spoken of as being appropriate to the various breeds of Spaniels, no author mentions black.

The first strain of blacks of which we know much belonged to Mr. F. Burdett, and was obtained from a Mr. Footman, of Lutterworth, Leicestershire, who was supposed to have owned them for some time. Mr. Burdett's Bob and Frank may be found at the head of very many of the best pedigrees. At his death most of his Spaniels became the property of Mr. Jones, of Oscott, and Mr. Phineas Bullock, of Bilston, the latter of whom was most extraordinarily successful, and owned a kennel of Field Spaniels which was practically unbeatable between the dates of the first Birmingham Show in 1861 and the publication of the first volume of the Kennel Club's Stud Book in 1874, many, if not most, of the dogs which won for other owners having been bred by him. His Nellie and Bob, who won the chief prizes year after year at all the leading shows, were probably the two best specimens of their day. Another most successful breeder was Mr. W. W. Boulton, of Beverley, whose kennel produced many celebrated dogs, including Beverlac, said to be the largest Field Spaniel ever exhibited, and Rolf, whose union with Belle produced four bitches who were destined, when mated with Nigger, a dog of Mr. Bullock's breeding, to form the foundation of the


equally if not more famous kennel belonging to Mr. T. Jacobs, of Newton Abbot.

It was Mr. Jacobs who, by judiciously mating his Sussex sires Bachelor, Bachelor III., and others with these black-bred bitches, established the strain which in his hands and in those of his successors, Captain S. M. Thomas and Mr. Moses Woolland, carried all before it for many years, and is still easily at the top of the tree, being the most sought for and highly prized of all on account of its " quality."

If Black Spaniels are not quite so popular at present as they were some years ago, the fault lies with those breeders, exhibitors, and judges (the latter being most to blame) who encouraged the absurd craze for excessive length of body and shortness of leg which not very long ago threatened to transform the whole breed into a race of cripples, and to bring it into contempt and derision among all practical men. No breed or variety of dog has suffered more from the injudicious fads and crazes of those showmen who are not sportsmen also. At one time among a certain class of judges, length and lowness was everything, and soundness, activity, and symmetry simply did not count. As happens to all absurd crazes of this kind when carried to exaggeration, public opinion has proved too much for it, but not before a great deal of harm has been done to a breed which is certainly ornamental, and can be most useful as well. Most of the prize-winners of the present day are sound, useful dogs capable of work, and it is to be hoped that judges will combine to keep them so.

The coloured Field Spaniel has now almost invariably at the principal shows special classes allotted to him, and does not have to compete against his black brother, as used to be the case in former years.

The systematic attempt to breed Spaniels of various colours, with a groundwork of white, does not date back much more than a quarter of a century, and the greater part of the credit for producing this variety may be given to three gentlemen,




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