THE BLACK AND TAN TERRIER
THE Black and Tan, or Manchester, Terrier as we know him to-day is a comparatively new variety, and he is not to be confounded with the original terrier with tan and black colouring which was referred to by Dr. Caius in the sixteenth century, and which was at that time used for going to ground and driving out badgers and foxes.
Formerly there was but little regard paid to colour and markings, and there was a considerably greater proportion of tan in the coat than there is at the present day, while the fancy markings, such as pencilled toes, thumb marks, and kissing spots were not cultivated. The general outline of the dog, too, was less graceful and altogether coarser.
During the first half of the nineteenth century the chief accomplishment of this terrier was rat-killing. There are some extraordinary accounts of his adroitness, as well as courage, in destroying these vermin. The feats of a dog called Billy are recorded. He was matched to destroy one hundred large rats in eight minutes and a half. The rats were brought into the ring in bags, and as soon as the number was complete Billy was put over the railing into their midst. In six minutes and thirty-five seconds they were all destroyed. In another match he killed the same number in six minutes and thirteen seconds.
It was a popular terrier in Lancashire, and it was in this county that the refining process in his shape and colouring was practised, and where he came by the name of the Manchester Terrier.