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inordinate length have been delivered, motions and resolutions have been carried, rules have been promulgated, etc., etc., and the one dog mentioned throughout in connection with all of them has been our poor old, much maligned wire-hair. He has been the scapegoat, the subject of all this brilliancy and eloquence, and were he capable of understanding the language of the human, we may feel sure much amusement would be his.

There are several breeds that are more trimmed than the wire-hair, and that might well be quoted before him in this connection. There is a vast difference between legitimate trimming, and what is called " faking." All dogs with long or wire-hair or rough coats naturally require more attention, and more grooming than those with short smooth coats. For the purposes of health and cleanliness it is absolutely necessary that such animals should be frequently well groomed. There is no necessity, given a wire-hair with a good and proper coat, to use anything but an ordinary close-toothed comb, a good hard brush, and an occasional removal of long old hairs on the head, ears, neck, legs, and belly, with the finger and thumb. The Kennel Club regulations for the preparation of dogs for exhibition are perfectly clear on this subject, and are worded most properly. They say that a dog " shall be disqualified if any part of his coat or hair has been cut, clipped, singed, or rasped down by any substance, or if any of the new or fast coat has been removed by pulling or plucking in any manner," and that " no comb shall be used which has a cutting or rasping edge." There is no law, therefore, against the removal of old coat by finger and thumb, and anyone who keeps long-haired dogs knows that it is essential to the dog's health that there should be none.

It is in fact most necessary in certain cases, at certain times, to pull old coat out in this way. Several terriers with goal coats are apt to grow long hair very thickly round the necx and ears, and unless this is removed when it gets old, the neck and ears are liable to become infested with objectionable little slate-coloured nits, which will never be found as long


as the coat is kept down when necessary. Bitches in whelp and after whelping, although ordinarily good-coated, seem to go all wrong in their coats unless properly attended to in this way, and here again, if you wish to keep your bitch free from skin trouble, it is a necessity, in those cases which need it, to use finger and thumb.

If the old hair is pulled out only when it is old, there is no difficulty about it, and no hurt whatever is occasioned to the dog, who does not in reality object at all. If, however, new or fast coat is pulled out it not only hurts the dog but it is also a very foolish thing to do, and the person guilty of such a thing fully merits disqualification.

Most of the nonsense that is heard about trimming emanates, of course, from the ignoramus ; the knife, he says, is used on them all, a sharp razor is run over their coats, they are singed, they are cut, they are rasped (the latter is the favourite term). Anything like such a sweeping condemnation is quite inaccurate and most unfair. It is impossible to cut a hair without being detected by a good judge, and very few people ever do any such thing, at any rate for some months before the terrier is exhibited, for if they do, they know they are bound to be discovered, and, as a fact, are.

When the soft-coated dogs are clipped they are operated on, say, two or three months before they are wanted, and the hair gets a chance to grow, but even then it is easily discernible, and anyone who, like the writer, has any experience of clipping dogs in order to cure them of that awful disease, follicular mange, knows what a sight the animal is when he grows his coat, and how terribly unnatural he looks.

The wire-hair has never been in better state than he is to-day ; he is, generally speaking, far ahead of his predecessors of twenty-five years ago, not only from a show point of view, but also in working qualities. One has only to com

pare the old portraits of specimens of the variety with dogs of

the present day to see this. A good many individual speci

mens of excellent merit, it is true, there were, but they do not


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