218 DOGS AND ALL ABOUT THEM
by him, whatever their individual faults, were invariably a sporting, game-looking lot. Mr. Sidney Castle has for many years shown wire-hair Fox-terriers of more than average merit ; and thoroughly understands the variety, indeed, perhaps as well as anybody. Messrs. Bartle, Brumby Mutter, G. Welch, and S. Wilson, are all old fanciers who have great experience, have bred and shown excellent specimens.
In mentioning the names of celebrated men and terriers of years gone by, reference must be made to a terrier shown some time ago, which was as good, taken all round, as any that have so far appeared. This was Ch. Quantock Nettle, afterwards purchased by a gentleman in Wales and renamed Lexden Nettle. Of correct size, with marvellous character, an excellent jacket and very takingly marked with badger tan and black on a wonderful head and ears, this bitch swept the board, as they say, and unquestionably rightly so.
No article on the wire-hair Fox-terrier would be complete without mentioning the name of the late Mr. S. E. Shirley, President of the Kennel Club. Mr. Shirley was a successful exhibitor in the early days of the variety, and while his terriers were a good-looking lot, though not up to the show form of to-day, they were invariably hard-bitten, game dogs, kept chiefly for work.
On the question of size nearly all the principal judges of the Fox-terrier are agreed. Their maxim is " a good little one can always beat a good big one." The difficulty arises when the little ones are no good, and the big ones are excellent ; it is a somewhat common occurrence, and to anyone who loves a truly formed dog, and who knows what a truly formed dog can do, it is an extremely difficult thing to put the little above the larger. All big dogs with properly placed shoulders and sound formation are better terriers for work of any sort than dogs half their size, short on the leg, but bad in these points. It is in reality impossible to make an inexorable rule about this question of size ; each class must be judged on its own merits.