THE IRISH TERRIER 235
that has yet been achieved by scientific breeding in Irish Terrier type.
Breeding up to the standard of excellence necessary in competition in dog shows has doubtless been the agent which has brought the Irish Terrier to its present condition of perfection, and it is the means by which the general dog owning public is most surely educated to a practical knowledge of what is a desirable and what an undesirable dog to possess. But, after all, success in the show ring is not the one and only thing to be aimed at, and the Irish Terrier is not to be regarded merely as the possible winner of prizes. He is above all things a dog for man's companionship, and in this capacity he takes a favoured place. He has the great advantage of being equally suitable for town and country life. In the home he requires no pampering ; he has a good, hardy constitution, and when once he has got over the ills incidental to puppyhoodworms and distemper-he needs only to be judiciously fed, kept reasonably clean, and to have his fill of active exercise. If he is taught to be obedient and of gentlemanly habit, there is no better house dog. He is naturally intelligent and easily trained. Although he is always ready to take his own part, he is not quarrelsome, but remarkably good-tempered and a safe associate of children. Perhaps with his boisterous spirits he is prone sometimes to be over-zealous in the pursuit of trespassing tabbies and in assailing the ankles of intruding butcher boys and officious postmen. These characteristics come from his sense of duty, which is strongly developed, and careful training will make him discriminative in his assaults.
Very justly is he classed among the sporting dogs. He is a born sportsman, and of his pluck it were superfluous to speak. Fear is unknown to him. In this characteristic as in all others, he is truly a son of Erin.