26o DOGS AND ALL ABOUT THEM
from pure white to fawn and brown, blue-grey and black. The lighter coloured ones had black muzzles, ears, and tails. Their tails were carried more gaily than would be permitted by a modern judge of the breed.
In those days the Highlander cared less for the appearance than he did for the sporting proclivities of his dogs, whose business it was to oust the tod from the earth in which it had taken refuge ; and for this purpose certain qualities were imperative. First and foremost the terrier needed to be small, short of leg, long and lithe in body, with ample face fringe to protect his eyes from injury, and possessed of unlimited pluck and dash.
The Skye Terrier of to-day does not answer to each and every one of these requirements. He is too big-decidedly he is too big-especially in regard to the head. A noble-looking skull, with large, well-feathered ears may be admirable as ornament, but would assuredly debar its possessor from following into a fox's lair among the boulders. Then, again, his long coat would militate against the activity necessary for his legitimate calling.
It was not until about 186o that the Skye Terrier attracted much notice among dog lovers south of the Border, but Queen Victoria's admiration of the breed, of which from 1842 onwards she always owned favourite specimens, and Sir Edwin Landseer's paintings in which the Skye was introduced, had already drawn public attention to the decorative and useful qualities of this terrier. The breed was included in the first volume of the Kennel Club Stud Book, and the best among the early dogs were such as Mr. Pratt's Gillie and Dunvegan, Mr. D. W. Fyfe's Novelty, Mr. John Bowman's Dandie, and Mr. Macdona's Rook. These were mostly of the drop-eared variety, and were bred small.
About the year 1874, fierce and stormy disputes arose concerning the distinctions of the Scottish breeds of terriers. The controversy was continued until 1879, when the Kennel Club was approached with the view to furnishing classes.