286 DOGS AND ALL ABOUT THEM
the other large and plain, this latter should be selected for breeding purposes as, being stronger, she will make a better and more useful mother than her handsome sister, who should be kept for exhibition, or for sale at a remunerative price.
The modern craze for small specimens makes them quite unsuitable for procreation. A brood bitch should not be less than 9 lb. in weight, and even heavier is preferable. A sire the same size will produce small and far more typical stock than one of 5 lb. or 6 lb., as the tendency is to degenerate, especially in head points ; but small size can be obtained by suitably selecting the parents.
The early spring is the best season for breeding, as it gives the puppies a start of at least six months in which to grow and get strong before the cold weather sets in, although, of course, they can be bred at any time, but autumn and winter puppies are more troublesome to rear. It is always wise to administer occasionally, both to puppies and adults, a dose of worm medicine, so as to give no chance to internal parasites-the most troublesome ill with which the dog owner has to wrestle, causing even more mortality than the dreaded scourge of distemper.
The rules of hygiene cannot be overlooked, as upon them hangs the success of the breeder ; plenty of fresh air, light, and sunshine are as necessary as food. Puppies of this breed are essentially delicate, and must be kept free from cold and draughts, but they require liberty and freedom to develop and strengthen their limbs, otherwise they are liable to develop rickets. Their food should be of the best quality, and after the age of six months, nothing seems more suitable than stale brown bred, cut up dice size, and moistened with good stock gravy, together with minced, lean, underdone roast beef, with the addition, two or three times a week, of a little well-cooked green vegetable, varied with rice or suet pudding and plain biscuits. Fish may also be given occasionally.
When only two or three dogs are kept, table scraps will generally be sufficient, but the pernicious habit of feeding at all