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Breeding For Size

When I joined the Boston Terrier Club in 1895, there were two classes for
weight--the light weight, from 15 to 23 pounds, and the heavy weight, from
23 to 30 pounds, inclusive. This, of course, has been changed since to
three classes--the light weight, 12 and not to exceed 17 pounds; middle
weight class, 17 and not to exceed 22 pounds, and heavy weight, 22 and not
to exceed 28 pounds and a class, for Toys, weighing under twelve pounds,
has been added. The Boston terrier dog was never intended, in the writer's
estimation, to be a dog to be carried in one's pocket, but such an one as
the standard calls for, and which the oldest breeders have persistently
and consistently bred. To my mind the ideal dog is one weighing from 15
pounds for my lady's parlor, to 20 or 25 pounds for the dog intended as a
man's companion, suitable to tackle any kind of vermin, and to be an ideal
watch dog in the house should any knights of the dark lantern make their
nocturnal calls.

During the past few years we have had (in common, I suppose, with all
large breeders), a great many orders for first class dogs, typical in
every respect, weighing from 30 to 40 pounds. The constant tendency among
men of wealth today is to move from the city onto country estates, where
they stay the greater part of the year, and in many cases all the time.
They are looking for first class watch dogs that can be kept in the house
or stable, that are thoroughly reliable, that do not bring too much mud in
on their coats, that do not cover the furniture with long hairs, that are
vigorous enough to follow on a horseback ride, and which will not wander
from home. I was in the company of a party of gentlemen the other day who
had bought a number of estates in a town twenty miles from Boston, and the
subject of a suitable breed of dogs for their residences was under
discussion. All the fashionable breeds were gone over, some were objected
to because they barked too much, others because of their propensity to
rush out at teams; some that their coats were too long and they brought a
great deal of mud, etc., in, and still others that their fighting
disposition was too pronounced, but they all agreed that a good-sized,
vigorous, good natured Boston terrier just about filled the bill. Said the
nephew of Senator Henry Cabot Lodge to me last week: Edward, I want a
Boston big enough to take care of himself if anything happens, and of me
also, if necessary, weighing about 35 pounds. A Boston banker, who has a
large place in the country, would not take two dogs weighing under 35
pounds. Last week I received a letter from a Mr. W. B. Bogert, of the firm
of Bogert, Maltby & Co., commission grain merchants, Chicago, ordering a
very heavy weight dog of kindly disposition and good blood. I can get out
here any number of light weight dogs, but I do not like them. Kindly send
me what you think will suit me. These are only a few sample cases, and I
can say that my orders today call for more first class heavy weight dogs
than for any other size. This is, of course, a comparatively new feature,
but all up to date breeders will see the necessity of being able to fill
this class of orders.

The small sized toys will always be in demand, as they make ideal little
pets, suitable eminently for a city flat or an apartment house, to be
carried by the lady in her carriage, or to accompany her in her walks, and
they make first rate playmates for children. This class is by far the
hardest to breed. For best results mate a bitch weighing about fifteen
pounds, that comes from a numerous litter, to a twelve-pound dog that
comes from small ancestry. Some of the pups are bound to be small. One
important feature in the production of small pups is this: Bitches that
whelp in the fall, the smallest pups are raised from, especially if the
pups are fed a somewhat restricted diet, whereas puppies that are raised
in the spring, that are generously fed, and have vigorous exercise in the
sunshine, attain a far greater size. A great many breeders underfeed their
young stock to stop growth, which I believe to be a very grave mistake.
There is no question whatever it accomplishes the result wished, but at
the expense of stamina and a fine, generous disposition. The pups from
stock advanced in years, or from bitches excessively fat are very apt to
run small, as are also the offspring of inbred parents. One very important
fact in regard to breeding for large sized dogs to be considered is this:
While a great many breeders always select for the production of large pups
large bitches and dogs, yet experience has proven that the majority of big
ones have been the offspring of medium sized dams that were bred to
strong, heavy-boned dogs of substance. I bred a bitch weighing twenty
pounds to a large bull terrier that weighed forty-five pounds for an
experiment, and the pups, five in number, weighed at maturity from
thirty-five to forty pounds, with noses and tails nearly as long as their
sire's, and his color, but were very nice in their disposition, and were
given away for stable dogs. Progressive up-to-date kennel men will see
that they have on hand not only the three classes called for by the
standard, but the fourth class, so to speak, that I have mentioned above,
those weighing anywhere from thirty to forty pounds. Quite a number of
breeders in the past have put in the kennel pail at birth extra large pups
that they thought would mature too large to sell, but they need do so no
longer. This precaution must always be taken where there are one or more
of these large size puppies, viz., to look out that they do not get more
than their proportionate share of the milk, or later the food, as they are
very apt to crowd out the others.

Remember that the Boston terrier of whatever size will always hold his own
as a companion, a dog that can be talked to and caressed, for between the
dog and his owner will always be found a bond of affection and sympathetic

Next: Breeding For Good Disposition

Previous: Rearing Of Puppies

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