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Notes








There are several features of vital import in Boston terrier breeding that
the passing years have disclosed to the writer the imperative need of
attention to. Most of these have been spoken of in this book before, but
they seem to me at the present time to demand being specially emphasized.
Feeding and its relation to skin diseases, I think, naturally heads the
list.

I have received more letters of inquiry from all parts of the country
asking what to do for skin trouble than for all other ailments combined. I
think our little dog is more susceptible to skin affections than most
dogs, owing to the fact that he is more or less a house pet, and does not
get the chance of as much outdoor exercise, and the access to nature's
remedy--grass, as most breeds. At the same time if fed properly, given
sufficient life in the open, no dog possesses a more beautiful glossy
coat.

No one factor is more responsible for skin trouble than the indiscriminate
feeding of dog biscuit. These, as previously written, are first rate
supplementary food, but where they are made the piece de resistance,
look out for breakers ahead. The mere fact of their being available under
all circumstances and in all places contributes largely to their general
use.

At the new million dollar Angell Memorial Animal Hospital, Boston, Doctors
Daly and Flanigan have conducted a series of scientific experiments on
dogs. I had talked with Dr. Flanigan, and stated my experience was that an
exclusive dog biscuit diet was the cause of skin trouble invariably.

They selected forty dogs in perfect physical condition, dividing them into
two groups of twenty each. To one was fed exclusively dog biscuits, and
the other a diet of milk in the morning, and at night a feed composed of a
liberal amount of spinach--they had to use the canned article as it was in
winter--boiled with meat scraps and thickened with sound stale bread.

At the end of a fortnight seventeen of the first group were afflicted more
or less with skin trouble, while the other twenty were in the pink of
condition. To effect a cure, the spinach diet--called by the French the
broom of the stomach--was fed, and the coat washed with a weak
sulpho-naphtha solution. No internal medicine was given. In a month's time
the coats of the dogs were normal. Further comment on this is unnecessary.

Next in importance to spinach I place carrots and cabbage, boiled up with
the meat and rice, oat meal and occasionally corn meal. Don't be afraid to
give a good quantity of the sliced boiled carrots, especially in the
winter season when the dogs cannot obtain grass.

A short time ago, I went to see a group of trained monkeys and dogs
perform. They both looked in beautiful condition, and on enquiring of the
proprietor as to his methods of feeding, he said it was a very easy
matter, as he had trained both dogs and monkeys to eat raw carrots while
on the road, during which time he had to feed dog biscuits. When at home
in New York he fed a vegetable hash with sound meat and rye bread, using
largely carrots, beets, a very few potatoes and some apples. While on the
road he had no facilities for cooking for his animals so he accustomed
them to eating cut up raw carrots every other day. Previous to this he was
bothered with skin trouble with both dogs and monkeys.

[Illustration: Champion Dean's Lady Luana]

[Illustration: Mrs. William Kuback, with Ch. Lady Sensation]

The food problem at the present time is a very serious one. The high cost
of all sorts of food of every variety should force those breeders who have
been keeping a very inferior stock to make up their minds once and for all
that it takes just as much time and cost to raise mutts as it does the
real article. Weed out the inferior stock that never did or will pay for
their keep. Keep half a dozen good ones that will reproduce, if bred
rightly, their quality, if you have not plenty of room for a large number.
To those fanciers who only own two or three, sufficient food is usually
furnished from the scraps left from the table, supplemented, of course,
with dog biscuit.

Many kennel-men, who have a large number of dogs to feed, obtain daily
from hotels or boarding houses the table scraps, and this makes an ideal
food. We fed quite a large number of dogs for several years in this way
with perfect success. I know of a large pack of foxhounds that are fed
from the same food furnished by a large hotel. Fish heads boiled with
vegetables make a good diet--be sure there are no fish hooks left in them,
and the scraps from the butchers that are not quite fit for human
consumption make ideal food when cooked with rice or vegetables. Be
careful they are not too old, however. When skimmed milk is obtainable at
the right price, with waste stale bread, it makes a well balanced ration
for occasional feeding. A few onions boiled up with the feed are always in
order.

I think the subject of Tails requires more than a passing mention here.
All observers at the recent shows must have noticed the tendency toward a
lengthening in many of the tails of the dogs on the bench. Some dogs have
been awarded high honors which carried more than the law allows, owing
doubtless to their other excellent qualities. While I personally believe
in a happy medium, never lose sight of the fact that a good short screw
tail has always been, and, I believe, will always remain a leading
characteristic of the American dog.

In selecting a stud dog be certain his tail is O. K. The bitch can very
well afford to carry a longer one, and usually whelps better on this
account. I know of nothing more discouraging in the Boston terrier game
than to have a litter of choice puppies in every other respect, but off in
tails.

While writing on the subject of tails, it may not be out of place to note
an interesting fact in connection with this at the earliest history of our
little dog. Mr. John Barnard became the possessor of Tom, afterward known
as Barnard's Tom. This was the first Boston terrier to rejoice in a screw
tail. Mr. Barnard did not know what to make of it, so he took the pup to
old Dr. Saunders, a well known and respected veterinary surgeon of the
day, to have the tail, if possible, put into splints and straightened. I
guess there have been quite a number of pups, descendants of Tom, whose
owners would have been only too glad to have had their straight tails put
in splints, if, thereby, it would have been possible to produce a screw.

I think the subject of sufficient importance to again call the attention
of breeders to the necessity of the extreme care in breeding seal
brindles. The demand started some years ago for very dark color has placed
upon the market many dogs devoid of any brindle shading. At the last
Boston Terrier Club specialty show a beautiful little dog, almost perfect
in every other respect, was given the gate on account of being practically
black.

In my former chapter on Color Breeding, I urged the necessity of using a
red or light mahogany brindle on black stock. If either sex come black,
never use any other color than these to mix in. Enough said!

One is constantly hearing from all parts of the country of the prevalence
of bitches missing. Where they are bred to over-worked stud dogs no
surprise need be manifested. In case of a miss have the bitch bred two
or three times to the dog next time. If she misses then, the next time let
her run with the dog for several days. I have written this before, but it
will bear repetition.

Do not acquire the habit of getting rid of the matrons of the kennel when
six or seven years old. Many bitches give birth to strong pups when eight
or nine years old. I write, of course, of those in strong, vigorous
condition, that have always had plenty of good outdoor exercise.

Remember, there is no spot on this broad land where the Boston terrier
does not make himself thoroughly at home. What more can one wish?





Next: Conclusion

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