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The Miniature Bulldog








Fifty or sixty years ago, Toy--or, rather, as a recent edict of the
Kennel Club requires them to be dubbed, Miniature--Bulldogs were
common objects of the canine country-side. In fact, you can hardly
ever talk for ten minutes to any Bulldog breeder of old standing
without his telling you tall stories of the wonderful little Bulldogs,
weighing about fifteen or sixteen pounds, he either knew or owned
in those long-past days!

Prominent among those who made a cult of these bantams were the
laceworkers of Nottingham, and many prints are extant which bear
witness to the excellent little specimens they bred. But a wave of
unpopularity overwhelmed them, and they faded across the Channel to
France, where, if, as is asserted, our Gallic neighbours appreciated
them highly, they cannot be said to have taken much care to preserve
their best points. When, in 1898, a small but devoted band of admirers
revived them in England, they returned most attractive, 'tis true,
but hampered by many undesirable features, such as bat ears, froggy
faces, waving tails, and a general lack of Bulldog character. However,
the Toy Bulldog Club then started, took the dogs vigorously in hand,
and thanks to unceasing efforts, Toy Bulldogs have always since been
catered for at an ever increasing number of shows. Their weight, after
much heated discussion and sundry downs and ups, was finally fixed
at twenty-two pounds and under.

The original aim of Miniature Bulldogs--i.e. to look like the larger
variety seen through the wrong end of a telescope--if not actually
achieved, is being rapidly approached, and can no longer be looked
upon as merely the hopeless dream of a few enthusiasts.

To enumerate in detail the Miniature Bulldog scale of points is quite
unnecessary, as it is simply that of the big ones writ small. In other
words, the general appearance of the Miniature Bulldog must as nearly
as possible resemble that of the Big Bulldog--a terse sentence which
comprises in itself all that can be said on the subject.

As companions and friends Miniature Bulldogs are faithful, fond, and
even foolish in their devotion, as all true friends should be. They
are absolutely and invariably good-tempered, and, as a rule,
sufficiently fond of the luxuries of this life--not to say greedy--to
be easily cajoled into obedience. Remarkably intelligent, and caring
enough for sport to be sympathetically excited at the sight of a
rabbit without degenerating into cranks on the subject like terriers.
Taking a keen interest in all surrounding people and objects, without,
however, giving way to ceaseless barking; enjoying outdoor exercise,
without requiring an exhausting amount, they are in every way ideal
pets, and adapt themselves to town and country alike.

As puppies they are delicate, and require constant care and
supervision; but that only adds a keener zest to the attractive task
of breeding them, the more so owing to the fact that as mothers they
do not shine, being very difficult to manage, and generally
manifesting a strong dislike to rearing their own offspring. In other
respects they are quite hardy little dogs, and--one great
advantage--they seldom have distemper. Cold and damp they particularly
dislike, especially when puppies, and the greatest care should be
taken to keep them thoroughly dry and warm. When very young indeed
they can stand, and are the better for, an extraordinary amount of
heat.





Next: The French Bulldog (bouledogue Francais)

Previous: The Bulldog



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