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


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


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


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


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


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


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?

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