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.





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