Jumat, 27 Februari 2009

Whippet Standard -- 1881

Group of Mr. Walton's Performing Dogs -- 1878

(click picture to enlarge)
"Poodles and Whippet -- Group of Mr. Walton's Performing Dogs", is a full page illustration (wood engraving, 9"x7") from J. H. Walsh's The Dogs of the British Islands (London: 'The Field', 1878).

Whippet mention by Walsh, 1882 (1878)

The dogs of the British Islands, being a series of articles on the points of their various breeds, and the treatment of the diseases to which they are subject (1882)

Author: Walsh, J. H. (John Henry), 1810-1888 Publisher: London : "The Field" Office
[appears it may have previously been published is 1878 from other references]

The Italian greyhound, as now bred to a weight of 5lb. or 6lb., is wholly useless in any kind of chase ; but he was formerly sometimes slipped at rabbits, and I have seen a brace, belonging to a lady who was a well-known follower of the chase in Worcestershire thirty years ago, course and kill rabbits in very good style. But, though imported from Italy, they were about 10lb. or 12lb. in weight, and in these days would be classed as " whippets." This last named breed is extensively used at Manchester and in the Midland districts for rabbit coursing, and is a cross between the Italian and the English greyhound, or between the latter and the smooth English terrier. All these greyhound breeds are usually considered to be void of intelligence and fidelity ; but this is a mistake, and certainly the trick performed by


Mr. Walton's whippet, as shown in the engraving of the poodle published with the article on that dog in the Appendix, marks a high order of mental power, and a like degree of obedience, founded on love for his trainer, since no severity would lead to its execution. These whippets are so quick and clever as to cope with the short turns of the rabbit ; but they are not fast enough for the hare, and the sport for which they are bred is confined to the artisan and mining classes of the districts in which it is the fashion.

The White English Terrier -- in British Dogs, Dalziel 1881

p. 375

THE white English terrier, like many other breeds, has undergone considerable modification since public dog shows came into being. How the modern dog of that name was manufactured I do not pretend to say with certainty. Mr. James Eoocroft, Mr. Peter Swindells, and a few other Lancashire fanciers could throw light on the subject, but I shall not be very far out if I say a small dash of a light coloured and rather weedy fox terrier, a strong dash of bull terrier, and a double dash of whippet are about the proportions, and the correct ingredients used.

The Whippet Club -- England

The Whippet Club became a registered club with the Kennel Club on October 5th, 1899.

Beginning of dogshows and the Kennel Club

The Kennel Club A History and Record of Its Work By Edward William Jaquet, 1905

p. 1

INTRODUCTORY.--The need apparent for some paramount authority to control canine affairs.--First Dog Show held at Newcastle, 1859.--Dog Shows preceded Field Trials.--Early Field Trials Procedure.--The Kennel Club the outcome of the Early Crystal Palace Shows.--The Late Mr. Shirley and others arrange for a Dog Show at the Crystal Palace, 1870.--Early Crystal Palace Shows.--Committee Meetings held at the British Hotel.--Kennel Club Founded 1873.--The Club's First Show, June, 1873.--The Stud Book Compiled.--First General Meeting of Members of the Club, 1874.--The aims and objects of the Club defined.


The need for an authority to legislate in canine matters had become apparent owing to the increasing importance and popularity of Dog Shows and Field Trials. The first volume of the Kennel Club Stud Book, a work to which I shall have to refer at greater length presently, contains information concerning important Shows held between the years 1859 and 1873. The first Dog Show ever held took place in the Town Hall, Newcastle-on-Tyne, on the 28th and 29th June, 1859, and was organised by Messrs. Shorthose and Pape, at the suggestion of Mr. R. Brailsford. The exhibits were confined to Pointers and Setters, of which there were sixty entries, and three judges were appointed for each breed. As these gentlemen were the forerunners of a long line of successors, their names may be recorded. The classes for Pointers were judged by Messrs. J. Jobling. T. Robson and J. H. Walsh, and those for Setters by Messrs. F. Foulger, R. Brailsford and J. H. Walsh.

Dog Shows preceded Field Trials by six years. The first trial of dogs in the Field ever held took place on Tuesday, the 18th April, 1865, at Southill, Bedfordshire, over the estate of Mr. Samuel Whitbread, M.P. The judges were the Rev. T. Pearce, of Morden Vicarage, near Blandford, and Mr. Walker, of Halifax, Mr. Bailey— steward to Mr. Samuel Whitbread—-being the Steward of the Beat.

p. 4

On the 2nd February, 1869, the National Dog Club was started, a society whos.- first and only show was held in June of the same year ; the Show was not by any means a financial success, and the National Dog Club practically collapsed soon after that event. In these circumstances owing to the risk involved it was no easy matter to form a Committee who would undertake to run another exhibition in or near London. However, after some negotiations arrangements were made to hold a show at the Crystal Palace in June, 1870, the details of the Show were jointly arranged by Mr. Shirley and the la1r- Mr. J. H. Murchison. Besides these gentlemen the Committee consisted of the late Earl of Caledon, the Viscount Holmesdale. Mr. T. C. Mewick, M.P. (afterwards Sir Thomas Mewick), Rev. F. \V. Adye, Mr. J. H. Dawes, Mr. George Earl, Mr. Richard Garth, Q.C., Mr. S. Lang, Mr. J. Cumming Macdona (now M.P. for the Rother- hithe division of Southwark), Mr. R. J. L. Price, Mr. G. R. Rogerson and Mr. Whitehouse, with Mr. G. Nutt as Secretary and Manager The show was, as an exhibition, a good one, but financially was a failure, and the Committee had to bear a heavy loss. The following year several of the Members of the Committee of the previous Show declined to act again. However, a second exhibition was held, and on this occasion the loss sustained was much less than that of the previous year.

p. 5

The Kennel Club's first show took place at the Crystal Palace. Sydenham, on the 17th. 1Sth, 19th. and 2oth June, 1873. The number of entries was 975. The following gentlemen formed the Committee:—Mr. Shirley (Chairman), The Marquess of Huntly, Mr. G. Brewis, Mr.- J. W. Dawes, Mr. F. R. Hemming, Mr. S. Lang. Mr. Macdona, Mr. Murchison, and Mr. Whitehouse. The Manager was Mr. J. Douglas, and the Secretary of the show Mr. W. Roue.


Dalziel on studying the history of dogs--1881

This is from page 4 of British Dogs, 1881:

No book on dogs would be complete without some notice of the history and development of the various breeds, as far as it can be traced by direct testimony or fair inference, but we have not attempted that well-trodden ground which has hitherto proved so barren, and discussed the vexed question of the origin of the dog, which remains to the present time hopelessly obscure, and surrounded with the entanglements of contradictory opinions waiting to be unravelled by a Darwin or a Wallace.

In reference, however, to the origin of the very great number of varieties which exist, and are ever increasing, we may in many instances hazard a speculation which may be accepted or rejected at the reader's option.

We cannot accept the theory propounded by a recent writer that each country or district had a peculiar type of wild dog created for it from which the various breeds of domesticated dogs have sprung. Varieties can, we think, be accounted for more reasonably and more in accord with the result of modern research.

British Dogs--Dalziel 1881



Author of "The Diseases of Dogs" " The Diseases of Horses,” &c.



p. ii



p. v.

Dogs Used in Field Sports.
Including--The Greyhound, the Scotch Deerhound, the Irish Wolfhound, the Scotch Rough-haired Greyhound, the Lurcher, the Whippet, the Siberian Wolfhound, the Persian Greyhound 13-49

p. 9

The classification we shall adopt is as follows:

Group I. --Those that pursue and kill their game, depending entirely or mainly on sight and speed, and little or not at all on their scenting powers, with varieties bred directly from them : Greyhounds, deerhounds, whippets, lurchers, &c.

p. 13

The whole of this group is included in Cuvier's first division, "characterised by head more or less elongated, parietal bones insensibly approaching each other, and the condyles of the lower jaw placed in a horizontal line with the upper molar teeth." The general form is light and elegant, chest deep, with flank more or less tucked up, long and strong back, and great length from hip bone to hock joint; the whole appearance giving the impression of great swiftness, which is a distinguishing property of the whole group, although not possessed in an equal degree by each variety. All more or less show the characteristics of the Canes celeres of the ancients, and although not in every case running their game strictly by sight, that is also a leading characteristic of all.

p. 45



THE whippet, or snap dog, as he is also called, is a great favourite with workmen in Durham and other northern counties, and the Darlington Show never fails to bring together a large collection of them.

It is not, however, for the show bench, but the race ground that he is bred, where they are matched against each other for speed and for their superiority in rabbit coursing. I cannot describe them better than by saying they are a greyhound on a small scale with a dash of terrier.

An account of the dog racing for which these whippets or snap dogs are used, and which is so popular with the working classes in many parts of the north, will be interesting.

The dogs are handicapped according to their known performances, &c.,and the distance run is two hundred yards. They are entered as "Thomson's Eose, 19 1/2lb.," as the case may be, and the weight appears on the handicap card. Dogs are weighed in an hour before the time set for the first heat, and are allowed four ounces over the declared weight. The winner of the heat is weighed again immediately the heat is run. For the second heat eight ounces are allowed. For the final race additional extra weight is allowed, that being run on the following Saturday. The dog generally gets a light meal half a pigeon, or a chop, or piece of steak after running his second trial heat on the second Saturday ; so he weighs a bit heavier the second time of scaling. The modus operandi will be best illustrated by the following description of a race meeting recently held at Farnworth Recreation Grounds, near Bolton. There were sixty odd heats of three dogs. The course is a perfectly level path of twelve yards in width. The dogs are stripped and put on their marks, each being held by his owner, or a man for him, and the starter goes behind them with the pistol. Meanwhile a man the dog knows starts off in front of him, carrying a big piece of linen rag, or some conspicuous object, sometimes a big tuft of grass or a pigeon's wing ; and every now and then, as he runs up the course, he will turn round and "Hi" to the dog, at the same time waving the cloth up and down. When these runners up have got pretty


near the finish, the pistol is fired and the dogs are released. The runners up must then get over the ten-yard mark, beyond the finish line, and the dogs, running right on, snatch the cloth with their teeth and hang to it like grim death. Each dog has a piece of ribbon round his neck, according to his station red, white, or blue ; and the judge or referee, as he is called, holds up a flag of the winning colour to show which has won. The cloth is called "bait," and "live bait" is forbidden.

The following is a copy of rules in force at a number of racing grounds in the Manchester district, which will make the working of this popular pastime clear :

1. All dogs that have never run at these grounds must be entered in their real owner's name and residence, also the town or place in which

they are kept, or they will lose all claim in any handicap, and will be subject to inspection at the scales ; and no person will be allowed to run with live bait.
2. Any person objecting to a dog on the mark, that heat shall be postponed. The objector and owner shall stake in the hands of the handicapper or referee (pound) 1 each at the time of objection, which must be made into (pound) 5 each before the last heat is run. If it cannot be proved on the day of objection, the dog will run under protest. The person who owns the dog shall leave it with the proprietor or handicapper until the objection is proved right or wrong—if it is proved wrong the money to be paid to the objector ; but if not proved the money to be paid to the owner of the said dog.
3. In any case of running-up for a wrong dog, both the owner, the

p. 47

"runner," and the dog will be disqualified. They will be expelled from the grounds for twelve months, and will not be allowed to enter any handicap during that time. Their names will also be published in the sporting papers.
4. Any owner of dogs attempting to weigh, or sending any other person to weigh a wrong dog, both owner and dog shall be excluded from the grounds for twelve months.
5. If a dog be disqualified after running, the second dog in the heat shall be placed first, and if it is not possible to tell the second dog, all the dogs in the heat shall run again, except the one disqualified. All bets void on the heat.
6. Should the dogs go when the cap is fired, and not the shot, they shall run again in all cases ; and any dog slipped before the cap or shot is fired, shall forfeit all claim to the handicap, except all the dogs go, then it shall be a race.
7. Only one runner-up allowed with each dog. Any one not at the mark when the previous heat is over will be disqualified in any part of the race. The runners to be ten or fifteen yards over the mark, according to the rules of the ground, when the dogs finish, or the dogs they represent will be disqualified. In all heats dogs must start at their respective marks.
8. All bets stand whether the dogs run or not, excepting bets on heats, when backers must have a race for their money.
9. That entries for dog handicaps shall close on Saturdays (Monday morning's post in time) ; and no entries will be taken after Monday morning on any account. This rule applies only to handicaps run on two succeeding Saturdays ; when run on other days it will be subject to alteration as announced in bills.
10. If the proprietors and handicappers at any of these grounds make a mistake in a dog's start, and, not detecting it, allow any dog to run the first day, it shall not be disqualified through the handicapper having made a mistake in the start, and all bets must stand.
11. Any dog entered " old " and not over five years old will be disqualified in any part of the race, and lose all claim to bets or stakes. No age will be taken after eight months old.
12. FINAL HEAT.—All dogs in the final heat shall be subject to weighing and inspection. In weighing, they will be allowed 6oz. in
p. 48

addition to the usual allowance ; and anyone taking his dog off the course before the referee declares "All right," shall forfeit all claim to stakes and bets.

All disputes to be settled by the referee.

Senin, 23 Februari 2009

Another Manchester Reference

C.S.R. Blue Book of Dogdom, F. J. Skinner, compiler, 1911

Third Annual Volume of the Breeders' and Exhibitors' of Dogs Guide Book and Directory 1911

(Published by the Bulletin Company :: New York City)

There are two sizes of the Black and Tan—the Toy and the large Black and Tan. The latter weighs from ten to twenty pounds, and the other as small as It Is possible to breed them. He Is pre-eminently the rat dog of the Terriers, and his origin Is supposed to be a combination of the Whippet, Bull Terrier and White English Terrier. In England he was used in the Manchester district quite freely for rat-killing, as that was a favorite pastime for years among the residents of that section.

Minggu, 22 Februari 2009

Manorley May

whelped 1899 --owned by Fred Bottomley 17" tall and 19 pounds chosen as the ideal whippet in Compton's 20th Century Dogs 1904. resource credit: "Gazehounds: The Search For Truth" Constance Miller author. Said by Bottomly, "Her body and legs are perfect, and she is framed for speed and work . . . has proved herself a very fast bitch in handicap races, as well as a great winner on the show bench."


The Complete Dog Book, 1921

The Complete Dog Book By William A. Bruette, 1921


This graceful breed is nothing more or less than a miniature Greyhound, and was originally known as a snap dog by the colliers and working men in the north of England, who originated the breed, and used them for rabbit coursing. In later years these dogs have been taught straight running. That is, they are held in leash at a given mark by an attendant while the owner or some other person standing at the other end of the track shakes a handkerchief at the dogs and encourages them to race for it. There is an official starter, and the dogs are liberated at the shot of a pistol and immediately make a dash, straining every nerve to get at the handkerchief. The usual course is two hundred yards, and the dogs are handicapped according to weight or previous performances.

The origin of the Whippet was probably obtained by a cross between the small Greyhound and the white English Terrier. They are keen little sportsmen, easily kept in condition, and of a most companionable disposition.

In selecting a Whippet puppy at from two to four months old, the points to look for are almost identical with those of the Greyhound, of which it is a miniature, except that less bone is required and probably a little more arch of loin, both of which


variations are calculated to give the Whippet a little more speed, if less "staying" power, speed only being the great desideratum in the Whippet.

The points of the Whippet may be briefly summed up by saying he should be an exact duplicate in miniature of the Greyhound.

The following is the description of the Whippet, as formulated by the Whippet Club:
Head.—Long and lean, rather wide between the eyes, and flat at the top; the jaw powerful, yet clearly cut; teeth level and white.
Eyes.—Bright and fiery.
Ears.—Small, fine in texture, and rose shape.
Neck.—Long and muscular, elegantly arched, and free from throatiness.
Shoulders.—Oblique and muscular.
Chest.—Deep and capacious.
Back.—Broad and square, rather long, and slightly arched over loin, which should be strong and powerful.
Forelegs.—Rather long, well set under dog, possessing fair amount of bone.
Hindquarters.—Strong and broad across, stifles well bent, thighs broad and muscular, hocks well let down.
Feet.—Round, well split up, with strong soles.
Tail.—Long, tapering, and nicely carried.
Coat.—Fine and close.
Color.—Black, red, white, brindle, fawn, blue, and the various mixtures of each.
Weight.—20 pounds.


Development of the Manchester Terrier

I was reading comments in some old dog books today. One was The Complete Dog Book By William A. Bruette, 1921. It makes a reference about the development of the Manchester Terrier from the Black and Tan Terrier. The reference was that John Hulme had bred his whippet to a terrier which served as the beginning of the Manchester variety. No dates were mentioned other than it was an accepted breed and Manchester was the breed hub by the 1860s. Supposedly, by 1827 a renowned example of Manchester Terrier was very successful in the rat pits. However a search indicated that possibly that was the Black and Tan Terrier bred to the whippet.

So it would seem that whippets were known as a breed or type prior to that date. Granted we all know how accurate breed histories can be... But I thought it was an interesting mention.

The Complete Dog Book By William A. Bruette, 1921

The Manchester district was a noted center for two "poor men's sports"--rat killing and rabbit coursing. A fancier by the name of John Hulme, with the idea of producing a dog that could be used at both contests, bred a whippet bitch to a celebrated rat-killing dog, a cross bred terrier dark brown in color. The result of this cross was very satisfactory, the dogs proved useful, and other fanciers in the neighborhood took to breeding them, and the


Manchester school of terriers was launched. They advanced in popularity rapidly and soon spread over the British Isles and were brought to this country in considerable numbers. The name Manchester was dropped as being too restricted in its designation, and they have since been known as the Black and Tan Terrier.


GENERAL APPEARANCE.-A Terrier calculated to take his own part in the rat pit, and not of the Whippet type.


The Twentieth Century Dog 1904

The Twentieth Century Dog ... By Herbert Compton
The Twentieth Century Dog ...
By Herbert Compton
Published by G. Richards, 1904
Item notes: v.2




Norman Mayall & Co. photo



The whippet affords a remarkable illustration of the talent, not to say genius, of the dog-fancier, and his ability to manufacture new types of dogs. No one looking at the picture of Manorley May, which adorns this section, and bearing in mind her height, which is 17 inches, and her weight of 19 Ibs., could desire a more exquisitely proportioned four-footed creature, or one more instinct with the attributes of swiftness and virility made apparent. And yet this model of harmony and grace is, in its correlation of height and weight, outside the ordinary scheme of canine creation. To all intents and purposes it represents a new species of dog, as it represents a new feature of attractiveness in dog-fancying in one of the uses to which it is put.

Curiously enough, the whippet as a piece of canine art is the creation of the working-man. To the miners and mill-hands of the North,—heavy-limbed, huge-framed, grimy delvers in the bowels of the earth, or toilers in the busy factories,—we owe this dainty design in dog's flesh. The genesis of the breed may be traced to the love of sport and affection for dogs which are characteristics of the North, that has given us many contributions besides whippets to our canine classification—as, for instance, Airedale, Bedlington, Manchester, Yorkshire, and white English terriers, and also fostered in


their purity other older breeds which were, otherwhere, lapsing into a state bordering on mongrelism. The dog- world owes much to the triangle between the Mersey, the Humber, and the Tyne. Therein dwell a hardy, homely race of sportsmen, whose humble sphere of sport was confined chiefly to rabbiting; and it was to increase the speed of the terrier or " snap-dog," formerly used in this pursuit, that, some time in the 'Sixties, it is said, an out-cross with the Italian greyhound was resorted to ; others ascribe the creation to a cross between a greyhound and a Manchester terrier.

It was an alliance of swiftness and grace with pluck and tenacity, and the blend " came away good." In time, by judicious breeding, there was evolved an animal with the grit and staying powers of the working terrier, and the symmetry and speed of the aristocratic dog. No doubt at a later period greyhound blood filtered in, for there is a variation in the weight of the whippet inconsistent with a cross confined to the first two breeds only. But the terrier grit was maintained whilst the physical outline was gradually refined into closer harmony with the greyhound, until a perfect miniature of that breed was arrived at, only gifted with an improved character and mental capacity.

With its racing lines, with its racing speed, and with its tractability, a new vista opened out for this new breed of dog. I have no doubt the terrier intelligence it retained suggested the possibility of the purpose to which it was put. The whippet was a dog that could be trained to race without fur leading it— no easy task when you come to try it, but amazingly fascinating when accomplished. Horse - racing is a sport which appeals irresistibly to the natives of these islands, whilst only a few can personally enjoy it . But racing with dogs, and such dogs, was a form of com-


petition that came within the means of the poorest. The north countryman took to the idea with avidity ; the dog was bred more and more for speed ; there came " professional trainers" to educate it and fit it for its duties ; and in the course of a decade the " snap-dog " blossomed into a race-dog, and whippet-racing one of the most popular amusements of the miners and other sons of toil in Northumberland, Yorkshire, and the adjoining counties.

Whippet-racing is now a big business — quite a world of its own ; its rules and regulations are not germane to these pages ; but those who are interested in them may find all the information they need in a publication that deals with the subject at full length. Sufficient to say that the sport has been reduced to very exact lines, and the rigour with which it is legislated for and conducted is second to that of no other sporting code in the country. To the well-trained whippet the race alone is the thing. That it excites them almost as much as their masters is a fact capable of ocular proof at any meeting ; and the wholly innocent cause of that excitement contrasts pleasantly with other similar dog-diversions where praise for the prowess of the dog is qualified by pity for its victim. From a humanitarian point of view, the whippet, as a race-dog pure and simple, and one that can be excited to the greatest exertion without scent of blood or sight of fur, deserves popularity.

I have been so fortunate as to obtain the following contribution from Mr. J. R. Fothergill, the President of the Whippet Club, on the subject of whippet-racing, and although its inclusion extends this section beyond its allotted limits, I am sure all my readers interested in the breed will be glad to have a description of the sport from one so qualified to give it:—


Whippet-racing.—The whippet has often been called "the poor man's race-horse," but nevertheless it can also be the rich man's race-dog. It is true that, with a few exceptions, only working-men in England have ever attended to whippet-racing, but I shall endeavour to show that, although it is the cheapest form of sport, it is far from being the meanest.

Although whippet-racing finds its patrons amongst some of the narrowest intellects in England, there is no doubt that the simple miners and mill-hands of the North have a genius for the breeding, running, and educating of their dogs. I have visited Lancashire more than once, especially to investigate whippet-racing there, and have come away full of admiration for their scientific methods, their keenness and honesty.

The best racing-whippets are bred like race-horses, through a long line of winners. To be of any use the dog must begin its education very young. As soon as it has been weaned it is kept aloof from his fellow-puppies and other dogs. From this day forward it lives the life of a hermit, having no friends and no enemies. The reason for this is that the dog will have to do his racing unjockeyed, so to speak, over a 200 yards' course, and from the moment he leaves the " slipper's " hands he must never take his eyes off the " rag" which another man (the walker-up) has carried before him up to the end of the course. If, then, he has been in the habit of chiveying playmates, or fighting with strange dogs, there are ten chances to one he will prefer to indulge in these games up the course instead of honestly " running to the rag." If, on the contrary, he has never known the society of other dogs, it will rarely occur to a whippet to molest them. Those who turn out " slappers," as they are called, are useless for racing, as they will never run in front. At the first Lancashire whippet-race I attended a friend told me he was bringing out a whelp for the first time. It was twelve months old and had never run in company. I suggested it was a toss-up whether it would " run honest" or not, and he was quite surprised at my doubts. But the whelp turned neither to right nor to left, and in the company of five screaming dogs, and between some thousand onlookers, ran as straight as a line from start to rag.

During the first six months or year a puppy requires much attention and patience; he is generally, therefore, handed over to an experienced " walker," who, for two or three shillings a week, will keep and educate him. The puppy at once takes up his quarters in the man's kitchen and bedroom, where he plays and sleeps till his master has left work for the day, when he is taken



for a walk. It is comical to see a little puppy walking on a lead, muzzled and coated. They always muzzle whippets to prevent them picking up bad food when in training ; many of them even sleep in their muzzles.

The puppy is now encouraged to tear and worry rag and paper, even though he destroy, at times, some of his master's belongings. The taste for the rag once developed, he is held by one man in the proper slipping fashion, whilst another worries him with-a rag. He is let loose at it, and then, by increasing the distance from a yard to thirty yards or so, the puppy will dash at the rag with all the speed he can muster. Great care is taken not to give the puppy too much exertion, as this would damp his fire. He is taken to whippet-races, where he hears the people shout, accustoms himself to the starter's pistol and the noise of the dogs yelping. No dog shows more nerve than the racer; he is indifferent to everything save his rag, and afraid of nothing. The experiment was once tried, for a wager, of lighting a line of straw across the track ; the dogs ran through it quite blindly. I have been asked whether a dog was brought to such a pitch of keenness by starving him ; and again whether he was taught by the whip ! The reader will have already understood there is no need for such curious means to prick the courage ; nay rather, the dog, whatever be his offence, is never chastised. The fearlessness of the race-dog is due entirely to the fact that he has never known suppression or defeat from man or beast. He lives by rule, is daily given his runs and walks, and his only diversion is to witness a dog-race, or to visit the public-house of an evening in his master's arms or on the lead. Here he will attract a circle of whippeters, who will handle him and maul him about on the table, much to the satisfaction of the walker.

When the whelp is about ten months old he bids good-bye to his first keeper, and starts life with a trainer. Of course the greater number of dogs are brought up by their owners and trained by them, but most of these will spend six weeks, at some time, with a trainer. But the successful dogs, as a rule, are those that are under professional care, which is by no means expensive.
The dog is now walked regularly from 5 to 15 miles a day, according to his size, and does a 200-yards' course twice a-week, or even shorter distances. When he is quite hard, and his feet in condition to stand the cinder track, he runs his first race. It is impossible to lay down hard and fast rules for training, as trainers differ so much in method, and dogs in constitution ; but the chief points observed are these. The dog must have


enough slow work for hardening him to give him stamina, say, for three races in an afternoon, and enough running to develop his speed ; by observation and timing the trainer is able to see how much exercise, fast and slow, he needs. It is important, moreover, that the dog, when walking, should go on a lead at his trainer's pace, and that, when he runs, the distance shall never exceed 200 yards. As for feeding, the bantam's eggs, the first slice off a shoulder of lamb, old sherry, and other delicacies that one hears is the race-dog's bill of fare, these are vain imaginations! The dog usually gets a basin of broken bread, gravy, and pudding; very often tea and ale, and, in fact, has just what the family has. Meat he is not given until the last few days before a race. Of course if he has to run for a .£50 match he is somewhat more expensively fed for a week or so.

I have now considered the education and training of a race- dog. Before I come to the handicapping a word or two must be said of the "slipper" and " walker-up." For the race the dog is put into the hands of the slipper, who stands behind the starting mark, and the walker-up, who is generally the owner or trainer, or some one whom the dog knows, takes the rag, waves it in the face of the dog, and then, with frantic shouts or whistles, passes up the course with the other walkers-up, and does not stop till the "trig mark" is reached—that is, 15 yards behind the winning mark. The judge signals to the starter at the other end, who tells the slippers to " get ready." These take up their position, holding the dogs by a good handful of skin by the neck, and the tail firmly at the root. The starter, standing behind the dogs, fires the pistol, and with a lurch forward the dogs are all thrown into their stride, and before thirteen seconds they will have caught, every dog, his own rag, with all the grip of his jaws, be lifted into the air by his own momentum, and swing around his particular man like a fish on a line '

The first over the winning mark wins ; the walkers-up are careful to hold the rag at arm's length to the side, otherwise, when the dog comes at full speed to catch the rag, he would break his neck against the man's legs. A whippet, when at full speed, is going at the rate of somewhere between 36 and 40 miles an hour ! There are seldom more than three or four crack slippers in Oldham, for their business requires great skill. These men take from .£3 to £$ for slipping the winner of a handicap. So precisely can they tell how dogs are slipped that a slipper is commonly heard to say that he got his dog offthree or four inches better than another, or vice versa ! And seeing that in the finals


of a good handicap the six dogs can be " covered with a towel" when running over the winning mark, it is important to procure every possible inch by securing a good slipper. It is only by slipping some thirty dogs every Saturday afternoon that these men become such skilled performers.

The dogs are handicapped on a very elaborate and exact system. It is only just that a little dog should get a start from a big one, as the bigger has the more weight and muscle and a longer stride, and so a scale of weights and starts is made to establish a basis upon which to handicap any dog whose performances are not known. By closely observing the running of hundreds of dogs for forty years, and by striking the averages after every handicap, the folk in Lancashire have elaborated a scale which allows the best dog to win, and not the biggest. Ignorant people will make up a handicap, giving the dogs two yards to the pound, but this is rough and unscientific. It stands to reason that a pound to a dog weighing 9 Ibs. is more advantageous to him over a dog weighing 8 Ibs. than the pound would be to a 28-Ib. dog over one weighing 27 Ibs. With the little dogs a pound is worth more in proportion to their whole weight than with big dogs. This will be illustrated in the appended scale:—



Bitches, being three yards faster than dogs, have three yards less start and so if one has to make up the starts of a number of dogs one would employ this scale, and the dogs at the finish would be very close, unless they differed much in quality. It would then be a " classic race," in which the fastest dog would win. In the next handicap one would put the winner back two yards behind the last mark, and the second one a yard. If any dog ran particularly badly in its heat, he would be given a lift of a yard or so. It does not do to be too generous with the lifting. Good dogs are not encouraged, and bad ones are kept low until the owner complains to the handicapper, when he is told to "get a better dog !" I cannot but think with regret how many bad dogs are exterminated every year, but as the whippeter is a poor man he cannot afford to keep bad stock.

On the other hand, there are feelings almost romantic between the owner and a successful dog ; it is always the centre of love and affection in the family, and deserves to be when, perhaps, it has supported them from time to time by its winnings. And when it gets too old it lives for the rest of its life by the fire, and the family get another winner to run for them.

Of course betting is with the whippeters the sole aim of dog- racing. At the winning end of the course there is a stand erected for "dockers." These stand with watch in hand and time the winners of the first heats before they and their friends put down their money on the ultimate winner. The dog-timing watch is expensive, costing about £9 or £10 ; the hand travels round the dial once in two seconds. Thus a dog can be timed easily to a sixteenth of a second, which represents a yard. . , Twice a month all through the year there is a handicap of £25 or £40 at £are entered. After the first round one can generally get 6 to I or better on the field. Sums of £300 or £400 are frequently won at these handicaps, and I once saw a dog backed by its owner to win £3000, but he lost by a nose! Needless to say the owner was a well-to-do innkeeper.


betting on the others' dogs. This of course reduces the sport to robbery and absurdity. But if the stewards insist on fair starting, there are left fewer ingenious tricks in whippet-racing for cheating the betting public than there are in horse-racing ; for it is possible to see if a man has held his dog, however momentary the delay may have been, whilst it is never quite obvious that a jockey is pulling.

Personally the few whippet-races I have seen have always reminded me of a sight I was once witness to in an Indian jungle, where I was shooting, with a large body of beaters driving the game towards me. My station was in front of a small glade, the grass on which was cropped as short as the turf on the Downs by browsing deer. Suddenly across this little open space darted seven mouse-deer at full speed, frightened by the cries of the approaching beaters. They were tiny, grey, dotted things, with pipe-stem legs, just about the size of smallish whippets, and not at all unlike them in shape and form. Running extended, and low to earth, they cleared the glade and shot into the opposite jungle before you could say " Jack," much less " Robinson ! " I think it was the fleetest entrance and exit I ever saw in my life. And when I was present at my first whippet-race, the memory of that scene occurred to me, and the conviction to my mind that a mouse-deer was the proper quarry for a whippet.

The speed of a whippet is almost incredible. The record time, made by a 21^-lb. dog, named White Eye, was twelve seconds for 200 yards, which works out at a pace of a mile in 1- minutes. A 12-lb. dog has been known to cover the same distance (expressing it in the technical phraseology of the whippet-race course) in " 7 J yards inside 13 seconds." The racing pace of a whippet is reckoned at 16 yards per second— figures that will account for the acute excitement when these little creatures are competing with one another


with (what you might call) the speed of a telegraph message! In such " touch and go" affairs as these handicaps necessarily are, the rules controlling them have to be extra stringent, and the slipping of a dog before the report of the pistol is followed with disqualification for the whole meeting. Bank holidays and Saturday afternoons are devoted to whippet-racing by thousands of people in the North, and, needless to say, there is a great deal of gambling and wagering on the results of the races.

Rabbit-coursing is also conducted on the handicap principle. The rabbit is allowed an average start of 50 yards,—it may be more or less,—and the dogs are slipped from their handicap stations. There are no points allowed to count for the skill displayed in the course, as in greyhound-coursing, and each couple of competitors are matched for the most kills of from eleven to twenty-five rabbits.

It is an inexplicable thing why whippet-racing has never " caught on " in the South, notwithstanding that exhibitions have been given at some of the leading shows. Mr. Fothergill arranged two whippet handicaps, £20 and £2 5 stakes, at Lewes in 1901, under the management of a club formed by him ; but, though the racing was very good, over 100 dogs being entered in the second race, the venture proved a great loss. The breed, however, has decidedly increased in popularity. In 1899 a Whippet Club was formed, and through its exertions the breed received formal recognition and was accorded a place in the Registers three years later. It is, by its very nature, not a show-bench dog, but classes are fairly well filled, and at the Kennel Club shows in 1901-03 the entries averaged forty-five, though they sank below forty in the latter year. Of course this cannot be considered very satisfactory in a small breed of dogs, and


one which numbers its votaries by the thousands in the North. But it is pretty certain that the Whippet Club, -- which now has such names on its front page as Mr JR Fothergill, Lady Arthur Grosvenor, Mr Fred Bottomley, Mr Harding Cox, and Mr A Lamotte,-- will soon improve the status of the breed, and carry it into the position which the intrinsic merits and physical beauties of the little animal it has been founded to foster, right worthily deserve. The sport of whippet racing suitably conducted is one in which ladies might find a great delight; it offers the quintessence of excitement, crystallised into a few seconds; it is capable of being conducted within private enclosures and kept select, and it adds an attraction to dog-keeping which is not to be obtained in any other breed under the same innocent conditions. There is no blood shed, and there is lots of fun, and, I doubt not, as much joy in owning a winner as in the proprietorship of other “fleetest of their kind.” And for this reason alone the development of whippet-racing is a consummation which no one could object to.

The following are the notes I have received from my contributors in this section:--

MR JR FOTHERGILL (President of the Whippet Club)-- Nothing could be better as regards type, than many of the bitches now being shown, but the breed requires a few good dogs, a few good breeders, and a few good supporters The values of the points seem to me good, but in judging by points one can often go wide of the mark. More especially is this the case with whippets and greyhounds With these dogs individual points are of little importance, even if they have them all in equal perfection, without symmetry, balance and simplicity of construction. The whippet is intended for running only. Many a dog, with a row of bad points, is faster and handier than many a good-showing dog. The reason is that they have the above - mentioned qualities. Judge a whippet out of focus first and then adjust your sight for detail.


I like a whippet first as a race dog, a more interesting study for the subject of animal psychology is hard to find, but there is no need to expatiate upon this somewhat abstract subject here. Like all dogs, their characters are like those of their masters, and they are as easily impressionable, and taught, as any other dog I have had to do with. A thorough bred whippet can be taught retrieving and ratting, whilst he is naturally a better hand at rabbits than a terrier or a greyhound. I have four thorough bred whippets that will hunt the scent of a rabbit or any other scent for any distance. Each takes its own line and they are remarkably clever at casting and travel at a great speed. I have known them to hunt a hare entirely by its scent over the Downs for about a mile and a half. A lady looks better with a whippet than with most other dogs, they are so ornamental. Though if for this purpose a foil is required, a bulldog certainly serves best.

MR HARDING Cox — There is not much fault to find with the type of the breed as it exists to day, but breeders must keep up sufficient bone, and must be careful about close, strong, well arched, and well split up feet. I have always judged whippets on greyhound lines making due allowance for difference of type in hindquarters. Beyond the sport afforded by whippets in sprinting matches and coursing rabbits, I fancy there is little to recommend them as companions though they are lively and amiable as a rule.

MRS CHARLES CHAPMAN – I think there is a danger in breeding whippets fit for the bench only and losing sight of the qualities necessary for racing. The whippet is gifted with extraordinary speed and for the limited distance it races exceeds that of the greyhound. My bitch Ch Rosette of Radnage accomplished the feat of winning a championship at the Kennel Club Show of 1900, and winning the handicap promoted by the Whippet Club at the same show. Whippet racing, properly conducted, is a most charming sport and essentially suitable for ladies to interest themselves in, and I feel very sorry that the efforts made to popularise it seem to have been without result. Whippets, or more properly speaking race dogs, are capital house companions but their principal interest lies in the sport they afford. And for my ideal whippet, I see him held in the leash by his handler eager for the start. He is straining every nerve quivering with excitement and fairly screaming in his anxiety to be after the white rag to reach which is to the uninitiated the inexplicable cause of this mysterious racing. My


ideal is of brindle colour, about 15 or 16 Ibs in weight, so that he is well placed in the handicap. His head is long and lean, his mouth perfectly level, his ears small, and shoulders as sloping as possible. His body is well tucked up, with the brisket very deep, his back slightly arched, with a whip tail carried low but nicely curved. His hindquarters are very muscular, and his fore legs absolutely straight, with feet hard and close, and hind legs well turned with hocks bent under him, all the muscles induced by the thorough training he has undergone showing – he looks what he is – a perfect picture of a “race dog”

MR A LAMOTTE – The breed is making great strides in the right direction, viz a greyhound weighing about 20 Ibs. In the Standard of Points, great value should be laid on power in hindquarters and loin, good feet and legs, deep brisket with plenty of heart room. The whippet was made to race and gallop short distances at a great speed. To see these small pets fighting it out yard by yard on the track is wonderful. And how they love the sport. Unfortunate it is that it is not in better hands, but we must hope that this will improve in time. The whippet as a pet is a very charming animal and its affection for its owner is great. Watching them running about with their quick graceful movements is a joy to the eye

MR FRED BOTTOMLEY – The type of whippet to day is better than of late though there is still room for improvement in shoulders, weak pasterns, straight hocks, and size, which in my opinion should not exceed 20 Ibs. I am the oldest whippet exhibitor, and for the last ten years have made but few additions to my kennels, always showing my own strain which include Ch Manorley New Boy and Ch Manorley Model now withdrawn from the show bench. I have always found whippets the best of pals, very game dogs, and the fastest dog living for their size.

I take the following Standard of Points from the Whippet Club's publication. This institution has a strong committee. Mr Charles S Smith is the Honorary Secretary and the subscription is half a guinea annually. The club owns a challenge cup which is competed for every year at the Kennel Club Show.



HEAD Long and lean rather wide between the eyes and flat at the top. The jaw powerful yet clearly cut
TEETH Level and white
EYES Bright and fiery
EARS Small fine in texture and rose shaped
NECK Long and muscular elegantly arched and free from throatiness
SHOULDERS Oblique and muscular
CHEST Deep and capacious
BACK Broad and square rather long and slightly arched over the loin which should be strong and powerful
FORE LEGS Rather long well set under the dog possessing fair amount of bone
HINDQUARTERS Strong and broad across stifles well bent thighs broad and muscular hocks well let down
FEET Round well split up with strong soles
TAIL Tapering long and nicely carried COAT Fine and close
COLOUR Black red white brindle fawn blue and various mixtures of each
WEIGHT The ideal weight is 20 Ibs There are no points values published in this breed

The subject of my illustration is Mr Fred Bottomley's beautiful bitch Manorley May born in June 1899 by Fullerton ex Judy. She stands 17 inches at shoulder weighs 19 Ibs and is of a fawn colour. Mr Bottomley describes her as having a grand long lean head brown eyes semi erect ears small and fine in texture and beautiful neck and shoulders. Her body and legs are perfect and she is framed for speed and work. She possesses all the good points of a first class whippet and has proved herself a very fast bitch in handicap races as well as a great winner on the show bench. She won a championship at Brighton firsts every time shown and is the dam of winners.

Jumat, 20 Februari 2009


More pictures...


One of the many wonderful images carved in the facade of Parliament:

Skaters on the Rideau Canal:

Our hotel:

More skaters:

Selasa, 17 Februari 2009

Art and Ice

Art: "Shooting the Rapids," by Frances Anne Hopkins
People in Picture: Unknown

We just returned from Ottawa, which is a fantastic city. The drive there from the airport feels nothing like the approach to Washington D.C. Ottawa feels like a northern outpost, and it has some of the magic associated with such a place. People USE winter there, and everywhere one walks one sees people dressed for the outdoors. I have long wanted to skate the Rideau Canal, and the experience exceeded my expectations. I can't stop thinking about it. It was a grand and glorious trip, full of delightful, unexpected things. We skated each day, and it was such a surprise, that first day, to reach the Bank Street bridge and find framed art from the Portrait Gallery of Canada hanging on the cement walls underneath the bridge. Reproductions, yes, but ART...hanging there for people in hockey skates to discover outside in February. It was a wonderful intersection of art and outdoor sports, and everyone, it seemed, appeared to appreciate it -- to pause and linger and study the pictures.

Senin, 16 Februari 2009

Jack Dempsey (whippet born 9/23/1885

The following is from Whippet-L on the namesake of the above whippet.

Aaron wrote:
>Daughter Jade is trying to find out what the name of the first AKC registered whippet was. Internet searches says that the first one was registered in 1888, but I have not found the name. Aaron had tro do a bit of reading and serching ... near as i can figure was a dog named Jack Dempsey no 9804 Born 9/23/1885... owned byCharles O. Breed, Lynn Mass and bred by P. H. Hoffman, Philadelphia Pennsylvannia. he was not named after the famous fighter Jack Dempsy as the fighter as he was popular from 1919 to 1926>>

I wrote:
The one that is most famous and well known is not the same Jack Dempsey that I found the information for. He also fought mostly in NY but also Philadelphia where the breeder was from (also NJ) so his name was probably well known. He won 58 fights, 8 by knockout, and lost only 3, 2 by knockout. He also fought 8 draws and 4 no-decisions.


"BORN: John Edward Kelly, Dec 15 1862; Curran, County Kildare, Ireland DIED: Nov 1 1895; Portland, Oregon Jack Dempsey is considered by many as one of the greatest boxers pound-for-pound who ever fought in the ring. He moved well and was extremely quick, agile, and skillful. He was a two-handed fighter who could box or punch. His jab was quick and accurate. His right hand punch was stiff. He was game and cool under pressure. He could fight whatever style was needed to win. He often fought men 10-25 pounds heavier. In short, he was a crafty boxer-puncher who was an excellent ring general."

"Dempsey had his first fight in 1883 and was unbeaten until 1889 when he lost for the first time on an 'illegal' punch, a backhand (or elbow) delivered by George LaBlanche while fighting at close quarters. In all, Dempsey fought for thirteen years and lost only three times."

So considering that this Jack Dempsey was fighting and famous in 1885, I think he's our man.

"Dempsey was not the typical pugilist type. He was handsome, well-spoken and mannerly. Also, he was personable and made friends easily. On most occasions, after trouncing an opponent in the ring, he was calm and rather indifferent towards the praise being heaped upon him. With his ring savvy and exceptional skills, Dempsey usually made a fight go his way. But, when the going got tough, he was quite game."

Gee! Doesn't that sound just like a whippet?

Another Comment:

... check your dates again. Whippet Dempsey was born 10 yrs. before the boxer Dempsey died. Jack Dempsey, born John Edward Kelly, was an extremely popular fighter in America during the 1880s. Only the great John L. Sullivan, heavyweight champion, was more famous.

BORN: John Edward Kelly; Dec 15 1862; Curran, County Kildare, Ireland
DIED: Nov 1 1895; Portland, Oregon

-- Elisa PaganRicochet Whippets

East End London at Play

In Outing, volume XLV Oct 1904 - March 1905 there is a great article article about a race meet. Very interesting and riveting starting on page 564. http://books.google.com/books?id=QxULAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover

Brief 1875 Reference


SNAPDOG or WHIPPET. — A kind of small Greyhound, used in some countries for rabbit-coursing.

Whippet Racing Film Clip 1915

British Pathe, http://www.britishpathe.com/index.html, has their entire 3500 hours of newsreels and items from 1896-1970. Among them are several pertaining to whippets. The earliest is this racing clip.


Go to this page and you will see thumbnails of images from a film clip from 1915 of a whippet race. If you go to the bottom of the page, there is a link to download the video. One link is to a free preview.

Rabu, 11 Februari 2009

The Auburn Bulletin

Here is an image of an archived copy of The Auburn Bulletin published in Auburn, NY. Click here to view the full paper (the link is too long otherwise). There is no date on the page of the paper. After reading the full page, it appears that the date of the paper is probably March 18 or 19, 1893. There are several articles dated March 18.




WITH, I believe few exceptions, the whippet or snap dog has' not been included as a distinct variety in any book on English dogs. Still, it is now, and has been for some time, quite a breed of itself, and amongst the colliers and other working men in the north of England, including Lancashire and York- shire, none is so popular or provides so much amusement. Originally the " whippet", was a small dog a cross between the Italian greyhound and some terrier or other, partaking in general appearance more of the greyhound cross than of the terrier. Thus, in many parts of the north, the dog is still called an " Hitalian," the local pronunciation of the name of that country from which it is supposed the fragile toy dog first came. He is likewise known as a "running" dog, the reason for which will be obvious. The whippet in perfection is a miniature grey-

168 Modern Dogs.

hound, built on the lines of a Fullerton or of a Bab at the Bowster, but smaller in size. It is kept specially for running races and for coursing rabbits on enclosed grounds arranged for the purpose, and for which it undergoes a course of training suitable to the circumstances. Both coursing and running matches may be considered the popular pastime amongst a very large class in the mining and manufacturing districts northwards, in the neighbourhood of Newcastle, in Durham, Lancashire, and Yorkshire especially. Several attempts have recently been made to extend the popularisation of the whippet, especially so far as its running powers are concerned. The Kennel Club has, for the first time this year (1892), given it an entry in the Stud Book, and classes have been provided for it at several south country shows. The latter had repeatedly appeared in the catalogues at Darlington and elsewhere in the north, but they seldom filled satisfactorily, and as a "bench dog" I need scarcely say the whippet is not likely to be any greater success than the greyhound. The entries made in the Stud Book are few, and most of the dogs there are minus a leading part of their history namely, their pedigrees. Without taking any pessimistic view of the question, I must confess my disbelief in the success of

The Whippet. 169

any scheme to make the whippet a popular animal outside the society in which it is now received. Its surroundings have not, as a rule, been of the highest in the social scale, nor have the rabbit coursing matches and tests of speed always been conducted by its owners in the fairest way possible. Various tricks are tried by the unscrupulous to prevent an opponent's dog winning, and a trainer or his friend has to be a sharp man in his line, to run successfully the gauntlet of all that is placed in his way during a match for money where such dogs compete. And it must be confessed that, not- withstanding the fairness, honesty, and firmness of the owners of the enclosed grounds where dog races and coursing take place, and of the umpires and referees, the general spirit of the sport is not the most wholesome in the world. Of course, these remarks are not applicable to all owners of whippets many of whom are as honest and good sportsmen as ever owned a dog but there can be no doubt that the popularity of the variety has been kept back by those "black sheep" to whom allusion is made. As I have said, the whippet ought not to be a big dog, weighing, from 12lb. to say, about 25lb. when in training. However, some of them are much heavier than this, and many of the so-called

170 Modern Dogs.

champion rabbit coursers reach 40lb. in weight or even more. I have known a thoroughbred greyhound take part in one of the big handicaps that are held during the season in the neighbourhood of Manchester and elsewhere. It scarcely remains for me to say that these bigger dogs are the direct cross with the greyhound, and some of them are built on such lines and contain so much greyhound blood, as to be scarcely distinguishable from the original article. Such dogs are fast, clever with their teeth, and oftener than not run straight into their rabbit, " holding "it without a turn, the one that does so winning the trial, irrespective of the capacity it shows for working, turning, or making the points as in coursing hares. The law allowed varies from anything between 30 and 70 yards, and directly the rabbit is dropped the dogs are slipped, the latter being done by a skilful man, specially appointed for the purpose. Handicaps are made according to the weight or height of the dog ; in Newcastle-on-Tyne and the surrounding districts, the latter being the custom the dog being measured from the top of the shoulder blade to the pad of the foot whilst in Lancashire and Yorkshire handicap by weight is preferred. In all cases a dog has to allow a bitch three yards start. These customs or rules likewise

The Whippet. 171

apply to dog racing, as dealt with later on, In some of the more important handicaps, each couple of dogs, as they are drawn together, have to compete the best out of five or even more courses. In minor affairs, one rabbit for each trial is made to suffice. Private matches between two dogs are frequently run, and such often enough create as much interest as the handicaps, especially when two " cracks " are competing. Here the conditions may vary some- what, the start given the rabbit being specially named, and the number of courses being usually the best of twenty-one, or, perhaps, of thirty-one, a certain time, generally five minutes, being allowed between each trial. However, if the whippet is to become generally popular, it will not be by means of an ability to kill rabbits. The dog racing by him will be more likely to find favour with the public. Those who are not connected with the sport will be surprised to find the hold it has obtained amongst the working classes in the north. There are repeatedly from one hundred and fifty to over three hundred such dogs entered at one competition, the trial heats of which, three dogs taking part in each heat, being run as a rule one Saturday, the finals the Saturday following. This day is a half-holiday with the miners and work- people, hence its selection, but other meetings are

172 Modern Dogs.

held on the recognised Bank holidays, and sometimes on Mondays.

OED References to Whippets as a dog type/breed

Here are the references for whippet from the Oxford English Dictionary, more commonly known as the OED. The OED contains etymological references. Etymology is essentially the study and tracing the history of words. Go to http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/etymology for a full definition. An early reference [1550] of whippet is "a light and lively lass" (I wouldn't mind one of those too). In terms of dogs, prior to the 1610 reference was the use of whappet which is referenced as a mangy cur or whiney dog. Not to a type of dog in terms of breed such as the later references.

4. a. A small breed of dog; now spec. a cross between a greyhound and a terrier or spaniel, used for coursing and racing, esp. in the north of England.

With the earliest examples cf. WHAPPET.

a1610 HEALEY Theophrastus (1616) 75 If a little dog or whippet of his dye, รด hee makes him a tombe.

c1615 W. GODDARD Mastiff Whelp G3, Too loude thou barkest Whelpe, I must haue whippets now, that doe but yelpe.

1630 J. TAYLOR (Water P.) Dogge of Warre Wks. II. 232 The little Curre, Whippet, or House-dogge.

1645 MILTON Colast. 26 If a man cannot peaceably walk into the world, but must bee infested..with bauling whippets, and shin-barkers.

1665 in Sporting Mag. XLII. 10 To seize..all such greyhounds, beagles, or whipperts [sic].

1841 HARTSHORNE Salopia Antiqua 614 Whippet, a dog bred betwixt a greyhound and a spaniel.

1884 St. James's Gaz. 18 Oct. 6/2, I found a man training a wiry racing-dog... The ‘whippet’ strode along with great earnestness.attrib. and Comb.

1885 Bazaar 30 Mar. 1260/3 Fawn whippet bitch for sale.

1894 F. LLOYD Whippet & Race-Dog viii. 45 The National Whippet-racing Club. Ibid. xi. 73 A most important personage on the Whippet-track is the clerk of the scales.


It has been a fine, wet day of English rain. Mist has hovered in low places and settled on my cheek and delivered me to strange new lands. I brought home this train station from my grandpa's house today, ostensibly for Tommy (who thinks it is sweet). I like crouching beside it and staring at the platform and entering an older world. I like thinking about Glendale.

Senin, 09 Februari 2009

Reference from 1630

Remains of the Early Popular Poetry of England
By William Carew Hazlitt, 1866

Whippit or whippet is used by Taylor, the Water Poet in his Dogge of Warre (Works 1630 ii 232) in the sense of some little breed of dog. Mr. Halliwell (Archaic Dictionary [1847], art. whippit) says:--"A kind of dog in breed between a greyhound and a spaniel." In Udall's Ralph Roister-Doister [1553] some of the characters sing in concert the following song:--

Pipe, mery Annot, &c.
Trilla, trilla, trillarie.
Now Tibbet, now Annot, now Margerie,
Now whippet apace for the maystrie.
But it will not be, our mouth is so drie

Hazlitt combines several sources here. Taylor's reference is from 1630. I can't find a date on Halliwell's listing other than finding that his dictionary was published in 1847. So I don't have a date or further source supporting his comment. Udall may not necessarily been referring to a type of dog.

I've noticed that the quote "A kind of dog in breed between a greyhound and a spaniel" is misquoted in many other later accounts stating "definitively" as a breeding or cross breeding between the two. My interpretation is that the reference by Halliwell did not necessarily indicate a breeding between a greyhound and spaniel, but rather he was providing a size reference or possibly speed in the field. Yes, it's a matter of opinion in a reading of that quote. I know other people who have similar interpretations.

Staffordshire Pottery

This is by far not my starting point in looking back. I wish I had Peabody's Way Back Machine to find out the real stories about whippets and where they originated.

Sale Catalogues By American Art Association Anderson Galleries, Inc. 1886

But on to Staffordshire Pottery. The pottery has long had a line identified with a figure referred to as a whippet. I imagine that since they identified the pieces, they should know what the figure represented. I hadn't thought previously to look at their whippets as a source of research until recently. What prompted this was the discovery of an auction catalog dated to 1886 which contains a Staffordshire Whippet Inkwell for sale.
Although far from verified sources, I did a search for "Staffordshire Pottery Whippet Inkwell" and found many for sale at a variety of antique dealers on the date of this post. Several whippet inkwells came up placed circa 1850s. As their popularity did not grow until later, it does show that there was enough of a following even this early. While not an inkwell, here is an example from one dealer that mentions approximate dating for the pieces.

Here is a piece dated 1845 as either a greyhound or whippet. It has many similarities to their later whippets moreso than the look of later greyhounds. But the size of the hare, may point to it being a greyhound.



Such an original title for my first post to initiate this blog. But as I mentioned in a rather too lengthy description, I've started this blog to track historical references and articles about the history of the whippet. I invite you to post materials in the comments sections with references that you have discovered. David Howton will also be posting some of the materials on the Whippet View website at http://whippetview.com which is a wonderful resource about whippets.

Minggu, 01 Februari 2009

25 Things

1. I am an introverted extrovert. Or an extroverted introvert. I’m not sure which, but because I was an English major I believe in the difference.

2. It bothers me when I hear someone use the phrase, “kill some time.”

3. I played the ukulele in elementary school. My son started playing the guitar in kindergarten. One always wants more for one’s child than one had….

4. When I was a girl, I wanted to be a professional cross-country skier. I skied most every night, usually in my grandparents’ orchard. There was also a time I wanted to be a geologist. I readied myself for this by pulling all of the clothes out of my closet and moving in a chair, a small chest, my rock collection, a magnifying glass, and several field guides.

5. My inner life is a big part of my life.

6. I broke my collarbone when I was in fourth grade. I was riding my bike (fast) down our street and tried to pop a wheelie. My front tire hit a rock, my handlebars kicked out, and I landed next to the curb.

7. I have had two reconstructive knee surgeries. I tore the ACL in my left knee in 1989 when I was in Scotland. Five years later, I tore the ACL in my right knee.

8. I love the weird, looping logic created in sestinas.

9. I miss my grandma fiercely.

10. I grew up working and playing in my grandparents’ apple orchard. I ate apple-something (fried apples, cinnamon apples, baked apples…) every day of my life for a very long time.

11. I don’t have much use for Red Delicious apples.

12. I like shoveling snow.

13. When I was 21, I spent the night on a cliff in the Peloponnese above the Mediterranean Sea. I hiked there with my friend Lori because we could not find a place to stay in town (Koroni). We huddled on a rocky outcropping all night, listening to Greek men shout unknown things somewhere off down the hill, and hoping -- really really hoping --they did not climb up the hill to drink ouzo and kill us. They did not.

14. There was not a train that served that little village in the Peloponnese, so in the morning we found a ride with a man who needed to deliver some chickens to a friend. We rode in the back seat with the chickens.

15. I misplace keys frequently. Duke Ellington’s granddaughter once found a set I had been missing for more than a year.

16. I love children’s books. I love reading to children.

17. Galway Kinnell visited Albion College the semester I was in Scotland. I was so disappointed to miss him that, a year or so later, I took a train to St. Paul to hear him read at The Hungry Mind.

18. I like trains. I took one to Austin, Texas to see my sister. I could have flown for $2 less, but I had books to read, strangers to meet, poems to write….

19. I miss doing things with my sister.

20. I don’t like butterscotch.

21. I love cilantro.

22. I want a unicycle.

23. I don’t care about the Super Bowl (ever), but I watched Bruce Springsteen at half-time tonight.

24. I like climbing trees.

25. I am a tent camper, though I sometimes skip the tent. I have slept under the stars in many special places. Maybe the best was Isle Royale, where I woke in the night and heard wolves.