Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Conformation Joke from 1891

Conformation joke from 1891: "Whatever became of that greyhound you had?" "Killed himself." "Really?" "Yes, tried to catch a fly on the small of his back and miscalculated." "Bit himself in two." -- Brooklyn Life "Not short enough in loin very likely."

Growing Notice of Whippets: Forest and Stream v. 36, 1891

Whippets have definitely made their inroads by 1891. In the article on The Chicago Dog Show, there was a reference to areas set up for the dog circus and whippet racing.

Referencing whippet type is seen in the article on The Binghamton Dog Show (Binghamton NY) in reference to body type in Fox-Terriers.

And at the Toronto Dog Show:

At the Toronto bench show, Sept 14 to 18, there will be several greyhound and whippet races which will add materially to the "fun of the fair." The stakes announced are: Grand greyhound sweepstakes, $5 entrance, divided into 50 per cent to first, and 40 per cent to second. To this the Association will add a silver medal valued at $20, to be known as the champion and running, medal open to all. Greyhound race, 300 yds, $15 to first, $7 to second and $3 to third. Whippet race, 200 yds, $15 to first, $7 to second and $3 to third. There will be no extra entrance charged in these races, but all the competing dogs must be entered in the regular classes in the dog show. This a very good move, and will no doubt afford an acceptable change from the usual monotony of the dog show.

More on racing:

The newly formed Whippet Racing Club, whose existence has been brought about through the exertions of the editor of Canine World, will hold its first meeting next month. A 200yds handicap will be run with $500 added money. This ought to draw the best dogs in the world and such prizes at meetings properly conducted will soon place whippet racing among general sports to be indulged in by high and low, as they may desire.

We learn from the Detroit Tribune, that Messrs Campbell & Blake's whippet Benbow, made a record for himself on the Detroit Athletic Grounds last Saturday. He ran the 200yds on a cinder path in 12 seconds under careful timing. This is the dog that ran so well at London last fall. Mr Blake also writes us that in the race last Saturday, the wind was against the dog.

Notes and Notions: Forest and Stream v. 36, 1891

A distinct gain to kennel Interests everywhere is the return of Mr Vero Shaw to kennel matters in his papers contributed to the London Stock-Keeper. We are too apt rush ahead on our own abstract notions, relying on our intuition (if on anything) for the safety and wisdom of courses, and that there is such a thing as experience, or it can guide us, is almost lost and forgotten, and the recital of the experiences of as old a hand in "fancy" as Mr Shaw, should open our eyes to a good many things. The last suggestion of his that has impressed itself upon me as of importance is that of the great value of the professional dog breeder to dogs at large. This is worth taking home and thinking over. It is all very well to prate about "gentlemen" and gentlemanly dealings, and abstractly there is something in it, but in practical application, the man who breeds and sells dogs as a business is apt to breed better ones than the gentleman who does it as a diversion, and not uncommonly the gentleman who goes into breeding as au amusement finally gets to be as commercial as anybody. I am not aspersing the character of our gentleman breeders, their personal characters need no defense, but certainly they cannot and will not breed with the practical skill of the professional, and it should not be lost sight of, that many of the revivers, almost creators of breeds, bred professionally for the money to be made out of it. The Yorkshire terrier owes his development and his wonderful variation from his original stock almost wholly to English workingmen, whose wives and daughters expended the time on their coats that has made them such marvels. The whippet is as well defined a breed, and as far as my observation goes, breeds as true as any breed, and they owe their existence to the same class of English workingmen. In fact, but a few years since, whippet racing was looked upon as a shady diversion, both here and in England, and entirely on account of the men fostering it.

The world moves nowadays, and men who are fond of excitement have begun to interest themselves in this little racer, and surely we have a precedent for the better class sportsmen to take this sport up, when we remember fox terrier coursing, which has been aptly named a "bastard" sport, finds its most strenuous supporters on the other side among the same class of men who foster whippet racing. Fox-terrier coursing on Long Island has received stamp of fashion, then why should not the harmless amusement of whippet racing afford the same excitement to our leisure class that horse racing does, with this advantage, that the most squeamish person can find nothing in it to oppose on the score of cruelty.

Forest and Stream v. 36
By Charles Hallock, William A. Bruette
Feb. 1891 - July 1891

Whippet: The Encyclopaedia of Sport, Volume 1 1897


This is a dog originally produced by crossing with a terrier and greyhound sometimes with the Italian greyhound It is now a distinct variety which breeds true to type and in fact is a pocket edition of the ordinary greyhound He may weigh anything between 10 lbs and 25 lbs not larger than the latter weight and any colour is allowable The Whippet is much in request by the lower middle classes for running purposes either to course rabbits or to take part in short distance races the usual course being 200 yards The competitors are handicapped according to their height or weight A dog 20 lbs weight has been known to cover the full distance of 200 yards in 12 seconds The sport is very popular in Lancashire Yorkshire and in the north of England but the attempts to bring it into prominence in the southern counties have not been altogether successful The competitors run on a cinder path and are started by a pistol On the mark they are held by a friend of the trainer the latter runs in front of the dog up the course dangling a pigeon's wing a towel or anything attractive to encourage the dog and the judge at the goal decides each race promptly and expeditiously In coursing matches rabbits are used twenty one or thirty one trials being run the kill only scoring In the large handicaps of this kind each dog runs from three to five rabbits with his opponent and it will be seen that stamina as well as pace is required in a Whippet to be a champion at rabbit coursing In some districts the Whippet is known as the Snap Dog.

The Encyclopaedia of Sport, Volume 1

edited by Henry Charles Howard Earl of Suffolk and Berkshire, Hedley Peek, Frederick George Aflalo