The Beginning of a Show Breed

 

Following Kennel Club recognition in 1932, the breed was scheduled first at Richmond Championship Show, where fourteen dogs were entered with Best of Breed going to Mrs. Fagan's 'Smudge', a dark grizzle and tan prick-ear (also described as black-backed by Mrs. Fagan ). There were no Challenge Certificates on offer for the breed and the judge was Mr. Ernest Hertz. Smudge, a grandson of Mrs. Fagan's foundation bitch,'Brownie', later became an important sire.

 

 

Above left: Mrs. Fagan's 'Smudge' , right: Mrs. Fagan's foundation bitch, 'Brownie', granddam of 'Smudge'.

 

The first champion in the breed, Ch. Biffin of Beaufin, attaining his title in 1935 when The Kennel Club allocated Challenge Certificates to the breed for the first time, was owned by Mrs. E. Mainwaring, who liked her terriers to have their ears dropped and, as Biffin wanted to prick his ears, it was said she weighted them to keep them down!

Biffin has had an influence on the breed as a whole, both ear types being able to trace back to him. His maternal granddam, Midge (not only unregistered, but pedigree unknown) was behind a number of early winners. Mrs. Guy Blewitt, another early breeder, tried very hard to find out more about the influential 'Midge', but without success. The postcard which she received in answer to her query from Midge's owner. Mr. W. Ross, and bearing the clear postmark of 2nd. August 1932, survives to this day in the Norfolk Terrier Club of Great Britain archives. Midge was eleven years old at that time, but her owner had never been able to trace her pedigree.


 

THE FIRST CHAMPION IN THE BREED

CH. BIFFIN OF BEAUFIN
(Dog) Drop-ear, born 15th. May 1932

Breeder: The Hon. Mrs. Hoare
Owner: Mrs. E. Mainwaring

Sire: Kein ( sire and dam both unregistered)

Dam: Gyp ( sire: Pepper [unregistered])
(dam: Midge [unregistered ])

 

 

Early Breed Standards

The first Breed Standard for Norwich Terriers was drafted by Mr. Jack Read, President of the Norwich Terrier Club and introduced two areas of controversy: one, that the coat should be red and no other colour, and the second, ear-carriage.

The first official Standard is reproduced below
(complete with original spelling errors).

 

Standard of points of

THE NORWICH TERRIER,

as passed July, 1932, and revised January 1933.

HEAD. Muzzle, " foxy," yet strong ; length about one-third less than a measurement from the occiput to the bottom of the stop, which should be a good one and well defined. Skull wide, slightly rounded with good width between the ears. Ears, if erect, slightly larger than a Cairn's; if dropped, very neat and small, and CORRECTLY dropped.

EYES. Very bright, dark and keen. Full of expression.

TEETH. Strong ; rather large ; closely fitting.

JAW. Clean, strong, tight lipped.

NECK. Short and strong ; well set on clean shoulders.

LEGS. Short; powerful; as straight as is consistent with the short legs at which we aim. Sound bone, feet round, thick pads.

QUARTERS. Strong, with great powers of propulsion. TAIL. Medium docked, carriage not excessively gay. WEIGHT. 10 to 14 lbs. 11 lbs. being the ideal.

HEIGHT. 10 to 12 inches at the withers, (not to exceed).

COLOUR AND COAT. Red, (to include red wheaten), white on the throat a/o chest being allowed. Coat as hard and wiry as possible, but lies much closer to the body than a Cairn's, and is absolutely straight. It is longer and rougher on the neck and shoulders, in winter forming almost a mane. Hair on the head, ears and muzzle, except slight eye- brows, and slight whisker, is absolutely short and smooth.

GENERAL APPEARANCE. A small, low, keen dog, tremendously active. A perfect demon, yet not quarrelsome, and of a loveable dis­position, and with a very hardy constitution.

FAULTS. Long weak back, a mouth badly over or under shot, full eye, soft expression.

DISQUALIFICATIONS. Yellow eyes; soft coat, or wavy, or curly, or silky. A long narrow head; square muzzle; trimming is not desireable, and should be penalized rather than encouraged. Honourable scars from fair wear and tear shall not count against.

 

 

In 1934 the official Standard for Norwich Terriers was revised in that the reference to the colour 'white' in the section on Colour and Coat was altered to "white on the throat a/o chest undesirable, but shall not disqualify".

In 1935 there was a further revision to admit Black and Tan as a colour. After the official recognition of Black and Tan, Mr. Jack Read, the Club President, felt so strongly against the colour that he resigned from the Club.

 

 

CH. MISS MANETTE
(Bitch) Prick-ear, born March 1934

The First Prick-ear Bitch Champion
Winner of 11 C.C.s

 

Sire: Smudge (Burhill Shadow x Bunty , unr.)

Dam: Peggoty (Kein x Gyp)

 

Ch. Miss Manette's dam was a full sister to the first champion, Ch. Biffin of Beaufin

 

 

Another very closely bred to Midge's line was the prick-ear, CH. PONTO THE SAGACIOUS DOG, (pedigree below). It would have been so interesting for us now, in the early years of the 21st. Century, to see a picture of Midge herself and to know her ancestry.

 

 

CH. PONTO THE SAGACIOUS DOG
(Dog) Prick-ear, born 3rd. April 1937

Winner of 10 C.C.s

Sire: Barkis ( Bingo of Boxted x Ch. Miss Manette)

Dam: Tatty Coram (Smudge x Peggotty)

Tatty Coram was a full sister to Ch. Miss Manette


 

With the advent of shows following Kennel Club recognition ears became all-important, many breeders preferring the prick-ears. Inter-breeding between the two types of ear carriage did continue for a time but, eventually, breeders kept to one or other ear type.

Even in the 1930s the breed had begun to divide and by the end of the 1940s there were very few Norwich, we have been told, with mixed ear carriage in the first two or three generations.

 

Post World War II Years and separation of the two ear types in 1964

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