During October 1998, Margaret Andress forwarded the following unreferenced typescripts of articles from the 1930's by Alice Lang Rogers (Mrs. Byron Rogers; Misty Isles) and Hayes Blake Hoyt (Blakeen), and others. In hopes that these interesting 60-or-so-years-old samples are out of copyright we present them as follows:
Alice Lang Rogers, The Miniature Poodle: Glimpses Past and Future (Mrs. Rogers was AKC Gazette Poodle columnist during the later 1930's; this may come from the Gazette, 1937.)
"In the year 1905 the English Kennel Club separated Miniature Poodles from the Standards and put the former on the toy dog register. This proved to be so detrimental to the breed that in 1924 the governing body took them out of the toy section, and, while keeping them as a distinct variety with separate championships, the interbreeding between them and the Standard again became legal.
"In those days, especially after the war, it was absolutely necessary to revert to large blood in order to improve stock, but today it is quite unnecessary and, as a general rule, undesirable.
"As everyone knows, it was from the small or medium Standard Poodle that Miniatures were evolved, so in all pedigrees we go back, many generations ago, to well known dogs of the large variety. In England, still today, puppies are not eligible to compete in Miniature classification; this clause was put in during those early days as a safeguard against an immature Standard Poodle winning as Miniature in its youth and later growing to large Poodle size.
"The late Mrs Jack Taylor, from whose strain are descended the greatest number of winners today, bred her first Miniature bitch in 1904, the Poodle's name being Wisteria. She was the dwarf of a litter sired by the Standard Romance of Rio Grande, out of the Standard Dolly Varden. From this bitch comes to us the greatest winning and breeding line of bitches ever known. Wisteria was the dam of Star Spangle, which was in turn the dam of Joan of Arc, and Joan was the dam of Ch Arc Angel. Out of Arc Angel came that beautiful bitch, Ch Angel of Mine. Arc Angel won her first championship certificate in 1920 while Romance of Rio Grande was winning as a Standard in 1910.
"It is interesting to note that in 1909 Mrs J.B. Moulton of this country won at Mineola with one of Romance's daughters, and the following year the late Mrs Tyler Morse won with another daughter at Madison Square Garden.
"It was not until 1933 that Miniature Poodles were given a separate classification in this country. Previous to this time, they were shown in the Toy Poodle section, and Mrs Slote of the Reubette Kennel was the principal exhibitor. I do not know when the Marcourt Kennel in Boston was started but at the Westminster show in 1933 the only exhibits were eight carrying the Marcourt prefix and two bred and owned by Mrs Thomas Phayre of Philadelphia. In spite of the fact that in this year the AKC gave the Miniatures their own classes they are still looked upon here as merely a variety of Standard Poodles, and today any Poodle weighing less than 12 pounds may be registered and shown as a Toy Poodle.
"Quite recently we have taken a big step in advance; the AKC has agreed to allow a class for specials only in the Miniature variety as distinct from the Standards, and the supporters of the little fellows are very much elated. It was entirely a waste of time for an exhibitor to show a Miniature in a ring full of Standard dogs, whereas now, under the new ruling, our best Miniatures will only compete finally against the best Standard.
"When one remembers that only four years have elapsed since we had our first recognition as a distinct variety [by which we infer date of publication: 1937], we need not despair; and our next hope is that we shall be granted the right to Stud Book registrations under our own title and our own place in the non-sporting division as a separate breed, not merely as an off-shoot of the Standards. Of course we have got to work hard for our place in the sun, but considering that this year five exhibitors showed 15 Miniatures at Westminster and we have a few new recruits to the fancy each year, we may feel hopeful.
"More and more, too, do we find judges looking for Poodle type over mere diminutiveness, and this is a step in the right direction. Far be it from me to sponsor the 15-inch Miniature, but we must have substance, good quarters and "big-littleness" (if I may be pardoned for coining a word) in our dogs. Weediness, shelliness and lack of muscular development are the chief things to avoid today and they so often go together with extreme smallness.
"I hardly think, judging by present representations of our American-breds, that we need worry about heads; they are excellent as a general rule. In fact, I believe, pro rata, there are more really good Poodle heads in Miniatures than in Standards. And here again, if we try to breed the very tiny Poodle we will eventually sacrifice heads as well as stamina. Our greaest selling point just now is that we can offer a really typical Poodle in small bulk, but our market does not, and should not, come from the people who are looking for a Toy dog in any sense of the word. For this reason a good many people really prefer, as a pet, the Miniature which, strictly speaking we would feel unwilling to bench on account of a possible 14-3/4 inches of height. This gives us a ready market for our occasional big fellows - and beautiful Poodles they are as a rule. As our breeding operations progress we will of course produce fewer and fewer of the over-14-inch dogs (if we breed successfully that is) because each generation properly mated will have less and less hereditary tendency to size.
"In conclusion, a word of advice to novice breeders! Don't start out with the idea that out-crossing is good breeding. As a breed, we have an inestimable advantage in the fact that Miniatures were for years bred by experts and we are young enough to be able to acquire stock which has not yet been ruined by foolish out-crossing. Anyone who has studied pedigrees must realize what an invaluable legacy Mrs Taylor has left us, and if we will only work out our breeding operations with her examples always in our mind's eye we will assuredly be able to produce strains which will breed true and with a minimum of faults."
Hayes Blake Hoyt, "Poodles Across the Pond" (Popular Dogs, 1937)
"Mr Hoyt and I have returned from a month's visit in England, and I cannot begin to describe how nice it was to be in that country again: the country which is so friendly to dogs, and all animals, and so cordial and gracious to fellow enthusiasts. It was a great pleasure to lunch at the English Kennel Club, to chat with Holland Buckley and Mr Bowell, and also to visit our friends, the Cecil Barbers. At the home of the latter we were greatly impressed with a fine, young Sealyham dog, and two very beaufiful Scottie bitches. Mrs Barber took one of the bitches to the Paris Exposition, where it won best terrier in the whole show.
"Naturally, with the Buckleys and the Barbers, the talk was terrier, and we had a grand time comparing Sealys, Scotties and Wires, both American and English. I learned of several interesting probably importations, but must be discreet - I can only assure my readers that some good terriers will probably be here among us within the next few months or so!
"We visited practically all of the Poodle kennels, both Standard and Miniature, and I am pleased to report that the quality of the Poodles in England, while up to ours, is no better; this is a most encouraging improvement on our part, for when we were over there before, Poodles on the whole were superior to those in America. In fact, I would say that the American Standard surpasses its English cousin in head and feet, but that the English Poodle is still ahead of us in size and coat. The English coats, as a rule, are magnificent, of the right texture and quality and absolutely free of mats. The size of the English Standard Poodles is truly astonishing, as most of the winning dogs in England are very large-boned and considerably bigger than our winning dogs here. The Miniatures, as a whole, are rather better than most of ours, and here again the English prefer the larger Miniature to the very small one; that is, a Miniature right up to 14-1/2 inches rather than 10 or 12 inches! They believe, with some justice I think, that the very small Miniature suffers in head, and also in that quality called presence. Most of the Miniatures that I saw had beautiful heads and good leathers, but as in the Standards I felt that our Miniatures were a trifle superior in feet.
"We stopped at the famous Nunsoe Kennels of Miss Jane Lane, where I purchased a black and also a white grandson of Duc. Miss Lane has over 100 Poodles at her kennel and many of them are really beautiful dogs excelling in size and soundness. I was greatly impressed with an apricot-colored male which belongs to both Miss Lane and Mrs Ionides. I doubt whether we could keep this beautiful color in America, owning to our bright sun, but it is exquisite, and this particular dog is a marvelous representative of the breed. I was glad to see Miss Lane's dear old Ch Christopher Robbin again, and he still rules the Nunsoe household!
"Miss Lane has started the particolored Poodle in England and I saw a litter of particolored puppies, very evenly marked black and white, with all black leathers, and white muzzles. At present in England they have a special particolored class for these Poodles, and Miss Lane tells me that they are becoming increasingly popular. I must confess that as a conservative, I do not like them, feeling that, as we have worked so long to get the solid color, Poodles should remain solid color. But I must admit that for particolors these dogs were most evenly marked, and quite stylish in appearance.
"One of the most consistent winning Standard Poodles is a large black dog, named Petro, which is at the kennels of Mrs. Boyd, whom our readers will know as the famous obedience trial expert, and who also has bred some of the finest Miniatures up to date. Petro is a son of my silver Ch Griseley Labory, and one of Mrs Boyd's best bitches is also a daughter of my Griseley. This bitch, by name Portia, is a lovely creature and will go far, I think, when Mrs Boyd brings her out. Mrs Boyd has purchased Duc's full litter brother, Int. Ch Pippo de la Terrace, and we had the pleasure of seeing him go best in show while we were in England. Mrs Boyd also has some very fine Miniatures and I bought five puppies from her which I hope will continue to show the promise they already possess.
"One Sunday while we were at Mrs Boyd's she put on a real show for us, including very advanced obedience trial work and several really brilliant stunts done by Plata, King Leo of Piperscroft, and a silver Miniature male. Mr. Hoyt took movies of these and we hope to have some of the Obedience Club members in to see them, as I know they will be impressed. Perhaps the most amusing stunt was what corresponds to a potato race between Mrs Boyd's Miniature Plata and her great old Ch King Leo of Piperscroft. Instead of potatoes, the dogs retrieved at the word, "Fetch", and each raced back with the article to its owner as fast as it could go. On that day the Miniature won, but we had a feeling that "Tigger", as he is called, is really the fastest worker! There is no question but that by her fine training and, obedience work Mrs Boyd is putting our breed before the public. The other day she gave a performance, entirely composed of Poodles, for the benefit of the Seeing Eye fund.
"Another very fine kennel of Standards belongs to Mrs D'Arcy Thomson, and both Mr Hoyt and I felt that for sheer Poodle type, her dogs could not be surpassed. They have long perfect heads, beautiful leathers, and magnificent coats.
"We went to see Mrs Campbell Inglis, and I discovered that her marvelous little Miniature champion, The Laird of Mannorhead [sic], is just as perfect as rumor described him. Mrs Inglis has a number of very fine Miniatures and I bought her well-known little black bitch, Ch Bonny Bright Eyes of Mannorhead to help start my Miniature kennel over here. Bonny is a daughter of Ch Eric Bright Eyes [sic], and Mrs Boyd's Vanity of Piperscroft. We also greatly admired Ch Eric, and The Laird's brother Limelight. I must say that I have never seen coats in such fine condition and dogs better kept than at the Mannorhead Kennels. As a Poodle breeder I know what it is to have even one dog in perfect show shape all the time; Mrs Inglis has a kennel in this shape all the time, so my readers can imagine the work involved.
"Among the other Miniature breeders it was a great pleasure to meet for the first time, Mrs Vaughn [sic] and Mrs Willets. The latter, as my readers will know, has done a great deal of winning with Ch Spriggan Belle and Spriggan She-Devil. It was a great pleasure to talk to this extremely intelligent breeder and to see some of her famous dogs. Mrs Vaughn has a lovely little brown male Miniature which I envied, as the brown Miniatures are extremely rare.
"We also greatly enjoyed meeting Mrs Tyndale, who has bred many of the best Miniatures in England, and whose name is certainly in all of the good pedigrees.
"We visited Mr and Mrs Harper again and found them the same enthusiastic breeders which they have always been, at the moment very enthused over breeding apricot Standard Poodles. We bought Mr Harper's well-known brown Miniature, John Brown, and also a daughter of John Brown's, and with these two I hope to get a line of brown Miniatures started in America.
"It would be impossible in a short account like this to describe all the good dogs which we saw. I can only urge my readers to cross the pond as soon as they can and see for themselves the good dogs over there, and enjoy, as we did, the very gracious hospitality of the English breeders.
"Poodles shown: registered (AKC Gazette Poodle column, October, 1939, apparently by Alice Lang Rogers)"....I asked Mrs. [Pillicoc] Erlanger's permission to publish a letter which she had written me recently and which I consider of sufficient interest to the fancy to use as a substitute [for her column, which she says is not prepared]. The following lines are extracts from this letter: "'It all started with my reading over some Stud Books and Gazettes, and I was struck with the fact that there were only 434 poodles registered in the year 1938, and the total benching of poodles for that year was 1076. Then I looked up cockers, the most popular breed, and found that there were 16,844 registered for that year and 8456 benched. In other words, we showed over twice as many poodles as were registered during the year and the cocker fancy showed half as many as were accounted for in the Stud Book. "'Now these are rather startling figures. As you know, I am very fond of statistics, only I don't alwas know what to do with them after I get them. I wrote Mr. Jones, the Lord High Statistician of the Gazette, for some past records of registering and benching of the two breeds and what I got was amazing. Here are the figures Mr. Jones sent me: "'American Kennel Club Stud Book Registration
"During the first seven months of 1939, there were 305 poodles registered and 10,052 cockers.
"'The total benching for poodles for 1938 was 1076 and that for cockers, 8456. There were 104 poodles and 196 cockers entered at this year's Westminster show; 111 poodles and 334 cockers at Morris and Essex; 122 at the Poodle Club of America specialty, and 257 at the American Spaniel Club specialty.
"'Now, what does this seem to indicate to you? It looks to me as if our breed was in an extremely healthy condition, and that one poodle out of every two registered has a pretty good chance of getting into the ring. The breed is definitely in the hands of fanciers, and although the above figures show its phenomenal growth in popularity in the past eleven years - we have increased 144.7% in number of registrations - still poodles cannot be considered as one of the popular breeds - that is when you compare 434 registered as against 16,844. No, the amazing thing about these figures is the high percentage of dogs benched as against the few dogs registered.
"'If we can go on at this rate, our breed will continue to grow in popularity, but as a fanciers' breed, and a fanciers' breed is in the best hands. It means that the standard of prices can be maintained, that the breeders can be choosy about the homes to which their dogs are sold, and that the high quality can be upheld.'"
Three interesting articles follow, evidently from the 1930's, RE Wymering, Berkham, and Piperscroft; only the last is (quasi) identified.
The Wymering Kennel of Miniature Poodles owned by Mrs Vaughan
"Ch Somebody retired in 1934 from the ring after beating at his last two shows the three champions Ch S. Bell, The Ghost, and Ch Eric Brighteyes. He won four CCs and many firsts, and was best exhibit in show at Minehead (600 entries) before he became a champion.
"Brown Jack of Wymering, the beautiful two-years-old red-chocolate, has been to four championship shows only. He won third open dog at Met. and Essex (his first show) 1935, second open dog at Windsor 1936, first open dog at Richmond 1936 and third open dog at The Kennel Club. He has sired some beautiful brown puppies. There is a lovely bitch puppy (which Mrs Vaughan is hoping to bring out) exactly the same colour as himself and a very tiny red-brown dog. Two puppies by him have been sold, a lovely tiny blue bitch and a brown bitch, and Mrs Vaughan is hoping to get some good brown puppies by him out of Ch Caddie of Wymering, the well-known little brown bitch who won her fourth CC at Richmond this year and was the best of breed at Crufts also.
"The tiny little winning dog The Subadar, bred by the late Mrs Jack Taylor, who considered him the best sire of to-day, is litter brother to Ch Eric Brighteyes. He sired a beautiful first-prize litter to Ch Caddie (all silvers), they unfortunately died of distemper. He has sired three tiny silver dogs, now six months old, for whom Mrs Vaughan refused an open cheque for either of them. They seem practically perfect, at present anyhow! Their dam is a very small silver daughter of Ch Somebody Platinum Princess. She won first puppy at Cheltenham 1934.
"Chip o'Chopstick, the small blue dog, has been out of coat during 1936. He was three times reserve champion to Ch Eric Brighteyes last year.
"Snowstorm of Wymering is a wonderfully compact little white dog, with lovely ear leather, black eyes, nose, and eye rims. At his first show (the Kennel Club) this year he won third in limit, but at present he is very shy of the ring. He has been booked to two white bitches, so will not be at stud for six months to any more. He has (like the Subadar) the shortest of backs and is cobby and well up on the leg. His head is long and fine, unlike many of this colour.
"At the Kennel Club Show Mrs Vaughan had two offers for the little winning silver bitch Silver Mite from two ladies; one offered an open cheque. However, she is not for sale and is to be mated later to one of the tiny silver puppies (her grand-children). She was best coloured miniature at the Kennel Club Show and won first in blue, her only class. Brown Jack is to be used in this kennel only, and many applications have been made for his services.
"This kennel is noted for good legs and feet, long lean heads and good bodies, and are real miniatures true to type....
[Berkham]....owned by Miss Joan Rochford, Little Berkhamsted Manor House, Hertford
"The aim of these kennels is to breed dogs in whom brains and beauty are com bined, as exemplified in their most famous inmate, Ch Susette, CD Ex, UD Ex, TD Ex. Last year, in addition to winning three challenge certificates on the bench, this bitch won the working challenge certificate at the ASPADS' s spring trials, probably the first champion dog or bitch of any breed to do so. She is now nursing a fine litter by Pompey of Rathnally, some of whom will shortly be for sale.
"Her son, Berkham Apollo, a very smart young brown dog, has done well in breed classes, and was a first-prize winner under Miss Brunker at Thame. He possesses an excellent nose and has qualified CD and UD at trials this year. At the autumn trials he was the only dog entered to get full marks in nose-work.
"A handsome black bitch is Berkham Wilhelmina, winner of the reserve challenge certificate at the Kennel Club show. She is the dam of Berkham Carol [dog], Coquette, and Canewt, and Berkham Apollo is their sire. Berkham Carol, a really handsome black puppy, is a winner every time shown. At the Metropolitan and Essex he won two firsts, and at Birmingham on his first birthday, he won the only class for which he was entered, and was then runner-up for the challenge certificate. He is shaping very well in his obedience training. His brother, Berkham Canewt, was second to him at the Metropolitan and Essex show, and his sister, Berkham Coquette is a lovely black bitch, as yet unshown in this country. She won two firsts at Dublin and is now learning obedience." [No date, format that of Our Dogs Supplement.]
The Piperscroft Kennel of Prize-winning and Obedience-trained Poodles (large and Miniature); owner: Mrs G. Boyd Piperscroft, Nuthurst nr. Horsham, Sussex
"A visit to the Piperscroft Kennels will well repay anyone interested in Poodles, for there they will see a selection of both large and miniature of so good a quality as will please the most fastidious. On doing the round of the kennels I was impressed with the perfect colouring of all the inmates, no white hairs on the blacks, no broken colours, eyes were dark, feet very good. In fact an unsound one was not to be seen. Mrs Boyd takes a great interest in obedience training, for which the Piperscroft Poodles have made a name for themselves. The celebrated brown, King Leo of Piperscroft, has done an enormous amount of obedience work. He has, as a matter of fact, beaten some of our best obedience-trained dogs. Another fine worker in the Piperscroft Kennels is the miniature Silver Plata of Eathorpe, which was trained by Mrs Boyd's kennelmaid, Miss Wickham. Plata is the only obedience-trained miniature in the country and is a perfect worker. Other obedience-trained dogs include Marechal of Piperscroft and Joker of Piperscroft. The latter is now in America where he is doing much to popularise the breed in the States. Joker was trained by Miss Tracey, another of Mrs Boyd's kennelmaids.
"Mrs Boyd aims at intelligence as well as good looks in her favourites. Anyone who has seen the Piperscroft-trained Poodles at work will realise the excellence of their working capabilities. As show dogs they are second to none. The Piperscroft Kennel owns the most consistent winning collection in the country. Over 30 prize-winners are housed and no fewer than nine challenge certificates have been won this year in addition to over 200 prizes - truly a record of which to be proud
"Shortage of space will not permit me to say all I should about the beautiful specimens I saw. I will however, mention a few of the large variety.
"Ch Amour Labory of Piperscroft takes pride of place. She is a black of outstanding merit, has never been beaten in her breed classes, and secured her three CCs without a break. Other fine specimens include Piperscroft Pippo de la Terrasse, a pure white and winner of two CCs; Mousme Labory of Piperscroft, a blue bitch, litter sister to Ch Amour, winner of two CCs at first two shows. The home-bred Bride of Piperscroft is a beautiful white and the 1935 Cruft's CC winner.
"The miniatures include the beautiful black bitch Ch Vanity of Piperscroft, which is one of the best of her kind; Merry of Piperscroft, another excellent black bitch, winner of two CCs; Chieveley Chatty, a black, with one CC to her credit; and Antony of Piperscroft, a silver grey, which has done quite a lot of winning and is one of the finest-headed miniatures I have seen for some time. Another good-headed black which appealed to me was Fleurette of Piperscroft, an eight-months youngster by Ch Eric Brighteyes out of Ch Vanity of Piperscroft. This youngster should make a name for herself when shown.
"I saw some beautiful puppies, both large and miniature. A litter of whites by Piperscroft Pippo de la Terasse out of Samite of Piperscroft, show much promise. They have beautiful eyes and feet, and score in heads and expression. Another fine litter by Pippo out of Reine of Piperscroft, litter sister to Bride of P., will want some stopping when made up. They are excellent whites of the correct type and a credit to their breeding. I saw some splendid black puppies by Schlei of Piperscroft out of Ch Amour Labory of P. They have exceptionally good heads, dark eyes, and excellent legs and feet.
"Of the several litters of miniatures I saw, a special word of praise is due to a family of four blacks by Petit Ami of Piperscroft out of Souvenir of Piperscroft. These youngsters have excellent dark eyes, splendid feet, very short backs, and are excellent showmen. Another litter of blacks by Monty of Piperscroft out of La Pompadour of P. is very promising. La Pompadour, who has just died at the age of eight years, was the dam of the famous Ch Louis of Piperscroft. The youngsters I refer to look like following in his footsteps.
"I have only mentioned a few of the fine specimens I saw. Mrs Boyd has some fine puppies for sale, whites and blacks, at very reasonable prices. Call and see them, they will please you." --Jas. Saunders [probably Our Dogs Supplement]
NB: MA, October '98: "Apparently there was a movie about Poodles made in the late 30s, featuring all aspects of Poodles; there is a strong reference to it in another of these clippings. Please note that Mrs. Erlanger (Pillicoc) made three movies, about Collies, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, and Poodles (Mrs. Hoyt says she trained one of her dogsin five days to do a live-duck/goose retrieve for the Poodle film!)"
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