Letter from Edward Jekyll to William Robinson

Scope and Content

Written from Higham Bury, Ampthill, [Bedfordshire]. Manuscript

His method of training dogs is to teach them to fetch, then to hunt, using a bit of fur with partridge wings attached to it, and later a dead bird or small rabbit; this requires time and patience; a terrier’s instinct to shake the prey is the hardest habit to break; teaching must be gradual and stop as soon as it ceases to amuse the dog; he has no experience of Airedales, only of terriers and poodles; he never teaches drawing room tricks; his sporting days are almost over as he is 77 and only hunts rabbits; he wants a small, male smooth-haired terrier for companionship; he only mentioned on seeing the dog in the picture in ‘Gardening Illustrated’, taken in the grounds at Gravetye, wondering if Robinson had a breed of them; he would like to get a pup in spring rather than winter as they recover better from distemper; he asks Robinson not to go to any trouble; he last had a dog ten years ago, a wonder who was lost in a rabbit burrow and emerged from it ten days later but did not survive