Kitsey, Herr Hans, Gluck and Laurel Fluffie - Mismarked Pomeranians
And how they affected the Breed Standard.
Based on an article by Vivienne Peterson B.A. September 2007 (Revised May 2010)
Kitsey born November 9th 1889 is perhaps the most important mismarked Pom ever. She was the dam of the first brown champion Ch Tina and her litter sister Viva (1894) and earlier in 1892 Aigburth Queen.
This dear old lady, with her muzzle frosted with age, was about 10 years old in the photograph - date established by two factors - her daughter Tina was titled in 1899 and it is known that Mrs Hicks took Kitsey for a day out in 1899 to a Toy Dog Show. Her husband Mr Hicks noted in his book of 1906 that Kitsey won 1st place in the Brood bitch class at this show. This photograph may even have been taken to commemorate this occasion – Kitsey seems very proud of her two famous daughters.
In her heyday Kitsey was a winner at Leeds in 1891 and at a Toy Dog show in 1892 before her maternal duties commenced. Her own dam, a black Pom named Lady Daisy, was a Cruft’s winner in 1891 and 1893.
Kitsey was registered as a black and white but as you can see she had a white chest and feet. Bred by Mr Kunkel she was sold to Mrs E. J. Thomas and then re-sold to Mrs Addis (Aigburth) of Liverpool and then to Mrs Hicks with whom she remained for the rest of her life. Aigburth Queen was the dam of Aigburth Prince, the sire of Ch Haughty Prince and gt grandsire of Ch Shelton Sable Atom – so in this way Kitsey lives on in the deep ancestry of most of today’s top Poms.
This rare image of Kitsey is from my own private collection, made even more special for me as this postcard mailed in 1904 was sent to a close neighbour of my own Grandmother who owned a blue Pom in 1904. Perhaps she even saw this card - how neat is that!
The next photograph is of Mrs Wearing proudly posing with her three Poms, two are black with white markings. Both Poms were perfectly acceptable for the original 1892 Breed Standard. I believe one of the two was Herr Hans who is recorded as being born ‘about 1892’ of unknown parentage and his breeder was also unknown.
Described as having a sable tail, with white chest. He was 2nd at the Toy Dog Show in 1893. He was often used at stud and sired black Poms such as Mrs Dyer’s Sweep and Zaida shown around 1899. Herr Hans was the gt grandsire of Ch Afon Gem.
Gluck of Rozelle, bred by Miss Hamilton the first President of The Pomeranian Club, was born in 1891 he was black, white spot on chest, white tips to three feet - this seems to have been the most typical form of mismark. Poor Miss Hamilton had used the most popular stud of the time Ch Black Boy with her prized white Garda-Booh-Wooh who had gained a first at Crufts earlier that year and instead of the anticipated parti - colour a mismark was born. It seems there was originally a prevailing thought this colour liaison may produce parti’s but that usually was not the case. Gluck disappears out of history after receiving an equal 2nd place at Birmingham in 1892.
An important mismark was 7lb Laurel Fluffie as she was the dam of the famous Ch The Sable Mite born in 1902. Mrs Parker describes her as black marked with white producing good wolf sable pups but her black pups were usually mismarked with white. However nobody could underestimate her role in breed history due to the impact of her son Sable Mite.
It is just as well that Mr Hirst had faith in his Laurel Fluffie!
Changes to the Breed Standard
There are dozens of Poms in the Stud Books of the 1890s registered with two colours, like Kitsey, but without the modifying term ‘parti-colour’. More confusingly Poms described by eye -witnesses as real parti-colours are also sometimes registered simply as brown and white or black and white. So it is impossible to determine in most cases which ones were mismarks and which ones were parti-colours. However, there are quite a few described like Gluck with a very detailed account of where they had white markings so from this we learn that mismarks were common and often exhibited.
Obviously breeders attempting to perfect whole colours would object to the fruit of their expensive and planned breeding programme being upstaged by a mismarked version of the colour at a show and also those exhibiting properly marked parti-colours would also be unhappy. As the breed became more popular and colours developed breeders became increasingly fussy hence the frequent attempts to alter the Standard to define what was a mismarked whole colour and what was not a parti-colour.
In 1898 The Pomeranian Club revised the Breed Standard (of 1892) to clarify the difference between a mismark and a parti-colour. The sentence ‘a few white hairs in any self-colours shall not disqualify, but should be discouraged ‘was strengthened to ’a few white hairs in any self-coloured dog shall not absolutely disqualify, but should carry great weight against a dog.’ The definition of a parti-coloured dog was added ‘in parti-coloured dogs, the colours should be evenly distributed on the body’. Leaving no stone unturned (until the next clarification) this was added ‘whole coloured dogs with a white foot or feet, leg or legs, are decidedly objectionable and should be discouraged, and cannot compete as whole coloured specimens’. For good measure in 1901 further changes included ‘ a dog with a white foot or a white chest would not be a parti-coloured.’
In 1906 Mr Hicks wrote that if mismarked dogs were entered in a parti colour class they should immediately be disqualified and so should a white dog with just a streak or two of dark markings. His opinion was that ‘dogs with false markings make very good pets and should be sold by breeders for this purpose’…. this statement does seem ironical though after looking at the photograph of his wife’s Pom Kitsey!
By 1911 Miss Ives noted in her book in the chapter on Parti-colours ‘A dog with white chest and white feet is not a parti-colour, but a mismarked dog.’ adding ‘judges would do well to remember that whole-coloured dogs in whole-coloured classes should take precedence of light shading and white hairs, however profuse the coat may be’.