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extend over the lower ones, or the lower teeth protrude in front of the upper ones, should be absolute disqualification. This was the creed upon which we were brought up so far as all terriers are concerned, and in bull terriers not the slightest blemish in this particular should be allowed.
The club evidently acknowledges ears cut 'scientifically and according to fashion.” A bull terrier may have either a small drop ear like a fox terrier; or a semi-erect ear, i.e., one that drops down in front at the tips; or a rose ear, one thrown back, is allowable. However, I am not writing this article as a criticism on the work of the Bull Terrier Club, an acknowledged body of responsible admirers of the variety, who ought to know what they are doing. Perhaps on some other occasion they may improve and modify their code, and be a little more explicit as to what disqualifications are, and how far a "patched dog” is handicapped. At the time of writing this there are marked dogs winning prizes on the bench. I also think they might have said something as to the fawn and fallow and brindled dogs, for such are quite as much bull terriers as the white specimens, though they may not be so fashionable.
The Club does not issue a scale of points, but for the sake of uniformity, and because I do not wish to
insult the bull terrier by omitting to do to him what I have done to other dogs, I give him the following tabulation :
SCALE OF Points.
Value. Head, including skull,
Neck and shoulders ... 15 muzzle, lips, jaw, teeth 25 Back Eyes
Legs and feet...
15 Ears (badly cropped or
Grand Total, 100. Colour, pure white for show purposes; but for ordinary purposes a patched dog, i.e., one with fawn or brindled marks, need not be discarded, nor need fawn or fallow or brindled dogs. The latter are even hardier than the whites, which, whether on account of their colour, or because they are cropped, are often quite deaf. In buying a bull terrier always take care that its sense of hearing is acute. that cannot hear until you pull its tail is no use. One or two very high-class bull terriers in other respects have been almost quite deaf. A notable instance of this is to be found in the dog White Wonder, originally sold as a "deaf dog” to a fancier in America for £80. Evidently not passing muster there he came back to this country, and, shown by
Mr. Pegg at Curzon Hall in 1893, was absolutely disqualified by the judge, Mr. Hartley.
This disqualification caused a considerable amount of sensation and unpleasantness at the time, and it was sought to prove that the dog was not actually totally deaf. Perhaps he was not what is called
stone deaf," but he was about as “hard of hearing” as a white fox terrier I once owned, of which a friend wittily remarked, “it could hear well enough when you rang its tail.” Still White Wonder was, in my opinion, sufficiently deaf to justify the action of the judge in the matter.
A very dark hazel eye is desirable, and the small pig-like eyes, with flesh-coloured eye-lids, are to be guarded against. Cherry-coloured or flesh-coloured noses, or parti-coloured noses, should likewise be a severe handicap, if not actual disqualification. The weights ought to be divided-dogs and bitches under 15lb.; dogs and bitches under 30lb. ; and dogs and bitches over 30lb. in weight.
Some bull terriers go up to 45lb., or even 50lb., in weight, but such animals are in reality too big, and as a rule when of such a size they lack symmetry, and have more than an inclination to be coarse and heavy in the head. It is one of the most difficult points to achieve in breeding bull terriers, to have them clean and pleasant in the muzzle, i.e., free
from anything approaching hanging lips or jowl. Throatiness, too, must be guarded against ; indeed, a perfect bull terrier should be as cleanly chiselled or cut in the muzzle, mouth, and neck as a black and tan terrier or as an English white terrier.
In the United States an attempt is being made, or has perhaps in a degree succeeded, to introduce a so-called new variety—the Boston terrier-named after the “hub of the universe.” This animal is, from a description I have been given, and from illustrations forwarded me, nothing more than a very bad strain of the old-fashioned fighting bull terrier, and I fancy has nothing to recommend him, still it is being “ boomed ” in America, and at some shows special classes are provided for him. As is the case with our bull terrier, it is the fashion to have his ears cut.