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“As a domestic watch and pet companion he is unsurpassed. Centuries gone by he was ‘ greatly set up, esteemed, taken up, and made much of’; and down to more recent times even ‘a duchess would almost be ashamed to be seen in the park unaccompanied by her long-coated Skye.’ To the present day he remains as unchanged as any variety of the canine race, and has certainly lost none 'of his merits or attractions. Exceptionally clean and sweet, less dependent on exercise than any other, his delicate sensibility, shrewd sagacity, exclusive attachment, and devoted courage, combined with his elegant form, graceful attire, and aristocratic air, render him, during his brief day—
“A thing of beauty and a joy for ever.
“ For club use and general reference, full descriptive details are subjoined, these having, as already stated, been adopted by the Skye Terrier Club of England :—
“ I. Head—Long, with powerful jaws and incisive teeth closing level, or upper just fitting over under. Skull: wide at front of brow, narrowing between ears, and tapering gradually towards muzzle, with little falling in between or behind the eyes. Eyes: hazel, medium size, close set. Muzzle; always “2. Ears (Prick or Pendant).—When prick, not large, erect at outer edges, and slanting towards each other at inner, from peak to skull. When pendant, larger, hanging straight, lying flat, and close at front.
“ 3. Body.—Pre-eminently long and low. Shoulders broad, chest deep, ribs well sprung and oval-shaped, giving flattish appearance to sides. Hind quarters and flank full and well developed. Back level and slightly declining from top of hip joint to shoulders. Neck long and gently crested.
“4. Tail.——When hanging, upper half perpendicular, under half thrown backwards in a curve. When raised, a prolongation of the incline of the back, and not rising higher nor curling up.
“5. Legs.—Short, straight, and muscular. No dew claws. Feet large and pointing forward.
“'6. Coat (Double).—An under.- short, close, soft, and woolly. An oz'er: long—averaging 5%in.— hard, straight, flat, andfree from crisp or curl. Hair on head: shorter, softer, and veiling forehead and eyes; on_ ears: overhanging inside, falling down, and ‘ mingling with side'locks, not heavily, but surrounding ’the' ear like a fringe, and allowing its shape to appear. Tail also gracefully feathered-
“ 7. Colour (Any Variety).——Dark or light blue or grey, or fawn with black points. Shade of head and legs approximating that of body.”
Dog. Height at shoulder, gin.
Length, back of skull to root of tail, 22%in.; muzzle to back of skull, 8%in.; root of tail to tip joint, gin. Total length, 40in. I
Half an inch lower and two and a. half inches shorter than dog, all parts proportional; thus, body 21in,
Dog, 181b.; Bitch, 16lb. No dog shall be over 201b., nor under
3.—P01NTS, WITH VALUE. Points. Height, with 410 inches high ....... .. 5
. Size. 2 length and '\ 9 ,, ,, ....... .. 10%15 proportions ( 8% ,, ,, ....... .. 15
Scale for bitches one-half inch lower throughout.
Skull and eyes ............................ .. 10 . H d. j I 2 ea Jaws and teeth ............................ .. 5f I5 3. Ears. Carriage, with shape, size, and feather... 10 ( Back and neck ............................ .. 0 I . B a' I. 4 0 J ZChest and ribs ............................ .. 5 i ’5 5. Tail. Carriage and feather ...................... .. 10 (Straightness and shortness ............. .. 6. I. . < 5 IgI (Strength .......... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 5 IO Hardiness .................................. .. 10 7. Coal. , Lankness 5 \ 20 Length ..................................... .. 5 8. Colour and Candi/ion .................................. .. 5
1. Over extreme weight to be handicapped 5 points per lb. of excess. '
2. Over or under shot mouth to disqualify.
3. Doctored ears or tails to disqualify.
4. No extra value for greater length of coat than 5%in. Not to be commended under a total of 60 points.
5. Not to be highly commended ,, 65 ,, (Not to be very highly commended ,, 7o ,, No specials to be given ,, 75 .1!
So much for all the Scottish fanciers have said and done for the Skye terrier. Little more remains for me to say, but this chapter ought not to be closed without a word of warning to those breeders who are producing their terriers too big—quite over-sized, in fact. Some of the best show specimens have thus been severely handicapped, and it is to be hoped that judges will make a dead set against “big terriers,” and stick rigidly to the standard adopted by the Scottish Club, and so discard-all dogs which are over zolb. in weight. This is quite a fair limit, as is that for bitches, which must not exceed 181b.
There is no doubt that the club’s description printed on the preceding pages has been most carefully and skilfully drawn up, but the difficulty seems to be in getting the judges to abide by such ruling, or even by ruling of any kind. Nor can they be blamed for
having a decided opinion of their own, and I am pretty certain that a man who occupies the position of a judge in the “ dog ring” should not only have an opinion of his own, but be strong enough in his convictions to abide by it. If he does so, and is competent to perform satisfactorily the work he has undertaken, he is less likely to make a mistake than when he attempts to carry out the ideas of others. Of course these remarks apply to judges of other varieties of the dog, as well as to those who adjudicate upon Skye terriers.
Since the preceding pages, in which allusion is made to the Roseneath terrier, were printed, Lady George Campbell informs me that these little dogs were carefully kept by the Dukes of Argyle for many generations before Clarke was head-keeper there. It was only about 1843 that the “pack” was dispersed, when he took two or three specimens to Roseneath.