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considerable discussion it was decided that the ears should be “small and semi-erect,” but that other shapes of the aural appendages should not disqualify.
As a fact, ‘bull terriers are bred with ears of various kinds—perfectly erect ears known as tulip ears, which are the easiest to produce and therefore the ugliest. The rose ear, which should be of nice size, fine in quality, “folding inwards at its back, the upper or front edge curving over outwards and backwards, showing part of theinside of the burr ”— this is the ear seen on the best specimens of the bulldog. The semi-erect ear stands up thickest at the roots, and turns down at the tips where the flesh and skin are finer—this is the ear adopted by the club, and it will be recognised as being similar to that seen on the collie. The “ button ” or drop ear is what the latter name denotes. It should be small and fine in texture, and such as is common to the fox terrier, Irish terrier, and on some other terriers. The erect ear, ugly and unsightly, is not likely to be popular with bull terrier breeders. Between the semi-erect, rose, and drop ears there is little to choose, but perhaps that adopted by the Club, a small semi-erect ear, is the most characteristic of the dog of which we write. On looking at Mr. Wardle’s drawing, which precedes this chapter, he will be a bold man who can say that the bull terriers
there are not quite as typical and even handsomer and more sprightly in appearance than such as we have been so long accustomed to gaze upon, with their ears unnaturally cut and “sticking up like darts.”
At the “big show” in February, 1896 (soon after the edict against cropping), promoted by Mr. C. Cruft, and which took place at Islington, several young bull terriers were benched which had excellent natural ears. Mr. F. Hinks’s Amiability, about 3olb. in weight, possesses pretty semi-erect ears, and they looked very well, but this style of ear does not appear to such great advantage on large sized dogs, say between 351b. and 5olb. in weight. Several of the latter had excellent rose ears, fine in texture, small, and well-carried, Mr. Pegg and Mr. Wanamaker both exhibiting specimens of considerable merit with ears of this class. Mr. Hinks had a bull terrier with very small and beautifully carried drop ears, which looked fairly well, though, to my mind, not so satisfactory as good rose ears. Of course, all the winning dogs Mr. Monk and others are showing now have natural ears, and those semi-erect are most usually found. Indeed, the bull terriers on the bench have become quite uniform, and now that we have become accustomed to ears that are not standing “erect as darts” there seems to be a likelihood of an increasing popularity so far as the bull terrier is concerned.
Few will regret the abolishment of a custom which, in addition to being cruel in the extreme, was terribly troublesome, thoroughly illegal, and absolutely detrimental to the interests of the varieties to which it mostly applied. Had this magisterial decision been given a quarter of a century since there is every probability that at the present time the bull terrier would have been fighting a battle for popularity with the fox terrier, instead of the contest resting as it does between the fox terrier and the Irish terrier. A nicely modelled bull terrier, not more than I6lb. weight, is quite as elegant a dog as either, and equally useful and companionable.
The Bull Terrier Club, established in 1887, has adopted the following description of what a bull terrier should be—
“ General Appearance.—The general appearance of the bull terrier is that of a symmetrical animal, an embodiment of agility, grace, elegance, and determination.
“ Head—The head should be long, flat, and wide between the ears, tapering to the nose, without cheek muscles. There should be a slight indentation down the face, without a ‘stop’ between the eyes.- The jaws should be long and very powerful, with a large black nose and open nostrils. Eyes small and very black, almond shape preferred. The lips should meet as tightly as possible, without a fold. The teeth should be regular in shape, and should meet exactly; any deviation, such as a ‘pig jaw,’ or being ‘ under-hung,’ is a great fault.
“Ewan—The ears when cropped for the Show bench Should be done scientifically and according to fashion. Cropped dogs cannot win a prize at shows heldunder Kennel Club Rules if born after 3ISt March, 1895. The ear to breed for as settled by this club is a small semi-erect ear, but other ears do not ‘ disqualify.
“Neck—The neck should be long and slightly arched, nicely set'into the shoulders, tapering to the head without any loose skin, as found in the bulldog.
“ Shoulders.-—The shoulders should be strong, muscular, and slanting; the chest wide and deep, with ribs well rounded.
“ Bach—The back short and muscular, but not out of proportion to the general contour of the animal.
“Legs—The fore legs should be perfectly straight, with well-developed muscles ; not ‘out at shoulder,’ but set on the racing lines, and very strong at the pastern joints. The hind legs are long and, in proportion to the forelegs, muscular, with good, strong, straight hocks, well let down near the ground.
“ Feet.——The feet more resemble those of a cat than a hare.
“ Colour—Should be white.
“ Coat—Short, close, and stiff to the touch, with a fine gloss.
“ T ail.—The tail should be short in proportion to the size of the dog, set on very low down, thick where it joins the body, and tapering to a fine point. It should be carried at an angle of about 45 deg. without curl, and never over the back.
“ lVezght.—From 151b. to 6olb.”
“The points and descriptions of the toy bull terrier exactly the same as those of the large bull terriers. Weight under l5lb.”
As a matter of fact, I do not think very much of the above description, because of its meagreness and incompleteness, and am almost afraid that when it was drawn up (it was re-adopted in 1902) sundry dogs that had not totally black noses and were somewhat uneven in mouth Were occasionally winning prizes. “ Over-shot ” or “ under-shot ” mouths, that is where the upper teeth 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 I was brought up so far as all terriers are concerned, and in bull terriers not the slightest blemish in this particular