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These dogs are somewhat peculiar in disposition, and will sometimes take singular likes and dislikes; they become very attached to their owners and are fascinating companions, but are somewhat more quarrelsome than some other varieties of foreign dogs.
The selection of puppies should not take place too early, as at the time of birth the ears are not erect, but should become so later on, nor is the tongue black. The latter is red when the puppies are born, but in course of a short time a spot or two of black is to be seen which gradually spreads until the whole tongue is covered. This, however, is not invariably so, as sometimes the tongue becomes only partially black, and in some cases does not change at all. In the latter event a dog's chance of winning would, at the present time, be lost altogether, whilst in the former it would be very materially diminished. According to the points of the Chow-Chow Club, a dog that does not carry its tail in the orthodox way should be disqualified, but it ought to be borne in mind that dogs that are at all shy will at once drop their tails when frightened. Although such a defect as the tail not being carried properly in the ring should unquestionably be taken into consideration by the judge, it is a mistake that a dog, however good it may be in all other respects, should be thrown out of competition altogether solely on account of one fault, and one, it should be remembered, that the dog may not really possess, as the bad carriage of the tail may be caused by the strange surroundings of the show ring.
Chow VIII. (Fig. 110) one of the best dogs of the breed exhibited, has had a very successful show career, his typical bead and deep red coat leaving nothing to be desired.
There is another variety of these dogs in which the coat is short; the head much resembles that of a raccoon, and the skin on the forehead is slightly wrinkled. In other prick-eared dogs the inside of the ear is protected by hair, but such is not the case with these dogs, the ear being as smooth as though it had been shaven. Several good specimens of this variety have been exhibited in recent years, but one of the first seen on the show-bench was Chinese Puzzle, a bitch sent to the Zoological Gardens by some one who was under the impression that she was a rare wild animal.
The following are the points of the breed as drawn up by the Chow-Chow Club :—
Head.—Skull flat and broad, with little stop, well filled out under the eyes.
Muzzle.—Moderate in length, and broad from the eyes to the point (not pointed at the end like a fox).
Nose.—Black, large, and wide (in cream-coloured specimens a pink nose is allowable).
Eyes.—Dark and small (in a blue dog light colour is permissible).
Ears.—Small, pointed, and carried stiffly erect. They should be placed well forward over the eyes, which gives the dog the peculiar characteristic expression of the breed — namely, a sort of scowl. Tee th. — Strong and level.
Neck.—Strong, full, set well on the shoulders, and slightly arched.
Shoulders.—Muscular and sloping.
Chest.—Broad and deep.
Back.—Short, straight, and strong.
Tail.—Curled tightly over the back.
Fore Legs.—Perfectly straight, of moderate length, and with great bone. Hind Legs.—Same as fore legs, muscular, and with hocks well let down. Feet.—Small, round, and cat-like, standing well on the toes. Coat.—Abundant, dense, straight, rather coarse in texture, with a soft, woolly undercoat.
Colour.—Whole-coloured black, red, yellow, blue, white, etc., not in patches (the under part of tail and back of thighs frequently of a lighter colour).
General Appearance.—That of a lively, compact, short-coupled dog, well-knit in frame, with tail curled well over the back.
Weight.—From 40Ib. to 50IK
Disqualifying Points.—Drop ears, red tongue, tail not curled over the back, white spots on the coat, and a red nose, except in yellow or white specimens.
Smooth Chows are judged by the same standard, except that the coat is smooth.
Small breeds of dogs are also to be met with in China, one somewhat resembling our Pugs, but longer in coat, and another, a breed
of Toy Spaniels • but as these are fully dealt with elsewhere, there only remains to be mentioned the Crested and Hairless Dogs of the country (Figs. 111 and 112). There can be no doubt that these dogs are the same as the African Sanddog and the Hairless Dogs of Mexico and Japan. They should be entirely without hair, except in the case of the Crested Dogs, which should have a crest of hair on the top of the head and also a tuft of hair at the end of the tail. In the dogs that have been exhibited as African Sand-dogs this crest appears to be shorter and much harsher than in the Chinese dogs. The skin should be bluish in colour, resembling in this respect the colour of an elephant's hide, although it is frequently mottled, which, however, should not be the case. These Terriers are apple-headed, with large bat ears, and vary in size from about lolb. up to 2olb. or 25lb. They are very symmetrical, a quality in which most of the specimens exhibited of late years have been sadly wanting. Care should be taken by an intending purchaser to satisfy himself that he is buying a genuine Hairless Dog, and not a Terrier without hair. Any appearance of tan on the legs and feet would naturally suggest a cross of Black-and-tan Terrier blood. A singular peculiarity in
this breed, to which our-attention has been called by the eminent veterinary surgeon Mr. A. J. Sewell, is the teeth of these dogs. If the mouth is examined, it will be found to resemble that of a pig. The canine teeth, or tusks, are very much smaller than in other dogs of a similar size, and stand out on each side of the jaw; behind these teeth is a space of about an inch, and then come four molars only, instead of the usual number. These Hairless Dogs naturally feel the cold and have to be kept clothed, which frequently causes considerable irritation to the skin.
There is little doubt that this variety originated in Northern Europe, and, if it did not actually come from the district associated with the late Prince Bismarck, and known as Pomerania, that part of the world has produced several varieties of the canine race with many of the characteristics of those we know under the above name.
Although some persons hold the idea that the dogs which have long been kept in Germany, and there called by the generic term of Spitz, are distinct from what in this country we know as Pomeranians, this is not the writer's opinion, which is strengthened by the fact of his having had before him on many occasions specimens imported from Germany—in fact, in the early days of shows most of the best animals of this variety were imported.
It is more than likely that these dogs were not originally kept as pets, but as utility dogs, either as guards or possibly to assist in the care of sheep and cattle. Probably, too, they were not of diminutive size. Selection and interbreeding have doubtless produced the present race of Toys in response to the demand for such. The dogs the writer remembers seeing in different parts of Germany many years ago were larger than even the largest of any seen in this country for a considerable time, although they possessed all the characteristics of the variety to a marked extent. In fact, for true type and character the writer has seen more first-class specimens over 151b. in weight than he has in any of those strictly classed as Toys, and nearly all the best-known specimens have passed through his hands during the last twenty years.
Some old illustrations of what were then called Greenland Dogs, and that were used in pursuit of the polar bears, the writer has seen in books upon dogs published more than fifty years ago. They represented animals of much the same character as Pomeranians, but they were of the size of small Collies. In all instances the colour seemed to be pure white, as it was in other books of the same period in which were shown dogs very similar in appearance