This section is from the book "Toy Dogs And Their Ancestors", by Neville Lytton. Also available from Amazon: Toy Dogs And Their Ancestors: Including The History And Management Of Toy Spaniels, Pekingese, Japanese, And Pomeranians.
Very bold and courageous, a merry shower, and irrepressibly active, always skipping and jumping about as if full of hidden springs, and with a passion for games, racing its companions and flying in pursuit of a leaf or a shadow simply for the sheer joy of living.
Loving, affectionate, and sweet-tempered, and deeply attached to its owner; inquisitive, watchful, busy little dogs, interested in everything that goes on, hearty feeders, ready to eat anything, and never ailing or depressed, they should be full of wiles and tricks and amusing devices, with an intelligence which must be experienced to be believed.
Dalziel wrote in 1879:"I can see no good ground for the natural and far more beautiful shape of the head and muzzle of the original (Blenheim) being superseded by the one in vogue. It is an instance of the breeder's skill exercised in a wrong direction, for the noseless specimens with abnormally developed skulls I look upon as the results of a perverted taste, obtained at the sacrifice of intrinsic qualities, and without sufficient redeeming points to equalise the loss." He also mentions Mr. Julius's joke in 1877 in ridicule of the fashion.
1 The Ruby has one drawback compared to other toy Spaniels in the fact that he has not the sweet-scented coat of the Blenheim and Tricolours but is apt to be a little "foxy."
Idstone says: "I would allow - indeed, I would insist upon - a deep indentation between the eyes, added to the high skull and a moderately short face, but the projecting lower jaw, the frog mouth, and the broken nose, free from all cartilage, I decidedly object to. I should expect to see a Spaniel with a pretty face, well coated all over, large-eared, large-eyed, rich-coloured, with a bushy tail, well-feathered feet, and diminutive in stature, in preference to the snuffling, apple-headed, idiotic animals too often bred by the Fancy, and which ought to be discouraged, though, if judging, I would not put them aside until some definite conclusion had been arrived at, as an adverse decision would be unfair to the exhibitor during the present state of things."
Stonehenge speaks of the King Charles of 1828 as resembling "a Gordon Setter reduced in scale, being like that dog not only in colour, which was in that breed black-and-tan, with or without white, but also in the shape of the body and head." He is here confusing the King Charles with the Pyrame. He considers, in spite of the extraordinary things that can be done by the judicious selection, that the noseless type is the result of a cross. I entirely agree with him.
Is it not curious that a type introduced as a joke should actually have become the serious aim and object of serious breeders? One is tempted to wish that Mr. Julius had had no such sense of humour, as the previous King Charles type was pretty and worth preserving.
Who can seriously maintain that the photograph of my dog, "Spotted Lily," is an ideal representation of a "fairy among dogs" ? 1 Yet she is a valuable specimen and has bred first-prize winners.
Breeders and judges must be careful not to allow the eye to become perverted by accustoming themselves to ugliness and exaggeration. I myself, in a somewhat natural anxiety to outdo my neighbours in exhibiting marvels, have occasionally kept dogs which my common sense, artistic sense, and hygienic sense have told me were all wrong inside and out, and I have spoken and written with enthusiasm of dogs which were merely wonderful productions of amazing peculiarities. Nevertheless I have always had an uncomfortable feeling of shame in giving or receiving a prize to or for dogs which I felt would be considered grotesque by saner judgment, and the unflatteringly candid opinions of the public at large on some of my winners have struck me as both just and reasonable. Of late years, however, I have resisted the temptation to buy wrong types simply because I knew they were going to win valuable prizes, and would rather take second place with the right type than first with a wrong one.
There is method in the proper selection of the short-nosed type, and if my readers have followed me sufficiently carefully, it will not be necessary for me to point out to them which of the types of winning dogs published in these pages are the wrong ones. There are dogs with peaked or flat skulls, drawn muzzles, crooked eyes, and bad expressions, which my readers must discover for themselves. I have given them an ideal type for reference, and if this is carefully compared with the other types the differences will become obvious to critical minds. There are several illustrations of noseless dogs - Champion The Advocate, Champion The Dragon Fly, Champion Red Clover, and Champion Captain Kettle. All of these are noseless, and each represents a different type.
1 Quotation from "The Field."