This section is from the book "The Terriers. A History And Description Of The Modern Dogs Of Great Britain And Ireland", by Rawdon B. Lee. Also available from Amazon: A History and Description of the Modern Dogs of Great Britain and Ireland: The Terriers.
With all of which I cordially agree, and in this age we must be content with the "survival of the fittest." It is only to be expected that in the common course of events, when we are introducing new varieties of the dog from foreign countries and re-popularising varieties of our own, that the least suitable must go to the wall sooner or later, and those animals of which their admirers say they are not fit to be kept unless they are shorn of their ears, will no doubt be the first to go, especially when such mutilation is illegal and brings its perpetrators within reach of the law against cruelty to animals.
At the time I am writing this, some of the best of our white terriers are to be found in Scotland, for which there is no particular reason, as the Scottish shows give them no more encouragement than they receive this side the Border. Mr. Ballan-tyne, at Edinburgh, has a particularly good kennel, his Morning Star and Rising Star being especially notable; Dr. Lees Bell's Leeds Elect is another noteworthy dog at the present day, whilst Mr. C. Randall in Liverpool has a kennel that includes Bange, Little Beauty, and Semolina, all winners at our leading shows, as are Mr. J. P. Heap's Eclipse and Mr. G. H. Newman's Nobility; Mr. J. E. Walsh's Lady of the Lake; Mr. J. M. Dobbie's Silver Blaze; Mr. W. Smith's Duchesse III., and others shown by Messrs. Heap and Lee.
Generally, the English white terrier ought to be constructed on pretty much the same lines as a black and tan terrier, but he must never reach the full size of the latter variety, and he should be a more compact and a more sprightly little dog generally, possessing a character of his own in the latter respect. He may vary in weight from, say, 61b. to 141b., and a perfect specimen of the small size is as pretty and elegant a little creature as anyone need desire to possess, though he may be delicate and perhaps deaf. No colour in a perfect specimen is allowable but pure white, eyes dark hazel, or as dark as they can be had, nose perfectly black, and the eye-lashes must be as dark as possible; a cherry or partly cherry coloured nose, or yellow gooseberry coloured eyes ought to disqualify. Tail carried straight from the back without curl, and gradually tapering to a point; the ears are usually cropped, and "trained" to stand quite upright with an inward inclination. It is, or was, the custom to have a "longer crop" on this dog than on the bull terrier - the ears were allowed to remain of greater length. The ear in its natural state may be either a button ear, which drops down more or less in front, as is the case with the fox terrier, or it may be semi-prick, which is standing erect, and dropping over in front at the tips. Some are born with large erect ears, certainly by no means picturesque on a dog of the variety, hence possibly the reason why the "fancier" endeavoured to improve upon nature, and cut such ears into what he considered an elegant shape. Fore legs straight, with nice amount of bone; hind legs nicely trimmed and proportionate. The feet ought to be as round and thick as those of a fox terrier or bull terrier, although good feet are seldom seen on this terrier, they having more than an inclination to be long - harelike in fact, which to my idea shows more than a sign of a cross with the Italian greyhound. The coat fine, though fairly strong, and so close that it should quite hide any of the black skin marks that appear in so many instances on smooth coated white dogs of all kinds. The teeth must be perfectly level and sound. They are not always the former, and I rather astonished an exhibitor some years ago when I had his white terrier before me in a"variety class," a dog that had hitherto never been shown without winning a prize. It was, however, undershot, and of course I left it out of the list of winners altogether, nor did the owner consider me wrong in so doing.
The description of the white English terrier as drawn up by the club is as follows; the table of points is not issued by the club, but the figures, in my opinion, indicate the numerical value of each property as nearly as possible :
Narrow, long and level, almost flat skull, without cheek muscles, wedge-shaped, well filled up under the eyes, tapering to the nose, and not lippy.
Small and black, set fairly close together, and oblong in shape.
Cropped and standing perfectly erect.
The neck should be fairly long and tapering from the shoulders to the head, with sloping shoulders, the neck being free from throatiness, and slightly arched at the occiput.
Narrow and deep.
Short and curving upwards at the loin, ribs sprung out behind the shoulders, back slightly arched at loin, and falling again at the joining of the tail to the same height as the shoulders.
Perfectly straight and well under the body, moderate in bone, and of proportionate length.
Feet nicely arched, with toes set well together, and more inclined to be round than hare-footed.
Moderate length, and set on where the arch of the back ends, thick where it joins the body, tapering to a point, and not carried higher than the back.
Close, hard, short, and glossy.
Pure white; coloured marking to disqualify.
Flesh and muscles to be hard and firm.
From 12lb. to 201b.
Head, including skull, mouth, and muzzle ...
Eyes and expression.......
Neck and shoulders................
Legs, Feet and chest..............
General symmetry and body.......................
Grand Total, 100-F 2
Disqualifications, coloured markings of any kind and uneven teeth, i.e., teeth either "undershot" or "overshot." A dog I2lb. to 141b. is better than one weighing 181b., hence the points allowed for size. As a matter of fact, I do not ever remember seeing a really so-called pure English white terrier up to 2olb., the maximum allowed by the club. Perhaps it may be wise in making such an extreme limit in order to stop any decadence which may be perceptible in the variety, generally through breeding from small and more or less puny parents.