The Little Things That Had a “Why”

If we don’t know the history of our breeds, we may not always know why our dogs are “built” the way they are, and not especially if it’s a “little thing.”

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier has little ears, and the illustrated guide is quite explicit in describing them. They should be small and thin, set tightly rose or half prick, and not large nor heavy in leather. They shouldn’t droop low, nor should they appear too large in proportion to the dog’s overall head itself. They should be tidy.  If the ear is too high, it detracts from the dog’s classic expression. Indeed, the guide writes, “Ears should not be set high on the head, giving a flighty appearance, nor too low giving an inattentive appearance.” 

The Staffie’s rose (preferred) or half-pricked ears (acceptable) are an important part of breed type, but they are also a gauge of the dog’s mood, alertness, and emotions. Historically, however, this type of ear also protected the leather of the dog’s ear from damage by an opponent back in the dark days of dog fights. Thankfully, that blood “sport” has been relegated to the past, and today we see the ears as the top part of a figurative frame setting off the often goofy smile of this people-loving breed.

Image:  Staffordshire Bull Terrier by © otsphoto | Dreamstime stock photo


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