INTERPRETING THE RUSSELL TERRIER BREED STANDARD
“A DOG CANNOT BE JUDGED WITH A RULER AND PROTRACTOR. THE ONLY MEASURE TO APPLY IS THE EYE AND THAT MUST HAVE BEHIND IT A MIND BACKED BY EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE OF THE BREED AND FREE FROM ALL PRECONCEPTIONS AND IRRELEVANT PREJUDICES.”
Fig 7. The spine from the withers to the root of the tail is divided into thoracic, lumbar, and sacral sections in a constant correlation of 2:1:1. Yerusalimsky’s Postulate #1. Courtesy of Stefano Serafini.
Rasbridge: “A dog cannot be judged with a ruler and protractor. The only measure to apply is the eye and that must have behind it a mind backed by experience and knowledge of the breed and free from all preconceptions and irrelevant prejudices.” Forequarters As was mentioned previously, balance must exist not only for the whole, but also within the parts of the dog. The upper arm should be equal or nearly equal to the length of the scapula, forming an approximate 90-degree angle.
describes the orientation of the scapula and pelvis as having similar angles so that an intersecting line creates a 90-degree angle (Fig 2). Postulate No. 3 says that a vertical line drawn down from the intersection of the lines in postulate 2 will be the dog’s center of gravity (Fig 8). Postulate No. 4 states that the shoulder and hip should be at the same level on a horizontal line and that the elbow and stifle joints should be level with each other on a second horizon- tal line (Fig 5). We will skip postulate No. 5 since it has to do with movement. Postu- late No. 6 describes the need for the point of the elbow to sit on a vertical line directly below the withers, while the stifle joint lies on a vertical line below the base of the tail (Fig 9). Lastly, postulate No. 7 states that the length of the body (sternum to point of the hip) shall equal the distance between the front leg and the hind leg when the rear pastern is vertical (Fig 10). Yerusalimsky’s suggested biomechani- cal model of a balanced dog does, indeed, fit the breed standard described for the Rus- sell Terrier; a balanced silhouette with no one part exaggerated over another. We can use postulate No. 1 to further theorize the Russell’s ideal proportions. By maintaining a 2:1:1 ratio (or 4:2:2) for the backline, we can postulate the proportions for the rest of the dog by maintaining the symmetry required in the standard (Fig 11). This gets us closer to defining a blueprint for the Russell Terrier, moving from concepts into a mathematical model that Yerusalim- sky attempted to define. Although these ratios allow us to draw an image, we must always remember the advice fromMr. W. J.
Fig 8. A vertical line drawn down from the intersection of the lines for the shoulder and hip represents the center of gravity. Yerusalimsky’s Postulate #3. Courtesy of Stefano Serafini.
Fig 9. The elbow and stifle joints sit on verticle lines directly below the withers and the base of the tail, respectively. Courtesy of Christina Areskough.
Eugene Yerusalimsky, dog judge and researcher of canine biomechanics, first presented a theory of the biomechani- cal model of the dog, in 1964, in which the arrangement of body proportions fits a harmonic model. (Dog Conformation and Its Evaluation, Moscow 2008.) Yeru- salimsky explained that much of nature finds harmonic chords called the “Golden Section” and he postulated that the ideal arrangement of body proportions (ratios) in the dog also follow this unifying prin- ciple, and that it applies to the overwhelm- ing majority of dog breeds. His intent was to show that nature’s default is to always create balance. How do his theories fit the ideal construction of the Russell Terrier? Yerusalimsky’s postulate No. 1 states that the spine, from the withers to the root of the tail, is divided into thoracic, lum- bar, and sacral sections in a constant cor- relation of 2:1:1 (Fig 7). Postulate No. 2
Fig 10. Distance between point of shoulder and point of hip equals the distance between the feet when the hock and pastern are perpendicular to the ground. Yerusalimsky’s Postulate #7.
Fig 11. Estimated proportions of parts of the Russell Terrier fitting the biomechanical model of the dog and the breed standard. A=Shelf, B=Croup, C=Loin, D=Chest, E=Shoulder, F=Forechest. Figure adapted from a photo provided by Stefano Serafini .
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