Illustration by Louis Agassiz Fuertes
There are many kinds of lay spaniels, and in imperfect specimens it is sometimes difficult to know just where to place them. To add to the ease of confusion, fashion or caprice sometimes dictates new names for old friends, and the maze of synonyms is hard for the uninitiated to follow.
The Japanese is largely white, with either black or red, brown, fawn, or orange patches, clearly and as near as possible symmetrically distributed. It is virtually essential that the head should be marked about as shown, with the eyes, cheeks, ears, and sides of neck dark, leaving the muzzle, stop, forehead, and crown white.
This is a cobby little dog, standing well up on its legs (thus differing from the Peke). The ears are moderate—in fact, small—for a spaniel. The nose is very short and the forehead very high and round. It would be badly apole-headed in other breeds than toy spaniels, wnere it is a much-cherished "dome." The tail is carried on the back or twisted high to one side. In shows they are classed as above or below seven pounds. Like all these toy terriers, they are snobbish to a degree and view all strangers from a disdainful angle, and are ready with a repellent snarl or snap to meet any advance.
The Japanese spaniel is also of ancient Eastern origin and may have descended from the Tibet spaniel, which is supposed to be the ancestor of the Pekingese. But he is a much smaller dog, weighing from four to nine pounds or thereabouts. Like other Oriental lap-dogs, he was bred small that he might easily be carried in the sleeve.
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