By: Cheryl Robbins
After noticing several postings on mouths, I thought I would throw out my opinion and my experiences.
A wry mouth, in my understanding, is one that the lower jaw is slanted down on one side. I have never seen one that doesn’t go wry to the right. Always down to the right. If anyone has ever seen one to go wry to the left – please let me know. Also, if it is slanted down to the right side or if one side of the lower jaw is canted or protrudes out farther toward the front of the mouth, in my estimation, it is also called wry. Neither one is acceptable. These mouths will always come back to haunt you in your breeding program, if this dog or bitch is bred.
Early on in our breeding program, from our first litter, there was a gorgeous flashy bitch that had a beautiful mouth as a puppy. We noticed the mouth starting to go off (wry) around 6 months of age. By 9 months it was finished going wry and was not pretty! Not listening to the older and wiser folks in the breed, with their years of wisdom and experience, we bred her to a top producing stud dog with a beautiful mouth.
Out of that litter, we didn’t get one wry mouth. In fact, they were very nice mouths. Two males from that breeding finished their championships quite easily. We didn’t breed her again. She was spayed.
So we bred one of those Ch. sons to one of our nice Ch. bitches. Gorgeous pups, but there were wry mouths in a few of the pups (starting to go wry at about 6 months of age)! It proved to me that it will skip a generation or even two – BUT it will come back to haunt you. All the pups from that litter were sold as pets with a spay/neuter contract and yes, the two Ch. male sons of our bitch with the wry mouth – were never used again!!!!
I have learned that a puppy’s mouth doesn’t mean a thing until about 5 months old. The most beautiful mouths on pups younger than that can go wry. If you get to the 9 month mark with a dog and the mouth is good — THEN you can usually breath a sigh of relief. Since that one experience – and making sure that that line was never bred again – we have been very lucky with mouths. Some are better than others, of course, but by that I mean that some mouths are wider than others, etc.– but no more wry mouths. That doesn’t mean that one won’t pop up sometime in the future. But if it does, I certainly know what to do – DON’T BREED that dog or bitch.
I too was breeding for those beautiful tight mouths. They say you never stop learning. Well, they were right! I finally realized that to get the proper look on the outside, i.e. “from the side, you should see the chin, and the upper lip should rest on the lower lip,” the upper lip should not extend over the lower lip. For all of this to happen, the lower jaw should extend out farther (creating a space between upper and lower jaw). I was always breeding for that (hardly any gap, nice and tight) great bite. Now, too much gap is bad also, because you may see teeth or the shiny part of lower lip.
I am rambling – all I know is that I don’t go crazy over mouths. This is a man-created breed. But I don’t want to see an obviously bad one. But to me, it is the look that the jaw and tooth placement creates on the outside of the head. I think that a trained eye, can look at a Boxer and before even opening the mouth can pretty much tell you what that mouth looks like on the inside. Not always, some can fool you, but most of the time.