|Mountain Girl: Always happy when one with the earth.|
Apologists for over-large terriers will sometimes argue that their animals have flexible chests and a great deal of desire, and can "eventually get there".
Perhaps, but some skepticism is in order.
Yes a flexible chest is important, but only at the margins of correct size.
If a dog has a 17 inch chest, it is not going to find 3 inches of flex in its rib cage.
Nothing is more plastic than water, but you cannot put a gallon of water in a pint bottle, no matter how hard you pound!
Desire and gameness is important, of course, but if a dog is too large for the earth, it is not going to be able to excavate a 20 foot length of pipe to get to its groundhog, fox, or raccoon.
Dogs at the very margin of correct size in youth, are likely to be less useful as old age (and perhaps pregnancy and added weight) result in the chest springing out a little more and getting stiffer as well.
Start with a dog that has a chest under 14 inches, and you will never regret it.