Thursday, April 17, 2008

Scottish Terriers: Show Dogs from the Beginning

American Scottish terrier show, 1915

Working Terriers: Their Management, Training, Work, Etc., by J.C. Bristow-Noble was first published in 1919. The author quickly dismisses the Scottish terriers as workers, noting that:

"I shall not say anything about the breeds of Scotch terriers, for, although some of the individual members of the different breeds are often useful in the field of sport, in the aggregate the dogs cannot come under the heading of workers. The fox terrier and the comparatively new breed of terrier -- the Sealyham -- are the workers, and paradoxical as it may sound, the better bred these are, of less value are they for work. As a matter of fact, all the best workers are either cross-bred fox terries or cross-bred Sealyhams."

If you read this paragraph carefully, three points are being made: 1) That the real working terriers of the early part of the 20th Century were what we would call Jack Russell Terriers today; 2) The more a dog was bred for looks, the less likely it was going to do well in the field, and; 3) By the turn of the 20th Century, Scottish terriers were seen as kitchen companions and show dogs, not working dogs found in the field.

The Scottish Terrier was recognized by the Kennel Club in 1879 (six years after the UK Kennel Club began), and the first terrier entered was Paynton Pigott's "Granite" -- a very long-backed dog, whose dam and sire had both been registered as Cairn Terriers.

To buy a copy of Working Terriers: Their Management, Training, Work, Etc., by J.C. Bristow-Noble, see >> Read Country Books

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