Scottish Terrier Club of America, 1915
Most people do not know that the Cairn Terrier, the West Highland White and the Scottie were considered the same breed of dog until the last two decades of the 19th Century. As late as 1900 it was said that these three "breeds" could, in fact, be found in the same litter.
Until the last decade of the 19th Century, the term "Scottish terrier" was less of a description of a specific breed of dog than it was a geographical suggestion of where a wide array of dogs was said to originate from.
Within the "Scottish terrier" umbrella, were Cairns, Westies, Skye, and "Aberdeen" terriers. It was this last dog that was transformed into the "Scottie" we know today.
The Scottish Terrier was registered by the American Kennel Club in 1885 and the first "Scottish Terrier Club" was created in England in 1887, and in Scotland in 1888.
Yes, those dates are correct -- the Scottish terrier breed name was recognized in the U.S. before England, and in England before Scotland. Clearly this was a breed made in the ring and not in the ground!
In fact, it was not until 1917 that the Kennel Club of Great Britain prohibited interbreeding between Scotties, Westies and Cairns -- the first step toward true breed recognition.
By 1917 few Scotties were being worked, and for a very simple reason: the dogs were too big.
Today's breed description for the Scottie is of a dog with a chest that is "very deep & broad" -- the exact opposite of what one wants in a working terrier!
Due to large heads, enormous chests, and excessive body weight, many of today's Scotties are born Cesarean. It is hard to imagine a clearer indication of how much show-ring breeders have distorted this dog to the point of ruination.
- Related Links
** Great Scots Magazine: Pushing for Better Health
** Great Scott, That's a Good Breed Health Study!
This post is recycled from February of 2009.