Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Rare Breed Appreciation Day: The Scarlett Point Terrier

The Scarlett Point Terrier is named after the Scarlett Point Radar Station on the Isle of Man where they were first bred during World War II.

It seems that when the Chain Home radar stations were first being built around 1939, it was not always easy for the operators to tell the difference between an airplane and a flock or birds.

At the Scarlett Point Radar Station, however, there was a young radio operator who noticed that his terrier would sit up and cock his head at about the same time as an airplane first appeared on scope. The dog never paid any mind if it was a flock of birds, however. Clearly the dog could hear the airplanes from a great distance!

After that, small prick-eared terriers where acquired and used to "zero in" and calibrate all of the radar stations ringing Britain.  Without those dogs, the people of Great Britain might very well be speaking German today!

After the war, a few old radar operators bred the dogs and kept the breed alive up into the 1970s.  A few descendants of these dog are reported to be around, but without a concerted breeding program to rescue these heirloom dogs, they may yet slip into oblivion.  Time for an SOS!  Save our Scarlett terriers!


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