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Terriers of Scotland

Scottie and Westie

The various Terriers of Scotland developed from the ancient long bodied, short legged, rough coated terrier which is believed to be the oldest variety of the canine race indigenous to North Britain[1]. When man first settled there, survival depended on hunting animals which lived beneath the ground such as otters and badgers. These provided meat for eating and skins for protection against the wind and snow.

Cairn Terrier c 1800

Map Scotland

Until around 1800 this game little terrier was known by various names including the Skye Terrier, the Scotch Terrier, the Scots Terrier, the Highland Terrier, the Aberdeen Terrier and the Die Hard. But during the 1800's when pictures and word descriptions became more available in print, detailed descriptions began to emerge. The First English Stud Book names two classes for Terriers of Scotland - the Skye Terrier and Broken Haired Scotch and Yorkshire Terriers. These formed the basis for the distinct modern breeds of terriers of Scotland we know today.

The Dandie Dinmont is considered by some people as a Terrier of Scotland. But because of its obvious connection to the Bedlington Terrier and the other Terriers of the Border Region, it is considered there.

References and Further Reading

[1]Rawdon B. Lee, "Modern Dogs" of Great Britain and Ireland (Third Edition) London:Horace Cox, "Field" Office, Windsor House, Bream's Buildings, E.C.England 1903 Chapter X1, Page 281

See also Jane Harvey, DVD 'Terriers Then & Now' Published by Rangeaire Vision, Melbourne ISBN 978-0-9804296-4-0

See also 'The Historical Function of Terriers'

West Highland White Terrier

Cairn and West Highland White Terrier

The Cairn Terrier and the West Highland White Terriers ("Westie') are considered together here because of the common origin of these two breeds. These rough coated working terriers hunted badger, otter and fox that lived in the rocky highlands or cairns on the West coast of Scotland. Working within the confines of rocky lairs was very different to working in soft earth. So the Cairn and Westie had to not only be especially game and fearless, they also had to... »» Read more...

Skye Terrier

Skye and Scottish Terrier

Although named in the first English Stud book, the modern Skye Terrier is very different to his working ancestor named in that book. The Scottish Terrier listed in this same Stud Book as the Broken Haired Scotch Terrier, is also now a very different dog to his working ancestor. Because of their historic similarity in construction, these two breeds are considered here together. This gives an alternative approach to understanding how the modern exaggerations in both breeds gradually evolved. »» Read more...