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The Scottish Terrier

The Scottish Terrier as a show dog dates from about 1877 to 1879. He
seems almost at once to have attained popularity, and he has
progressed gradually since then, ever in an upward direction, until he
is to-day one of the most popular and extensively owned varieties of
the dog. Sir Paynton Pigott had, at the date mentioned, a very fine
kennel of the breed, for in The Live Stock Journal of May 30th,
1879, we find his kennel fully reviewed in a most enthusiastic manner
by a correspondent who visited it in consequence of a controversy that
was going on at the time, as to whether or not there was such a dog at
all, and who, therefore, wished to see and judge for himself as to
this point. At the end of his report on the kennel the writer adds
these words: It was certainly one of the happiest days of my life to
have the pleasure of looking over so many grand little dogs, but to
find them in England quite staggered me. Four dogs and eight bitches
are not a bad beginning, and with care and judicious selection in
mating, I have little doubt but Mr. Pigott's kennel will be as
renowned for Terriers as the late Mr. Laverack's was for Setters. I
know but few that take such a delight in the brave little 'die-hards'
as Mr. Pigott, and he may well feel proud of the lot he has got
together at great trouble and expense.

The fact that there was such a kennel already in existence proved, of
course, a strong point in favour of the bona fides of the breed. The
best dog in it was Granite, whose portrait and description were given
in the Journal in connection with the said review; and the other
animals of the kennel being of the same type, it was at once recognised
that there was, in fact, such a breed, and the mouths of the doubters
were stopped.

Granite was unquestionably a typical Scottish Terrier, even as we know
them at the present day. He was certainly longer in the back than we
care for nowadays, and his head also was shorter, and his jaw more
snipy than is now seen, but his portrait clearly shows he was a
genuine Scottish Terrier, and there is no doubt that he, with his
kennel mates, Tartan, Crofter, Syringa, Cavack, and Posey, conferred
benefit upon the breed.

To dive deeper into the antiquity of the Scottish Terrier is a thing
which means that he who tries it must be prepared to meet all sorts of
abuse, ridicule, and criticism. One man will tell you there never was
any such thing as the present-day Scottish Terrier, that the mere fact
of his having prick ears shows he is a mongrel; another, that he is
merely an offshoot of the Skye or the Dandie; another, that the only
Scottish Terrier that is a Scottish Terrier is a white one; another,
that he is merely a manufactured article from Aberdeen, and so on ad

It is a most extraordinary fact that Scotland should have unto herself
so many different varieties of the terrier. There is strong presumption
that they one and all came originally from one variety, and it is
quite possible, nay probable, that different crosses into other
varieties have produced the assortment of to-day. The writer is
strongly of opinion that there still exist in Scotland at the present
time specimens of the breed which propagated the lot, which was what
is called even now the Highland Terrier, a little long-backed,
short-legged, snipy-faced, prick or drop-eared, mostly sandy and
black-coloured terrier, game as a pebble, lively as a cricket, and all
in all a most charming little companion; and further, that to produce
our present-day Scottish Terrier--or shall we say, to improve the
points of his progenitor?--the assistance of our old friend the Black
and Tan wire-haired terrier of England was sought by a few astute
people living probably not very far from Aberdeen.

Scottish Terriers frequently go by the name of Aberdeen Terriers--an
appellation, it is true, usually heard only from the lips of people
who do not know much about them. Mr. W. L. McCandlish, one of the
greatest living authorities on the breed, in an able treatise
published some time back, tells us, in reference to this matter, that
the terrier under notice went at different periods under the names of
Highland, Cairn, Aberdeen, and Scotch; that he is now known by the
proud title of Scottish Terrier; and that the only surviving trace of
the differing nomenclature is the title Aberdeen, which many people
still regard as a different breed--a want of knowledge frequently
turned to account by the unscrupulous dealer who is able to sell under
the name of Aberdeen a dog too bad to dispose of as a Scottish
Terrier. But there can be no doubt that originally there must have
been some reason for the name. In a letter to the writer, Sir
Paynton Pigott says, Some people call them and advertise them as the
Aberdeen Terrier, which is altogether a mistake; but the reason of it
is that forty years ago a Dr. Van Bust, who lived in Aberdeen, bred
these terriers to a large extent and sold them, and those buying them
called them, in consequence, 'Aberdeen Terriers,' whereas they were in
reality merely a picked sort of Old Scotch or Highland Terrier. Sir
Paynton himself, as appears from the columns of The Live Stock
Journal (March 2nd, 1877), bought some of the strain of Van Bust, and
therein gives a full description of the same.

Sir Paynton Pigott's kennel of the breed assumed quite large
proportions, and was most successful, several times winning all the
prizes offered in the variety at different shows. He may well be
called the Father of the breed in England, for when he gave up
exhibiting, a great deal of his best blood got into the kennels of
Mr. H. J. Ludlow, who, as everyone knows, has done such a tremendous
amount of good in popularising the breed and has also himself produced
such a galaxy of specimens of the very best class. Mr. Ludlow's first
terrier was a bitch called Splinter II. The name of Kildee is, in the
breed, almost world-famous, and it is interesting to note that in
every line does he go back to the said Splinter II. Rambler--called by
the great authorities the first pillar of the stud book--was a son of
a dog called Bon-Accord, and it is to this latter dog and Roger Rough,
and also the aforesaid Tartan and Splinter II. that nearly all of the
best present-day pedigrees go back. This being so, it is unnecessary
to give many more names of dogs who have in their generations of some
years back assisted in bringing the breed to its present state of
perfection. An exception, however, must be made in the case of two
sons of Rambler, by name Dundee and Alister, names very familiar in
the Scottish Terrier pedigrees of the present day. Alister especially
was quite an extraordinary stud dog. His progeny were legion, and some
very good terriers of to-day own him as progenitor in nearly every
line. The best descendants of Alister were Kildee, Tiree, Whinstone,
Prince Alexander, and Heather Prince. He was apparently too much
inbred to, and though he produced or was responsible for several
beautiful terriers, it is much to be doubted whether in a breed which
is suffering from the ill-effects of too much inbreeding, he was not
one of the greatest sinners.

The Scottish Terrier Club was formed in the year 1882. In the same
year a joint committee drew up a standard of perfection for the breed,
Messrs. J. B. Morison and Thomson Gray, two gentlemen who were looked
upon as great authorities, having a good deal to do with it.

* * * * *

long, slightly domed and covered with short hard hair about 3/4 inch
long or less. It should not be quite flat, as there should be a sort
of stop or drop between the eyes. MUZZLE--Very powerful, and gradually
tapering towards the nose, which should always be black and of a good
size. The jaws should be perfectly level, and the teeth square, though
the nose projects somewhat over the mouth which gives the impression
of the upper jaw being longer than the under one. EYES--A dark-brown
or hazel colour; small, piercing, very bright and rather sunken.
EARS--Very small, prick or half prick (the former is preferable), but
never drop. They should also be sharp pointed, and the hair on them
should not be long, but velvety, and they should not be cut. The ears
should be free from any fringe at the top. NECK--Short, thick and
muscular; strongly set on sloping shoulders. CHEST--Broad in comparison
to the size of the dog, and proportionately deep. BODY--Of moderate
length, but not so long as a Skye's, and rather flat-sided; well
ribbed up, and exceedingly strong in hind-quarters. LEGS AND FEET--Both
fore and hind legs should be short and very heavy in bone, the former
being straight and well set on under the body, as the Scottish Terrier
should not be out at elbows. The hocks should be bent, and the thighs
very muscular, and the feet strong, small and thickly covered with
short hair, the fore feet being larger than the hind ones. TAIL--Should
be about 7 inches long, never docked, carried with a slight bend and
often gaily. COAT--Should be rather short (about 2 inches), intensely
hard and wiry in texture, and very dense all over the body. SIZE--From
15 lb. to 20 lb.; the best weight being as near as possible 18 lb. for
dogs, and 16 lb. for bitches when in condition for work. COLOUR--Steel
or iron grey, black brindle, brown brindle, grey brindle, black, sandy
and wheaten. White markings are objectionable, and can only be allowed
on the chest and to a small extent. GENERAL APPEARANCE--The face
should wear a very sharp, bright and active expression, and the head
should be carried up. The dog (owing to the shortness of his coat)
should appear to be higher on the leg than he really is; but at the
same time he should look compact and possessed of great muscle in his
hind-quarters. In fact, a Scottish Terrier, though essentially a
terrier, cannot be too powerfully put together, and should be from
about 9 inches to 12 inches in height.

SPECIAL FAULTS: MUZZLE--Either under or over hung. EYES--Large or
light-coloured. EARS--Large, round at the points or drop. It is also a
fault if they are too heavily covered with hair. LEGS--Bent, or
slightly bent, and out at elbows. COAT--Any silkiness, wave or
tendency to curl is a serious blemish, as is also an open coat.
SIZE--Specimens of over 20 lb. should be discouraged.

* * * * *

There have, of recent years, been many very excellent specimens of the
Scottish Terrier bred and exhibited. Preeminent among them stands Mrs.
Hannay's Ch. Heworth Rascal, who was a most symmetrical terrier, and
probably the nearest approach to perfection in the breed yet seen.
Other very first-class terriers have been the same lady's Ch. Gair,
Mr. Powlett's Ch. Callum Dhu, Mr. McCandlish's Ems Cosmetic, Mr.
Chapman's Heather Bob and Heather Charm, Mr. Kinnear's Seafield Rascal,
Mr. Wood's Hyndman Chief, Messrs. Buckley and Mills's Clonmel Invader,
and Mr. Deane Willis's Ch. Huntley Daisy and Ch. Carter Laddie.

It is highly probable that of all the terrier tribe, the Scottie,
taken as a whole, is the best companion. He makes a most excellent
house-dog, is not too big, does not leave white hairs about all over
the place, loves only his master and his master's household, and is,
withal, a capable and reliable guard. He is, as a rule, a game,
attractive terrier, with heaps of brain power, and from a show point
of view there is always some recompense in keeping him, as it will be
found he breeds true to type and does not beget offspring of all sorts,
shapes, and makes.

Next: The West Highland White Terrier

Previous: The Welsh Terrier

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