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.

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