SCOTTISH TERRIER
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Scottish Terrier >> History

 

One hundred and twenty years ago in Scotland there was no dog that fit the standard for the breed that we know today. Dog breeding generally was not familiar with the ideals of beauty, while selection was based entirely on the working abilities of the dog. Hard living conditions created a type of dog not intended for the nobility, but for common, modest people. They needed a small, active, strong and self-reliant dog. He did not need much care, ate little and for the most part caught its own food. He had to be able to defend the yard and the livestock from foxes and badgers, so he had to be brave disproportionately to his size, with a long head and powerful jaws and teeth.

Such a "big dog in a small package" we still know today. If we compare his teeth to those of an Alsatian, we will find that they are practically the same size. The firm, sharp fur with dense under-fur protected him from the cold and all sorts of bad weather. Large and strong front paws enabled him to dig around the entrances of fox and badger holes. Of course, animals such as rats and martins were intruders in his environment, and were swiftly eliminated. The neighbour's cat is a mortal enemy, and as a matter of honour and reputation each Scottie carefully watches this enemy to make sure that he does not cross the border. This proud, stubborn and sometimes haughty dog was called in his homeland "the cockerel of the north".

The Scottish Terrier was and is a strong dog on short legs, brave, self-reliant and sufficiently independent to do what he judges best in a given moment. Hence, it is not unusual that the breed which we know today has survived for centuries. There have been some notable changes in appearance, which is normal because the dog is not used for the same purpose today as it once was.

He is now heavier and rounder, with a shorter back, longer hair and a modern "haircut" which gives him the looks of a gentleman. This specific appearance has opened many doors for him, including the catwalk and as an escort to elegant ladies, although by the traditional English classification of male and female escorts, a Scottish Terrier is considered a "man's dog".

Everyone remembers him from the most beautiful cartoon ever made about dogs, "Lady and the Tramp" by Walt Disney, where he acted as the retired captain with a Scottish tartan overcoat. Paul Rab draws comics of a Scottish Terrier named Rac, which is why this name is popular for the entire breed in the USA. We all know the Black & White whisky label, which features both a white West Scotland Terrier and a black Scottish Terrier . Our grandmothers had bookmarks, figures and brooches by Swarovsky in the shape of a Scottish Terrier, while their husbands owned ties with the same motif.

This is the only breed of dog that has been in the White House three times! President Roosevelt didn't go anywhere without his famous Scottie Fala, while President George W Bush can be seen entering the aeroplane with Barney, the current "first dog" of the USA, in his arms. Barney recently got a companion, Miss Beazley. The Americans are really a special nation: when they really love something, they go crazy over it. Hence, all information about the presidential Scottie can be found on the web pages of the White House, www.whitehouse.gov/barney/ with new photos every day, and the possibility of writing Barney an e-mail. Hence, the Scottish Terrier became the first breed of dog with access to electronic communication!

Kennel Petscott
 

 
Brundo 2006