This section is from the book "The Dogs Of Great Britain, America, And Other Countries. Their Breeding, Training, and Management in Health and Disease", by John Henry Walsh (Stonehenge). Also available from Amazon: The Dogs Of Great Britain, America And Other Countries.
The terrier, as used for hunting, is a strong, useful little dog, with great endurance and courage, and with nearly as good a nose as the beagle or harrier. From his superior courage, when crossed with the bulldog, as most vermin-terriers are, he has generally been kept for killing vermin whose bite would deter the spaniel or the beagle, but would only render the terrier more determined in his pursuit of them. Hence he is the constant attendant on the rat-catcher, and is highly useful to the gamekeeper, as well as to the farmer who is annoyed with rats and mice. Formerly it was the custom to add a couple of terriers to every pack of foxhounds, so as to be ready to aid in bolting the fox when he runs into a drain, or goes to ground in any easily accessible earth; the stoutness of the terrier enabling him, by steadily following on the track, to reach the scene of operations before it would be possible to obtain any other assistance. This aid, however., in consequence of the increased speed of our hounds, is now dispensed with, and the old fox-terrier is out of date, or is only kept for the purpose of destroying ground vermin, such as the rat or the weasel, or as a companion to man, for which purpose his fidelity and tracta-bility make him peculiarly fitted.
Terriers are now usually divided into eight kinds: - 1st, the old English Terrier; 2d, the Scotch; 3d, the Dandie Dinmont; 4th, the Skye; 5th, the Fox Terrier; 6th, the Bedlington; 7th, the Halifax Blue Tan; and 8th, the Modern Toy Terriers of various kinds.
Fig. 11. - ENGLISH TERRIER, BELCHER.
The English Terrier is a smooth-haired dog, weighing from about 6 to 10 lbs. His nose is very long and tapering neatly off, the jaw being slightly overhung, with a high forehead, narrow flat skull, strong muscular jaw, and small bright eye, well set in the head; ears when entire are short and slightly raised, but not absolutely pricked, turning over soon after they leave the head. When cropped they stand up in a point, and rise much higher than they naturally would. The neck is strong, but of a good length; body very symmetrical, with powerful short loins, and chest deep rather than wide. Shoulders generally good, and very powerful, so as to enable the terrier to dig away at an earth for hours together without fatigue, but they must not be so wide as to prevent him from "going to ground." Fore legs straight and strong in muscle, but light in bone, and feet round and hare-like. Hind legs straight but powerful. Tail fine, with a decided down carriage. The color of these dogs should be black and tan, which is the only true color; many are white, slightly marked with black, red, or sometimes, but very rarely, blue.
The true fox-terrier was generally chosen with as much white as possible, so that he might be readily seen, either coming up after the pack, or when in the fox's earth, in almost complete darkness; but these were all crossed with the bull dog. Those which are now kept for general purposes are, however, most prized when of the black and tan color, and the more complete the contrast, that is, the richer the black and tan respectively, the more highly the dog is valued, especially if with out any white. In all cases there should be a small patch of tan over each eye; the nose and palate should always be black. The toes should be pencilled with black reaching more or less up the leg. In the first volume of the stud book, which chronicles the principal shows for fourteen years, he was simply and properly described as the black and tan terrier, "English " of course being understood; but since 1874 they have added to his title, "or Man-cTiester Terrier:" The reason for this change I do not know, as the records of their own stud book do not disclose many names of eminent Manchester breeders or exhibitors besides Mr. Samuel Handley, who bred and exhibited some of the best that have been shown, and who is still generally recognized as one of the best judges of them; and, however great an honor it may be V> be " Manchester," it is a greater honor to be English, and, so far as I can see, the change in name was useless and uncalled for, and derogatory to the breed.
In addition to Mr. Handley, there were years ago the following celebrated Lancashire breeders: Mr. James Barrow, Mr. Joseph Kay, and Mr. William Pearson, all now dead; but the crack dogs now met with at our shows have generally been bred by unknown people, and brought out by astute judges and spirited exhibitors- In the early days of shows Birmingham took the lead in this breed, and Mr. G. Fitter, of that town, who had a good strain, held the first position for several years with his exceptionally good dog Dandy. Of late years the most successful exnibitors have been Mr. George Wilson, Huddersfield; the late Mr. Martin, Manchester; and, more so than either, Mr. Henry Lacy, of Hebden Bridge.
This breed is not such a general favorite with the public as it deserves to be, for it has many excellent qualities to recommend it to those who like a nice pet that does not need nursing, an affectionate, lively, and tractable companion, not given to quarrelling, very active and graceful in his actions, and with pluck enough and a keen zest for hunting and destroying such vermin as rats that infest houses and outbuildings; for with larger vermin, such as the fox, badger, etc., (with exceptional cases), he has not the hardness to cope with or to stand their bites, nor has he the strength even of other terriers of his own weight, as he is formed more for nimble-ness than work requiring power. His most ardent admirers cannot claim for him the courage and obduracy of attack and defence that characterize less pure terriers. As a house dog he is unexcelled, always on the alert, and quick to give alarm.
The Scotch Terrier closely resembles the English dog in all but his coat, which is wiry and rough, and hence he is sometimes called the wire-haired terrier, a name perhaps better suited to a dog which has long been naturalized in England, and whose origin is obscure enough. Beyond this difference in externals, there is little to be said distinctive of the one from the other, the colors being the same, but white being more highly prized in the southern variety, and the black and tan when more or less mixed with grey, so as to give the dog a pepper and salt appearance, being characteristic of the true 8cotch terrier; but there are numberless varieties in size, and also in shape and color. This is a very good vermin dog, and will hunt anything from a fox to a mouse; but while he may be induced to bant feather, he never takes to it like fur, and prefers vermin to game at all times.