This section is from the book "The Terriers. A History And Description Of The Modern Dogs Of Great Britain And Ireland", by Rawdon B. Lee. Also available from Amazon: A History and Description of the Modern Dogs of Great Britain and Ireland: The Terriers.
About the same period, or a little later, a sporting stonemason had a little terrier, not more than 61b. in weight, a cross-bred one, with a longish coat, and not the slightest sign of the Yorkshire toy about her, which was a perfect wonder. As the fellow said, "killing a score of rats was a little holiday to her," she would buckle a fox, and her love for creeping was an actual nuisance, for if she ever saw an open drain or sewer, ferret-like she would give herself a shake, and immediately disappear on an exploration sub-terrestrial. The only other bond fide toy I ever knew - that is, a dog under 61b. weight that loved creeping - was a little yellow bitch, which went with the Stockton otter hounds some dozen years or so ago. This was a game little creature, but, unfortunately, excitement with hounds, and a "mark" at some holt, repeatedly brought on a fit, which quite spoiled the pleasure of seeing her good work. Amongst other notable terriers was one of my own earliest possessions, that was peculiar only so in appearance. He was a chesnut in colour, darker on the back, and shading down to tan on the legs and sides; his nose, too, was of the same hue, and his eyes formed an exact match. Handsomeness was not his characteristic. Then we called him a Scotch terrier, now his coat would have been plucked to make him eligible for the Welsh terrier class. His accomplishments were many, for, in addition to leaping through hoops, sitting up, and walking on his hind legs, he could retrieve fur and feather well and quickly. In the field, either above or under ground, he would do all required of a terrier, and, as a rat hunter at the water's edge, he had few superiors; and a big, strong rat in the river or canal affords sport - well, certainly of a higher class than pigeon shooting and rabbit coursing with fox terriers. A little hard-coated, dirty-coloured fawn bitch, about 161b. weight, of the common strain the writer possessed, showed a wonderful nose (we broke them to trail hunting when about six months old), and at seven she would run the scent of a rabbit skin a couple of miles and beat all competitors. Unfortunately, this bitch was ill-natured, and was not kept long. Several of her sisters, brothers, and cousins were celebrities in their various stations of life. They could kill a fox or foulmart, and were what is known now as being "dead game." These were longish-coated dogs, generally in colour fawn, or fawn tinged with brown, varying from 141b. to 20lb. in weight; they had small drop ears, which sometimes hung down at the sides of the cheeks, and possessed a certain amount of otter-hound character. Rather more terrier-like was a strain once kept by the gunpowder makers at Elterwater, in the English lake district, where there was a pack of otter hounds. The men here living almost at the foot of the lake mountains, had ample opportunity to try their dogs with the mountain foxes, marts, and stoats, which in past days were not uncommon. One of the coopers possessed a little, pale red bitch called Worry, not more than 141b. in weight, and worth her weight in gold, so everybody said. That she was a good one could not be doubted; a five-pound note was more than once refused for her, and her owner got from fifteen to twenty shillings each for her puppies. In those times half-a-crown was a common price for a four weeks old puppy, and less than a sovereign for a broken dog. Thus Worry's reputation was a great one, and when I saw her without a whimper, and with little trouble, kill a huge foulmart in a plantation by the river side, it was plain enough that her reputation had not been obtained by fraudulent means.
Such terriers as the latter were, half a century and longer ago, common enough in Cumberland and Westmoreland. The old printer, who taught me how to dress flies and catch trout, was never tired of talking about his little Pepper, who had, however, died long before I was born. Poor little chap, they docked his tail on the "making-up stone" in the "composing" room of a now defunct local newspaper, and then took him into the editorial office below, where the carrier had brought from Martindale Fells a beautiful "sweetmart" (Martes foina). Notwithstanding the still bleeding stump, Pepper was ready for the fray, and, though in the combat his nose was twice split, the formidable "marten cat" was ultimately made ready for the earlier process of the taxidermists skill. Worry, mated with another wonderfully game terrier - a dark-coloured one, Cockerton's Crab - produced a litter of puppies, one of which won prizes in the earlier days of dog shows. Crab won second prize at Kendal show in 1872, had no superior under ground, and many are the foxes he has driven from, or killed in, the huge earths, which are, however, of rock, that honeycomb Whitbarrow Scar. Mr. W. H. B. Cockerton, of Richmond, Surrey, has in his possession a portrait of his brother taken over thirty years ago, in which one of this strain of terriers occupies a leading position. This variety of a useful sort of dog is now lost. No care was taken to breed him in continuity, there was no adoption of type, and on the introduction of the smooth fox terrier, which could be sold for more money, the less fashionable and coarser looking creature had to give way.
Of these North-country terriers a correspondent, writing from Devonshire to the Field in 1886, says : "The dormant spirit of an old fell hunter has recently been keenly awakened at the mention of the Elterwater terriers, which breed, I am informed, is nearly extinct. Thirty years ago Mr. Robinson, of Elterwater, kept a pack of rough hounds equally good at otter or marten cat. The summers were devoted to the pursuit of the 'fishmonger'; in the winter the marten cat was our game. I can endorse every word of your correspondent as to the game-ness of the terriers that followed Tom Myers (the huntsman) over crag and fell. The origin of the breed is rather confused, and not to be relied on; 'Ye ken John Peel, I reckon? - one of his sort,' was the usual Westmorland reply to the inquiring stranger.