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.
"Let me try to describe one of the best terriers that ever went to ground after otter, badger, fox, or marten. Old Mart weighed 12lb. or 141b.; long-backed, broken-haired, with black back and tan legs; a small head, with powerful jaws; ears small and tulip-shaped - so small that they almost looked as if they had been cropped. Then there was Wasp, out of Mart by a dog that followed the Patterdale hounds. Wasp was low set, of a blueish colour, smaller than her mother - in fact, she reminded you of a diminutive Bedlington. Then we had a larger terrier, broken-haired, which I always fancied had a touch of the bull in him. One who has hunted on foot with them for ten years, and is now nearly 'shelved,' may be pardoned for a little senile egotism.
"Let me relate the pluck of these three little beauties. Returning home from a marten hunt from Seat Sandal, our terriers marked, and went to ground under Helm Crag, which consists of large boulders and loose stones. We were not long waiting before a scrimmage was taking place far beneath us. To get them away by calling was useless; the labour of removing the rubbish was immense. With the aid of some willing assistance, after working all night, we came upon the terriers with their foe, a badger. They had fought the badger for more than ten hours. Poor Mart was lifted out almost lifeless, and never recovered her assailants bites; Pincher lost his nose, and his frontispiece was for ever marked; while little Wasp seemed to have escaped with few scars. Rydal Head and Helvellyn have been the scenes of many a joyous hunting day after marten cat and foulmart.
"I brought down to North Devon a pup of Wasp's; she did not disgrace the courage of her progenitors. Many an otter has she tackled on the river Taw, and on my fishing excursions my faithful companion has roused me by her fighting an otter under the banks. After a time otter and terrier would bolt into the river, Vic holding on and going under water with the otter until breath failed. I regret to say that old age has told its tale, and she has departed - a game and faithful companion for fourteen years.
"The Elterwater terriers had plenty of go in them, and no shaking or trembling at your heels, in frost and snow, like so many of the terriers of the present day".
Of course, masters of otter hounds continue to keep hard cross-bred terriers, for it is a fact that a majority of the fashionably bred ones cannot stand hard, wet work and kennel living. Mr. Carrick, when master of the Carlisle pack, had that wonderful little fellow Teddy and many others. But one equally good, and which had appearance likewise to recommend him, was Mr. Wilkinson's favourite when he had his hounds at Neasham Abbey. The name of this terrier, which we have seen drive three otters from one drain, we cannot just call to mind; he was a miniature of that grand old Adam which, shown by McAdam Graham, more than once figured on the show-bench successfully. Almost all huntsmen who work the rough districts of England and Wales have dogs which will do the duty required of them, and to some such are invaluable. Mr. John Benson had some hard terriers running with the West Cumberland otter hounds, and for two or three seasons a good-looking white "show-ring dog" did yeoman's service, at times swimming with the hounds as well as going to ground as occasion required. This was one of the few exceptions where handsomeness and utility were combined in one fox terrier.
Away in the wildest portions of the Cumberland lake district, little Tommy Dobson, bobbin-turner by trade and foxhunter by inclination and repute, is as well known as ever Dick Christian was with the Quorn; but Dobson has to kill his foxes up in the hills and fastnesses of Eskdale, round about Wast Water, and elsewhere, amidst rocks and crags. He does this by running them to ground with a few couples of foxhounds, of a lighter build than those of Leicestershire and other hunting countries. When once marked, the terriers do the remainder, in many cases killing the fox in his earth, in others maiming him so that he is easily caught by the hounds, and in the remainder making the "red rover" bolt, when he perhaps will make the best of his way to more "fox holes," where he may remain in safety, if not in the meantime pulled down in the open. This "great little huntsman" has generally two or three brace of terriers, whose working qualities cannot be surpassed. Their constitutions are hard as nails, for they have to live on the poorest of fare, and even in some cases require to sup with Duke Humphrey after an arduous day on the hills. These, again, are of no particular strain - mongrels, if you will, and some of them have been personally known to me. Yellow Jack, to outward appearance a half-bred Bedlington, would go out of sight anywhere, and face otter or fox, and fight with either or both. This dog was not fond of water, but when out with the Kendal otter hounds, and game was afoot, he hesitated at nothing, and swam wet drains which other terriers dared not enter. He would fight and punish any otter until it was forced to bolt. Tinker was a dog of a different stamp, smooth-coated, and dark brown or liver-coloured; his head, ears, and feet were so good that, white and hound-marked, his figure at the Fox Terrier Club's show would have attracted attention. As good in some respects as Jack, Tinker was quarrelsome underground, where he has repeatedly fought and killed a strange dog; and querulousness is a great fault in any terrier. A snap at a hound in a kennel may cause a commotion likely to prove fatal, and a dog ill-natured with his own species is not always so game to the core as one which keeps his ferocity in check until it be required against the enemy of his race.
In North Yorkshire there is still to be found a similar terrier. The southern counties, too, have always had some of them, and "Devonian," writing to the Field in June, 1885, draws attention thereto. The Earl of Macclesfield had a strain of black and tan hard-haired terriers in Warwickshire. Another family of the same type was to be found in Hertfordshire; and "Badger," in the columns of the Fietdhas told us of Squire Jenny's Monk, whose excellences were often shown after a run with his master's foxhounds in Suffolk. Various engravings and paintings - to be seen in old magazines, sporting works, and hanging on the walls of our country mansions - likewise afford proof that a black and tan terrier, with a rough coat, was more common in almost every county in England than the white or patched fox terrier was at the same time. And fawn or red dogs, and others pepper and salt of the same strain, were great favourites with the people. Colour was of little consideration so long as the dog could do the work his master intended him for.