The Terriers of Scotland and Ireland: Their History and Development

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9780944875919: The Terriers of Scotland and Ireland: Their History and Development

If you love dogs in general and terriers in particular then you will love this book. The book is the first of a two volume work about the Terriers of the British Isles. Many dog owners are interested in their breed, not from a formal stance, but from the perspective of its 'informal' history. For instance, the phenomenal popularity of the Collie and German Shepherd over the years can be traced to popularity of Lassie and The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin. Every child who watched these shows knew that, if they owned one, their dog would behave in an identical manner to their TV or film heroes. 'Terriers of Scotland and Ireland' is a 'terrier social history'. It is more concerned about their working and companion qualities and with the origins of the breed than in detailing the qualities of big prize-winners. The book is historically accurate and provides the professional dog owner with the data needed to develop an improved breeding program. Whether you are a professional or an amateur dog owner you will have endless hours of enjoyable reading.

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Early Terrier History

Abraham Fleming (1576) sugested that terriers were essentilly hounds; specifically, they were the smallest of the hounds and were used only for fox and badger. He then provided a detailed description of how the dogs worked. They crept into the burrows and nipped and bit the badger or fox; then, the dog either slew the prey underground, hauled it out into daylight, or through fear, forced the animal to bolt its shelter. If the dog chose the last route, the fox or badger could then be snared or netted. ...

In 1760, W. Daniel wrote a fairly detailed description of the terriers with which he was familiar, noting their courage, tenacity, and fighting skill. ...

In 1774, Oliver Goldsmith observed that it was the terrier's job to rout the fox or badger, or to inform the hunter of its location, but not actually dispatch the animal. With the exception of a few breeds, such as the Manchester, which excels as a rat killer, most terriers were not bred to kill their adversary. ....

There is a great deal of evidence to suggest that Scotland is home to the oldest terrier breeds. John Lesley, for example, who wrote "The History of Scotland from 1436 to 1561" (1830), suggested the existence of terrier-type dogs in that area some four and half centuries ago.

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