Scottish terriers aren't the only terriers from Scotland. They are one of several types of terrier hailing from the northern reaches of the United Kingdom. The Scottie's ancestors earned their keep by chasing small prey through rugged terrain, so their reputation for being sturdy despite their size is well deserved.
Small dogs with terrier-like characteristics are depicted in art work and literature from the Scottish region as early as the 16th century. They were portrayed as pets in some cases, but farmers and hunters also prized their ability to chase vermin into their nests. Local groups of terriers began to develop separately due to the distance and subsequent lack of communication between the settlements scattered throughout the less populated regions of Scotland.
First Official Appearance
The first dog show to include the Scottish terrier class took place in 1860 in the English city of Birmingham. The class appeared in other shows during the next two decades. Some Scottish residents protested the first classification of Scottish terrier, because it also included Skye, Dandie and Yorkshire terriers among others, according to the American Kennel Club. In 1877, Capt. Gordon Murray published a detailed description of the "true" Scottish terrier to quell the dispute over what types of terrier could compete as Scottish terriers. The standards for modern Scottish terriers were created in 1880 and clubs devoted to the breed emerged in 1882.
Introduction to the United States
Despite the celebrity Scotties enjoyed in Great Britain, it took a while for them to catch on in the United States. John Naylor had the honor of being the first to introduce the breed to North America when he brought Tam Glen and Bonnie Belle across the ocean in 1883, according to the American Kennel Club. Years later he brought more dogs, including one named Whinstone, to the states. Whinstone is credited as the primary sire of modern Scottish terriers bred in the United States. A Scottish terrier club was created in the US in 1900 and a standard was written in 1925, according to Scottish Terrier Dog World.
After the Scottish terrier's introduction to North America, the breed slowly gained the notice of animal lovers and dog show enthusiasts through the 1940s, according to Animal Planet. It became a cultural staple after Scottie-owner Franklin Roosevelt was elected president. Dog shows around the planet were put on hold during World War II began, but Scottish terriers have been a staple of shows throughout North America and the United Kingdom since.
Quentin Coleman has written for various publications, including All Pet News and Safe to Work Australia. He spent more tan 10 years nursing kittens, treating sick animals and domesticating semi-feral cats for a local animal shelter. He graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor's degree in journalism.