THE WEST HIGHLAND WHITE TERRIER
By Roy Croft.
Within the last four or five years, this handsome, alert and courageous little dog, now known as the West Highland White Terrier, seems to have taken the bench-show-loving public by storm. It is, however, not a new breed, it is on the contrary one of the oldest of the groups which include the Skyes, the Scotties and many others from the highlands of bonny Scotland. Like all other terriers from this section, he is net quite the dog he was before he was taken hold of and improved for the show bench, and yet with all his "improvements," he retains the gameness and courage of his early ancestors.
His origin traces from the highlands of Argyllshire, that rock-bound section of north Scotland where a terrier is used for real arduous, not to say dangerous work, of going to earth after foxes, pole-cats, badgers, and other vermin so plentiful in that section, among the many cairns and rocks of Argyllshire, which, by the way, is a very different undertaking than it is in England or in this country, where the nature of the ground permits the digging out of the quarry. It means a fight to a finish in this rocky country, without any assistance from his master, and that is the purpose this game little dog was originally bred for.
In past years, this little dog was known under various names, and when he was first introduced to the English dog showing public, it was under the name of "Poltalloch" Terriers, derived from the estate of that name owned by the Malcolms, the present owner, and a very enthusiastic admirer of the breed being Col. E. D. Malcolm. C. B.
Other names that this species were known by were Roseneath Terrier, Cairn, While Scottish Terrier, etc., until only recently, a club devoted to the breed was formed, and a more appropriate and fitting title adopted, and it is under this new form that he has sprung into such sudden popularity. Up until 1911, classes were given at the New York show for Koseneath Terriers, but that year the classification was given under the new name and a splendid exhibition of the breed was to be seen there. All of the previous fall American breeders had been investing in the little white terrier from the Highlands, hence the interest in the breed at (his show was almost unprecedented.
The judge at this show was B. W. Powlett, of Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, which is the home of the West Highland White.
It is often remarked that many judges make the mistake of judging this dog as they would a Scottish Terrier, under the impression that he is the same dog with a white coat, but those supporting the breed caution against this error, as he is a distinct type of dog, and is not to be confounded with the Scottie. The general appearance of the West Highland Terrier, as adopted by the West Highland White Terrier Club of England, is that of a small, game, hard-looking terrier, possessed of no small amount of self-esteem, with a varminty appearance, strongly built, deep in chest and back ribs, straight back and powerful quarters on muscular legs, and exhibiting in a marked degree, a great combination of strength and activity.
The coat should be about two and one-fourth inches long, white in color, hard, with plenty of soft undercoat with no tendency to wave or curl. The tail should be as straight as possible, and not carried too gaily, covered with hard hair, but not bushy. The skull should not be too broad, being in proportion to the powerful jaws. The ears should be as small and as sharp pointed as possible, and carried tightly up, and must be absolutely erect. The eyes of moderate size, dark hazel in color, widely placed, with a sharp, bright, intelligent expression.
The muzzle should not be too long, powerful, and gradually tapering to the nose. The nose, roof of mouth and pads of feet, distinctly black in color.
Fur, News. Fur News, January 1916.
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