General description of the dog, territory of origin of the Border Terrier, progenitors, development of the breed and work on its recognition, achievement of the variety, current situation, participation in cultural events. Border Terrier, officially recognized by the Kennel Club of Great Britain in 1920 and the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1930. These dogs share their ancestry with the dandy dinmont terrier and bedlington terrier. Their name comes from the Scottish lands. The species is believed to have originated at some point in the 14th century.
Although the breed has many hundreds of generations distant from its original ancestors, it has retained its original hunting ability much better than many other relatively old species. Accordingly, Border Terriers have earned more Earthdog American Kennel Club (AKC) titles than any other similar breed of dog.
Although sometimes considered stubborn or "strong chiefs," Border Terriers are predominantly reserved, friendly, and rarely aggressive. Dogs are extremely loyal to children, but they can chase cats and any other small domestic animals.
Border terriers are pets with a coarse coat of medium size, and a narrow hound build. Their height at the withers prevails over the length of the body. The ribcage is not very narrowed and deep. The tails of the dogs are medium, short, thick at the base, decreasing towards the end, their location is average.
The head of the breed is of medium size and looks like the head of an otter. Dark brown eyes have an alert expression. They have small, V-shaped ears that fall down to their cheeks. The hind legs are muscular and the thighs are long. The dog has a straight, rhythmic gait and a long stride with flexible movement of the hock.
Their double coat consists of a curved and broken outer layer, a short and dense undercoat. The coat of these canines can be red, wheat, blue and brown, or variations of gray and tan.
Territory of origin of the Border Terrier breed
It is a small, woolly breed originally developed as a fox hunter and pest catcher in the vicinity of the Cheviot Hills between England and Scotland. This region includes the area that is now called Northumberland (the extreme north of England), which is considered a border area. It was once a barbaric no man's land - the bloody soil of frequent wars between Scots and English.
A piece of her violent history was featured in the movie Braveheart (1995). Frequent battles left people who lived there hungry and without resources for subsistence. They were subjected to senseless attacks by the army that came to their lands. After centuries of looting and destruction, the area was very devastated. Those who remained there struggled to establish their existence, engaging in agriculture and sheep breeding. Humans and their canines (the ancestors of the Border Terriers) who survived generation after generation in this abandoned territory had to be resilient and cruel.
In the 13th century, the people who found refuge there were divided into clans, which held "everything in their hands." From the mid 1200s to 1600s, each "community" stole sheep and cattle from each other. Raids, feuds, kidnapping and murder were commonplace. The ancestors of the Border Terrier survived in that environment, and over time evolved into three different varieties, thanks to the intelligent breeding of hunters, farmers and herders.
Border Terrier ancestors and their purpose
The first evidence of Border Terrier ancestors dates back to 1219, when fox hunting became a popular species among the nobility. The beast catchers kept their own hounds and terriers.During this time, the forest lands belonged to the king as his personal hunting grounds. The history of the period tells that Sir John Fitz-Roberts, Sheriff of Northumberland, received permission from His Majesty King Henry III to keep his pets for hunting foxes in the local forests. These dogs were the progenitors of the Dandy Dinmont, Bedlington and Border Terriers - three typical breeds.
The Border Terrier is the oldest and retains most of its original working Terrier traits. For hunter purposes, terriers not only had to be small to catch "animals" underground, but have the ability to keep up with horses and have enough flock orientation to get along with foxhounds. Therefore, they were bred with longer limbs and less aggressive inclinations. These traits, along with their otter-like heads, differentiated them from other terrier breeds, and in this they distinguish them today.
The species also showed endurance, as farmers and herders struggling to survive in a wild and harsh borderland depended heavily on their terriers to protect their supplies and livestock from foxes, rats, rabbits and other parasites.
It was a common practice among rural workers in the 1700s to leave a Border Terrier to look after their property. This forced the dogs to take care of themselves, their temper became tougher, helping to fiercely follow their prey. Like the inhabitants of the border country, these dogs needed to have the endurance to physically endure long periods of time in harsh conditions with limited nutrition.
The endurance of the Border Terrier is also confirmed by their ability not only to navigate dangerous rocky areas, but also the treacherous peat moss of Northumberland. These areas required the terrier to swim and could find a dry tunnel of its prey underground in which it hid. It was not uncommon for a border terrier to die under these conditions, or even, being rescued, die later from physical stress.
The history of the development of the Border Terrier
By the 1700s, evidence that the Border Terrier was recognized as a separate breed can be found in Dogs of the British Isles (1872). Its author John Walsh wrote that in the late 1700s, “another race of terriers, similar to real pepper and mustard, was common on the border … it was almost the same as the dandy, but with long legs, with a shorter body, and head … ". In addition, a portrait painted during this period depicts a man named Arthur Wentworth with his flock of Foxhounds and Terriers, one of which is very similar to the Border Terrier.
The frontier country clans include the Dodds, Hedleys and Robsons - one of the most famous. By the 1800s, these three families retained some of the earliest known Border Terrier lines. The Robson family once again took the lead, this time in the development and creation of these canines as a distinct breed. In 1857, John Robson and John Dodd of Catcleugh founded the Northumberland Frontier Hunt.
In those days, the ideal weight for these dogs among border hunters was considered to be between fifteen and eighteen pounds. Mr. Robson and Mr. Dodd leaned much more towards the Border Terrier (not yet known by that name) than any other similar type because of their keen sense of smell and superior ability to catch foxes. Some of these early dogs had red noses, as both John Robson and his son Jacob held the belief that the Border Terrier with a similar nose tint had a sharper sense of smell than those with black noses.
Jacob Robson admired their family's Border Terrier in the 1850s, a mustard-colored little dog named Flint who, in his opinion, was the best fox catcher he had ever seen. This dog lived for twenty years. He wrote about witnessing Flint pulling a fox out of its burrow without any “staffing” (encouraging words from the hunters) after six or seven other good hunting terriers had failed.Mr. Robson had such a high opinion of this pet that if it passed through the hole, then the owner believed that there was no animal in it. The hunter claimed that this dog could go “underground” for three days, and after the extraction of the animal it came out practically unharmed. Jacob Robson gave the names of the prominent mid-1800s he knew: Flint, Bess, Rap, Dick Cay, and Pep of Byrness (belonging to his family); Niler and Tanner, owned by Mr. Dodd; "Rock," the offspring of "Flint," held by Mr. Headley of Burnfoot; “Tanner” - Mr. R. Olivier; "Bob" - Mr. Elliot; "Ben" - Mr. Robson.
During these times of the breed's development, dogs were often named for the area in which the lineage was kept: coquetdale terriers and reedwater terriers. But, by 1870, the species had been given the permanent terminology - the Border Terrier, after border hunting with the Border Foxhound they worked with.
The 1870s was also the decade when large numbers of Border Terriers were shown at agricultural exhibitions throughout the region. In 1878, William Headley showed his pet "Bacchus" at an exhibition in Bellingham. This show was considered one of the most important for the canines. Nevertheless, representatives of the species, becoming more and more popular in their region, remained little known outside of it.
Recognizing the Border Terrier in the dog world
Jacob Robson and Simon Dodd, a descendant of Border Terrier breeders, became joint breeders in 1879 (a role they held for fifty-four years). These men continued to promote the border terrier and eventually formed their first breed club, The border terrier club. This happened in 1920, but the success did not come overnight. The Moss Trooper, born in 1912, was shipped to Jacob Robson and became the first representative to be registered with the Kennel Club in 1913.
Unfortunately, it has been awarded the "Any Breed or Variety of British, Colonial or Foreign Dog" category. Between 1912 and 1919, forty-one Border Terriers were recorded in this non-classified section. In 1914, the Kennel Club dropped the claims of breeders and Border Terrier owners to recognize them as a separate breed. Mr. Morris of Tyne, and others, have published articles in the Our Dogs section to push the recognition of these canine cops. Their efforts in 1920 finally paid off.
On June 24, 1920, the Border Terrier Club (BTC) was formally formed and Jasper Dodd was elected as the organization's first president. Community documentation by breed enthusiasts was at Harwick, where they asserted the merits of its creation. The main objection to this process was that the variety could lose its cherished working traits, which had been maintained and honed for so long, if breeding shifted from primary action to substitution for show ring performance.
Mr. John Dodd of Riccarton opposed the formation of the club, but eventually joined John and Jacob Robson to draft the breed standard. After the draft criteria were read at the Bellingham Show, objections were raised about dog size guidelines. This led to a change in the presented template, with a decrease in weight.
On September 1, 1920, an application was made to KC to create a separate register of the variety (giving official recognition) and to name the Border Terrier Club (which already had 121 members) as the official parent organization. Both applications were accepted the same month. BTC, together with the "Border terrier club of America" (BTCA), set themselves the task of preserving the species as an original working dog.
In 1921, Mr. and Mrs. Dodd had the honor of owning the outstanding Border Terrier dog, “Ch. Teri ". Miss Bell Irving had an excellent champion bitch "Ch Liddesdale Bess". In 1922 and 1923 Adam Forster's dog Coquetdale Vic won the Cup at the North England terrier club dog show. This pet was born in 1916, and his parents were "Barron Jock" and "Nailer II" - unregistered border terrier.
From 1940 to 1945, due to the Second World War, no dog shows were organized.Subsequently, the KC ruled that championship demonstrations could be limited to breed clubs, with only two demonstrations for Border Terriers. However, by 1950, the Border Terrier had demanded 83 events with 659 annual registrations. They've come a long way from 111 designs since 1920.
Border Terrier Achievements
One of the preeminent sister dogs of the breed was the "Dandyhow Brussel Sprout", awarded a CC in 1963 and becoming a breeder of ten champions. One of these was the Dandyhow Shady Knight, a foster child owned by Ms. Sullivan. This dog has also won many titles.
By 1975, 1,111 Border Terriers were registered with the COP. At the time, Ch Step A Head was awarded fifteen awards in one year, a record number of victories. The "Ch Lyddington Lets Go" was another outstanding specimen who became the champion in 1981 by winning seven British and three American championships. His offspring, the bitch "Nettleby Mullein", set a record for female border terriers with 18 titles until 1996.
Today this championship belongs to the bitch "Ch Brumberhill Betwixt" - in 2007, twenty-five victories. Among the male champions, the record holder is "Ch Brannigan of Brumberhill" - thirty-one competition won. His achievements remain invincible. In 1988, he also became the first at the "Reserve Best in Show at Crufts" event.
The current position of the border terrier and its participation in cultural events
Although the Border Terrier was recognized by the AKC just ten years after the COP in 1930, the breed is less well known in the United States than it is in Britain. However, the Border Terrier Club of America (BTCA), formed in 1949, had only ten members and continues to grow today with 850 members. According to the 2010 AKC demand lists, the Border Terrier ranked 83rd out of 167 breeds. The ranking of the most popular dog in the United Kingdom, according to the latest KC polls, shows that members of the variety are ranked eighth in importance out of 8,000 registrations.
However, the Border Terrier dominates in popularity in American culture: in film, on television, and as pets for celebrities today. The breed has played roles in many films, such as Everybody's Crazy About Mary (Puffy's pet), the comedy TV Presenter: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. In the film "Lassie" (2005) the role of the dog named "Toots". Also, in the TV series It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, a character named Mac has a beloved border terrier named Poppins.
Today Border Terriers take part in such competitions as earthdog, obedience and agility with great success. In fact, the species win ACC trials far better than any other typical canine. Their keen sense of smell allows them to excel in tracking. These pets love flyball competitions. Their balanced, affectionate nature and gentleness with people, allow them to be used as therapy dogs for children, elderly and sick adults.
More about the dog in the video below: