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  More than 5000 entries on the history, culture and life of Britain (published in 1993 by Macmillan, now out of print)

More than 5000 entries on the history, culture and life of Britain (published in 1993 by Macmillan, now out of print)

(from the French terre meaning 'earth')
Dogs originally bred to go underground and flush out wild animals. The fox terrier was bred in England in the 18C, at a time when fox *hunting had become a popular sport. There are two distinct varieties, smooth and wire-haired; both are predominantly white, with markings ranging from fawn to black. The Jack Russell also emerged from a fox-hunting context. Smaller and with very short legs, but with colour and markings similar to the fox terrier, it is named after John Russell (1795–1883), the 'sporting parson' of Devon who spent considerably more time with his pack of hounds than with his parishioners. The Lakeland terrier, an older breed of varied colour, was developed in the Lake District to hunt otters as well as foxes.

The Airedale, the largest of the English terriers (with a black body and tan legs, chest and head), takes its name from the Yorkshire valley where it was bred in the 19C from the otter hound and a now extinct breed of terrier. The *bull terrier, bred for fighting, also descends from an extinct breed. The tiny Yorkshire terrier (blue-grey body and tan head and chest, with long silky hair) is a toy variety of the late 19C which rapidly became a fashionable pet; it was bred from a mix of Scottish terriers.

Scotland is the home of several very popular varieties. The Scottie (the abbreviation commonly used for the Scottish or Aberdeen terrier) is a very old breed used originally against many types of vermin, including foxes; it is small with a thick wiry coat, and although usually black is known in several colours. It is closely related to the cairn terrier, grey or tan in colour and named because it chased vermin out of 'cairns' (rocky piles of stone). The cairn terrier was bred originally on Skye – the home also of the Skye terrier, which has long hair falling over its eyes and which ranges in colour from black through grey and fawn to cream.

The West Highland white terrier, known also as the Westie, was bred in Scotland in the 19C and has become very popular in the USA. The Dandie Dinmont, with silky hair and short legs, derives from the border district and is named after a Lowland farmer who keeps terriers in Walter Scott's Guy Mannering (1815). The Welsh terrier, with a black and tan coat, was bred in Wales in the 19C to hunt otters, badgers and foxes. The Sealyham, with its medium-length white coat, is named from Sealy Ham, a house near Haverfordwest in Dyfed where it was bred in the 19C.

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