If ever there was a time when small terriers did not
abound in Scotland, it has not been recorded. They were true working
dogs, whose job it was to rout such vermin as the fox, otter, and
wild cat, and because of their efficiency and gameness the terriers
were highly regarded as gamekeepers' helpers.
The first writers to describe these dogs under the
broad name "Scotch Terriers" wrote that they were of two
distinct types: one being rather high on leg with a short, smooth
coat; the other short-legged with a rough coat. Colours ranged from
white through wheaten to black. It is from the latter type that
particular strains and later distinct breeds of terriers were developed.
Each was bred for a specific purpose and thus acquired unique characteristics
and conformation. Today we know them as the Cairn, the West Highland
White and Scottish Terriers. But it took several years before the
three were sorted out, agreement on breed names achieved, and uniformity
of type established. The sorting out process began with the advent
of the dog show in 1859. The following year at the Birmingham event
in the north of England the Scotch terriers were first exhibited
under a variety of names. These included the Roughhaired, Paisley,
Highland, Aberdeen, and to add to the confusion, the Skye. The most
persistent of these was Aberdeen because many of the early winners
were exhibited by a breeder from Aberdeen. Eventually some order
was brought to bear and in 1881 the name "Hard-Haired Scotch
Terrier" was agreed to by breed supporters. The following year
a specialty club was formed in Scotland and in 1883 the first breed
standard was adopted. Later the breed name was revised to the present
Evidently Canada was the first country on this side
of the Atlantic to import the Scottish Terrier. The first Scotty
to be registered in America was a Canadian-bred whelped in April
1881. The dog's name was Prince Charlie and he was bred by D. O'Shea
of London, Ontario.
The first Canadian Kennel Club Stud Book ( 1888-1889)
records that five Scottish Terriers were registered.