The Land of Terriers

England has produced more terrier breeds, and done more to establish terriers as a canine type, than any other country, so it’s extraordinary that it doesn’t have a national terrier.

This view (which we’ve paraphrased) is according to David Hancock in his wonderful book, “Sporting Terriers.” We wonder if you think he has a valid point. He points out that many of our terriers are Welsh, Irish and Scottish, and none have been used as a national symbol in the UK the way the Bulldog has.  The Australian Terrier, Brazilian Terrier, Cesky Terrier, and so forth represent their countries, but there not really a terrier breed that has a “national UK tag” on it.  Hancock points out that some have suggested that the Manchester Terrier is England’s terrier breed, but that “the Welsh hijacked the old broken-coated black and tan terrier of the British mainland and made that type their own.” He goes on to say that toy dog owners can site the English Toy Terrier, but purists might see the breed as a Toy Manchester, and “better named as such.”

It’s an interesting challenge. Terrier friends, is there a terrier breed you think is quintessentially “British?”

Jack Russell Terrier by Kate Sumners



3 thoughts on “The Land of Terriers”

  1. I do feel like the Manchester is the true British terrier. Its foundation goes back more than 500 years. If that’s not a fine foundation for a British terrier, I don’t know what is. Of course, as a devoted slave to four Manchesters, you might expect this answer from me. 😉

    • It’s a wonderful debate question, Melissa. You make a case, but we also got to wondering about the Bull Terrier……

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