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The Fox Terrier – A Brief History

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184 – September, 2016

BY AMY FERNANDEZ

Anyone living through the 2016 election knows how quickly and completely hype tends to commandeer re?ality. Technology has made that slippery slope more treacherous, but it’s not a modern phenomenon. Politicians can probably learn a thing or two from the dog world in that respect.

No group of breeds has contended with more media misman- agement than Terriers, in my opinion. For instance, back in 1815 popular culture singled out the Dandie Dinmont Terrier from that conglomerate of strains and types cultivated throughout the British Isles and made it an overnight sensation. In 1881, Vero Shaw recapped the ensuing runaway freight train.

He wrote, “When Guy Mannering was published, and read with such avidity by our fathers, Dandie Dinmont and his pepper and mustard Terriers became public favorites, a strong desire to possess one of the breed that had so suddenly been made famous was very general and in consequence specimens were widely distributed.” True, but those specimens were a varied lot. Con- temporary reports have described them ranging in size and type from Dachshund to Otterhound, to Skye and Bedlington. And as Shaw conceded, melding that unruly genetic hodgepodge into Sir Walter Scott’s stylish literary portrayal was a somewhat tax- ing ordeal. “Few breeds have been the subject of so prolonged and acrimonious correspondence…and no dispute has been productive of so much ill feeling.”

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184 – September, 2016

Short URL: http://caninechronicle.com/?p=112267

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