Tuesday, February 3, 2009

3 Good Things (terrier edition)

From the AKC

These are feisty, energetic dogs whose sizes range from fairly small, as in the Norfolk, Cairn or West Highland White Terrier, to the grand Airedale Terrier. Terriers typically have little tolerance for other animals, including other dogs. Their ancestors were bred to hunt and kill vermin. Many continue to project the attitude that they're always eager for a spirited argument. Most terriers have wiry coats that require special grooming known as stripping in order to maintain a characteristic appearance.
1. Border Terrier

Alert, active and agile, the Border Terrier is willing to squeeze through narrow holes and sprint across any terrain to capture his quarry: the fox. This persistence made him an excellent working terrier back in England, and allows him to succeed in Earthdog, Obedience and Agilty trials today.
I have one word for you here, too: Benji. I don’t care what the media says, the original Benji looks an awful lot like a purebred Border Terrier to me. I like this dog precisely because he does look like my all-time favorite kind of dog: a mutt (with a streak of terrier in him, of course).


2. Bull Terrier

Playful and clownish, the Bull Terrier is best described as a three year-old child in a dog suit. Given his muscular build, the Bull Terrier can appear unapproachable, but he is an exceedingly friendly dog, with a sweet and fun-loving disposition and popular in the obedience, agility and show rings.

Bull Terriers do not bark unless there is a good reason. When a Bull Terrier is barking, pay attention.

Since I was a child, I have called this dog “pig dog” because the one we knew was quite a bit more rotund and I definitely stayed away from it. They look like they could kill you with their massive heads and necks. That all changed two years ago when I first saw Rufus at Westminster. Immediately, I fell in love with this perfect looking specimen of a dog, and called it!


3. Bedlington Terrier

The origin of the breed remains a mystery, although as far back as 1820, it is known that a Joseph Ainsley of Bedlington acquired a bitch, Coates Phoebe*, who was bred in 1825 to produce the first Bedlington Terrier. About this time, a colony of nailers in Bedlington took to the breed and became known for their plucky terriers. Their dogs were famous for their abilities in drawing badgers and ratting, despite their smaller size than most of the dogs of the day.
I bet Mary had a couple of these! It’s just the clip that gives this plucky little dog its lamb-like appearance. I suppose the gamboling doesn’t hurt the image either.

*This is not to be confused with Phoebe Cates who once lisped “Which one of you bitches is my mother?” in that famous made-for-TV moment in Lace.


Next Up: The Sporting Group.
Why Dog Week?


Stephen Bourque said...

I just don't understand your attraction to the bull terrier. Its head is just weird looking!

Lynne said...

You're just jealous because your pick didn't win.

Dalmation - hah!

Stephen Bourque said...

If I'm not mistaken, I did pick the winner one year!

Lynne said...

Again, hah!

I laugh at your silly American obsession with the beagle (reads better with bad French accent).