However, it is generally agreed that these dogs are much older than that. Additionally, the breed was said to possess a weak constitution and was frequently nervous. Any claims about the English White Terrier’s use as a fighting dog are probably the result of confusion with the Bull Terrier. By the end of their existence, English White Terriers were used to breed a variety of other breeds including the Miniature Bull Terrier. The extinct English White Terrier dog breed. The English White Terrier was known to be a very unhealthy breed, which was one of the primary reasons that it went extinct. Other breeders followed Hinks’ example and a new line of Bull and Terrier was developed. This is how the ancestors of the current Bull Terrier emerged, which became known as bull and terrier, d… The English White Terrier is partly known for the health issues they had, which was the main reason why they became extinct. Appearance only mattered to the extent that it impacted working ability, such as the development of harsh, weather-resistant coats and a large jaw powerful enough to quickly kill other animals. Asta, a wire fox terrier and now a staple of crossword puzzle answers, became a Hollywood star, ... Actually the result of breeding bulldogs with the (now extinct) English white terrier. They could not afford to keep any dog that would not be useful to them, even one as small as a Terrier. Regardless of these issues, English White Terriers continued to be bred, and the dog was one of the very first to be registered with the Kennel Club when it was founded in 1874. Terriers were known for finding and hunting small mammals out of underneath the earth. Scottish terrier breeds usually had wiry coats with long bodies and short legs while Irish terrier breeds were usually larger with longer legs and a softer coat that were trained to herd livestock. Most dogs were very lightly built like a Manchester Terrier or an Italian Greyhound, although some were somewhat heavier. Fox hunting Terriers were initially almost all smooth-coated, as they had been developed primarily from English Terriers. These breeders were looking for a white terrier that could be more successful in the show ring than the current prick-eared English terrier. The importance with which working ability was placed is evident in a traditional Scottish practice (that was also possibly practiced in England as well). Terriers were more popular among the lower class common folk in Britain because they were used to hunt small rodents and animals that the nobility didnât want. Many English White Terriers were even bred with the owner knowing that the puppies would be completely deaf. In early shows, there were two size classes, one for dogs under 6 or 7 pounds and another for dogs over that weight. They Almost Became Extinct. This may be an indication of a high degree of inbreeding. It also seems highly unlikely that a breed which was too frail to hunt foxes or rats would be well-suited to combat with other dogs. At some point in the late 1700’s, a large number of fox hunting Terriers began exhibiting white on their coats. The English White Terrier was said to be considerably softer tempered than most others of its kind. ... Irish Red and White Setter – 70. This means they were not bred for appearance or temperament. It is known that this breed greatly preferred to be an indoor companion rather than an outdoor working dog, and the dog supposedly greatly enjoyed being cuddled and comforted by its owners. What breeds these could have been are almost certainly lost to time, but it is commonly suggested that the Terriers may share an ancestry with the Irish Wolfhound, Scottish Deerhound, or perhaps the Canis Segusius, a wire-haired hunting breed owned by the Pre-Roman Gauls (Celts) of present day France and Belgium. The group includes the Airedale, the Bull Terrier, the Wire and Smooth Fox Terrier, the Manchester Terrier, the Norfolk and Norwich Terrier and the Jack Russell Terrier. Breeders actively bred dogs that they knew were completely deaf, allowing the problem to become even more rampant. It is almost universally agreed that they were developed entirely within the confines of the British Isles, most likely from local breeds. Terrier groups were extremely popular in England, especially with farmers because they would chase and hunt small animals that were known to eat the farmers crops. Ryan Somma/Flickr/CC BY 2.0. 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