Scottish terrier, what is so special about a terrier

The word terrier comes from the Latin meaning earth. Certain dogs were given this name for their habit of actually going into the earth after fox, badgers, and other pests. Probably the most popular of this family is the Fox Terrier who was used primarily to chase fox.

A famous individual in this group was Fala, the Scottish Terrier that belonged to Franklin Roosevelt. Still another, the Dandie Dinmont, was made immortal by Sir Walter Scott in his novel, Guy Mannerling that was first published in 1814.

Terriers, like Spaniels, are born hunters and because of this trait they have a tendency to wander. For this reason, they don’t make the best watch dogs. There isn’t a better dog for a boy or girl who likes to run and play. Terriers like nothing better than to play outdoors with an active youngster. And they’re especially good for small children as playmates because the short tails of most Terriers aren’t as easy to grab as the longer tails of other dogs.

Have you ever wondered why Terriers – and all other dogs – put their tails between their legs when they are frightened? Dogs didn’t always do this. Thousands of years ago when dogs were chased by their enemies, the part of the dog’s body nearest to the pursuer was his tail. And many times the tail would be responsible for his being caught. One day it occurred to the dogs that if they were being chased, their chances of getting away would be better if their tails were not exposed like a convenient handle. But a dog couldn’t cut off his own tail and he couldn’t fold it flat on top of his body. So the only place left was to fold it under his rear legs. It was such a successful habit that to this day when a dog is frightened he puts his tail down under his legs in the hope of escaping whatever doom threatens him.