The Scottish Terrier is one of the descendants of the Old Scotch Terrier,
along with the Dandie Dinmont, Cairn, and West Highland White Terriers. The exact origins
of the breed are obscure, but a dog of the general description dates back to some of the
earliest treatises on dogs in Britain. The low stature and wiry coat have always been
important characteristics to the original purpose of the breed, which was to hunt and kill
the various species of wildlife that made life hard for the Scottish farmer and crofter.
These species included fox, badger, wildcat, weasel, otter, and the ubiquitous rat. Losing
one or two lambs could mean the difference between eating well that winter and starving to
the poor farmer, and so a dog was developed that had exceptional strength and courage, in
a compact, tough package. These traits are still the hallmark of the breed today.