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English White Terrier

The English White Terrier or White English Terrier is one of the few terrier breeds developed for the show ring. In this regard, it has been an exception from its other terrier clans, which were mostly bred to emerge as working dogs and hunt down rats, badgers, or foxes.

There has been a lot of debate regarding its parentage. According to some, it owes its lineage to the White Terrier. A few also opine that it is a cross between the Whippet and Italian Greyhound.

Though the breed stands extinct, they were instrumental in developing the Boston Terrier, Bull Terrier, Rat Terrier, Sealyham Terrier, Jack Russell Terrier, and Fox Terrier. Some of their prominent features included an all-white body, medium-sized stature, and prick ears.

Because most of the dogs suffered from deafness, it directly impacted their temperament, making them nervous and easily anxious. The same reason also made them great house pets who enjoyed their owner’s love and cuddles rather than a stint outdoors.

Slivo, the most prominent of the English White Terriers owned by Alfred Benjamin, was a sensation at the show ring.

Breed Characteristics

  • Other Names:White English Terrier, British White Terrier, Old English Terrier
  • Colors:White with markings of black, brindle, and brown
  • Life Expectancy:Not recorded
  • Height:10 – 15 inches
  • Weight:12 – 20 pounds
  • Temperament:Loyal, loving, curious
  • Good with Kids:Yes
  • Exercise requirements:Minimal
  • Hypoallergenic:No
  • Litter Size:Not recorded
  • Barking Capacity:Low
  • Health Problems:Genetic deafness, nerve problems
  • Trainability:Difficult (due to their low intelligence)
  • Origin:Great Britain
English White Terrier Dog
Old English Terrier

English White Terrier’s History: Timeline

    1860s – 1870s

    These dogs came into being, popular in the show ring

    1863 – 1864

    It was put between two classes, one in the 6-7 pounds category, and the other in the above 7 pounds category


    Silvo, the famous Old English Terrier, was born


    Silvo emerged victorious at the confirmation shows held in Darlington, Royal Agricultural Hall, Bath, and Alexandra Palace


    Silvo won at a show in Wolverhampton


    Famous breeder and author (on dogs) Rawdon Briggs Lee mentioned these dogs’ origin in “Modern Dogs.”

    1895 onwards

    The breed had become extinct


They hardly wanted to exercise outdoors and mostly enjoyed staying at home and lazing all day long.

Most of them had a short, smooth coat requiring minimum maintenance other than regular brushing and cleaning.

Not much record is available about the type of food given to the English White Terrier.

Sources say that these dogs had an extremely low intelligence level primarily because of their deafness that made training extremely difficult.

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