English White Terrier

The White English Terrier (English White Terrier or Old English Terrier) is an extinct dog breeds.

The English White Terrier is the failed show ring name of a pricked-ear version of the white fox-working terriers that have existed in the U.K. since the late 18th Century.

The name "English White Terrier" was invented and embraced in the early 1860s by a handful of breeders anxious to create a new breed from a prick-eared version of the small white working terriers that were later "improved" into the Fox Terrier, the Jack Russell Terrier, the Sealyham Terrier and later in America – the Rat Terrier.

In the end, however, the Kennel Club hierarchy decided the "English White Terrier" was a distinction without a difference, while the dog's genetic problems made it unpopular with the public. Within 30 years of appearing on the Kennel Club scene, the English White Terrier had slipped into extinction. It was, however, crossbred with the English Bulldog giving rise to the Boston Terrier and Bull Terrier.

English White Terrier Appearance

From "Modern Dogs" by Rawdon Lee Briggs (1894):

The description of the white English terrier is drawn up by the club as follows; the table of points is not issued by the club, but the figures, in my opinion, indicate the numerical value of each property as nearly as possible.
  • HEAD–Narrow, long and level, almost flat skull, without cheek muscles, wedge-shaped, well filled up under the eyes, tapering to the nose, and not lippy.
  • EYES–Small and black, set fairly close together, and oblong in shape.
  • NOSE–Perfectly black.
  • EARS–Cropped and standing perfectly erect.
  • NECK AND SHOULDERS–The neck should be fairly long and tapering from the shoulders to the head, with sloping shoulders, the neck being free from throatiness, and slightly arched at the occiput.
  • CHEST–Narrow and deep.
  • BODY–Short and curving upwards at the loins, sprung out behind the shoulders, back slightly arched at loins, and falling again at the joining of the tail to the same height as the shoulders.
  • LEGS–Perfectly straight and well under the body, moderate in bone, and of proportionate length.
  • FEET–Feet nicely arched, with toes set well together, and more inclined to be round than hare-footed.
  • TAIL–Moderate length, and set on where the arch of the back ends, thick where it joins the body, tapering to a point, and not carried higher than the back.
  • COAT–Close, hard, short, and glossy.
  • COLOUR–Pure white, coloured marking to disqualify.
  • CONDITION–Flesh and muscles to be hard and firm.
  • WEIGHT–From 12 lb. to 20 lb.


Alfred Benjamin, owned a male Old English Terrier, named 'Silvio' (b. 1876). It was well-shown and considered a prime specimen of the breed. In 1877 Silvio won conformation shows at Bath, Royal Agricultural Hall, Darlington, Alexandra Palace and in 1878 at Wolverhampton. Silvio weighed nineteen pounds with the following measurements:

Silvios' Measurements
Area Inches
Nose to stop 3
Stop to occiput 4.5
Length of back 15
Girth of muzzle 7
Girth of skull 12
Girth of brisket 19
Girth round shoulders 19.5
Girth of loin 16
Girth of forearm 3.75
Girth of pastern 3
Height at shoulders 18
Height at loin 18.5


Scale For Judging Old English Terriers
Area Value
Head, including jaws, nose, ears and eyes 10
Legs 5
Feet 5
Body 5
Colour 10
General appearance 10
Action 5

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