The Old English Terrier is a dog breed of the terrier type.
The Old English is a working and sporting terrier that is, in general, an exceptional athlete with a high, intense, and vigorous prey drive that is followed, if need be, by an awesome display of gameness. The breed as a whole is very physically and mentally active. They require a lot of exercise and mental challenges. They are extremely people friendly, and make wonderful companion pets.
By the 18th century the Old English Terrier also known as the Black Terrier had been developed into two types, the rough-coated Black Terrier and the smooth-coated Black Terrier. The rough-coated Black Terrier had been established in England during the 17th and 18th century. The smooth-coated Black Terrier was likely the result of crosses made between the rough-coated Black Terriers, smooth-coated Terriers and other smooth-coated English breeds. By the mid- to late 18th century the smooth-coated Black Terrier type had been established. The Old English Terrier was developed and selected based on the quarry or work which it was specifically needed for, and this led to variations in body, coat and size. Henry Compton in his book 'The Twentieth Century Dog (1904)' wrote (concerning the history of the terrier):
There were in different parts of the island yellow terriers, and red terriers, and black terriers, and black and tan terriers, and brindle terriers, and greyish terriers; there were large terriers, weighing from 30 pounds to 40 lbs., and one mentioned as weighing 50 lbs., and there were small terriers for whom an "under 9 lbs." class was provided; there were terriers with smooth coats, and wire coats, and curly coats; there were, in short, terrier types enough to create a collection.
By the early 19th century the Old English Terrier could be found throughout the world. In Henry George Ward's book 'Mexico', Ward wrote about his harsh journey to Mexico and the tenacity, grit, and ability of the Black Terrier that accompanied him on his trip in 1827. The Oriental Sporting Magazine, in April, 1828, printed a poem about a Black Terrier that had been killed by a tiger in Southern Konkan.
The Name "Old English Terrier" The term "Old English Terrier" has also been applied, in the past and present, to the Patterdale Terrier, Black and Tan Terrier and the Manchester Terrier to some degree or another. however, there is only one Old English Terrier registered with any Registry.