Caesar by Herbert Dicksee




Herbert Dicksee

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Herbert Dicksee painted many views of this particular breed, a wire-haired fox terrier, with the most celebrated being Caesar, a portrait of King Edward VII’s terrier. The wire-haired fox terrier was developed in England by fox hunting enthusiasts and is believed to be descended from a now-extinct rough-coated, black-and-tan working terrier of Wales, Derbyshire, and Durham. It is believed that the breed was also bred to chase foxes into their burrows underground, and their short, strong, usually docked, tails were used as handles by the hunter to pull them back out. Two of the wire-haired fox terrier’s most distinctive traits are their enormous amount of energy and intelligence. They have a low threshold for boredom and require stimulation, exercise and attention. Although it is said that Queen Victoria owned a wire-haired fox terrier, as well as her son and heir, King Edward VII, the breed was not popular as a family pet until the 1930s. In the late 20th century, the popularity of the breed declined again, most likely due to the difficulty of keeping hunting terriers in cities due to their strong prey instincts.