The Countryman's Weekly

Working Terriers

Working Terriers
August 05
07:00 2020

Natural earthdogs… putting terriers to good use

By Charmaine A.S. Khatchikian.

ALL terriers are natural earthdogs, the secret is to bring out the inner terrier in them. Quite happy to be family dogs, they are also at their best when in a hole in the ground. This can be voluntarily when out on a walk or, alternatively, with some care and skill, this can be achieved in a methodical manner with some suitable equipment.

There is no greater achievement to terrier ownership than to have a dog enter an earth and re-appear covered in soil and tongue hanging out in ecstasy.

The hunting of dogs dates back to about the 14th Century and the French coined “la venerie sous terre.” Johannes Caius, 1510-1573, was an eminent physician to Queen Mary as well as being a zoologist and academic. Caius recorded this type of dog.

He wrote a study of British dogs and sent them to Gessner who was compiling Historiae Animalium. Topsell published the work as he was a Church of England cleric and indifferent to the catholic attitude. In Europe, the Catholic Church categorised dogs as Besties. Gessner died in 1565 prompting Caius in 1570 to publish De Canibus Britannicis. His drawings and this publication were the first of its kind.

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