The Countryman's Weekly


August 21
08:04 2019

The skill of working terriers in teams

by Colonel David Hancock.

I HAVE long admired terrier fanciers who have managed to get a team of terriers to hunt their prey rather than each other! So many terriers are ultra-competitive, a bit feisty with other dogs and often deaf to all instructions once their blood is up. Gifted terriermen like Lucas, Free, Heinemann and Plummer had the training skills, and breeding skills before that, to field packs in the hunt.

Terriers can hunt – not just rat, rabbit, mink and fox, but big game like bear and elephant too as records of the Indian hunt reveal. In his informative Secrets of Dog Training, Brian Plummer wrote, with deliberate understatement: “Terriers despite their small size, are sometimes far from easy to control.”

In addition to the fact that most terriers still retain a strong inclination to hunt any type of animal or bird whose scent crosses their paths, the majority are particularly eager to take offence from another dog.”

It is interesting to note most experienced and well-regarded terriermen dislike dogs which are too hard. Many outspoken but less experienced working terrier fanciers will often boast of the sheer aggression in their dogs. This to me is a sure sign of ego triumphing over common sense.



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