The Countryman's Weekly


May 25
07:04 2022

Differing temperaments in working terriers

By Sean Frain.

I WAS recently looking at some Facebook posts and wasn’t in the least surprised to see a video of a working terrier that was very aggressive towards its neighbour; another working terrier in the next kennel. Its owner was proud of his dog as it tried to get through the mesh to attack the other terrier, simply because some terriermen mistakenly believe that aggression equals a game terrier, in spite of many great terriermen breeding quiet, placid terriers which were tigers at work below ground.

Devon’s Dan Russell was one such breeder and some of his terriers, mostly Jack Russells, were so quiet that he hardly noticed them around his home. Yet, when they went to ground they were superb, bolting reluctant foxes and otters and staying until dug out when their quarry wouldn’t bolt, while proving incredibly sensible, so much so that bites were mostly avoided by Russell’s terriers.

In fact, the late Eddie Chapman stated that Russell hated to see bites on his terriers and much preferred to work those that remained injury free. While I admit to having never bred or owned a terrier that remained injury free while at work, I can honestly say I’ve never bred or owned an aggressive terrier, and quite honestly I wouldn’t give such a terrier kennel room.



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