Thursday, November 01, 2012

The Good Stuff

A repost from this blog, circa 2004.

Eddie Chapman writes in The Real Jack Russell Terrier (1993) that:

"The hunter terrier man [on reaching a nice rambling earth with twenty entrances that run 10 feet deep], when hounds have marked there, will be told either to bolt the Fox or kill it, and in either case he must get the job done as quickly as possible, for his services may be required again, even in minutes sometimes. . . .

"With everyone away from the earth, the terrier man picks a really small chested eleven inch dog that he knows can, and will, get right up to the Fox very quickly, and with luck, bolt it out in a matter of minutes. ... [T]he hunt terrier man would not have achieved the quick bolt of the hunt has he used a much bigger terrier, as it would not have been able to negotiate the tight holes so quickly, so forcing the Fox to bolt so fast.

"The next situation confronted by the hunt terrier man is a Fox that has been marked in a six inch, one hundred yard field drain, that is running hard with water.

"Common sense will tell you immediately that no terrier much over 12 inches will even be able to get into a six inch pipe, and with it running hard with water, an eleven inch one won't fair much better. So the smallest terrier possible will be needed to have any hope at all of pushing Mr. Fox back out again."


The picture, at top right, is Mountain (12 inches tall) going through a six-inch hard PVC pipe. She was a bit younger then, and could do twenty or thirty feet like this, but I do not think she would have much cared for a hundred yard drain with water flowing in it!

Eddie Chapman's point, however, is that small dogs are what you really want in the field and for a simple reason: a fox is not a coyote.

People who have never dug to a fox and spanned it with a tape measure assume a 14" tall dog has the same chest size as a 14" tall fox.

It does not.

A fox is built more like a cat than a dog, and a 14" tall fox will have a chest of 12 or 13 inches, while a dog of the same height will have a chest of 16, 17, 18 inches, or more.

It says something that red fox taxidermy mannequins start at 11 inch chests and go to 14" chests.

Eddie Chapman knows the value of a small dog, as does anyone who digs on fox, groundhog, raccoon or possum here in the United States.

Some years back, I did a survey of 355 American working terriers and the average size was just over 12 inches tall.

Of the workers surveyed, 200 were bitches and 155 dogs were male dogs -- a skew to female due to the fact that getting a really small male working terrier is very hard to do.

Of all the working dogs counted, only 37 males were 12 inches tall or smaller.

A look at the 2007 Stud Book of the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America finds a continuation of this pattern -- nice looking stud dogs, but only one male under 12" in height, and only two that are 12" tall -- all the other stud dogs listed are taller (some as tall as 15" at the shoulder!)

Chest size of course, is the most important physical attribute of a working terrier, and it is chest size at age 2 or 3 years of age that is really important, not just chest size at 7 months.

The reason for this is simple; chests tend to bow out a bit and get less springy as a dog gets older. A dog that has an acceptable chest at 10 months, may add an inch or two to its circumference in old age. You want a terrier that will go the distance, which is to say you want a small dog if you are interested in digging more than a few times a year for years into the future.

What about folks who say a larger dog will "get there" if it has the will?

Caveat emptor!

Yes, "the fire called desire" is no small thing, and yes a dog is expected to move some earth if needed, but no dog can excavate stone, no dog can excavate root, and no dog can excavate 15 feet of hard packed soil. Anyone who has dug dogs in difficult country knows this.

And let us remind ourselves where all this excavated soil goes to ... behind the dog, and into the pipe where it works to cut off the air supply the dog needs to breathe.

Caveat emptor! No one has ever wanted a bigger dog, but most have wanted a smaller one!

What about the larger dog that is said to have a "disappearing" chest?

There are such things. I have been surprised by good looking taller dogs (12.5 inches is a tall dog in my book) with small chests that still looked smart and fit. But a note of caution; there are sensible limits here.

A large dog (13" or over in height) and a small chest (14") rarely go well together. Such a dog will be reedy-looking and have the feel of an Italian Greyhound about it.

A dog should have a little bone on which it can hang its muscles! A day in the field is not always a walk in the park.
.

5 comments:

suburbangothic said...

I found your blog while googling for photos of Patton's Willie. As an owner of gamebred APBTs from the late 80s, I was wondering what you thought of matching dogs as using earthdogs seems on the same level. Not trying to make an issue, just curious.

PBurns said...

Hunting with terriers is not dog fighting in any way shape or form, nor is it competitive. Gamebred APBT's means what? What is the game? WHO is it a game for?

There is no relationship at all between working terriers and dog fighting: zero, none, empty set. Most dog fighters know nothing about wildlife and not much more about dogs. A lot of it is pure posturing and fantasy. When it isn't, it's simply a sick and criminal thing that degrades humans and injures dogs for no purpose whatsoever. For more on all of this, see "Black and White and Redneck All Over" on this blog, as well as "What the Hell is an American Staffordshire Terrier?" also on this blog.

P.

Anonymous said...

" Most dog fighters know nothing about wildlife and not much more about dogs. A lot of it is pure posturing and fantasy. When it isn't, it's simply a sick and criminal thing that degrades humans and injures dogs for no purpose whatsoever."

true!

the very word says!
Working dogs !assist hunters in finding, tracking, and retrieving game, or in routing vermin. Less frequently a dog, or rather or a pack of them, actually fights a predator, such as a bear or feral pig.

With the phrase shepherd dog will show some breeds of dogs that have developed over time and behavioral characteristics innate operational capabilities that would be particularly useful to nell'ausilio for farming activities.

______________________________________________________________________


**** In dogs from the fighting and assesses the gameness: the tendency to face the enemy without assessing the danger.*

Video Yuo tube: Porcupine vs a dog
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RTY3PxpkBA
Tag: porcupine vs dog dogs fights

Too much !
gameness

L 'american staffordshire terrier is a breed of young, officially recognized by 1936, but its roots date back to at least a century ago, when surely a selection began with a single address.
Terrier These were marked with different names and, given the vastness of the North American territory, it is understandable that a type of dog outside of the royalties of a tight race could be given more time. The names were the most popular Yankee terrier, pit dog, pit bull terrier, American pit bull dog, an American bull terrier. According to the area is preferred to emphasize the nature of these dogs as the pit (l 'arena used in the meetings), indicating in practice their performance of "fighting dogs", or, particularly in inland areas of the country, you coniavano adjectives geographical (yankee, American) with the intention of raising a new breed. In America the fighting were not banned, so this dual aspect remained long: on the one hand, fans of sporting events gave greater weight to the character assessment in the selection process, from 'the other people trying to promote the race as dog life companion, guard and companion, preferring appearance in an attempt to standardize the type. Thus began the separation theory and practice of American staffordshire in our century that led to the distinction between an American pit bull and staffordshire.
The staffordshire American born players imported mold "-and-bull terrier, the same as in the United Kingdom has given birth to bull terrier, normal size and miniature, or staffordshire bull terrier.
The dichotomy between the two strands of American stafford was marked in 1898 following a meeting in Kalamazoo, and C. Bennet enter the race under the name of american pitt bull terrier at L 'United Kennel Club (UKC). L 'UKC is one of the dogs found bodies throughout the United States recognizes that many other breeds known and local is not subject to' Cinologica auspices of the Federation International (FCI), which the U.S. has involved the 'American Kennel Club (AKC ).
This fact is very important to understand how, at the international level, this type of staffordshire is recognized by the name of american staffordshire terrier. E 'should be noted that until the pit bull terrier not differ significantly in morphology from its associates, as to be included among the breeds recognized by' American Kennel Club, l 'institution International (FCI) institutionally can not even take into consideration 'if its official recognition.
The years of the first post-war marked a good spread for this type of dog. A new breed club was founded in 1921, at Clay Center, Kansas, sponsored by FL Dunable. This association, the 'American Bull Terrier Club laid the foundations for the creation of the new breed, and promote the' balanced character and tasteful standard that is the basis of 'present to the American Staffordshire bull. L 'activities of this club is fundamental for the future development of the race, for its recognition, as well as to promote these dogs away from' the image of indomitable fighting dogs, which supporters of the pit bull continued to forment. A new breed was created to capture the 'America and the world.

Mirko ;)

River P said...

I love this blog too and keep coming back to it.

I have to say though contrary to opinion I have experienced the opposite with game English PBT's.

I agree hunting and dog fighting are in no way shape or form similar, but no surprise the dogs are in almost every way shape and form. Though I know very little about the APBT's but do know its related to the game fighting dogs.

Just my own anecdotal evidence based on my very "game fighting" bred English PBT tells me so. She was a lithe small elegant powerful dog, fine boned and hard and in her life she killed Im sure what can only be record breaking numbers of so called vermin, from rats to fully grown six foot and longer snakes. King cobra (at least twenty in her life time), green bamboo vipers, Chinese cobras, rats, birds, wasps bees, cats almost anything but snakes in truly incredible numbers, almost one a week.

If you scaled down my dog she would have made the perfect hunting Jack Russell absolutely, even in colour for she was a white red spotty. She had nothing to go to ground for here except porcupine and boy did she ever, she neatly fitted into their holes which are big, "luckily" these were mostly empty of Porcu in our area (often hunted trapped for meat) but she would find snakes and other "critters" in there. So often instead of going to ground she dug, she would dig snakes that went to ground in rat holes spending sometimes an entire day working the earth between boulders, nothing could stop her. We lived in the country parks. Funny every single time she would partially handicap or corner the prey then go mad calling us for the final onslaught. It was her life and soul she would shiver with excitement. We could tell what she had by the tone of her barking, snakes almost always the most urgent.

Her parents were prize fighting dogs across the border in China and made many people rich in winnings and Im sure her line continues to do so. Im almost certain Jack Russell terriers are directly related to the older strains of small English Pitbull terriers. I recognise a lot of the same in JRTs now, just a smaller version and not quite so dog aggressive.

River P said...

I love this blog too and keep coming back to it.

I have to say though contrary to opinion I have experienced the opposite with game English PBT's.

I agree hunting and dog fighting are in no way shape or form similar, but no surprise the dogs are in almost every way shape and form.

Just my own anecdotal evidence based on my very "game" fighting bred English PBT tells me so. She was a lithe small elegant powerful dog, fine boned and hard and in her life she killed Im sure what can only be record breaking numbers of so called vermin, from rats to fully grown six foot and longer snakes. King cobra (at least twenty), green vipers, Chinese cobras, rats, birds, wasps bees, cats almost anything but snakes in incredible numbers.

If you scaled down my dog she would have made the perfect hunting Jack Russell absolutely, even in colour for she was a white spotty. She had nothing to go to ground for here except porcupine and boy did she ever, she neatly fitted into their holes which are large, "luckily" these were mostly empty of Porcu in our area but she would find snakes and other "critters" in there. So often instead she dug, she would dig snakes that went to ground in rat holes spending sometimes an entire day working the earth, nothing could stop her. We lived in the country parks. Funny every single time she would partially handicap or corner the prey then go mad calling us for the final onslaught. It was her life and soul she would shiver with excitement. We could tell what she had by the tone of her barking, snakes almost always the most urgent.

Her parents were prize fighting dogs across the border in China and made many people rich in winnings and Im sure her line continues to do so. Im almost certain Jack Russell terriers are directly related to the older strains of small English Pitbull terriers. I recognise a lot of the same in JRTs now, just a smaller version and not quite so dog aggressive.