Tuesday, April 14, 2015

My Teachers: Mountain, Sailor and Trooper


Two true workers. Reposed from 2010.

Mountain and Sailor. Mountain, at left, is 12" tall. Sailor, at right, 11" tall.

You would not think a one inch difference in height (and about the same in chest size) would make a lot of difference in the field, but it does in our very tight earths.

On this day, these two dogs had worked raccoon, groundhog and possum. Once washed off, they were as good as new.

Sailor taught me most of what I know. She will never be forgotten.

Below is a picture, taken from above, of Trooper my 15" tall Border Terrier who recently went to the Great Kennel in the Sky, and Sailor, my 11" tall Jack Russell who preceeded him by a few years.

Both dogs are dead now, but in this picture they can still do a bit of teaching. Size is fundamental, and with true working terriers bigger is not better.


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6 comments:

Seahorse said...

I think this is all very interesting. In dealing with horses I know that a relatively small change in height often translates to a MUCH larger animal overall, as the proportional increase is marked. I don't know how true this is with dogs, but with horses it can be quite dramatic.

Pearl isn't shown on this post. How big is she?

Seahorse

jeffrey thurston said...

I don't quire understand why people don't just breed small Jack Russells. Why are they rare?

PBurns said...

Different horses for different courses, but if you are looking to work a terrier where European badgers are not digging the holes, you need a small dog. The problem is dimorphism and shows. Sexual dimorphism means you can get an inch height difference between males and females -- and a lot of size difference within a litter too. Moxie came from a liter of 12.50 inch dogs (guessing) with females in litter a bit smaller and Moxie a full 15% smaller at 10.75. With genetic variability you get size differences. Shows also love strong heads, and it's simply easier (much easier) to breed a good-looking mid- to large-sized dog than a true small. Toss in the fact that a lot of folks are trying to do flyball, race, agility, or Go to Ground (massive den liner), and there you have it --more 13 inch dogs than 11.

Stacey said...

My two, the old female on the left, who was (badly) bred at the height of Eddie from Frasier's popularity, 16" at the shoulder, 19lbs, 22" chest. And the boy on the right, 11" at the shoulder, 9lbs, 12" chest, built like Moxie (or that fox taxidermy model, super leggy!) from working lines. HUGE difference in amount of dog.

http://tinyurl.com/kphhyr3

jeffrey thurston said...

I get that JRTs used for racing and flyball etc. might be bred a bit larger but isn't the JRTCA interested in actual working (fox hunting) types? It would seem to me that the small chest and small size would be desired characteristics, and that larger size would almost be a fault. I have a 14" long-legged, big-headed rough coat guy and he is beautiful and prey driven and a good hunter but he isn't a hole dog I can tell. My little short-legged guy is 11.5 inches of pure muscle like a mini-pitbull. He's spanable and he is very driven to make and get into holes, culverts, pipes and my homemade tunnel very prey driven but I suspect even he with his 26" chest is too big for original JRT work. He is a great hunting dog though...

jeffrey thurston said...

That was a "16" inch chest...