Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dry Land Retrievers and Timid Terriers

A retriever that will not go into the water is, no doubt, the product of an owner that will not go into the field with a gun.

Of course we see the same thing in the world of terriers, and we even have the chorus of a song about it:

Now at Cruft's famous show down in London,
They have Lakelands that aren't worth the name,
If you showed em a fox or an otter
They would fly for their lives without shame.
They're not built to creep or do battle,
But to sit on a chair in the house,
And they do say that one recent champion
Was chased down the road by a mouse!


SecondThoughtsOptional said...

I've owned that dog -- no, not that individual dog, but the only labrador retriever with 'papers' that we ever did own. Champion AKC lines, sweet, but wouldn't go into so much as long grass.

Our previous labrador didn't have a pedigree, but she looked and acted enough like one as to make no difference. A much tougher-minded dog (albeit the dog I had the most success training to obey at a distance) she lived to hunt things down. Particularly if it was alive... and alas, we'd get rats every so often as well as straying poultry from the locality. She'd go anywhere she could physically and would persist in searching if there was the slightest chance it was still there. If you were quick, she'd retrieve any birds she did grab unharmed to hand, but rats she'd kill first (no loss there!).

I felt it an annoyance... at least until I had my Damascene conversion and got invited to go rough-shooting for a weekend. The hunter had trained his fiance's pet labrador to flush and retrieve and while it worked well enough ahead of the gun, was utterly, utterly useless at marking or persisting in hunting for any bird that didn't fall at its feet. All was forgiven!

Which was the better family dog? Our second lab, alas. I've sworn to never buy a gun dog unless I'm willing to take up hunting and likewise with any breed that has a valid purpose. It's just not respectful of the effort that goes into developing a useful breed of dog.

seeker said...

I'd love to hear the song sung and see the video, but can't locate it. Do you have a link to it?

Debi and the TX Jacks

PBurns said...

Used to be on a CD. See >> http://terriermandotcom.blogspot.com/2006/07/wrote-song-about-it.html

Might find it on Ebay if nowhere else