|Heugervein Wall Dog|
The problem was that most dogs capable of tackling badger on their own were also capable of worrying the sheep and deer fenced out by the Ha-ha.
The solution was the Heugervein Wall Dog which has proven a popular, if rare, breed among those estate properties bounded by Ha-has and which still have sizable populations of sheep .
Ha-has, of course, were cut and fill ditches and rises sided by stone walls. Their purpose, in the era of Landskip Architecture, was to allow a land owner to view the sweeping vistas of his estate unencumbered by stone walls, but at the same time to prevent sheep and cattle from grazing too close to the main house and its expensive, landscaped (and often imported) flora.
Badger are a constant problem with all Ha-has, as the ditch tends to hold small pools of water, while the nearby land rise, and the wall itself, is often bone dry -- a perfect spot for rabbit warrens, fox dens and, of course, badger settes.
"Grills of iron are very necessary ornaments in the lines of walks, to extend the view, and to show the country to advantage. At present we frequently make thorough views, called Ah, Ah, which are openings in the walls, without grills, to the very level of the walks, with a large and deep ditch at the foot of them, lined on both sides to sustain the earth, and prevent the getting over; which surprises the eye upon coming near it, and makes one laugh, Ha! Ha! from where it takes its name. This sort of opening is haha, on some occasions, to be preferred, for that it does not at all interrupt the prospect, as the bars of a grill do."
As you can seen below, the type is very similar to the Heugervein Wall Dog, underscoring the ancient nature of the breed and its long association with royalty, hunting, and landed estates.
One of the most famous admirers or the Heugervein Wall Dog was John Brown, paramour of Queen Victoria, who brought two couples of the dogs to protect a series of Ha-has at Balmoral Castle.