Monday, November 08, 2010

Terrier Work in Norway

Martin in Norway writes:

You requested pictures of terrierwork [in other countries] so I´m sending you a few taken by my friend Bjorn Lie Fostad, who is an up and coming Norwegian wildlife photographer.

Here in Norway, terriers have traditionally been used to bolt foxes that has been run in by a hound, and then shot as they try to flee. With the increase in the badger population, digging has become more common, and with the coming of the raccoondog it will probably become even more common. Terriers are also put to good use in minkhunting, which is an unwanted species here who was brought in by the fur industry. Parsons, jacks, borders, jagds and foxterriers are the most used terriers, with pretty decent dogs within all of the breeds.

Excellent! Thanks for the wonderful pictures Martin, and what a handsome group you all are!  


The Dog House said...

Forgive my ignorance, Patrick - but is there actually a difference between the Parsons and the Jack or are they simple height classifications?

AMAZING photo of the dog and the badger nose to nose, btw. Great credit to the dog... oh, and whoever took it. ;O)

PBurns said...

They are great picures!

As for differences between the Parson and the Jack Russell, they are increasing every day.

The Rev. Jack Russell was a fox digging man, did not care too much for pedigrees and rosettes, and did not call his dogs anything but working terriers.

After his death, the small white WORKING dogs were called "Jack Russells" to differentiate them from the non-working Fox Terriers which got bigger in the chest, fluffier-coated, and the like. That is not beginning to happend to Parsons. "Those who do not learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them," etc....

So where does the Parson Russell terrier come from?

In 1902, Arthur Heinemann founded the Devon and Somerset BADGER Digging Club (emphasis added).

Heinemann never met Russell, and mostly dug badger, and it was he who created a standard for white badger-digging dogs which, more than 90 years later, was embraced as "the standard" for a "Parson Russell terrier."

Of course, the Rev. John Russell never dug badger, and in the UK they are not used for badger at all, as badger-digging is illegal. The boys I know who do dig badger in the UK are using Patterdales and Russells. Are there some KC-registered "Parsons" our there? No doubt, but I do not know them...

In the end, as I have noted in the past, the nomenclature of the dogs is not very important. Different horses for different courses, and a lot of variety should be accepted. When push comes to shove, there are only two kinds of dogs: those that work, and those that don't. I salute any working dog, no matter the name ;)

For more on all this, however, see:





The Dog House said...


My confusion was caused by the fact that I know how prized a small russell is, and that Parsons actively hunted his dogs.

However, the Parsons of today (in Canada they are considered two separate breeds) are very tall and VERY slight - to the point where every time I see one I assume it's something else. At least here.

The pedigreed Jacks on the other hand are overly muscled to the point of looking like little mini pit bulls, bordering on dwarf legs.

This may be limited to my region, it just always struck me as odd that the dogs I would assume Parson did NOT hunt with are referred to as Parson Russell Terriers.

So I appreciate the clarification. Although I do wish that the Canadian breeders could do a better job of breeding a decent terrier (in general, we're terrible at it). We breed some good herding dogs (outside the show ring), and have a few strains of good hunting dogs, but for the most part if you want tips on dog breeding, my country is pretty damn far down the list.

Thanks for the info, Patrick - as always.

Seahorse said...

Fantastic photos! I can't even imagine seeing badger like that, and the dogs look fantastic. I also read the links about the "raccoon dog", which was new to me. The world is an endlessly fascinating place!