Friday, June 03, 2016

Tools of a Terrierman

If you're serious about digging on the dogs, you need a few basics:

  1. A dog that will fit in the hole.Smaller is generally better, and chest size is everything. Anyone who tells you a larger dog can "eventually get there if it has the desire," is a dog dealer or an armchair theorist. A dog cannot dig through rock or a root, nor can it excavate the length of a pipe. You cannot pound a gallon of sand into a pint bottle. With teriers, chest size matters. A lot. >> To read more

  2. A locator collar.
    I prefer Deben locator collars. Other parts of the world may be able to get by with larger avalanche locators, but I have tried them and I do not recommend them as I have found them to be too larger for our needs. I still use the old Deben Mark I kit, but the new Deben LRT collars are better tech in that they are waterproof and do not need to be taped up before an outing. >> To read more

    An Ames Poney shovel and a pair of heavy-duty post hole diggers.

  3. A good shovel.
    There is no better shovel than an Ames "Pony" sold by A.M. Leonard and other industrial tool companies. This shovel is heavy, has a good dish, and holds an edge when sharpened. Ames has been making tools in this country longer than we have been a nation. >> To read more

  4. A heavy-duty posthole digger.
    If you dig in hedgerows and rocky areas with heavy soil, you cannot do without this tool. >> To read more

  5. A digging bar.
    I do not like T-bars -- they are too hard on the hands. My bar is 3/4" hex stock, 6 feet long and straight, with a rounded point on one end, and sharp chisel point in the other. Perfect.

  6. A decent pack to carry it all.
    And by "all," I mean a snare, a long-handled trowel, a root saw, a machete, a scraper, water for you and the dogs, a small veterinary kit, extra batteries, tape, leashes, collars and tieouts. And by "decent" I mean one made of canvas and not light-weight "ripstop" nylon which cannot take the long-term abuse of tools and dirt. The pack I recommend is the Brockwood Bow/Rifle pack which fits a shovel head like it was designed for it. This pack will hold everything (and then some), wears like iron, and has good shoulder and waist straps. "Made in U.S.A. with Manufacturer Lifetime Guarantee."
If you are new to terrier work (or simply want to save money in the future), I also recommend one other investment. This little item. As Greg D. once said, "If you are serious about terrier work, nothing else will save you more time, grief and money." The JRTCA, the largest Jack Russell terrier club in the world, recommends it as "great reading for all terriermen and women." I only promise one thing: It will save you money ... and maybe your dog's life.


Anonymous said...


I really cannot say enough good things about your book. As you know, I didn't have a lot of people working terriers in my area when I started two years ago and was reluctant to travel 4 - 6 hours to meet up with experienced terrier workers. Your book gave me the information needed to get started as well as enough background to overcome the initial apprehension about tackling a new method of hunting on my own.

Certainly going into the field with experienced terrier workers is the best way to learn and build confidence, and I don't know that I'd recommend that just everybody read a book and jump in on their own, but your book made it possible for me to do just that when I had no other resources available.

You've seen some of my pictures and read some of my tales over the last two years. There'd be far less of both if I hadn't come across your book. Thanks.


PS - You still have the address to send the check for the endorsement? ;-)

Amy Nexus said...

I came to this blog after reading your book. I have never had the pleasure of digging on dogs, but I handle large breed terriers (and several others over many years) and dearly love all of the terriers. I'm a voracious reader of all things canine I can get my hands on and I have recommended your book highly.

A terrier will push itself well past the point of self-preservation and to manage them well requires a deep understanding of that not to mention the critical importance of basic field emergency treatments. It's a big responsibility. Anyone who gets outdoors with their dogs should read that info, it's truly useful stuff.