Thursday, November 17, 2016

Faking It In the World of Working Dogs

I found this video over at the JReed and His Mongrol Hoard where JReed writes:

What do you see? I hope not working dogs.

What I see? Well that is easy.

First I see far too many dogs. There is a mayhem of dogs. If your object is to work dogs you don’t need a milling mass unless there are tons and tons of rats and the need for extra handlers.

The second thing I see, is that none of the Sealyham dogs have their nose to the ground actually searching for rats, or locating rats. If you want to catch rats, you have to be able to find rats.

A dog that has the nose and the drive to actually locate rats is the most valuable dog that you own. Who cares if you have dogs that kill rats if you can not find rats to kill. A terrier by definition is a dog of the earth , its nose should be to ground.

Third, I see dogs that are totally lacking in focus. Just like athletes good working dogs need to be kept in practice and training to be sharp. My own personal dogs need to catch a few rats typically in order to calm down and get to business, but the focus they settle to is amazing. Running around aimlessly like the sealyham’s in the video is not working. There is not focus with eye or nose on anything rat related.

There are also a few Jack Russels cleverly disguised among the Sealyham. My assumption is they are likely the farmers dog’s although I don’t actually know. If you watch the video you will notice it is the few JRT that actually are working and deal with the rats.

My conclusion, is that this is what most terriers removed from work act like. These are show bred dogs that retain mild amounts of drive and instinct ( and likely bark at squirrels from kennels ) but are far from working quality.


This video is very much like the videos we see of "Basett hunting" where a massive pack of dogs is being led on a walk that ends with a catered lunch featuring tea and cucumber sandwiches. No one has a gun, there is not a rabbit in sight, and the ground cover is entirely wrong for rabbits. Hunting? Not a chance.

Below is another video of a bunch of fops playing dress-up with terriers.  These folks have no idea what they are doing.

Working dogs? No and nope.

I cannot say the failure is down the leash when it is so clearly up.  It is not only these dogs that have no idea what they are doing, but the people!

The good news?

The good news is that there are loads of honest ratting terrier men and women in the UK. They don't play dress up however, and they do put up pretty enormous bags of rats taken from locations where rats actually live. And guess what?   Not too many rat live along a river hedgerow flanked by mowed fields. What a pretentious goof that idea is!  If you don't know where your vermin live, you aren't going to find many of them!

This is the terrier equivalent of "renaissance festival falconry" -- a show for the rubes put on by people who are afraid to let their dogs (or their hawks) off the leash.


Viatecio said...

Some of the dogs in that second video had horrible saliva staining on their feet and rears. And that beard! Maybe it's just me, but I'll never understand the function of having long hair on the muzzle to sop up and redistribute saliva and water, especially on a so-called "working" breed.

Whatever. I'm glad people are out having their fun with the dogs, and hope that the dogs are having fun getting out and exploring their world. Just don't pass it off as "working," is all.

Kristen Merrell said...

I viewed the video a second time and I cued up Boot's Randolph's Yakety Sax as a soundtrack. It makes the chaos and cluelessness in the barn appear delightfully Benny Hill-esque. Although, to be fair, for the past 30 years all three of my JRTs here in the coastal canyons of Southern California have preferred the Western Fence Lizard as their favorite quarry.