Fun on four legs

Plucky, ver­sa­tile and ready for any­thing, the ter­rier is tough to beat as the ul­ti­mate coun­try­side com­pan­ion, says die-hard fan Johnny Bluck

Shooting Times & Country Magazine - - CONTENTS -

What is it that makes the ter­rier the ideal choice when con­tem­plat­ing an ad­di­tion to your work­ing team? For me, and for many oth­ers, it can be summed up in one word: adapt­abil­ity.

The ter­rier by its very na­ture can take on many dif­fer­ent roles in the hunt­ing field, some­thing that other breeds are un­able to do to the same de­gree. The ter­rier’s en­thu­si­asm and will­ing­ness to please are truly em­bed­ded in its per­son­al­ity.

Breed­ing is al­ways a key fac­tor when de­cid­ing to buy any work­ing dog. Some lines of terriers are not for those who pre­fer a quiet way of life. The DNA of such terriers can be trans­lated into “do not ap­proach”.

But like all work­ing lines, it pays to take a lit­tle time to delve into the his­tory, as by do­ing so you stack the cards in your favour and hope­fully end up with a win­ning hand. Well­reared and so­cialised pup­pies turn into well-bal­anced adults, al­low­ing you to ex­tract the best from them in terms of work.

My own line of Jack Rus­sells ticks all the boxes in terms of what I need them to do. Their na­ture is bal­anced with lit­tle or no ag­gres­sion ever dis­played in­ap­pro­pri­ately; I can al­low them free

28 • SHOOT­ING TIMES & COUN­TRY MAG­A­ZINE roam on the lawn with­out the worry of a mas­sacre tak­ing place.

With so many dif­fer­ent breeds of work­ing ter­rier to choose from, you must con­sider care­fully which one will meet your needs ef­fec­tively. Each breed has dif­fer­ent char­ac­ter­is­tics and traits, so do some re­search, speak to some own­ers and make your choice wisely.

Once your choice has been made, what can you get up to with terriers in the coun­try­side? First on the list and an in­tro­duc­tion for most young dogs will be rat­ting, often an ac­tion-packed event that serves the landowner, farmer and game­keeper very well in­deed.

Lamp­ing rats at night with one or two well-ed­u­cated terriers can also be great fun. I re­mem­ber vis­it­ing the lo­cal duck ponds af­ter dark as a teenager, armed with only my

“Terriers and spaniels often suf­fer with a well­known con­di­tion, re­ferred to as se­lec­tive hear­ing”

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