Small terrier recommendation

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Small terrier recommendation

Postby bill10979 » Sun May 14, 2006 11:57 am

Im considering another dog for my household until another DD arrives (or litter for that matter), have to have the wifes stamp on it.
I want a calm housedog, good w/children-very impt., that can turn it on in the field. Mostly squirrel, rabbit and Id consider coon, and deer tracking. I like them just a "little edgy" to where they will be protective of car, home and children similar to my DD. Will be well socialiazed and trained. Must be dog social as well.
Breeds considered are Jagd, JRT., German bred Wire Dachs, Border, Patterdale or Irish terrier. Im open to anything really, provided it meets that criteria.
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Postby sixgunner455 » Sun May 14, 2006 5:04 pm

Finally! A dog question I have at least a little bit of experience with.

Bill, I've had a variety of terriers over the years. I've had 2 JRT, 3 Miniature Schnauzers, 1 Airedale, and hung around with a lot of folks with a variety of others. In fact, my French Brittany is my first dog ever that wasn't a terrier! Prior to getting her, we were considering getting another Miniature Schnauzer (just love that breed), a West Highland White, an Irish Terrier, or an Kerry Blue Terrier. Border Terrier is another one I like (but my wife thinks they look funny :roll: ) and I really like JRT, but they do shed a bit - many small terriers don't, which is one of the attractions to having them in the house.

Most every terrier is a hunter at heart. There will be some that are too show-bred to "turn it on" in the field, but most are blood thirsty little beasts when it comes to vermin/fur in the field, regardless of their pedigree. If you want to make sure that you are getting a for-sure hunter, there are several JRT kennels that are actively hunting still. The Westies are very close to their hunting roots as well. Scotties -- really, I can't think of a breed in particular that wouldn't still have specimens somewhere still raring to do the job. It's what the little guys are for, after all, and they are hard-wired from the womb to do it.

I had one show-bred Miniature Schnauzer bitch which had a few ring points put on her, a couple of litters, and then for some reason the owners decided to stop showing her and sold her to me. She'd never seen so much as a mouse before living with me.

We lived in an old house with a constant mouse problem for a while. She didn't know what to do with them when she caught them, but she caught a LOT of mice. She'd sit by thier holes and wait for'em. I was a teenager at the time, and my mom would sit and laugh her head off every time she'd catch one, and look at her like, now what?

I had another one for years and years that I adopted from the pound. Somebody lost a treasure with that little girl, because she tore the living hell out of a nest of rats that lived under the foundation of my landlady's house. I have no idea how many she killed. Tore up all the flower beds, too! LOL. I had to fix them after. Point is, these cute little house dogs, low-allergen old lady's pets, cause that's what this one was before I adopted her, are hunters. She killed cats bigger than she was! Quite the little charmer in the house, but fur was her thing. Squirrels, rats, mice, anything that didn't belong in her yard, she'd tackle it. No brains to speak of in that regard! Scars to prove it, too. Loved to hike, for such a little thing, till her arthritis caught up with her. She even caught a flushing quail once -- jumped up in the air and caught it. One shake to kill it (that's how she killed everything, very efficient), flipped it over and pinned its wings down, and then started pulling the feathers out of its breast to start eating it. Oh, she lived wild for a few months before the pound picked her up. She knew exactly what to do with critters she wanted to eat. Bit of a scavenger, really.

That one wasn't terribly well bred. Hips, knees, and elbows were all bad -- not really sound. Pigeon toed, bat eared. She was a terror on the critters, but not mechanically sound. Some tumors, too. Ended up putting her down at about 14 or 15 after kidneys started going bad and a series of siezures. Last one left her unable to walk w/o pain. Even with her medical problems, she lived a long time. Miss that little thing.

Airedales are probably a bit larger than you're looking for. So are Kerry Bluess and Irish Terriers, truth to tell -- those are 30-40 pound dogs, quite a bit more dog than the little guys, big enough and tough enough to deal with small coyotes and badgers single handedly. Airedales -- well, ask HiCountry if you want to know about good Airedales. KBTs are supposed to be like an Airedale in a small package. Don't know about that, but they are a tough dog.

Pick out one you like the looks of/hair care of, make sure you're getting a good one, and then give it exposure to critters so it can learn to kill things, and you're going to be fine. On that issue, if you have vermin around, just be careful and keep his shots up to date. You might try buying a rat or two, or a rabbit, to train with. You can blood trail train them too. Some pretty cool stuff to do with them. I may have to get me another one and do some serious training. I just always let mine do what came naturally, and it always worked out pretty good, but now that I'm getting into training my Brittany, I'm seeing that I could have done a lot more with them.

Some of the British terriers can be a little short tempered. I've never seen a short tempered Miniature Schnauzer. Doesn't mean there aren't any, I've just never seen one. Every terrier I've ever met has been territorial and protective of its home and family. Smallest dogs I've seen that will take on a Rott or Dobie without thinking about it. Just charge right in.

Hair care -- since this will be a field dog, make sure, if you use a groomer, to tell them exactly how you want that hair cut, if you get a dog that needs its hair cut. I had to practically beat one of my groomers into submission to get her to quit doing a show clip on one of my Schnauzers. Keep it in a "puppy clip", or you'll regret it! Show hair is NOT for the field! It is an extreme exaggeration of a practical field hair cut, i.e., a beard down to the knees vs enough hair around the face to keep a critter the dog is fighting from being able to get hold of his face. Same for the other furnishings.

Good luck. :D
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Postby terryg » Mon May 15, 2006 9:24 am

German bred Wire Dachs,


all you ask for with few of the problems associated with the other breeds!
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Postby bill10979 » Mon May 15, 2006 11:08 am

I never thought about a mini schnauzer really. I might consider one. If I could have the Dachshund rabbit hunt, sit quiet hunting squirrels and blood track Id be very happy.
Speaking of schnauzers, do I love the Giants Schauzers. Hard to find a good one it seems, at least one to my standards, I know theyre out there though.
Little story. I thought our DD would have to leave us a short time ago. My wife who was an culinary student, was baking a cake(handmade) over 3 hours of work for my monster in laws 65thBday. You know the rest of the story., Went to check the kids and cake was gone. Well last week, I went to bed and forgot to shut the garage door-we live in a bedroom community. Awokened at 1am-dog was barking bloody murder. Got the shotgun, perimeter search, nothing. Talked to a cop next day-there were a rash of reported car breakins and a burglury few streets over. Dog was redeemed.
I have a feeling my wife thinks we are getting a cute little lap dog, if it turns out to be another cat killer..Ill be hanged, unless it can really guard the house too.
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Postby sixgunner455 » Mon May 15, 2006 12:07 pm

Some will kill cats, some won't. My show-bred one wouldn't consider it, the cats were her friends.

My pound rescue wanted blood from just about everything, except from my parents' JRT. They were friends. She made friends with other dogs that she lived with pretty easily, and was VERY good with kids, from infants on up. Never a harsh SOUND to a child. My infant daughter would crawl into her bed with her, and they just cuddled together. When the pup would get tired of getting mauled, she'd leave the room. Did that her whole life. Both kids were her buddies, sought them out for playing and affection, even when she was arthritic and could hardly move.
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Postby TobyTx » Mon May 15, 2006 5:23 pm

My vote is Dachs. I have had sch too. The dac was very calm in the house. She was from pet line but she chased anything that moved(once found a buck and chased it through a field) and she killed rodents up to her size. Slept most of the day but as soon as we let her loose she was always moving at 100%. Too bad we recently lost her.

I think it would be hard to get an Irish or Fox. Ive tried and only found show lines with the breeders wanting a lot of restrictions. From what I understand they are hi energy.
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Postby bill10979 » Mon May 15, 2006 8:29 pm

My biggest concern is my family obviously and youngsters. They are taught acceptable rules and dog is acclimated to handling. But I really dont want a dog with a low bite threshhold or one that "bites 1st asks questions later'
The Dachs and others struck me as being this way. If Im wrong please tell me, it appears from the posts that some have been very stable and that is good, especailly with family members.
Otherwise, I would have a weinie roast pretty quickly if my boys were bitten.
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Postby orhunter » Mon May 15, 2006 9:08 pm

Dachshounds are not kid dogs. They are not warm and cuddly with a lot of tolerance for play and loud voices.
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Postby hicntry » Mon May 15, 2006 11:09 pm

"I want a calm housedog, good w/children-very impt., that can turn it on in the field. Must be dog social as well."

Figure your odds Bill. With a bigger dog the odds are acceptable. They are going to go down dramaticly as the size goes down. Good terriers are a no nonsense dog.
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Postby Ghost » Tue May 16, 2006 7:13 am

You might find this website interesting:

http://www.born-to-track.com/

In general, I agree w/ hicntry. The smaller the dog, the less likely it will be good with kids. That's not to say it can't be done, just that the odds are against you.
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Postby TobyTx » Tue May 16, 2006 9:00 am

My dach bit without warning. She was a ankle chomper. Although she was not well socialized and was teased when she was young.
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Postby terryg » Tue May 16, 2006 9:49 am

If Im wrong please tell me, it appears from the posts that some have been very stable and that is good, especailly with family members


you are wrong! :lol: buy from good breeding(german as you said) and then train as you would any other dog(protection or not). the only difference between training a big dog and a little dog is one takes 2 hands on the leash and one takes 2 fingers :lol: :lol: :lol:

do not be fooled by the size of the dog. a small dachshund male is every bit the man a 95lb g shep police k-9 is and is capable of of the same behavior, both in fighting drive and obed., relatively speaking of course.

the mini schnauzer is a joke as they have been relegated to the armchair decoration for far too many generations.

their are some good german lines but next to impossible to find in this country.

the major poblem with a dachs is to see that they get plenty of field exercise for strength and endurance and keep the weight off them. their back has to stay in great shape, like iron, to avoid injury.

the other problem being it is really hard to tell if they are sitting as their butt only drops 1/2 an inch . :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby sixgunner455 » Tue May 16, 2006 10:13 am

terryg wrote:
the mini schnauzer is a joke as they have been relegated to the armchair decoration for far too many generations.

their are some good german lines but next to impossible to find in this country.


That depends on the dog, terry, just like anything else. I can only speak from my experience, of course, but I've had Schnauzers that were as serious of vermin destroyers as anything you'd like to see. Can't speak for their breeding, and the better of them was a spayed pound rescue as I mentioned earlier.

Then, of course, there was the show bred one that never actually killed anything! :lol:
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Postby dualgwp » Tue May 16, 2006 12:42 pm

Sixgunner, maybe you can answer a question....
Last fall I bought a Border Terrier, mainly as a pet (never owned a small dog and wanted something smaller than 65 lbs to sit on the lap), but also thought I'd do some go to ground work with her. She is the most enjoyable, sweet, funny dog I've owned. But, she is also one of the most laid back, almost lazy dogs I've ever owned. Great as a pet, but not looking good as a varmit gitter.

I've read that BT's may take a while to get really varmit crazed, but that once they are... watch out. This one is 10 months old, parents imported from England where they are supposedly worked.

She shows little interest in the dead groundhogs the GWP brings home, hasn't shown much interest in the dens either. Is all lost? Or should I go buy a rat and let her have at it?
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Postby bill10979 » Tue May 16, 2006 1:13 pm

My suggestion... get a few large mice or rats in a cage. If a spark doesnt go off somethings wrong, IMO, from a working standpoint. But be patient and encourage some excitement. Squirrels are also great for enticement. Keep dog on leash in a park and when close and dog is going crazy let em go and chase. Hope it works for you.

For some crazy Ohio excitement, when we caught a problem coon in a havahart trap we brought the dog up. I had never witnessed what I saw before than with this DD. And Id done the same thing with Shepherds and GSPs in the past. The hatred and desire was incredible, this was genetic and prewired. Id imagine any game terrier would possess this same sharpness on fur.
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