Parkour Terrier

Parkour dog.  This astonishing Staffordshire Terrier makes most terriers look comatose. Watch this RIVETING video (follows a short commercial not of my doing–sorry–it’s worth the wait).

This boy understands Terrier Logic # 12: Live with Passion.  You’ll never look at a standard agility course the same way. And you’ll probably join me in never whining about your high-energy terrier ever again.

We should all Live With the Spirit of Parkour.

Credits: Found on http://bitemecharlie.wordpress.com/

My Border Terrier acts like a cat

Bark Border Terrier on High

Some might say Bark, my second Border Terrier, acts like a cat. 

Others would say he has visions of grandeur. That he’s a dominant dog who thinks he’s the King of the Castle.  But Bark isn’t dominant and the longer I live with dogs the more I think the Dominance Model is…irrelevant. And sometimes dangerous–especially when there are terriers involved.  Coming to this realization has helped me solve a host of issues with my pups, too.  [The more we can change, the more our dogs can change.]

Bark is just happier up high. As are many cats.

When Bark goes to Grammy’s house to visit, he climbs the tall staircase and sleeps on the sunny patch of carpet atop the landing. There he can hang off the edge and can gaze out the little port window at the neighbouring roof-tops.  At home, he favours the back of the sofa even though windowed doors come right to the ground. A boy up high can see the rabbits and birds and other critters that a ground floor dog never can.  And he can stay out of the way of a bossy sister. Sounds like a good plan to me.

Where does your Terrier like to hang out? 

My next post will be other behaviours shared between Border Terriers and cats.

The real purpose of a terrier

Hunting is a terrier’s real purpose. “Hunt until you drop.”  That’s Terrier Logic # 2Before we ‘own’ a terrier we read all about these cute, non-shedding dogs and how independent, persistent and plucky they are.  How endearing, we think.  So feisty.  We think we ‘get it’.  But I don’t think we really do. Then some of us struggle mightily against these personality traits.

I read it–but didn’t really get it–until I got involved in Earthdog work and saw what comes naturally to these breeds. Only after this did I truly understand my Bossy Border Terrier and her intensity. The hunt for small and not-so-small furries defines her, along with other terriers.

Dughall, the Cairn Terrier, parades his stuffed rat reward after succeeding at an Intro to Quarry Earthdog Test. (Photo courtesy of C. Mair.)

Terriers have hunted for us for centuries, protecting food stores from destruction by vermin and reducing disease by keeping rodent populations in check.  A local, Ontario mill owner I know still prefers a good working terrier to a cat to keep the mice down around his feeds and seeds. We really need to remember this working history of our terriers and find ways to channel their instincts. When we can’t do what we’re meant to do part of us becomes unstable and unhealthy.  Same, too, for our dogs.  When we stick them in a leisurely, quiet life and never let them follow their noses and hunting instincts, they become neurotic. Like rebels without a cause.
If you have a terrier in your life and haven’t heard about Earthdog trials, been to one as an observer or participated in one with your dog, you’re missing out on a controlled opportunity to let your terrier do his life’s work–without harm coming to the quarry Earthdog work (and practice) helps our dogs exercise their real purpose and helps us bond with them on a deeper level.  Check it out..

Lyme Disease is more tenacious than a Master Earthdog

Many terrier owners are doing Earthdog Trials with their dogs this time of year.  You could be doing hunt-ups in long grasses, searching for hidden rats among the brush then WAITING as your dogs go to ground.  That’s on top of all the standing around you`ll be doing at the test site.

Somewhere along the way, a lyme-infected tick could hitch a ride–on you or your dog. So be on the lookout for ticks.   Recent reports say that 10% of black-legged ticks carry the bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi) that`s responsible for Lyme Disease.

Lyme is officially on the rise in Canada, yet disease incidence numbers are probably grossly under-estimated.  While most dogs don’t get Lyme when they`re bitten by a tick, you`re much more like to become infected.  Be vigilant. Not all bites have a classic bullseye rash.

The Lyme Disease bacteria is formidable.  It’s tougher, smarter and way more tenacious than any Earthdog you`ll ever meet. Learn more and stay informed if you`re going to be out working with your Earthdog. Visit www.canlyme.com

Recent News on Lyme: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1215210–ticks-that-can-carry-lyme-disease-agent-spreading

On Burrs

Burrs happen. Suffering is (usually) optional.

I’ve had lots of practice with burrs.  I get into a lot of things.  Bossy and Bark find them  all the time and my mare grazed a paddock laden with burrs a few summers ago. Every day, until I trudged out with a wheel barrow and the will to tear every last of those dang plants out, she came in with a unicorn horn and a dreadlocked tail.  It took ages to get them out. Never to be cut out. Like a terrier’s beard.

Day after day. What to do?

Do the opposite of what comes naturally. Don’t hold the hair and pull the burrs out. Hold the burrs and pull the hair out.  It’s counter-intuitive. Yet it works for beards and manes and tails. And life.

When you’re on the hunt, burrs–and other sticky or prickly things–come with the terrain. Take hold of the problem and tease the good stuff out.

Just tease the good stuff out.