Our approach: Our particular approach to ‘working type’ terriers, our specialism, is our own. It is based on respecting our terriers and adoring their character. Put a terrier in with a family who are not dog savvy and terriers are misconstrued and can easily lose their lives on the road or via the vets. Behaviourists rarely get terrier and their reports come with euthanasia peppered through them. We have been dealing with homing breakdowns day in, day out and hear the same stories. This builds up an awareness of these dog’s strengths and vulnerabilities. ‘Working Terriers’ were taken home by rescue families via pounds and adapted to their ways. When they lose their best friend they come back for a Patterdale or a Parson’s Jack only then appreciating what they were called.
1) Pedigree specialists who often breed for show and sell on pups to support their work and promote the breed.
2) Working specialists: ‘Fanciers or terrier type specialists’ who breed for performance rather than just physical specifications alone. They aren’t so interested in lineage or keeping to ‘breed type’. ‘Your Border with my Jack’; ‘His Patterdale with her Bedlington’. They monitor and utilise characteristics.
3) Earn a bob: Accidental litters thinking the season finishes when the bleeding stops! Travellers work and breed Lurchers, Jacks and Fell terriers/Patterdales and often sell them via free ads.
4) Earn a mint: The villains the puppy farmers, mainly in Wales and Ireland but van loads off loaded and sold through irresponsible pet shops or ‘agents’ working through commercial websites and tabloid press. You’ve seen the adverts “pups of all breeds”. Cheat and cheap! Their main care is money. The parents have prostituted lives in dreadful conditions. They don’t give a damn for the pup in their care nor where it goes. So buying on price and supporting that abominable activity makes it a growing market! No you don’t rescue a pup from a pet shop, your money facilitates them to exploit again and again.
The Rescue Scene: Rescues run at a loss, unless they are large concerns with legacies to provide for them. What places they have are too few to support the displacement of home failures – Don’t begrudge supporting your local rescue, that money is invested in care and welfare, not callous exploitation. We need good terrier homes were we can home our terrier with the confidence that they are understood and are safe. Many a terrier fails to reach their natural death. So stand firm and think carefully are you really up for a terrier, don’t be the one to impulse buy and regret later. Don’t compare the cost of a pup with a donation to a rescue. We get weary when people have no idea of the huge vet and kennel bills we pay to support our terriers whilst they await their homes and present them as neutered, vax’d and chipped. We aim to offer a terrier carefully matched to your lifestyle so that you can have fun together.
Terriers and children: The main reason why Terriers come into rescue is a baby arrives. Babies cry like injured animals; Lifted up and terrier are attracted to items out of reach; Bounced on laps; the baby crawling behind playpen becomes a fascination. All terriers need close and constant supervision around small children and vice versa! You are lucky if you can build a trusted relationship with a placid terrier. Most of our type of terriers are not cut out for mother care. We do not home terriers in with babies and toddlers unless the terrier has a proven history, the family have very recent terrier ownership experience where they are confident and competent to take on a terrier in that situation. We can get in exceptional terriers also. Sometimes you have to recognise that different phases of your life need different components. Maybe deciding on a more trustworthy breed such as Staffies, Shepherds, Labradors, Boxers or Greyhounds at this stage of the family’s life and then go for a second dog, a terrier, as the children reach 6 or 7 years. Terriers and young children have to be a conscious mix! Mature children will find terriers great fun and will be laughing with delight at their antics. Terriers can nip Terriers don’t like running children or moving wheels, hoovers, brooms and garden hoses. When you witness this phenomenon, you see their instincts– they are ‘lost to. So visiting children are usually fine, as long as they are conscious around the dog and stand still if the terrier appears from nowhere, joining in, in a highly excited state. Never whip a terrier’s energy up, don’t play tug of war with terriers, teach fetch and surrender. Always offer them stability and security around their food. Some terrier we have no qualms placing with children, others we would advise against. Heed our caution, as we only have the dog and your interests at heart.
Terrier nips: All terriers can nip that is certain. If that is an absolute no-no, don’t go for a terrier or a collie. Wake up to these breed’s integral make-up, they are not soft toys, but domesticated working breeds. Be very clear about the difference between mouthing, nipping and bites. Alarms ring and a family panics thinking the terrier has bitten and it what if… On further investigation they have caught clothing, made flesh contact, and ‘nipped’ with or without marking. To pierce the skin is to bite. There is disturbing whilst asleep, biting accidentally, inadvertently; with clear communication and warning. A terrier can be protective of its space, food or possessions; each terrier’s character is different. If you know your terrier and respect them, they can be managed without further incidence. ‘In the heat of the moment’ i.e. post arriving or an altercation with another dog, they are not in control and inexperienced people get bitten. Incidentally, if breaking up a fight- if one has locked on please don’t tear them off or prize open their jaw. Hold; wait ready to pull up and away on release. They hold on, to get the message to the other dog. They have disabled them from attacking “when I release.. clear off!” Having been bitten many times, we see it as an occupational hazard and take responsibility personally. Society is so ‘precious’ you would think the terrier has committed murder or will, given a chance! Fear drives – the imagination flies! Terrier people understand their ‘friends’. Each is an individual, some like their space more than others. Be forgiving and learn from the incident. Some terriers are no risk at all, others are cheeky chappies and they need homes prepared to respect them, manage them and work around their quirks. We do help terriers who have ‘sinned’ in all these areas. In the heat of the moment our friends can make mistakes. Having given clear body language, eye or vocal communication to warn off, push them harder and they may carry through their threat. Why push further … respect their space or need for ownership. One of our terriers was nearly put to sleep by a behaviourist pushing him beyond his clear warnings and into his areas of discomfort: We knew our terrier and this was not assessment but provocation.
Terrier with other dogs: Hum no guarantees! Whether you’ve owned your dog from a puppy or have ‘taken it into’ your family as an adult dog, let’s be clear, terriers are not famed for being good with other dogs and can have their moments. Some have many more moments than others. Behind all the bravado often you find a frightened terrier that is feeling vulnerable and creating, to warn off the other dog or their sheer excitement to meet is being misconstrued. Terriers are pack animals, but rarely do they grow up mixing within a pack nowadays to develop their skills and have their corners rounded off by competent role models. England in particular love their animals, but treat them like babies and then ask them to behave like skilled dogs. We rescue from Wales and Ireland and their dogs tend to come with much more fluent dog skills, as they are moving around neighbourhoods as packs.. We often have brilliant terriers in our rescue that are not fully skilled with dogs, but they miss out on a home time and time again as people will look for the fluent & easy dog. If you have confidence in dog ownership consider offering a terrier the chance. We will support you, and often in the right hands, within a dog community where friendships can be developed, these skills can come later with a confident owner behind them.
Terriers with cats and small furries: Terrier Rescue stand there for mainly working type terriers bouncing from wrong home to wrong home. They can end up being ‘euthanized (murdered) on advice of professionals who purport to ‘know’. Often they haven’t a clue about terriers, let alone working types. We request the completion of our homing questionnaire as the first step to ‘finding your next terrier’. We have to say we stand in amazement at how many first time dog owners, with cats or small furries, apply for a ‘Patterdale or a Lakie’. Few terriers could handle it. Cats need to be proven with dogs too! To test a cat to prove itself to stand its ground and tolerate interest. So often terriers that have grown up with cats, now losing their homes, are suggested “not for cats” as its really hard work. Westies, collies and shepherds have far greater chance of success. Let’s be ‘realistic’ small furries and cats are at risk, working type were bred for vermin control. Some come having killed cats so this is not to be taken lightly. People can make it work, but it needs focus and the right type of temperament, but you can’t be casual with these types of dogs.
Terrier’s Plight: Terriers are so often being placed in homes without thought for their needs and welfare. They have ‘appeal’; are ‘good looking’, athletic dogs with character and charm. Pups need intensive work to bring them through into well balanced, rounded dogs. Not all terriers will become conversant. Some have abusive backgrounds yet show humility in their temperament as a result or the opposite defensive traits which will fade. You will not know what dog you are getting until the 12-18 month mark because terriers are instinct bound. Their instincts have to manifest, be assimilated and accommodated into their ‘raison d’ete’. You are safer homing an older terrier as their issues will be clear and that makes it easier to match them to your lifestyle. Terriers live to 12-18 yrs. The smaller, the longer their life expectancy generally. An 8 yr old is still full of gumption and can still be a terror with cats!