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Thread: How much can I achieve with my Patterdale?

  1. #1

    How much can I achieve with my Patterdale?

    Hi all,

    Firstly, I'd like to say I've never used a dog for hunting before so have probably done everything wrong to this point, and don't really know how a deer dog should be expected to perform.

    I've got a great little patterdale terrier who's just over a year that I've had since a pup. He's an absolutely great pet and companion but am wondering if it's too late to train him up to be any use for stalking as I really like taking the little feller out with me. Makes a nice hot water bottle if nothing else..! I've sort of indulged his natural desire for chasing stuff by encouraging him to kill rats, pull rabbits out of thickets and take him with me when squirrel shooting with the airrifle as he's good for following up the odd wounded one. I also let him tear into a fox last weekend that I had shot as I thought he could be useful for following up injured ones if that ever happens. However, he's got a bad habit of going after pheasants and actually recently has chased sheep and cows so he's mostly on the lead at the moment. Apparently this morning out with the mrs he spotted a fox and f*cked off for ten minutes so he's probably got a taste from them after the weekend - not good. Generally if I take him out stalking with me on foot, he'll be constantly sniffing the ground and pulling at the lead and will pine and pull if he spots something. I have been working hard on walking to heel over the last two weeks and he can do it perfectly if there's cheese in my hand and no distractions! I've also done quite a lot of training with him for blood tracking and he's pretty good at it I think - I can lay a trail through woodland over about 2-300m with a couple of 90 degree turns in it and he will follow it on a long lead a couple of hours after it was laid, so that is definitely a use I have for him, although if I let him off the lead in woods and left to his own devices he'll chase everything out of the wood and as he's got a damn good nose he'll find everything and clear the whole wood pretty quick. He goes deaf when he's on the heels of something. He sort of points to an extent and has spotted stuff with his nose like a squirrel that was up wind of us that I hadn't seen until he started sniffing in it's direction.

    So my question is bearing in mind the above what can I get expect him to achieve with the right training? Can I get him to:

    1. walk calmly to heel and not try and chase stuff until I let him. And not pine and pull at the lead when he becomes aware of a deer (or bloody squirrel)
    2. Sit at the bottom of a high seat (can tie him up) but reckon he'd be pulling and pining if something came close.
    3. Stop chasing livestock.

    Cheers, any advice appreciated.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by J111 View Post
    So my question is bearing in mind the above what can I get expect him to achieve with the right training? Can I get him to:

    1. walk calmly to heel and not try and chase stuff until I let him. And not pine and pull at the lead when he becomes aware of a deer (or bloody squirrel)
    2. Sit at the bottom of a high seat (can tie him up) but reckon he'd be pulling and pining if something came close.
    3. Stop chasing livestock.
    Probably not, it's a Patterdale. I am a Patterdale owner and although she's a great dog she spends most of her time on the flexi-lead. She comes back like a star until a rabbit runs and then red-mist descends and all training goes out the window.

    I can see the dog been great for possibly following up wounded deer etc, but not really for what you want.

    Someone will come and tell me their dog drives the car and makes tea, I don't doubt.

    Section 161 of the Highways Act 1980 (England & Wales) makes it an offence to discharge a firearm within 50 ft of the centre of a highway with vehicular rights without lawful authority or excuse, if as a result a user of the highway is injured, interrupted or endangered.

  3. #3
    My dog drives the car and makes the tea
    Redmist seems to be a terrier thing......

  4. #4
    I have a patterdale, she's broken to livestock as to your other requests, forget it. I have no doubt they will find a lost deer, but taking them stalking isn't in their job description

  5. #5
    I have always a Patterdale with me when I stalk,this takes a lot of practice asi stalk full time it is easier for me
    to train them they walk to heal most of the time and will wait for the shot and they will find deer just the same as my labs ,it is hard work but worth it

  6. #6
    J111. One error/vice that you haven't mentioned is going to ground. Keep him away from holes that are large enough for him to get down, otherwise a four hour stalking session can turn into an overnight vigil. Best of luck.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Norm View Post
    J111. One error/vice that you haven't mentioned is going to ground. Keep him away from holes that are large enough for him to get down, otherwise a four hour stalking session can turn into an overnight vigil. Best of luck.
    I forgot to say that especially if the owners have stripes,

  8. #8
    It really does depend note individual dog.

    My first deer dog was a patterdale, and I still have and use him but I have since got a bigger dog.

    You need to be firm, very firm and consistent. They are absolutely capable of following a blood trail indeed mine is very good at it their prey drive is immense so if you can steer that in the right direction you are on to a winner.

    Mine will stalk at heel, as a younger dog he did run in on 2 or 3 occasions. Amazing how they can get to a deer faster than a bullet. That was my fault. I trusted him too soon. A very thorough chat was had after about why he shouldn't have done it and I think he understood.

    His is sit and stay is amazing, very steady like that.

    Often I think he switches his hearing off when it comes to recall but a whistle has helped with that.

    A lot of people told me about the going to ground stuff but in my experience it's ********. He has never gone to ground, he has never known any better so why would he? That said I don't take any chances. Just in case I'm wrong.

    In short, give it a go. Think very hard about how, and what you do in training try not to make any mistakes! Remember that he will want to push his luck at any opportunity so be firm, patient and consistent. Use a lead definitely use a lead and a Long line for tracking (although I hate this method) but you need to have some control over them.

    Oh yeah. When he does find his first deer... Or his second or any deer be very careful what you do with your hands around him.

  9. #9
    Thanks for your ideas guys. I think I'll keep persevering. Maybe he'll calm down in a year or so. He's got a retained bollock so have been told we ought to get him neutered at some point which may help?

  10. #10
    J111, firstly, well done for trying to utilise the dog you have got. Terriers can make themselves useful but as Jubnut said: you need to be very firm and consistent.
    I think at this stage your priority ought to be stopping him from chasing stock. I would take him out on the flexi lead and try to get him used to being around cattle, sheep and chickens.....and cats too, if you don't want a PR disaster with the farmers children. Do not trust him off lead until you are 100% confident that he won't chase stock. It is very easy to get a terrier to chase stuff but very difficult to stop him.

    Patterdales tend to be quite hard so if you're following up wounded beasts with him off the lead, be aware that he may not have enough sense to stand back and bay. Deer have antlers/tusks/hooves and your dog might take quite a hammering if he is inexperienced. I would certainly keep him on a long lead for now.

    I find it easier to stalk without my dog and then go and get him if he's needed, although he will walk to heel and behave well when nobody is looking!
    What with carrying rifle, binos, roesack, sticks etc I already feel like a one man band, so tripping up on a terrier and getting tangled up in a dog lead is the last thing I need.

    If he isn't going to be used for serious earth work, do not ever allow him to go to ground, ever. Make sure he understands his boundaries.

    Good luck! hope it all goes well for you

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