Patterdale Terrier Puppy Training- First Hunt

Our pups are 7 weeks old now and time to take them out to explore the world!

We are often asked,

“How do you train a puppy when you don’t have grown dogs to work them with?”

Having grown finished dogs does make things a lot easier and even allows you to skip some steps and go a little faster.

However I have always felt that when you start with a puppy and have nothing else to work them with- when they are finished they are better dogs. The reason for this is that they must LEARN everything and DO everything ON THEIR OWN.

It takes more work to start a pup like this but in the end, when grown that pup will be loaded with self confidence and knowledge.

Starting a pup on it’s own begins in small steps early in life. This video shows the first steps (although I have brought the Dam “Lil Bit” along to speed up the learning process).

This begins by taking the pup to a safe place where it can explore- preferably a place with all sorts of mice “hiding places” covering the ground. In this video we chose a friends pasture.

Begin by over-turning wood- sheet metal- pipe- anything a mouse or rat can make a nest under and allow the pups to smell and explore.  We even check old grain bins. Anywhere grain is store is a haven for mice!

Sometimes its best to have a “peek” under stuff before allowing the pup to enter. In the end of this video we found a non-poisonous rat snake under the tin and left it so the rancher could prank one of his young workers who is deathly afraid of snakes. With a pup it’s better to have a quick peek to see what’s there as even a non-poisonous snake can cause a pup to lose an eye.

The pups instincts in time will take over and he will use his nose to locate the mice and rats- when you “hit the jackpot” and flip something over and mice run everywhere-its usually irresistible to the puppy! Keep it fun- this is where hunting starts.

Just have patience- take it slow- keep sessions short so the puppy is always left wanting more. After a session put him away somewheres quiet and free of distractions for a few hours so he can sleep on it and process all that he just experienced.

It takes time and work to make a great dog. If YOU want a WORKER then YOU need to BE a Worker!


We will try to keep uploading videos as we work these pups over the next year and show their progress

Be sure and join the PTCA to support this awesome breed of terrier!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *