Our pups just turned 18 weeks old and we really needed to get them out early this morning and get them some work before it turned hot! Randi and I loaded Lil Bit and Boomer with their pups Brawler- Goosey and Melee. We also took Cricket who is a few weeks younger from our Grim X Eve cross. Minutes after turning out the pups “Lil Bit” located on a dead hollow tree with the pups at her side. We tied the grown dogs and let the pups work the young possum. He was the perfect size for these young pups! After tying the grown dogs, Cricket was excited about playing with the grown dogs as they barked wanting loose!
She has been a real firecracker so we are not concerned that she did not get as involved as the other pups. She is going to be an awesome tiny little terrier as she has shown her drive to us over and over in the past so we don’t read too much into her being off her game this morning. It was a lot of excitement for a 16 week old pup!
As you work YOUR pups notice how we tie the grown dogs back and let the pups work the game on their own. It’s really a great opportunity for them to learn and mature.We let Lil Bit and Boomer in for a little fur at the end.
Should have other puppy training videos up in the weeks to come as we video this batch on their way to 1 year old.
Please BE SURE and support this awesome breed of terriers by joining and registering your pup with the PTCA!
This video covers the basics of “Lead Breaking” which is getting your pup used to being walked on a leash and also “Recall” which is simply getting your terrier to come to you when you speak the command.
Lead breaking is pretty straight forward and basically involves attaching a lead or leash to the pups firmly fitting collar then staking the lead out in the yard for a few hours. It’s important to have a tight fitting collar that the pup cannot slip- BUt not so tight that it chokes. It’s also important that this is done in a shady cool spot and the pup has water available.
Usually the pup is going to scream and cry and hit the end of the lead and pull until he is give completely out. The pup is going to get hot during this so its important this is done in a cool spot with water.
I usually just leave them an hour or so-checking back every 15 minutes or so to make sure he is doing ok. Its pretty traumatic to the pup for the first few minutes but eventually he learns the leash is the master and settles down. Afterwards you can walk him on the lead a bit before putting him up away from distractions so he can process what he has learned.
If he pulls and hits the end of the lead after this- it will be time for another quicker session the following day done in the same manner.
Recall is a little more important as it can save your terriers life in the field and even at home. When your terrier is in danger you MUST be able to call him to you and away from the danger.
This is done with 100 ft of clothesline rope, repeating the “HERE” command over and over while gently pulling the pup to you. Smart pups pick it up quickly but even after they understand the command “HERE” they are going to test you. This is when the rope is no longer attached and involves you walking to the dog for however long it takes repeating the command “HERE” over and over. Sometimes you can walk to the pup in just minutes- sometimes it takes awaile, but if you want your dog to understand recall YOU MUST get him EVERYTIME he disobeys, otherwise you are just confusing him or only teaching him to obey “when he wants to”. You have to be patient- you MUST be consistent and you CANNOT use a heavy hand when working on this.
I hope you enjoy the video and discussion and that its helpful in bringing up your pup!
Be sure and and support these awesome terriers by joining The Patterdale Terrier Club of America
This morning we took our 4 pups out with Boomer and Lil Bit in search of their first dig.
3 of the pups ( Brawler, Goosey and Melee -all littermates from Boomer X Lil Bit cross) are 11 weeks old. The smallest little black female is “Cricket” and she is 9 weeks old ( Grim X Eve cross) and on her first outing.
Throughout this part of training we keep it fun, allowing the pups to explore and follow their parents on discoveries as they take in new sights, sounds and especially scents. Their genetic desire to enter and dig began to show today as all pups entered setts checking them, some even digging and barking and pulling roots. They really enjoyed the dirt!
The important things to consider at this point is to keep it short- keep it fun and keep it safe for the pups!
When the pups have done well and you know they have learned something from their outdoor experience, it’s always important to put them up quiet somewhere for a few hours away from distractions, let them rest and THINK about ONLY what they just learned and encountered.
Anytime a terrier enters a sett it’s important that you clean their eyes as soon as finished. This can be done in the field with a bottle of sterile saline solution ( eye wash). We were just two miles from home so we wait until we return and give all dogs including the pups a through bath while rinsing their eyes out. This is usually the situation where we hunt.
In case of an eye injury, it important to provide Non-Steroidal antibiotic eye drops as soon as possible. We keep them in the back pack at all times. You may need to speak with your vet about a bottle. Just insure its Non-Steroidal , as our vet has told us a Steroidal eye drop will “blow their eye up”, which is country speak for “do not use it”.
Pups have another vaccination coming up next week, it’s important to keep these up to date when taking your pups out and working them around other dogs and wildlife. Our dogs will not receive a Rabies vaccination until they are 6 months of age, so it’s important to consider this and keep them from getting bit by anything that they may contract rabies from.
At this age our biggest concern is PARVO, It is really a killer and a heart breaker with pups. We will keep vaccinating them with Neo-Par until 18 weeks of age so we are assured immunity. ALL our terriers receive their yearly vaccines next week as well which comes in the form of a 10 way vaccine and then a vaccine developed for Rattlesnake bites.
I didn’t intend to get off track with a training video concerning vaccinations but it so IMPORTANT that they be fully vaccinated when taking them out that I am glad we stressed it.
If this is your first pup or even grown terrier, please visit and read this webpage on vaccinations and have a COMPLETE understanding of “Window of Susceptibility” when dealing with Parvo. It CAN kill your pups EVEN if if vaccinated past 12 weeks! We cannot stress the importance of a 18 week Parvo vaccination enough.
After that, it’s really just keeping the dogs learning from taking them to creeks and woods in your area, keeping them safe and making it fun. Genetic, if the terrier is well bred, will take over and do MOST of the training for you. At this point YOUR job is to keep the pup safe and demonstrate to him all the things NOT TO DO, which includes ANY dog on dog aggression, engaging skunks, porcupines and other undesirable game.
If you have continued to take the steps and work with your pup so that he understands “NO“, means unacceptable behavior, then this stage will be MUCH easier.
I think our next video will be on “lead Breaking” and teaching your terrier RECALL– which is the most important command they MUST understand at home and in the field. It can save their lives and it makes for a much more enjoyable terrier AND it’s not hard to do if you are willing to put in a little effort.
If you are not willing to put in the effort you will never enjoy a great terrier and should likely not own one in the first place.
Our pups reached 10 weeks of age yesterday and we decided it was time to take them out to observe a “real hunting” situation.
We started by loading the mama dogs-Lil Bit and Molly then the daddy dog Boomer. These 3 are great workers with few flaws and that’s really want you want to start young pups with.
The grown dogs had not been out hunting in months but did not miss a step. However when they returned home they were sore and exhausted. That’s why we kept the hunt down to around 90 minutes.
In this nearly 30 minute long video you will be able to see the pups navigate the creek with steep banks, water and underbrush all without a single whimper! This is a direct result of the work we have put in and that you can see in the previous Patterdale Terrier Puppy Training videos.
In those videos we have presented most every challenge they would encounter in the woods-from tunnels to crossing creeks and navigating underbrush. They had developed the basic skills and confidence to join a hunt BEFORE ever stepping a paw on the creek. We were really proud of them.
During the hunt, when they encounter an obstacle we stop and coax them along and let them solve the challenge themselves. It’s natural to want to help them along and sometimes you must- but it’s also important that THEY solve the challenges they face. If you pick them up and carry them over every log or up every steep bank- they will grow to expect it from you later in life every time they get in a bind. It’s only natural.
Most our dogs are broke off skunk with the help of multiple encounters, but in the middle of the video Lil Bit and Daisy stick their heads in a hole and get sprayed before quickly leaving it.
Later in the video, Lil Bit locates a coon a drift on the creek they had been “winding” for sometime. By the time we arrive and make it through the drifts and brush they pretty well have the small coon finished.
This was a good opportunity to introduce the pups to their first real fur. They were super excited and did quite a bit of baying as is normal for an interested pup at this age.
In the end, I always attach the coon or possum or whatever it is to a lead and drag it along the bank to work the pups up and get them to associate the scent trail that’s being left behind with the quarry that we are dragging.
What you see in this video will really be what we will be doing with them over the course of the next few months. It’s the fun part where you get out and watch them learn in the field.
If you don’t have an older dog to train your pups with-don’t worry. You will have to bring them along slower- keep looking through debris piles for rats- turn stuff over and get them excited then “pet them up”. When they have mastered the rats moving up to bigger game is just a natural progression for them! In our area Possums and Armadillos are a favorite for pups because there is little chance of them getting hurt. Personally I would not introduce a pup on his own to a raccoon until he was around 8 months of age or more. Of course this depends on the pup, but I feel it’s better to work them at a young age with other dogs to keep building early confidence and to protect them from too much damage.
Later, if you are a “one on one” person that has the need to see your dog pitted against game that can inflict damage on him, in a solo situation- that’s completely up to you.
When you are forced to raise a pup up “solo” its a much slower process, but in the end you often have a much better terrier for it as he/she has learned everything on their own and have unmatched confidence. Just don’t get them in a situation where they get tore up badly!
When you get a well bred terrier, it’s up to YOU what kind of hunter he becomes- so get out early- get out often and do YOUR part.
Our grown dogs LOVE the water and we think much of that begins here at “Our River” at a very young age.
We are just north of a small town here on the Oklahoma/Texas state line and playing in ” The North Fork of the Red River.”
Our river is pretty much dry most of the year and has a smooth flat sand bottom. Water depth here runs from a few inches to maybe 12 inches in spots. It’s the perfect place to introduce our 9 week old pups to water for the first time!
We bring along the pups mothers as its natural for the pups to want to follow them across the water. It’s a big help in introducing them. Pups also benefit from navigating new terrain as well as the new sights, sounds and smells on the river.
It begins by leaving the pups on the bank- never forcing them into the water- and let them discover and adapt on their own while they build confidence.
If one or more are struggling with getting their feet wet, we will carry them to a sandbar in the middle then move back towards the truck as we coax them along. Sooner or later they will get wet.
They quickly get comfortable with the water- start to run and play-hit a deeper spot and are forced to swim a few feet for the very first time!
It is really enjoyable and relaxing to watch.
To most folks it just looks like fun, and it is, but what’s happening here is these pups are encountering water and swimming for the first time. They are building confidence and gaining skills that they will need in the following months to hunt.
Another important thing to note that’s happening is these pups are learning to work and function TOGETHER without ‘dog on dog’ aggression. If you watch closely you will notice a clip where I quickly swat a pup with my ball cap and tell him “No” as I have described in earlier videos when we spot ANY aggression towards another pup.
The instances of aggression are now are few and far between as we have been correcting it since they were old enough to walk. Notice the pup that gets the “Swat” sit back and look in astonishment. He was not harmed but was startled. That’s all it takes and needs to be corrected The moment it happens-not 10-15 seconds later.
I have mentioned it before in these videos and its so important I will repeat it again.
“You cannot beat on these little dogs or they will be lying on their backs pissing themselves and soon be ruined”
You have to stay close- make the corrections THE MOMENT it takes place and do it with a very light hand. These are VERY intelligent dogs and eager to please when they trust you. When they don’t understand the reason for the reprimand they are confused and that’s when you lose their trust.
If you are about to lose your temper it’s time to put the dog up until you cool off. There is no place for a short temper in handling these terriers.
I know its not an exciting video but we hope you all enjoyed it. The purpose is to show anyone wanting to reproduce our results with terriers with the steps we take weekly to get them where we want them. The goal is terriers that are a pleasure to hunt!
Three of these we are keeping for ourselves and they are already a pleasure to work with. This is a direct result of putting the work in.
Like I always say, “If you can’t keep up-don’t step up”. 🙂 Do YOUR part and your terrier will do its part!
Don’t complain when you take your 1-2 year old terrier to the woods for the first time and he does NOTHING- he is just a reflection of you!
I say these things because i want everyone to enjoy awesome working terriers.
Until the next video-ya’ll stay safe! Remember- you won’t catch Covid in the woods!
Early this morning I woke to a text message from a guy named Josh. Josh is introducing a new young prospect to his established crew that includes a 9 year old and a 4 year old Patterdale. Josh has some concerns about aggression.
“Hi, my name is Josh. I currently own a 9 year old and 4 year old Patterdale Terrier. I just got a 5 month year old Patterdale Terrier today, and I was wondering if you could offer some advice on how I could introduce him to the two other older Patterdales. They seem to be aggressive towards one another and especially the 5 month old one towards the two older ones.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.”
The question Josh asks is a common. We get it often. I want to take this as an opportunity to share a video which includes my personal thoughts concerning “Dog on dog aggression” then will answer Josh’s question below.
Hi Josh Congrats on your new pup!Sounds like he has some fire in him! Patterdales are an aggressive breed- they have to be- to do what they do. Its bred into them-so its genetic.As hunters and serious breeders its also something we have to watch for and constantly keep in check
Unfortunately many breeders breed specifically for the aggression! Many people come to Patterdales from the Bulldog world of fighting dogs and its what impresses them-at least that’s been my theory.
We hand raise pups from birth in the home and we NEVER tolerate aggression. It starts by telling then “No” and usually a gentle swat across the head or rump with a ballcap.You cant have a heavy hand with these little dogs or you will ruin them- but you can discourage the behavior.A ballcap across the rump and a stern “NO!” is plenty for these little guys.
When they get older- even 5 months like your pup-it becomes harder and harder to reverse the trend. In cases where dog on dog aggression is BRED into them I think it becomes impossible.
I would make sure I keep them kenneled separate of each other- preferably far enough away that they could not facebark through the wire.
Then I would take each dog out-one at a time each day and play and work with him- where the other two could see. It’s important they each understand each is part of your “Pack”.
Gradually I would work up to taking two out at a time to play and pet and correct ANY aggression as soon as you notice it with a swat and a stern “NO!” Its important on your part to spot the signs of aggression and stop it at THAT MOMENT before a fight occurs. Watch for one dog trying to stand taller and towering over the other.If his tail isn’t wagging while doing it- he is exerting his dominance. Watch for one dog putting his foot on the back of the other- that’s a sign that a fight is about to happen- you have to correct it RIGHT THEN!
If its normal Patterdale aggression this will go a long way in correcting it
If the “dog on dog” aggression is bred to strongly into the dogs then unfortunately there is little you can do and hope to correct it.
If this is the case then all hope is not lost- you can still keep them kenneled separate and in most cases work and hunt them separate and still enjoy them!
However, if not able to correct their aggression I would not consider them candidates for breeding and in no case would I line breed them.
Something to remember when raising young Patterdales:
You have two hands! When you are petting ONE patterdale you need to be petting the OTHER with the other hand at the SAME time. Patterdales form VERY strong bonds with their owners and are extremely jealous or possessive of their affection. They seem to tolerate you showing kindness to another terrier as long as its equal to what you show them and at the same time!
I am not the sole authority on Patterdale terriers and you will find differing opinions everywhere- but these are my personal thoughts on aggression. I hope they are helpful Josh! I appreciate you writing
Best of Luck!
Be sure and join the PTCA to support this awesome breed of terrier
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!
PUT THE WORK IN!
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!
Our Patterdale terrier pups have reached age Week 6 and each have had a 6 way vaccination and a Neo-Par vaccination for Parvo- now they are ready to go outside and start learning!
In this video we construct our outside “Puppy Tunnel” set up.
The purpose of the tunnel construction is to get the young pups to exercise while encountering new stimulus that begins the learning process in the brain. We feel the earlier you can make these learning connections in the brain the faster the pups will progress.
In this video we introduce the pups to rats- not because we expect them to kill the rats rather only to introduce new sights and scents that the pup will soon be encountering in his/her early life in the field.
In this video it’s interesting to note that in a pups early life “Scent” seems to dominate his sensory world- much more than “Sight.” You will notice that throughout the early part of the video. This is because ‘scent” is the dominant sense in a dogs world- just as sight is the dominant sense in the human world.
Soon the young pups learn to associate the “scent” of something with the “sight” of something. This is always part of a pups learning process and the quicker they make the connection the faster they will advance. This is where “Hunting” begins in a young dogs life. Don’t worry if your pups aren’t killing rats at 6 weeks old- they aren’t supposed to be!
What we want to see is the pup using his nose. Everything you see in the tunnel set up is there to make a puppy use his nose. This encourages “locating” at the earliest possible age. Putting a puppy in a barren enclosure with a rat is fun to watch and does help the pup in ways- but to get the most out of your time and rats we feel you need to create hiding places for the quarry that encourages the pups to use their nose to locate game instead of sight alone.
We use tunnels in the video made from scraps of plastic pipe- you can see in the first few minutes of introducing the pups to the set up, some are a bit apprehensive but in minutes this passes. It always does. In a few days they actually race and run through the various challenges learning to navigate different obstacles! This learning process builds confidence at an early age and translates to better results on their first few trips to ” The Woods” and a better use of your time when starting young dogs.
A few pointers that are purely my own opinion:
1- BE PATIENT.
Don’t push your pup into a rat or a tunnel or anything he shows discomfort with! You are developing a relationship of trust with your pup at this early age so this is very important.
2- PET THEM UP!
When a pup does a great job act all excited! Talk to him and pet him up! Let him know you are proud of what he is doing!
At this young age there will always be other pups that aren’t doing much- They will see you petting and encouraging the pup that’s doing good. Don’t scold this pup but don’t pet him up either. It’s best to just ignore him for the moment. If he is an intelligent pup he will quickly realize what the other pup is doing to get this reward and will join in. Loving rewards during outside training are for the pups that are responding. Love them all up when its over!
3-WATCH THE TAIL!
Always watch the puppy’s tail. If its up and erect-The pup is alert and unafraid.
If the tail is “wagging” the pup is having a good time.
If the pup drops its tail or tucks it between its legs it’s signaling it does not like the situation its currently in. That is YOUR SIGNAL to STOP what ever it is that’s going on- remove the pup from the situation and pet him up and show him love and that everything’s OK.
If you keep pushing your pup in an uncomfortable situation you are well on your way to ruining that pup and any trust he may have with you in the future. Be Patient-Be Supportive!
Do NOT tolerate ANY dog on dog aggression. You cannot beat on these puppies in ANY way! When you encounter ANY aggression, swat the pups with a ball cap and a stern and clear “No” command. You will have to repeat this over and over in the pups early life.
Remember- Repetition Is The Mother Of Learning!
You must be consistent and stop any aggression at every opportunity. If you only do it ” sometimes” or “50% of the time” all you are doing is confusing the pup! It has to be corrected consistently from just weeks of age throughout the training process. In the beginning the pup will be a bit confused- all he will understand is that when he shows aggression this dang ball cap swats him on the ears or rump which causes discomfort. In time the pup will realize that you will not tolerate aggression. If aggression is not too strongly bred into the bloodline this will work wonders in allowing YOUR pup to hunt with others later in life.
Soon as the pup gets older he will test you. At this point HE KNOWS you don’t allow aggression towards other dogs but HE WANTS to do it anyway. When a young dog UNDERSTANDS the behavior that you want from him and he REFUSES to comply- that is when you can become a little more stern in discipline which can include a “swat” on the rump with your hand which must ALWAYS be accompanied with a stern command like “NO!” or “BAD DOG”
As your pup matures towards becoming an adult these commands are invaluable to stopping all sorts of undesirable behavior. They quickly understand- even in a completely NEW situation that ” NO” or “BAD DOG” tells them that what ever they are doing at the moment is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
These are valuable commands in the field and throughout their lives- unfortunately with Patterdale Terriers, it does not guarantee you will be able to kennel them together as adults.
At some time you wont be there- and they will KNOW you aren’t there and there will be a fight which normally results in injury and often death. You learn your dogs behavior over time and you learn who can be kenneled together and who can’t. Better to provide separate kennels when ever possible.
5-LET THEM REST!
Lastly, after a training session where the pup has been introduced to new things and has developed new understandings, take the pup (s) and put them up with as little outside stimulus as possible for a few hours. Without distractions, this is an important time for a pup to access and re-live everything they just learned, locking it away in his/her permanent memory.
Usually the entire litter is so wore out after 30 minutes that when you put them back in their kennel they all crash out in a ball of sleep. If you watch closely- you will often notice them “twitching” and “jerking” as they dream of the events they just encountered. I really feel this is an important part of the learning process. If distractions are removed the pup will begin to access everything he just encountered and store it away in permanent memory. That’s actually what LEARNING is!
Watch for more training videos here as these pups progress!
Please join the PTCA and help us support this AWESOME breed of terrier!
We have had two litters a couple days ago- this morning was the morning of Day 3 and that’s the day where we dock the tails and remove dew claws.
Randi demonstrates the procedures on a pup in this video as well as collecting DNA samples for genetic testing with Animal Genetics.
Why Do We Dock Tails And Remove Dew Claws?
(From the internet)
“Historically, tail docking was thought to prevent rabies, strengthen the back, increase the animal’s speed, and prevent injuries when ratting, fighting, and baiting.
Tail docking is done in modern times either or prophylactic, therapeutic, cosmetic purposes, and/or to prevent injury.
For dogs that work in the field, such as some hunting dogs, herding dogs, or terrier dogs, tails can collect burrs and foxtails, causing pain and infection and, due to the tail’s wagging, may be subject to abrasion or other injury while moving through dense brush or thickets.
Bones in the tail can be broken by impact in the field, causing spinal injury to the tail, or terriers can become stuck underground, necessitating being pulled out by the tail, in which case the docked tail protects the dog from spinal injury or trauma.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (the largest veterinary professional organization in the United States), disputes these justifications, saying “These justifications for docking working dogs’ tails lack substantial scientific support.
In the largest study to date on tail injuries in dogs the incidence was 0.23% and it was calculated that approximately 500 dogs need to be docked to prevent one tail injury.” In many breeds — but certainly not all — the dewclaw has traditionally been removed in the first few days of a dog’s life. In some breeds, the removal is thought to improve appearance for the show ring. In others, it’s done to prevent possible injuries, such as being damaged while a hunting dog works through brambles. (Some breeders remove declaws themselves, but this is a task more appropriately handled by a veterinarian.) If dewclaws aren’t removed in the days after birth, the next opportunity is typically at the same time as a spay or neuter.
If a puppy has torn or otherwise injured the dewclaws before that time, it’s certainly worth discussing their permanent removal to prevent re injury. “
As for Dew Claws they have no real purpose but in adult dogs they constantly get hung on things while hunting and injured- often just hanging by a thread of skin.” You wouldn’t think this would be THAT painful but I’ve seen it lame a dog for weeks and cause a great deal of pain and discomfort. Some people leave them- we remove them for this reason alone.
Please join the PTCA and help us support this AWESOME breed of terrier!