Patterdale Terrier Puppy Training- First Hunt

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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