LAKELAND TERRIERS - working vs show

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I am looking to buy another terrier and am undecided between a Welsh & a Lakeland.

One thing that has confused me a little is the mention of working Lakelands and show Lakelands. What is the difference? Apart from the price?

There is talk of Middleton lines, Nuttall lines and so on. I am assuming these are the names of people who have bred their own lines. Are working Lakelands true Lakelands?

I ask because according to the KC web site Lakelands are a vulnerable native breed which surprised me as there seem to be so many litters advertised. Or is it because the KC only count registered litters?
 

Dry Rot

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The KC only count registered breeds. If they get their hands on working breeds, they promptly ruin them. How do you tell whether a terrier has the courage to go to ground and tackle a fox by sticking it on a bench and gazing into it's eyes? Because that's what KC judges sometimes claim to be able to do.

If you want to learn about working terriers have a look at books by David Harcombe and avoid books by Brian Plummer. I knew both personally.

Incidentally, Lakeland/Fell/Border terriers make great house dogs but they do tend to be a bit obsessive. If one gets bitten by a fox, they then seem convince that every fox must die! As posts on here will testify, they also have minds of heir own, tend to hunt, and are probably not very good on the recall!
 

twiggy2

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If one gets bitten by a fox, they then seem convince that every fox must die!
Ha Ha this really made me laugh one of my dogs (not a lakeland though) came across a fox (I thought he was ratting), if bit him he killed it and really does feel every fox should die and when he is around they have done up until recently, he is becoming old now at 13 yrs and does not have long left.

Personally I would choose working lines of every breed every time, they are generally fitter/healthier dogs, for terriers the working lines tend to be better with people than the show lines IME, the Nuttall lines are very good looking dogs.

get yourself to some working terrier and lurcher shows and ask questions, the men will talk about their dogs all day and the judges are usually very approachable as are the organisers.

the working dogs are dogs that need excersise and stimulation, you will not be able to walk every lakeland at the local aprk with lots of other dogs without incident but if you like long country walks and they have access to a hay stack, stable/farm yard for hunting then they are really happy little dogs, with careful introduction they will get on with other yard dogs (as long as those dogs understand the lakeland is in charge)one of my favourite little dogs but I like dogs with attitude
 

PucciNPoni

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In my own experience (which is limited to what I see come through for grooming) the working strains vs show - the workers tend to be smaller, more lithe and less coated (less maintenance there). However, they tend to be even more prey driven and harder to keep satisfactorily exercised unless you will work them properly. Those that aren't worked and should be can be miserable in their existence and cause trouble by giving you unwanted behaviours - so think long and hard before taking a working dog type if you are more of a couch potato person ;)
 
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We have a patterdale, a very smart looking dog who looks very like the Nuttall dogs. We rescued him at a year old and he is not easy. He is wilful and determined, characteristics which are fab for hunting but not so in the house. We have had him 5 years and have learnt to manage him but in truth, he is not very nice. He can't be trusted with puppies and he frightens my young lab cross b*tch who has the sweetest temperament. He has no qualms about snapping, and whilst he likes children, I would never trust him around young ones. Would I recommend them or have another - no.
 

Dry Rot

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The terriers I have mentioned were originally bred to hunt foxes where digging is often not possible, so they had to go to ground and kill the fox single handed. That is in contrast to the Jack Russell which was bred to go down and bay at the fox so it could either be dug to or bolted for hounds.

I think most of the good ones of the first type have now been exported to European countries where this type of hunting is still legal.

I agree that working strains often do make good pets but they were bred to hunt and can be far too hyper to relax into the lifestyle of a pet. I know one breeder of working dogs who used to deliberately sell off his pups to pet homes, stating that he would take them back at any time and refund the purchase price. So, he got his puppies reared and socialised for nothing and got back a pup that had just learnt to hunt and was ready for further training!

Incidentally, I am convinced that The Kennel Club finds working dogs an embarrassment. Here is the breed standard telling us what a dog should look like to do a job of work. But no man who works dogs would choose such a dog off show breeding to work! In my own sport, over forty years, I saw definite discrimination against those who bred, trained, and worked the real working dogs and the bending of the rules to favour the show type. Why? Because there is more money in registrations, etc. which the pet owners want than the people with working dogs will ever be bothered with. Rant over -- until the next time!
 
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.......

If you want to learn about working terriers have a look at books by David Harcombe and avoid books by Brian Plummer. I knew both personally.

.......!
I've never read Harcombe, but Plummer's books are nonsense, and am pleased to see that we agree!

.......

I agree that working strains often do make good pets but they were bred to hunt and can be far too hyper to relax into the lifestyle of a pet.

.........

I know one breeder of working dogs who used to deliberately sell off his pups to pet homes, stating that he would take them back at any time and refund the purchase price. So, he got his puppies reared and socialised for nothing and got back a pup that had just learnt to hunt and was ready for further training!

.......!
I agree, there are those working terriers, as many other breeds, which when denied their heritage, can be little monsters! The problem with using that as a yardstick though, is what breed of dog do we go for, when most have a history of use and purpose?

As for your second paragraph, and though not by design, I've had a good few puppies reared for me, and reared very well too!!

Alec.
 

Dry Rot

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Plummer lived in a world of fiction. His books are amusing nonsense. He'd be shown how to do something and the next week you'd read instructions how HE did it in Countryman's Weakly. I was in his house one day when he was writing up his diary. It was all made up on the spot, though I suppose some will believe it.

Dave is old school and (rightly in my opinion) thinks we have all gone soft! His books are well worth reading and very genuine. The last time I phoned him, he laughed and asked if I was calling just to check that he was still alive. I said, no, it was just me proving that I still was!
 

Clodagh

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I liked Brian Plummer's books, but always assumed they were a bit fantastical! Interesting to hear they are but entertaining none the less.
We had a working lakeland who was a complete saint, he was too big really, you couldn't span him, but he could pull a fox out of a drain before you got the rest of the kit out the back of the car. (In the days when bolting for the hunt was legal). Equally he was good to walk and great with other dogs but he would go to ground down any hole he could reach.
 
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I have the Harcombe book and also Little Dogs with Big Hearts which is a good book. I have a working red Lakeland and he's a cracking little dog. I wouldn't consider a KC registered one. He is almost 12 months old and loves people and all other dogs. He does have a high prey drive but then so he should and I expected that and would be disappointed if he didn't. He is smaller than a KC Lakeland as previously mentioned. He certainly isn't snappy with anyone but he is brave and bold. If a dog picks on him he most certainly won't back down but he wouldn't start a confrontation. According to his paperwork he is Stobbard / Middleton bred I think.
 

Dry Rot

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I have the Harcombe book and also Little Dogs with Big Hearts which is a good book. I have a working red Lakeland and he's a cracking little dog. I wouldn't consider a KC registered one. He is almost 12 months old and loves people and all other dogs. He does have a high prey drive but then so he should and I expected that and would be disappointed if he didn't. He is smaller than a KC Lakeland as previously mentioned. He certainly isn't snappy with anyone but he is brave and bold. If a dog picks on him he most certainly won't back down but he wouldn't start a confrontation. According to his paperwork he is Stobbard / Middleton bred I think.
That sounds quite typical. If you open his mouth, I'll bet he has a fair set of teeth too! ;D

Someone stated (possibly Plummer) that the lobstermen used to make the floats for their pots from the skin of a small dog. Dave remarked, "At last they have found a use for the Plummer terrier!"

I have a copy of "The World of the Working Terrier" by David Harcombe. It is signed "To (me) with best wishes David Harcombe January '90. Down with Porky!" No prizes for guessing who Porky was!
 
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Lol I think I can guess!! He does have some teeth on him! A lot bigger than my jrt has. We have had Patterdales before but this is our first red Lakeland. My OH is quite smitten with him! So I must have chose well.

Edited to add also his jaw strength is impressive. I can't physically get his mouth open if he doesn't want me to. He tugs with my staffy and he throws little Conker about everywhere to get the toy off him and he just keeps hanging on in there lol.
 
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Thank you all for your replies. They make for a very interesting read.
Both my husband and I have had GSDs all our lives but 2 years ago (wanting a smaller dog to take to events) I bought a Lakeland X Patterdale X Border and we were astonished to find that we both fell for her in a big way! She is cheeky, funny, loving and surprisingly very obedient (she had passed her KCGCDS Gold by the time she was 11 months old).
Now that I have lost the last of my GSDs I am looking for something else and I think a Lakeland ticks all the boxes.
I have slowly come around to the opinion that if I was to have another GSD I would look to working lines rather than the show lines I have always had in the past. The purpose of my post was to find out whether the same is true of Lakelands.
I think the answer is a resounding yes :)
 
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