Anything to help!

12 Dec

On Tuesday a 7 page .pdf was included. Glen of Imaal Terrier people are busy so for anybody who hasn’t got the time in the run up to Christmas here’s a summary:-

From the survey …

The majority of Glens in this survey (of 102) were over the maximum breed standard weight of 16kg:

Entire males 94%
Neutered males 79%
Entire females 58%
Spayed females 75%
Under 3 years old 54%

NB. The ‘Under 3 years old’ cohort will have both male and female, entire and neutered … but it is an interesting group to look at … by 3 years old, 54% are already over the maximum height in the breed standards.


Almost three-quarters (73%) of the survey population fell within the (US) standard for height i.e. 12½” – 14” with just 10% being over the (all standards) maximum standard height of 14”.

The height chart shows a nice Bell curve with 12” – 14” being at the top of the curve.

Perhaps all Glen breed standards should consider having a weight range of 12” – 14” …?


The trend is reversed when we look at weight, with three-quarters of the total survey population weighing over the maximum standard weight of 16kg. Neutered males and spayed females reflect this figure of around 75% being above the 16kg maximum weight. However, this figure rises considerably in the entire male cohort … to 94%. Based on this survey’s data, this makes it almost impossible for bitch owners to choose a stud dog that conforms to any of the current breed standards on weight. Even from the cohort of entire females, almost 60% were over 16kg.

If this data is representative of the Glen population, then to restrict breeding to males and females of the “breed standard” weight would severely limit choice and compromise genetic diversity within our numerically small breed.

Perhaps we should follow the UK and drop the weight clause from our breed standards … or introduce a weight range e.g. 15 – 20.5kg … this represents the 75% of the survey population that are within one standard deviation of the mean weight of 17.7kg.

Has there always been this variance in weight?
Is it time to review the weight clause in our breed standards?
Should we have Mini, Standard and Giant Glens?
Should we do another, more extensive survey?


Posted by on December 12, 2013 in General Glen Things


Tags: ,

25 responses to “Anything to help!

  1. Stephen Holmes

    December 12, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Hello did anyone ask if the glens surveyed were fit or overweight i see a lot of overweight glens the weight idea is good you breed the dog to fit the standard not vice versa. The UK should have the IKC standard but for some reason the UK breeders didnt want it for some unknown reason as its a shame. Keep the weight standard and please for pity sake stay away from the joke of a UK standard were they want to straighten the fronts Keep to the IKC standard the best by far in comparison to the UK joke.

    • E-F-G

      December 12, 2013 at 4:41 pm

      Steve you know exactly why there is no weight clause under the KC as you and I have spoken about it repeatedly. I’m all for discussion-as this blog shows-and adore creative writing to get something going but sometimes there can be too much creativity!


  2. Alison

    December 12, 2013 at 5:48 pm


    If you have a look at the report, you will see that owners were asked if they thought their Glens were thin, about right or fat … 83% of the Glens surveyed were felt to be “about right” by their owners.

    As someone who legally works his Glens, it would interesting to know if your Glens hunt above or below ground … or do you a smaller dog to go to ground? And how much does your youngster weigh, and what weights were his two predecessors …?

    It would be interesting to know where this 35/36lb (16kg) weight came from … was it in the original IKC breed standard? Surely the Glen was never meant to be a “go to ground” breed at this weight …?

  3. Stephen Holmes

    December 12, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Alison i have read the report but ive seen Glens that people dont think are overweight but im afraid not just in my opinion they are! Ive seen few fit glens though yours in my opinion are fit.
    What i have said is an opinion on the condition of glens i have seen in the UK few fit and even fewer hard fit Again a personal opinion. I keep away from the dreaded likes of “facebook and twitter” and keep out the two club politics in the UK, Ive frankly better things to do.
    I know you have a passion for the breed and respect how you train and keep your dogs fit .

  4. Alison

    December 12, 2013 at 11:06 pm


    You write, “the weight idea is good you breed the dog to fit the standard not vice versa” … but when 94% of the entire males in this survey population and almost 60% of the entire females are over the breed standard weight, how easy will it be to actually breed to the standard …?

    Although the numbers of Glens representing different countries are quite small, it is interesting to note that the country WITHOUT a weight clause (the UK) has the lowest median weight …

  5. glenn

    December 13, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    Alison Why is a Glen not a go to ground breed at 35lbs? A badger in the autumn weighs in around this weight. Bring scales in to the show ring. The dogs closer to the correct weight get more points. The breed would soon get smaller then.
    The Glen also suffers from being judged by a lot of judges who know nothing about the breed. One last point, in critiques you see the phrase “would like to see more”, no wonder its got bigger.

  6. Alison

    December 13, 2013 at 11:42 pm


    So many of the requirements in the original (1934) breed standard and our breed standards of today were/are simply not the requirements of terrier men looking for the ideal “go to ground” terrier! BTW, the original Standard published in Eithne Cleary’s “Irelands Native Terrier : The Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier Reference Book” is for The Glen of Imaal Terrier … (no “Irish”) …!!

    A 35lb dog with a wide chest and bowed legs that is “silent when working” would not have been the choice of the terrier man wanting a dog to go to ground.

    [1] Pierce O’Conor – Sporting Terriers: Their History, Training and Management (1929)
    [2] Pierce O’Conor – Terriers for Sport (1922)
    [3] D Brian Plummer – The Working Terrier (1978)


    “If you never require your dogs to go to ground at all, you can have any breed you like ……… If, on the other hand, if you require terriers to go to ground to fox, otter, and badger, you MUST have them small – not above 18lbs or so – for it is obvious to anyone that a 40lbs, or even a 30lbs dog will cut a poor figure if asked to go into a fox earth or a small drain.” [1]

    “A working terrier must not alone be small enough to get into an earth, but he must be able to follow his quarry wherever he goes in the earth and stay with him. A big dog of 25lbs weight or more may get into the earth all right, and you may hear him giving tongue as if he was up to his beast, when he is really barking because he has got stuck somewhere where he cannot get on. Again it stands to reason that a big, heavy dog, when working in a confined space, tires sooner and blocks his own ventilation more than does the little chap who can move about freely and shift his position from time to time.” [1]

    “For all the dog’s courage, it is not without a fault. The fact that it is only 14 inches at the shoulder, but weighs in at over 35 pounds, means that the fronts are far too hefty for a dog bolting fox and that one would find it impossible to enter most of the fox earths of the midlands and south. The breed is excessively hard and correspondingly mute. Most are very reluctant to give tongue when digging badger, and will cost the terrier man a pretty penny in vet’s fees, for the dog often receives a dreadful mauling from Brock.” Plummer goes on to comment, “For a Caesar dog at the end of a badger dig, it has great possibilities.” [3]


    “It is a common error to suppose that because a dog is very short on the leg he can go to ground better than a dog of ordinary proportions. When a dog has to squeeze through a tight place, the length of his legs is not the point that really matters, but the width and girth of his chest. A dog doesn’t walk into an earth, he crawls in on his belly.” [1]

    Writing about the Sealyham Terrier in 1922 … (Glens had not yet been recognised by the IKC at the time of publication of this book) … Pierce O’Conor comments, “For purely “badgering” purposes some sportsmen prefer the Sealyham a little crooked in his forelegs, somewhat on the lines of the Dachshund – the German badger dog. The theory of this is that the dog with such foreleg formation is better adapted to scratching away the earth behind him when digging for the badger. But – and it is a big BUT – dogs so formed usually are wide in the brisket, and dogs wide in brisket are usually shallow in chest. Wider the brisket and wider must be the aperture of the earth – and, indeed, the whole burrow – which has to be made in an endeavour to reach the badger; whereas if the dog’s front was comparatively narrow, and his chest deep instead of wide, with short, straight and stout forelegs, which all Sealyhams ought to have, he would have ample play for his work of excavation and require a smaller burrow and the displacement of less earth, which presents no disadvantage in the performance of the pursuit of badger digging, but, on the other hand, every advantage.” [2]


    Writing about Bedlingtons in 1929 … Pierce O’Conor observes, “A common defect of the breed – the importance which digging men will appreciate – is the lack of tongue. Most of them … work mute.” [1]

    A good working terrier “must throw his tongue freely underground when up to his game, but not at other times. A dog that works mute or nearly so is useless in a big earth.” [1]

    “Kerry Blues or other large breeds … are only used for work above ground, or for drawing a badger after he has been dug to. In their particular case, neither large size nor absence of tongue matters; in fact, Kerry Blue men insist on their dogs working mute when drawing a badger.” [1]

  7. jamie and paddy

    December 14, 2013 at 12:47 am

    is it true the irish badger weighs around 39 pound, if true I think you’ll be in trouble if your dog weighs less than the badger. i would want to have a good couple of pounds in my dogs favour, I know the glen had to be game in the old days but to give away weight to a 39 pound field fresh badger sounds crazy to me. im glad they don’t have to do that now days. I am lucky if my glen walks to his water bowl, he’s that lazy sometimes I have to take it to him, but show him a football or some food and he moves like a greyhound. im just glad their are no badgers where I live. lol

  8. Stephen Holmes

    December 14, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Alison may i suggest you learn the difference between a strong dog and a sounding terrier look at the requirements for the Mor and the beag trials they are completely different.I also suggest you speak to people who work strong dogs not sounders you use a russell for sounding and strong dogs for the draw fact !
    If you want to quote Brian Plummer and i met him a few times about glens mute dogs great for the end of a dig Caesar dogs but not for most terrier men to hard and thier muteness is not required by the standard terrier but a great x if courage is required. Why not speak to Paddy Brennan Jnr if a glen speaks to ground hes pulled out! Alison you were quoting terriermen who use Lakeland,Jacks Patterdales etc etc.
    Do a bit of homework on trials and the rules strong dogs are usually Glens,Wheatens,Kerries,Staffies and English Bulls plus xed of the same. So please dont get the catergories confused they are tottally different!

  9. glenn

    December 14, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Glad you mention chests. A 14″ Glen would need a gap of 4″ from floor to chest. 14 -4=10″ of Glen to fit a shore of 11″. Plenty of room for a 35lbs draw dog, that matches the badger lb for lb. A 12″ Glen would only need 2″ of clearance. 12-2=10″ of Glen. On both heights the chest needs to be no more than 10″ wide. Something else ignored in the show ring. As a recently recognised KC organisation i would have thought you would have took the KC Fit for Function guideline more seriously.
    EFG, last week you wanted to change the way the Glen looked. This week you advocate the weight being changed, next week can i ask we make the jaws soft like a spaniels. What does a Glen need a strong jaw for?

    • Alison

      December 15, 2013 at 12:32 pm


      I have NOT advocated the weight being changed. I have reported on the results of a survey of Glen measurements … if three quarters of the survey population are ABOVE the maximum weight of 16kg, should we not be discussing this …??? I have thrown out a few questions for DEBATE … not criticism and accusation.

      I think it is interesting that the country with the lowest median weight is the country that does NOT have a weight clause in the standard, so one could argue that having a weight clause in our breed standards is not having any impact on the overall size of the breed. (A larger number of dogs participating in the survey would have made the breakdown of weights from individual countries more robust and meaningful … hence my question about a larger scale survey).

      You write, “… the chest needs to be no more than 10″ wide. Something else ignored in the show ring.” I don’t know what you’re talking about here … you comment about dogs being judged in the show ring … have you ever been to a UK show and actually seen these Glens …???

      What do YOU think is the meaning of “fit for function” with regard to the Glen of Imaal Terrier …???

      The KC states, “The Kennel Club believes that every dog should be bred to be fit enough to enjoy its life to the full. At the heart of this campaign is the belief that every dog, even if its function is solely to be a pet, should be able to see, breathe and walk freely.”

  10. Stephen Holmes

    December 14, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    Alison ive seen plenty of wheatens go down the shoot and thier taller i ask myself why do people want to change things? On the whole because the KC via its breeders have screwed up more breeds of dog than soft Mick so as to look better LOL look at the health implications for some of them , Brains, temperament and courage are far more important than looks. I also wonder why in UK some dont want bowed legs “so they can move better in the ring”to suit some who advocte it to suit thier type If you dont want a bow legged Irish breed of dog buy a Wheaten!
    I see you quote from books but with respect what do you know about working dogs bar what you have read! I suggest a bit of reading up on the difference between strong dogs and sounders then you might understand the breed a bit more.

  11. Alison

    December 15, 2013 at 12:37 am

    You are the expert regarding working terriers … why don’t YOU describe the difference between strong dogs and sounders for us … with specific reference as to whether there needs to be any restriction on the size of a strong dog.
    Thank you.

  12. Alison

    December 15, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Whilst we’re waiting for your response, Stephen … here’s some ‘Mor’ interesting reading!


    My understanding of these trials is that that they were devised in an attempt to demonstrate the working abilities of the larger Irish breeds of terrier who had no real place in the field ……

    From D Brian Plummer’s ‘The Sporting Terrier’ (1992) in the chapter ‘The Terriers of Ireland’:

    “… all Irish Kennel Club registered breeds have one thing in common – since the abolition of badger digging they are all too large to be worked underground.”


    “… by 1900 the Irish terrier was one of the most popular breeds of dog in Britain. The popularity of the breed caused some concern amongst the purists who believed that the various breeds of Irish terrier would be bred exclusively as pets and the working and guarding qualities of the breed would suffer accordingly. Thus the Misneac Teastas trials were devised; questionable tests of the working ability of the dogs, tests which incidentally would only be tolerated in Ireland and would be abhorrent to the rest of Great Britain even before the 1911 Protection of Animals Act had been passed.

    The tests which skirted the 1835 Act (prevention of animal baiting) by a hair’s width were divided into two parts – the Teastas Begg or small test which was designed to test the terriers ability to work or bolt rabbits and the Teastas Mor a highly questionable test, which was designed to assess the terriers ability to work badger – the only subterranean quarry which the large size type of the Irish terriers were capable of working. The lax laws of southern Ireland allowed these tests to be conducted without fear of criminal prosecution but both offended human decency and served no practical purpose – except to satiate the blood-lust of owners. Neither test constituted hunting in the accepted sense of the word and it was understandable that that such tests fell out of favour with dog breeders and hunters alike although prior to 1966 it was impossible for any breed of Irish terrier to become a full champion in Ireland without it holding such a certificate.”


    “The Teastas Mor or large test was indeed a different matter [to the Teastas Begg] and if conducted in Great Britain would have justly merited prosecution. If one might once again refer to the description offered by Glover [in The Working Bedlington Terrier]; an artificial set, some forty feet long and some two feet below the surface of the soil, was constructed and a captive badger released in the set or ‘shore’. If the badger was reluctant to escape into the fastness of the ‘shore’ a small baying terrier was released to drive the badger into the end of the tunnel, but the terrier was prevented from following the badger by a trap-door operated by a man on the surface that allowed the badger through but barred the small baying dog’s progress.

    When the badger settled at the end of the artificial set an Irish breed of terrier: a Glen of Imaal, Kerry Blue, soft-coated Wheaten or Irish terrier was released at the mouth of the ‘shore’ and required to:

    a. engage the badger in under a minute from the time of the dog’s release;
    b. draw the badger from the depths of the ‘shore’ to the surface in under six minutes;
    c. remain totally mute during the entire process uttering not a sound in excitement or a cry of pain when the badger retaliated.

    To assess the winner of these epics of futility a time-keeper and a series of judges who could detect as to whether or not a dog remained totally mute during the performance were appointed and the winning dog was the animal that performed best against the clock, engaging its badger quickly and drawing it from the ‘shore’ in the fastest possible time. Vociferous dogs were disqualified if they barked, whined or yelped with pain one should add. In passing it is worth noting that the sides of the ‘shore’ would need to be built of wood or earthenware to allow a dog to draw a badger some forty feet or so to the mouth of this artificial set for the task of drawing a badger from an earth-sided set into which the wretched beast could anchor itself with its claws would tax the capabilities and strength of a mastiff.”


    “To confuse such a spectacle with hunting would be wrong and demeaning to the hunter and field sports in general; but it does explain why the general public seems confused about badger digging and badger baiting. Why the judges required the terriers to lie mute against a badger is also baffling though one supposes that a vociferous dog would find some difficulty in drawing a badger and baying while it did so.”

  13. Alison

    December 15, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Even though Terrierman posted a photo of Tierney and described her as “crippled”(!), I do enjoy his acerbic writing …

    Baiting Dogs Are Not Hunting Dogs

    No terrier breed is very old.

    Depite the fact that all but one or two terrier breeds originated in the last 150 years, most breed histories are so riddled with myth, lies, confusions, disortions, exagerations and fantasies that they are nearly unfathomable.

    Part of this has to do with the mythology of show ring aficionados. A coat color variation will pop up in a litter and someone will admire it and attempt to breed more like it. To butter the bread a bit, a short story is invented to explain why the attribute has some imagined import in the world of working terriers (“White dogs are less likely to be mistaken for the fox”). A dog’s legs are low to the ground and another attribute is given meaning (“The dachsunds short legs enable it to get to ground with ease”). A dog’s nose is lengthened, solely for looks, and we are told this is necessary for work (“The fox terriers long snout keeps its eyes well back from the fox”).

    In fact, most terrier breeds were never seriously or commonly worked, and even a few of the breeds which many believed were commonly worked never did much outside of one or two owners. The Sealyham terrier — a great favorite of Sir Jocelyn Lucas — was such a smash favorite that it was repeatedly said that Lucas “had the only pack of working Sealyhams” in the U.K., and he himself attempted to abandon the breed by crossing it with a Norfolk terrier which, in turn, resulted in such an unimpressive dog that it too passed into the realm of footnotes and fantasy until it was recreated and shoved into the show ring in recent years.

    So it is with breed after breed in the terrier world, from Cairn to Norfolk, from Scottie to Irish, from Manchester to Skye, from Yorkie to Kerry Blue. None of these dogs ever saw serious work underground, at least not in anything like their current recognizeable form.

    The short and simple truth is that the world of working terriers has changed very little in the last 200 years. The same dogs are being dug to today that were being dug to 100 years ago — no more and no less. The shovels are the same and the bar is the same. Only the Deben locator is different.

    This is not to say that a lot of trumped up histories have not been invented — from fake paintings of Trump (Jack Russell’s dog) to fanciful descriptions of shepherds protecting their flocks from marauding fox the size of wolves, to the creation of mysterious “extinct” breeds of terriers which, a close reading of history reveals, never even existed at all (or still exist, but under a different name).

    As noted in previous posts, most terriers breeds evolved (or devolved as the case may be) from cross-bred farm terriers with little or no particular function. Most of these dogs were all-purpose pets and chore companions who, it was hoped, would score an occassional rat, bush a rabbit, and perhaps discourage a fox from entering the farm yard and stealing a chicken. In truth, their chief “job” then — as now — was to sleep, clean off kitchen plates, trot at their owner’s side, and greet guests and family members with enthusiasm.

    Some of these all-purpose terriers found honest work as cart dogs, riding high on the cart and protecting the horse-drawn “trucks” of the 19th Century from petty thieves. Every bread man had a cart dog, and so too did most fishmongers, butcher boys, and fruit merchants.

    A few terriers found work as “turnspit” dogs. The job of the turnspit dog was to walk around an endless wooden “rat race” wheel turning meats that were being roasted — or else churning butter, pumping water or even washing clothes.

    Turnpsit dogs had to be short since they had to fit within half a turning wheel housed inside a small kitchen or out building, but they also had to be very strong, as their jobs frequently lasted many hours without rest.

    What ever happened to these “turnspit” dogs? Most simply vanished, but one Irish type — the Glen of Imaal Terrier — was declared a “breed,” though in truth it never much caught on with the public.

    The Glen of Imaal Terrier stands about 14 inches tall, but it has a massive head and chest and weighs in at around 35 pounds — more than twice the weight of the average vixen. These dogs were never designed to go down a fox den — they are simply too big. This is a short strong dog designed to turn a spit. They also found some use in another arena — badger baiting and dog fighting.

    Small strong dogs were often used in the cruel-practice of badger-baiting which, it should be said, has nothing to do with badger hunting despite the rather obvious effort to confuse the two by animal rights lunatics.

    Badger baiting is a betting game in which captive badgers are loaded into barrels, pipes or artificial earths so that humans can bet on dogs that are timed as they draw them out. A baited badger may face several dogs over an extended period of time and there is no larger point to it than to win sums of money or bragging rights, while considerable stress (and sometimes injury) is inflicted on the badger and the dog.

    Badger hunting, on the other hand, is a legitimate form of pest control in which the badger is terminated as quickly and painlessly as possible, or else sacked to be moved to another earth. There is no betting, and the badger is not likely to suffer damage from the dog, though the converse cannot always be said.

    The Glen of Imaal Terrier, which started out as a turnspit dog, found some popularity with Irish badger baiters and dog fighters. This was a dog that was large enough to pull a large badger out of a barrel — something beyond the abilities of most 15-pound fox-working dogs.

    The use of Glen of Imaal Terrier by badger baiters led some to believe this dog was often used for badger hunting. In fact, this was not so. Arthur Heinemann’s Badger Digging Club, which later became the Jack Russell Terrier Club of Great Britain, used Jack Russell Terriers to do the job. Sir Jocelyn Lucas used a pack of very small Sealyham terriers. Bert Gripton used very small cross-bred Jack Russells, etc.

    When badger baiting was banned, a small group of Glen of Imaal Terrier owners invented a “test” in an attempt to give their breed continued purpose in a changing world. Thus was born the “Teastas Beg” and the “Teastas Mor” — gaelic words meaning “Little Test” and “Big Test”

    The Teastas Beg was a pretty modest affair and was really nothing more that artificial ratting and rabbit bushing.

    “A Teastas Beag consisted of flinging rats into a large pond and allowing the dogs competing to swim and hunt one at a time. The inexperienced handlers of the rats created much merriment and a large proportion of the rats survived to tell the tale. In the case of the rabbits, each one was released from a marked spot on the fresh ground. As soon as it had taken cover the dog was released at the spot where the rabbit had been set free. He was required to run the trail accurately and to hunt well through briars and undergrowth. The actual catching and killing of the rabbit was immaterial as any untrained dog will often do that. Often to save time, the judges would call up a dog once he had satisfied them as to his capabilities.”

    The Teastas Mor was simply an attempt to bring back badger baiting, albeit under the cover of a “club” activity. Only a handful of Teastas Mor events were ever held, as the authorities quickly ruled them illegal and in violation of the badger baiting laws. As one observor noted of a 1926 Teastas Mor event:

    “On the first and second occasions the badger chute was defined as, (rule A4) ‘A natural shore at least fifteen feet long, not more than sixteen inches wide with a bed ten feet from the mouth. A well about twelve inches square to contain the badger must be at least eight inches below the level of the shore and at right angles to it.’ It is obvious that such an exact arrangement could not have been natural. It was artificial, the sides and top being of timber. This rule cause the Committee’s undoing at the subsequent State Prosecutions. The Court held that the baiting of a captive animal had been proved which is contrary to the law and the defendant members of the Committee were fined.”

    Later the “earth,” while still artificial, was constructed of earth and stones and sodded over with grass. The end effect was a bit like a cross between an AKC earthdog set up and an artificial earth for fox.

    Unfortunately, a twising den earth in real earth proved too difficult for over-large Glen of Imaal Terriers to negotiate!

    “Natural badger work still appeared unwieldy to the Committee and the Teastas Mor on that occasion consisted of an artificial earth constructed of stones and covered over with sods some time previously. The growth of grass made it, in the absence of direct evidence, almost impossible to prove the construction artificial. The badger was put in early that morning before the possible arrival of any police inspectors. It was one captured by a small Blue Bitch of mine, ‘Emer,’ the previous week. These preparations defeated their own object, for the earth was too long and too narrow and too twisty for the dogs, and none of them succeeded in drawing the badger while some were severely mauled in the attempt. I never saw that particular earth, but it was feelingly pointed out that the members who constructed it had not entered any of their own dogs! After that it was a case of ‘back to nature’ – a decision both welcome and sound.”

    In fact, there was no “back to nature” with the Glen of Imaal; very few of the dogs ever worked historically, and almost none are found in the field today even in those countries where legal and illegal badger digging is common.

    This is hardly surprising — a dog designed to be mute and to fight anything it sees head-on is a dog that is hard to locate and likely to be wrecked in short order by a badger. Badger diggers at the turn of the century –as today — prefer a smaller dog with more discretion and more voice. Unsurprisingly, they use the same terriers for badger work today that they did 100 and more years ago — Jack Russells, Fells, Patterdales, and various crosses in between.


    “the quotes … set into the piece were written by none other than Henry B. Fottrell, who actually supplied the badgers used for the first Teastas Mor trials.

    Fottrell held office in the Irish Kennel Club from 1936 to 1978 — the entire era of the Teastas Mor trials. The article … … quoted in my original post first appeared in the December 1926 edition of Dogdom magazine.”

  14. Stephen Holmes

    December 15, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Alison thank you i have actually been to trials in the 1970s80s and 90s in UK/Eire i dont need to to look for articles on the web ive been to them. Its such a shame you havent then you could have seen for yourself what happens ! I again suggest you speak in person to the people who have not quotes from books i was lucky my father took me out to see many great terriermen/strong dog men.
    I never quoted books or other things i used my eyes and ears and spoke when it was required,i was lucky enough as a boy and young man to be able to sit in thier company and listen and learn.
    Then to watch them handle and train plus pick up feeding and fitness advice i still do it to this day
    and i will not stand by while people who havent got trialling/working knowledge bar from books and the interweb try and re-write history to suit themselves and thier viewpoint.
    I would not try and tell you how to groom your dog or show it as i do not have your knowledge and respect you for it. So please try getting 1st hand knowledge of the subject by talking and more importantly as i was taught listening to those with 1st hand knowledge and not endlessly quoting others like Nigel Rees on Quote/ Unquote on Radio 4.

  15. Alison

    December 15, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    I’m not trying to re-write anything, Stephen. The Terrierman quote was taken from his blog; the other excerpts have been typed out from books that I have bought and read in my quest to learn more.

    I might learn more if you actually answered my questions instead of throwing things back at me and criticising me for bothering to read about a subject that interests me. Reading about a subject may help me to ask more pertinent questions.

    Hopefully, you will help me … and other readers … learn more by actually answering the questions below … 8 questions from me … 8 answers from you, please!

    1. What is a strong dog?
    2. What is a sounder dog?
    3. What EXACTLY do you when working your Glen?
    4. Do you work your Glen with a smaller terrier?
    5. If “Yes” to 4. what breed?
    6. What quarry to you hunt?
    7. How much does the Glen you work weigh?
    8. How much did your two other males weigh?

    Thank you.

    One more question! I’m a bit puzzled about your statement, “i have actually been to trials in the 1970s80s and 90s in UK/Eire” … what trials were these …?

  16. jamie and paddy

    December 16, 2013 at 3:21 am

    Allison you should try listening to Stephen and show him more respect, because looking at both of your comments, I think all Stephen is trying to do is help, instead of being open and taking some proper solid advice off a man who seems like he’s been around a long time, and his father before him. so Stephen please keep writing your views, because I’ve already learnt a lot stuff off you and I hope to keep reading about your 1st hand knowledge.

  17. jamie and paddy

    December 16, 2013 at 3:33 am

    anybody can write a book about dogs. how do you know if the person who wrote the book knew what he was talking about or even cared about dogs. most books put out there are for the money. and even worse you get breeders who even go by books. I would love to breed dogs but I cant go and buy loads of books then say I know enough to breed them, no way, I think the only real dog breeders are the people like Stephen was talking about, real old school out in the freezing mornings learning every day by hand and eye, not in a armchair reading a book with a cup of tea.

  18. jamie and paddy

    December 16, 2013 at 4:02 am

    ALLISON, i’m very surprised with one of your post. you wrote about teastas mor and teastas beg, but you don’t write nothing about TEASTAS MISNEACH which means super game, they gave the dog a certificate which said teastas misneach. if they brought the badger out under a certain time.

    • Alison

      December 16, 2013 at 10:15 am

      Jamie & Paddy

      My post was headed MISNEAC TEASTAS TRIALS, as written by the author, D Brian Plummer, a well known and respected terrier-man who has written numerous books about working and sporting terriers. Here is the translation:

      Teastas : certificate
      Misneac : courage (“dead game”)

      Beag : little

      Mor : big

      Pierce O’Conor was also a terrier-man, who was around at the time that the (then) Glen of Imaal Terrier in Ireland received recognition by the IKC.

  19. Alison

    December 16, 2013 at 11:29 am


    I retract my questions!

    What would be good, though, is if, with your expertise of working with Glens in the field and all the knowledge you have picked up from listening to and working with other terrier-men, you could write about “The History of the Working Glen”. Unfortunately, the “working” page on the GOITA website that was “Under construction” never got constructed! 😉

    It would be good for ignoramuses like me to find out more about the working origins of the Glen … and what they were required to do … and why the standard maximum weight was set at 35lbs … (not the trials, which were totally artificial) … but Glens working in the field.

    Thank you!

  20. jamie and paddy

    December 16, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Allison you seem to leave things out and don’t explain properly to the reader. both teastas beag and the TEASTA MISNEACH, which basically mean small and great test respectively.

  21. jamie and paddy

    December 16, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    sorry I missed the s with the word teastas, I think Allison keeps missing out the h on the end of the word misneach. we all make mistakes. lol

  22. Alison

    December 16, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    Comments are switched off at close of play today. Shame there has been no discussion of the findings of the Measurements Survey, given the difference between the breed standard maximum weight and the significant range in weight of the Glens of today.
    Lesson learned ……

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