What do you see? I hope not working dogs.

I think this offers a good education opportunity.

Many people might look at this and see working dogs, or what they they think of working dogs. Maybe that means the dogs are doing things that they think is work, or perhaps they have never seen dogs actually working.

What do you see when you watch this video? Please tell me in the comments or via social media.

What I see? Well that is easy.

First I see far too many dogs. There is a mayhem of dogs. If your object is to work dogs you don’t need a milling mass unless there are tons and tons of rats and the need for extra handlers.

The second thing I see, is that none of the Sealyham dogs have their nose to the ground actually searching for rats, or locating rats. If you want to catch rats, you have to be able to find rats.

A dog that has the nose and the drive to actually locate rats is the most valuable dog that you own. Who cares if you have dogs that kill rats if you can not find rats to kill. A terrier by definition is a dog of the earth , its nose should be to ground.

Third, I see dogs that are totally lacking in focus. Just like athletes good working dogs need to be kept in practice and training to be sharp. My own personal dogs need to catch a few rats typically in order to calm down and get to business, but the focus they settle to is amazing. Running around aimlessly like the sealyham’s in the video is not working. There is not focus with eye or nose on anything rat related.

There are also a few Jack Russels cleverly disguised among the Sealyham. My assumption is they are likely the farmers dog’s although I don’t actually know. If you watch the video you will notice it is the few JRT that actually are working and deal with the rats.

My conclusion, is that this is what most terriers removed from work act like. These are show bred dogs that retain mild amounts of drive and instinct ( and likely bark at squirrels from kennels ) but are far from working quality.

This is likely a way to have great fun for the dogs and a way of judging the small amount of instinct they have. Like barn hunt a fun game does not make a working dog , it makes a fun game for dogs especially on rainy days in covered arena’s.

Real working ratters are focused, quick, and efficient at both locating and dispatching rats.

I am not trying to discouraging, go out there and have fun and work the dogs at hunting and at games.

Working your dogs is the only possible way to learn about the actual working traits and characteristics of your dogs.



  1. PBurns November 17, 2016

    You nailed it; the failure here is so obviously UP the leash, that we do not even have to address the innocent dogs.

    This is the terrier equivalent of “renaissance festival falconry” — a show for the rubes put on by people who are afraid to let their dogs (or their hawks) off the leash

  2. Carolyn Calderon November 18, 2016

    Need your help. Saw ad at Grange Coop in Grants Pass, Or. Please contact me.

  3. Jreed November 19, 2016

    yes we have been in contact

  4. Jreed November 19, 2016

    Im actually going to have to look that up now …..I was very sad that they decided to use this group of dogs to represent terriers vs rats on the Morgan Spurlock RATS documentary. Would help to show people that quality dogs can make a difference at keeping rodenticides off the farm and out of the food chain.

  5. Barbara Buchanan January 24, 2017

    Just saw this and I appreciate your insightful comments. After reading what you said and then watching the video I could appreciate your observations. Don’t think I would have picked up on which dogs were actually doing the catching on my own. You should write a book!

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