Active with working Dandies

Alf with Cindy

CINDY the Working Dandie

(This letter was written for the Centenary Magazine, published my Miss Soutter Miss Greenlees of the Drevaburn affix)

I got my first Dandie, a bitch, in 1973 from a kennel which is known to breed for show rather than work. She was six months old, and she settled down with my other terriers at once. Having kept working terriers for 20 years or more, I wanted to get to know all about the Dandie and its ability to work. I started by taking her out long walks in the fields and she thoroughly enjoyed them. When 10 months old I was able to say that she was a better dog than I ever thought. I had got her killing rats and was surprised how quick she was, and hedgehogs, which she pulled to bits in no time. I then had her down to fox (cubs), and, my word, she had the makings of a really good dog. I kenneled her but brought her into the house most of the day, and she was very good, really quiet, but as soon as I set off into the fields she was a different dog, hunting and into the hedges, and any holes or setts we came across she would go and investigate.
At about twelve months old (after going out with other terriers) I tried her to a dog fox. After we had dug down and left about four foot of the burrow she went straight in, barking and baiting and it was a pleasure to hear and see her at work. When I got her off she had some real bites on her face, but she never whimpered all the time she was at the fox.
Later I noted that I had had her to 9 foxes, and she was still going grand. These had all been in drains or in earths, so the fox could have
bolted easily. Most of them had been cubs, but I got one nearly full grown, and Cindy was in at the kill, and proved herself to my friends, and I was very pleased.
She is now 2-1/2 years old, she can work fox as good as any dog I have had, and I have had some of the best. She is still very soft till she knows where we are going, and then she seems another dog altogether, and she can follow a scent for miles, just like a hound. She has had two seasons at fox, has killed 2 herself and been in at the kill of 11 others. I would have thought her now ready to go to badger, but, with the law as it is I don't think she will have the chance. I have kept and worked terriers for 26 years or more and judged at many Working Terrier Shows, and I can honestly say that knowing the ability of my Dandie bitch, there is no reason why the Dandie should not take its rightful place among the real working terriers. A terrier is a terrier, whether pedigree or not, and should have a bit of fire in it somewhere and, in the right hands, it can be brought out. I have found out too, that Dandies are not as yappy as most terriers.
Alfred Rhodes