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Terriers are small, independent, tough and determined – they need to be, since they are most often worked on quarry such as foxes and rats in confined spaces. Since the introduction of legislation that curtailed the use of dogs in hunting, terriers are now used to locate and flush foxes, but still kill rats and rabbits.

Common types of working terrier include Patterdale, Jack Russell, Border and Lakeland – or any combination as crosses. There are also working Cairns, West Highland Whites and other breeds, but these are less common.

In the North Country and Scotland, especially in the Highlands, working terriers are used to locate and flush foxes from rock falls known as cairns, whereas in the south of England they are used to locate and bail foxes underground until the terriermen can dig down to dispatch them. Terriers are also an extremely valuable tool for ratting on farms and estates across the country, and for hunting rabbits too.

ratting terriers
foxing terriers

The introduction of anti-hunting legislation badly affected our ability to work terriers as they should be worked, and the threat to our way of life is as strong as it ever was due to ignorant, self-righteous antis who refuse to understand the reality of life in the countryside.

SACS has a strong affinity with working terriers with many working terrier owners as members, including the SACS director, who is a devoted north country 'todhunter'. For many of our members, terrierwork is the ultimate form of hunting. It is special to watch these hardy wee lionhearts go about their business.

Join SACS today to help us fight to keep terrierwork alive and well in the years ahead.