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SPUR LAUT= scent/voice=German hunting the hare (Photos by Jrasamuyr Borderterriers)

For Dachshunds and Terriers

Italy February 2017
Border Terrier CH Stonchester Question Von Jrasamuyr
1st Terrier Group Spur Laut Mantova Italy Judge Mark Candian
In attendance the Italian Vigile de Cacciatore – the police of hunting


According to the field trials rules, “a proper use of voice” is a highly desirable quality while improper use of voice is considered a faulty action.

The exact wording is as follows:

“4-B Definitions - Desirable Qualities

Proper use of voice is the proclaiming of all finds of scent and announcing all forward progress on the scent line by giving tongue. The Dachshund should keep silent when not in contact with the scent line. Giving tongue on a sight chase is not a fault, but it is also not an indication of proper use of voice. Proper use of voice is a highly desirable trait in the Dachshund, but it should not be allowed to compensate for faulty work in other categories of performance. Judges may, at their discretion, place a silent Dachshund above an open trailer, provided that the silent Dachshund's performance was superior in other respects.

4-C Definitions - Faulty Actions

Babbling is excessive or unnecessary tonguing. The babbler often tongues the same trail over and over, or tongues from excitement when casting in attempting to regain the trail at losses.

Running mute is the failure to give tongue when making progress on the line.

Tightness of mouth is the failure to give sufficient tongue when making progress. This will often be evidenced by the Dachshund

tightening up when pressed or when going away from a check.”

I scented both my dogs before they were released. The trial is run on stalkers and beaters formation.

Hares are not released they are native habitat. The ground was across level farm land that had been manured with pig manure. It was wet and visibility was also not top form.

The competitors were Dachshund, wire and smooth and terriers comprising of my 2 Border Terriers and Jagdterriers- The German Hunting Terrier. A hard breed whereas the Dachshund is the rabbit hunting dog and perfect for this test,

You need voice but not too much voice. The JagD in my opinion were over voiced. I think the judging reflected this as I won the terrier section. My female went off course and was elated to be released and did not follow good scent. My dog went nose down and picked up scent and never stopped working. He attempted to take on drains but I refrained from this as we were in Italy. My female had whelped some months prior and I know this affected her hunting ability. She is an excellent hunter and is already a French Champion Brousaillage in rabbits/lapins. She can work scent but my dog was on a mission.

We stalked morning and afternoon with no change in visibility but change in ground. We took on some really wet and muddy ground that was very difficult to traverse. I had come out of hospital some months prior from major leg surgery and lucky for me I had substantial boots on to support my leg.

I had scented my dogs as the ground was very wet. It rained all day. I took my own rabbit pellets and also a small hunting chair. I had to sit down at intervals on stalking,

It was overall a very successful weekend for me. There were 3 trophies and I was in receipt of one of them.

Spur laut is energetic and requires a lot of field work. The dogs enjoy it and it is good to work in a group. It teaches the dogs to honour the other hunt dogs. Each has their turn. A good recall is essential, I always have a small Tupperware with treats. They are wired after release but the rattle is how I retrieve my dogs. We were in open land and in the distance traffic on dual track farm roads.

To be recommended.

The spur laut was followed by a superb Italian 4 course lunch with the presentation awards.

Charmaine Khatchikian
Jrasamuyr Border Terriers

The use of scenthounds to track prey dates back to Assyrian, Babylonian and Egyptian times and in England, hunting with Agassaei hounds was popular before the Romans.[1] In more modern times, hunting regulation has been encouraged by the animal welfare and animal rights movements out of concern for wildlife management and alleged cruelty

Hunting with hounds was banned in Germany by Adolf Hitler's government in 1934, before which hunting laws varied from state to state. Hounds were used to pursue deer, wild boar, hares and foxes.
Hermann Göring had a passion for shooting game and appointed himself Hunting Master of the Reich (Reichsjaegermeister) soon after the Nazis gained power in 1933. He decided that more order was needed and introduced sweeping legislative changes which were enforced throughout the Reich. The Hunting Law ("Reichsjagdgesetz") of 1934 was closely modelled on the Prussian "Tier- und Pflanzenschutzverordnung" of 16th December 1929.
Hitler's cabinet was told about the hunting regulation at a meeting on July 3, 1934 - the same day that the Fuhrer reported on the ruthless killing of Stormtrooper "conspirators" in the "Night of the Long Knives", according to an official Nazi biography published four years later. Hitler was a self-declared vegetarian and hated hunting
(see Adolf Hitler and vegetarianism).
The ban on hunting with hounds was unpopular with the aristocracy, many of whom hunted with hounds on horseback. Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859-1941), the grandson of Queen Victoria, who was a keen hunter of the wild boar was powerless to stop the changes as he had abdicated and fled the country in 1918. The remaining upper classes were unable to oppose the totalitarian regime. The Nazi-era ban on hunting with hounds was passed and remains in force to this day.
Shooting game remained legal though regulated. The Act included a promise of laws that were designed to give the shooting fraternity a privileged position in the new Reich. The idea was to give every (shooting) hunter his own personal shoot after "the Third Reich's glorious victory over Europe"
German Dachshund Club America quotes

This question is certainly multidimensional and does not have a simple answer. First, let’s address the issue of possible sources of the spurlaut trait. The obvious source would be hunting bloodlines, but this is not the only source. Some dachshunds from American show bloodlines are spurlaut too. Spurlaut is inherited rather simply (it is a dominant trait), especially in comparison to numerous conformation characteristics, which are controlled by polygenes. For breeders whose first priority is type, it might make more sense to breed to spurlaut dogs, which come out of show background. There are not too many of these dogs but they do exist. It is our good fortune that spurlaut crops up occasionally in show lines, but it takes a wise breeder to recognize his/her luck and capitalize on it. I have seen many cases when breeders take their good luck for granted. They lose the trait in the next generation because they do not select for it. Only a well designed, focused breeding program, which incorporates selection for spurlaut will produce spurlaut dogs consistently, generation after generation.

Outcrossing to hunting bloodlines selected for many generations for hunting qualities, which include voicing ability, may produce faster results when it comes to spurlaut, but of course, a hunting dog is going to pass much more than just the spurlaut trait to his offspring. Some traits might not be desired by a breeder whose first priority is conformation.




               Team Jrasamuyr Border Terriers – Pentathlon Czech Republic June 2016 (Photos by Jrasamuyr Borderterriers)
All terriers are earthdogs. Border Terriers evolved at the Cleugh, Jedburgh. The breed developed its skills in combat with the Redesdale’s foxes. They owe their history to John Robson of Kielder and John Dodd of Catcleugh. They became Masters of the newly named Border Foxhounds in 1857. The breed’s debut was at the Bellingham Show in the 1870’s. The Kennel Club recognised the breed in 1913.
My first Border Terrier, 1997, came from Jedforest Hunt. They no longer use Border Terriers. It is difficult now to find a hunt to take a terrier to work for its Working Certificate. He was a true Border Terrier. A northerner and spent his 16 ¾ years with horses and always riding with me and working in the barn as a vermin dog.
I got a Border Terrier because I have horses and they live as they were developed. Before 100% of the Border Terriers were workers. Now you would struggle to find a percentage that work. I am an exception. I keep the breed in exactly the manner they were bred. With horses and working on the yard everyday. This is not practical in the 21st century for the average person. The alternative has been to use the artificial terrier dens in France, Italy and the Czech Republic.
I took two new puppies in 2014, Bishop Auckland, from a working gun kennel. When they were 12 months old I started them on tunnels. All terriers are earthdogs but you have to bring out the inner terrier. Same as a gun dog has to be trained. So I started working my terriers. From 10 weeks old they were running with horses so they developed their own skill to get out of the way of a larger animal. But this gave them the confidence to later work around wild boar, foxes and smaller animals such as rabbits. I built my own mock up tunnels from hay bales and developed their fore arms by climbing up round hay bales. They were used to chasing and had already developed a “good voice”. This is what they need. They have to bey the fox out of the den. Not kill the fox.
Their first competition was in Italy. I prefer the runs in Italy as they are longer, 95m and have gradients that represent the natural den. Also the dens in Italy vary as some are below ground and some are above ground. Either way they are 18cm x 20cm and give the dogs a good crawl. In Italy the fox, volpe, is not in contact and gates are used. The dogs enter the den and at the first metre meet the fox who is contained by 2 gates. They have to demonstrate a “good voice” and this lasts for about 5 minutes. The test is 20 minutes contained in a dark long den! The fox is then released to the next holding. The dog has to work the gate and demonstrate the ability to hold the fox as if in a natural den. This is the way to train a dog. I would never release a dog straight into a natural den without prior work with fox dens. This continues for 95m and the runs have up and down gradients which the dog has to negotiate in a crawl. There are flags so you know when the dog has passed to the next holding box. In Italy the dog also runs the piste empty and on scent. This is known as “tana vuota”. The dog has to use its nose to find the fox which is contained in a metal holding box at 95m and in addition scent helps the dog to take the correct bivou as there is a trick, left or right. If successful then you can work the den with the gated fox.
In France, my dogs work in contact with a fox, renards, as they graduated to this test. They start off no contact and win their place out of that to contact. The run is shorter and to me not as interesting. The best runs are the Tekkel Bassoti Dachund runs. In France there is one gate and then the fox is released. It is up to the dog to push the fox into the holding box at the end of the run. They must bey the fox into the holding box and stay there for 20 mins. The use of “good voice” is what they are marked on. My male dog has the ability to jump over the fox and push the fox to the start where there is also a holding box. It does not matter which end you finish. My female is very good at holding the fox with her voice. She was a few months behind in ability on my male dog but now she has over taken him. She proved this in the Pentathlon Czech Republic.
I work my dogs in false dens in Italy, France and the Czech Republic. I am a member of most European Terrier Clubs. I also speak good Italian and French, this helps.
I got invited to compete with the Czech Border Terrier Club in Bohemia for a Pentathlon. I was the only foreign competitor. I entered both of my dogs. My dogs are pistol gun credited in France and Italy. They were unprepared for 12 bore shot gun.
I have worked my dogs on test in wild boar in Italy. Contained park with 4 boar. I have worked my dogs on my own land in Italy. I have 9 hectares in the Parc Alto Garda, Lake Garda, Lombardy. Here they run free the wild boar, cinghiale. In France I have introduced my dogs to wild boar, sanglier, on the mountain in Rhone Alpes, on foot with Artois hunting hounds.
I prepared them as best for gun dog retrieval of duck. The Pentathlon was a combination of hunting with scent, fox den and hunting obedience. It was hard work but my female, Lottie, INT CH Italy/Slovenia/Croatia/RSM Stonechester Apostraphe Von Jrasamuyr  CH ART renards CH TNAt lapins, finished 3rd. This was a big achievement as my dogs are not gun trained.
Test 1 scent retrieval of wild boar. Dog released and has to find quarry and bey. To attract the hunter. Lottie went into the lead doubling her points on ability of “good voice”
Test 2 hunting obedience where dog on 8m hunt leash. No voice or hand contact and have to weave in and out of forest with dog at heel. Very difficult. Both scored well,
Test 3 hunting obedience where dog in attached to tree on 8m leash and must not move. After 5 mins the 12 bore shot gun is fired. Dog must not move. Very difficult.
Test 4 mallard retrieval after jettison into lake. After a detour Lottie retrieved the duck from the 12 bore shot gun fire into the lake. She had not been prepared for this. I was astonished and very proud. It is difficult to prepare for this. I had float ducks but not the same as gun fire. She was amazing and managed to grab the foot of the mallard and drag it to the lake shore to me. I was so happy!
Test 5 fox den with no contact and run at speed. Both dogs are familiar with this. The den to me looked 16cm x 18cm slightly smaller than France and Italy. No contact.

It took me one week to recover from the Pentathlon. It was run with military precision and the Czech’s really use their Border Terriers. In the UK most never get off the sofa. We are investing in a Dokken mallard to work on retrieval.

If you are interested in earthdog please do not hesitate to contact me. Email
Youtube Oscar Khatchikian Earthdog Border Terrier. Pinsinterest Oscar Khatchikian Earthdog Border Terriers. Facebook Jrasamuyr Border Terriers


Slovakia Hunting Tests with fox (Photos by Jrasamuyr Borderterriers)

"Terriers should be off the judge’s table and into the ground."

CACIT tests are only available in Slovakia, Russia and Lithuania. They are very strict hunting tests with fox. A vet is present and dogs are vet checked and documented. Patterdales are permitted even though they do not carry pedigree papers.

The coveted CACIT is awarded by the FCI and if you gain two you are entitled to become an International Working Champion same as a CIB under FCI. From this it is possible in some CACIB shows to enter the working class. In Europe there are working classes in most national championship shows where CAC or CC are awarded. CACIB shows are international and the CACIT is valid. You need a Working Certificate issued by the cinofile association of that country. I have Working Certificates on my dogs issued by the French SCC and it is valid at national shows only. In Italy although my dogs are working champions, they are foreign dogs, and ENCI does not permit me to enter working class.

Otherwise in the UK, unless you have hunt contacts, and can work with a terrier man and gain a Certificate of Gameness from a breed club such as one of the 5  Border Terrier clubs, it is impossible. But this might only entitle you to enter working at the breed club that issued your certificate and not at another breed club show. They are not transferable. Pity and it really does nothing for the terrier breeds.

In the USA in the 1950s to be a champion a terrier had to have a certificate of gameness. I advocate this. I am tired of show ring terriers. They are earthdogs. They have lost their ability to hunt and be a dog.

So I pursue all disciplines that I can train my dogs in. Foxes are natural to Border Terriers and I use frozen fox to train my dogs.
CACIT tests are coveted and are by invitation. They are not publicised and unless you are known as a dedicated person you might have to wait a while to be invited.

In Slovakia the Slovakia Terrier Club and the Slovakian Hunting Association run these tests. They are very popular and a great spectator sport. For the old and young. Many pensioners and ladies hunt their dogs and these people compete at the CACIT test hunt trials.

I took my dogs to the Slovakia Terrier Club CACIT tests. I worked 3 dogs. My young female came into season so the vet pulled her out.
The piste is a “U” shape and 24 metres in length. It is 18cm x 20cm which represent the natural earth. The liners are concrete and there are gates which are removed.  There are gradients and some obstacles. In nature you would have stones and tree roots to negotiate.

In Slovakia they are set up in theatre form as it is a great spectator sport. The terrier and tekkel is much respected and people come to watch the dogs work. In Eastern Europe of old, hunting is still a huge part of the way of life. It is highly respected and is part of the natural eco system of man and animals in nature. It is encouraged and controls the balance of animals in nature. It is a way of life that is exposed to school children as part of nature. It is not uncommon to see babies being buggied around at CACIT hunting tests.

The draw positions are vital as pole position can mean a hard fox or a soft fox. They are changed at every dog and some 40 foxes may be dug out of the ground to be used at a test day.

I drew 11, 13 and 55 out of 67 starters. My first dog had a very hard fox. My female had a very combative fox. My young dog had a good fox and he worked very well at his first time in contact with live fox. He has only worked gated fox prior. The adults work fox.

The dogs are given 10 minutes to work the fox. The test may be over in seconds or the dog may hold the fox. There are 3 ways. Contact. Holding the fox or bolting the fox. Depends on the fox and how the dog works. The area is caged so if the dog bolts the fox then the fox is caught. Marking the dogs is in 3 phases also. Group 1, 2, 3 depending on how they work. Some dogs do not even bay at the fox they just go straight to the contact. Others may bay and mine will bay for up to 8 minutes. This would be the point the terrier man would locate the dog and the fox for bolting. My female likes to work and she worked well at challenging.

Dogs need to be fit and have a good set of lungs. Baying is usually in order and quite important in the marking table. A good set of haunches is vital for pushing up the den at the crawl. The dog needs to be able to go backward also. If a dog jumps the fox in the holding box then the dog can bolt the fox. My male will do this. This is where the shoulder is very important as the dog has to pull itself up the den in the crawl. Despite being big my dogs have no trouble at speed crawling up the dens. I shudder when I see critique of difficult to span. Border’s are very flexible with a good length of rib and loin to turn in dens and crawl. Rib spanning is great but 99.9% of Borders, JRT, PRT never see a den or a fox or a horse. Big pelts help them slide around also.

This is a great sport and one way to get your dog fit and prepare for the field. I use these trials for training. I am fortunate to be able to travel and I speak languages. I travel to where ever it takes to work my dogs. It is important that the dogs are allowed to be dogs and not anthropomorphised. I believe that terriers should be off the judge’s table and into the ground.
I work my dogs above and below ground. Brush hunting is a good way to start. Some dogs do not like working in the dark. It is folly for people to think they want to hunt their dog and let it go into the ground without training. Believe me they will just stand there and think you go in first! You have to prepare your dog. There are always some eliminations. A dog may over excite itself. You have to know your dog and know when it is ready to work for you. If you were show jumping you would jump a horse at home at 2 metres 25cm and go into the ring only to jump 2 metres. This earthdog testing is a great way to start your dog off. CACIT tests are not the way to start earthdog as this is contact. In the rest of Europe there is gated no contact earthdog tests. m

The next tests are in Slovakia with the Hunting Association in July. It is for terriers and tekkels. 170 start.
Charmaine Khatchikian
Jrasamuyr Border Terriers


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