Selecting a good Glen

The following is a small article written by Mr Dobbyn on selecting a good Glen.

Selecting a Glen in the “Good Auld Days When Glens were Glens!”

Fadó, Fadó (long long ago), when one was selecting a Glen – Is the dog strong enough to extract a badger from its sett?

• Is it small enough to make contact with the badger

E.g. entering sett – size 11” x 11”, grab prey and extract?

• Dog to remain silent when extracting

B • Maximum height of dog was 14” at withers (shoulders),

minimum is 12” to 12½”

• As the dog had to enter sett, it was essential that chest was NOT too deep.

For a 14” tall Glen, it was essential that chest was about 4” from ground

(E.g. 14” – 4” = 10” of dog to enter 11” shore or sett)

• A 12” tall dog – could have a deeper chest and lower to the ground

(E.g. 12½” tall dog could be as little as 2½” from ground therefore,

12½” – 2½” = 10” of dog to enter 11” shore or sett)

• The same rule applied to width of dog – E.g. 10” of chest was ideal

C • Neck – Had to be strong and thick at base. ‘Giraffe’ necks not acceptable

D • Mouth – Some ‘old-timers’ regarded a ‘crocodile’ mouth ideal, as it

provided the dog with a better grip on its prey. Not all breeders agree.

E • Ears – Rose eared preferred, acting as an umbrella against falling earth when

extracting badgers. Also, ears when in repose prevented ‘Mr. Brock’ from

grabbing ears.

F • Back – Slightly rising from shoulder to loin, about 1” to 1½”. There was a drop

of some inches from loin to inside of tail e.g. ‘goose rump’. The reason for

this was when badger was being extracted, the dog used the ‘goose rump’

area as a wedge, by pushing against the roof of sett and digging his/her

rear feet into sand. This occurred during ‘tug of war’ between dog and

badger and gave the dog a temporary rest

G • Hindquarters – Had to be powerful for extracting the badger

H • Tail – Strong enough at the root and long enough to grab, if necessary

I • Height/ Length – Ration was 5/3. In other words, for every 3” in height it

had to be 5” in length.

• So, a 14” tall dog had to be 14”/3 x 5/1 = 23” long

A small dog, 12½” had to be 12½”/3 x 5/1 = 21” long

Above data is that used by Glen persons who work their dogs as a pastime. When badger

extracting was legal, why should the shape/height/length be altered just because this

practice is now illegal? Some may argue that a level back Glens are more attractive to

Judges, than ‘slightly rising’ backs and goose rumps. Is it any wonder that modern Glens differ considerably from those of the 1930’s and earlier…

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