Training And testing Of Small Breed Hunting Dogs




This is a spectacular group of hunting dogs whose popularity is growing world wide at a rapid rate, small, versatile dogs with a huge heart, that have excellent hunting skills for most types of game / vermin


In Slovakia various breeds of terrier and all Teckles are included in this group


Their testing system in my opinion is one of if not the best in the world,Slovakia being one of the few European countries still able to test  the skills of the dog on live game/vermin, fox, wild boar, deer etc.  This group of dogs are used as earth dogs for fox control, blood trackers for wild boar and deer and also make very versatile dogs for hunting in the field,forest and water.


A 600 metre track is laid using 250 ml of blood and the track should be 12hrs old.


A minimum 500 metre track using no blood but the hoof prints of the boar and the track must be a minimum of 3 hrs old


The test is staged over two days, the first day being a real driven hunt using live quarry (not for the faint harted, an exhilarating day!!) The second day is staged in a fenced area this includes blood tracking, steady to shot, walking on the leash and staying in position for 10 minutes after a single shot


This consists of a two round competition that is staged in a simulated earth. Historicaly this was one round, tested on fox and one round on badger, although in more modern times the badger is not used . All the tests have various regulations that are enforced by Slovakian Hunting Society approved judges. Some of the tests will be organized by the respective breeders clubs for approving  breeding bitches that have to under go testing before they are approved for breeding.

Other tests are at international level where only the best are awarded FCI working titles, such as International working title CACIT or national working title CACT


At such an event which is a great celebration of the breeds and their handlers it is not unusual to have more than 120 dogs competing from 5 or more European countries.

The test comprises of style to which the dog works the fox and the time it takes to either flush the fox from the earth  or take a hold of the fox, the dog is then scored on a points system which gives it a ranking for that day

Also, wild boar are kept in special fenced areas for training and testing of the dogs, which gives the dog the necessary experience before its approved to be used on a real hunt, this is an essential experience as the wild boar can be very dangerous.


In Slovakia as well as other European countries the (wire haired Daschund) Teckle is a  very popular choice for the hunter, regardless of it being male or a female to be approved for breeding, it must be successful in the younster test, earth test for fox and one of the  blood tracking ground tests

The purpose of all the tests is to approve dogs for the real hunt


This test for young dogs, is organised twice a year and in Slovakia around 140 dogs are tested for sharpness, steady to shot and loudness on the blood tracking

A cat is placed in an iron cage so the young dog can see it and smell it, the youngster is then judged on its reaction.  An important point of note, no cats are harmed in this test.  The cage is placed in cover 50 metres away, the young dog should then be released to find the cage, on finding the cage the dog should immediately start to bark and mark the location of the cage for a period of 5 mins, if the dog is too agressive and starts to attack the cage the judge will call for the handler and the test will be over this is designed to avoid injury to the young dog or damage to its teeth


The young dog is asked to search in front of the handler. When there is approx 20 metres between dog and handler, a single shot is fired, the dog should remain steady and continue its search.


The last discipline is loudness on the track, this is judged on the tracking of a hare,  whilst searching, if a hare breaks from its seat the handler should allow the hare to disapear from sight then place the dog on the track, the dog should follow the track giving  tounge for at least 200 metres, this will score the highest mark ( 4 ) if the dog only gives tounge when it has sight of the hare this will be a lower mark ( 3 ) if any other behaviour is witnessed then it will be a lower mark which ultimately means not approved for breeding.


To complete the Approved for breeding test the dog must under go a DNA test and be approved by a breeding committee which is led by a  breed master. The approval includes, taking several measurements and inspecting its bite. The dog must be a minimum age of 12 months and must have achieved  at the very least  a ‚very good‘ at a club show, which is organized three times a year.

The maximum weight for a standard Teckle is 9.9kg and their chest should be at least 35 cm they should also have a full scissor bite including third mollars.

The minature Teckles also undergo similar testing at 15 months  of age and should have a chest of 31-35 cm.

Although the Approved for Breeding test is a high standard to achieve, in Slovakia there are still around 350 standard Teckle pups born each year,  and it is not possible to register the litter for pedigree status unless the parents are approved for breeding.


The second  and very popular breed is the Jagd Terrier, here again around 350 pups are born in Slovakia each year, even though the conditions for breeding approval are more stringent than that of the Teckle


The dogs are also judged at a club shows and at a minimum age of 12 months the dog has to be awarded a note of excellent. However, if the dog only achieves a very good, then the dog has to have top results for its working ability.

As in the case of the Teckle, the Jagd Terrier must be judged before the breeding committee.

It must have a full scissor bite with a maximum of 2 third mollars missing, if this is the case then one of the parents must have a full mouth

 A breed standard requirement is for male dogs to be 36-40 cm to the shoulder and the chest should be 10-12cm bigger than the shoulder height.  The female should be 34-38cm to the shoulder with a similar allowance for the chest

In Germany,  they seem to like a dog with a bigger chest and more leggy. 

The working requirements for breeding permission are one of if not the toughest in the world, the young dogs have a similar requirement for loudness on the hare track, the fox test organised by the club must also be passed in first prize.


The earth test for the Jagd Terrier is also staged in a simulated earth, this is designed in a U shape with three chambers that measure 60cm x 60cm, the connecting tunnel measures 20cm x 20cm, the upper part of the earth is constructed from wooden panels all of which can be opened up if needed.

The fox is secured in the second chamber and the terrier is placed 1meter away from the entrance to the earth. When the judge commands Start, the terrier should immediately enter the earth and the fox should be released from the chamber, the terrier should make its way along the earth until it meets the fox, at which point the terrier should flush the fox fully out of the earth or sieze the fox by the neck or head .  If the dog achieves this it will be a first class pass in first prize. Mouth to mouth is not desirable.

By comparison, for the Teckle ,it is sufficient to flush the fox into the third chamber and giving tongue hold the fox there for a whole 10 mins

A second prize is given to terriers who bite and hold the fox elswhere on the body

A third prize is given to a teckle that has been substituted


The sharpness test is staged in.a fenced area of aprox 1 hectare, the terrier has to attack and bay with plenty of tongue around a piece of wild boar, and finally has to complete one of the ground tests similar to the teckle.

In Slovakia, the largest hunting competitions each year are staged for small breeds, and comprize of blood tracking, wild boar and fox tests, other breeds that also take part in these tests include Welsh terriers, Fox terriers, Patterdales, Russells and border terriers all with varying degrees of success

So the team here at Hunting dogs Europe are confident when they say a dog sourced by us has under gone some of the most rigourous, training and testing in Europe , and all dogs are supplied with export pedigrees and test result paper work.


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