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The Plummers' Tale

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Great expectations...

Diane Boreham started agility lessons with her Jack Russell Terrier. She caught the bug but realised that her JRT wasn't that interested so she decided to look for another small terrier. While out walking her GSD one day, she came across a Plummer Terrier and was immediately attracted to this flashy little red .breed. She was also impressed with how friendly it was. A year later she was ready for her next agility dog and found herself searching the Internet for more information.

Fred was my first proper agility dog. I was delighted that he really loved agility from the start. He was fast but level headed, and I loved running him. We flew up the grades to Small G7 in 18 months. At times, I was very aware that my inexperience showed on some of the courses, but Fred helped me out with my lack of handling skills. We were still getting 1st places and other rosettes. We learnt together as we went along.

During that time, people would often say that they loved my JRT to which I would reply that he was a Plummer Terrier. I would get a blank look and 'Oh. Never heard of them.' I would then explain that, though not recognised as a breed by The Kennel Club, that the Plummer Terrier is a good all-rounder dog, eager to please who loves nothing more than to work. They are loveable, feisty and very keen with high prey and work drive.

Three years later, I decided I wanted another Plummer so I joined the Plummer Terrier Club of Great Britain Facebook group and put my name down for a litter that was being planned in Manchester.

So along came Sonny...
Plummers are pretty much identical looking - all are red and white. But that's where the similarity ends.

A member of my agility training club once remarked that she didn't know that I had two terriers of the same breed. She'd always wondered why my dog was quiet some times and the others times it screams.

While Fred was easy, Sonny has not been so. He is  more full on than Fred, and he would get frustrated with me if messed up.

Because he had no forward focus, training has been very different. He  picks things up quickly - both good or bad - and I have to be one step ahead of him. I now know a lot of Sonny's frustration came from being over-faced with difficult manoeuvres. He would jump at me, grabbing my arm and running circles around me. He was only my second agility dog and to be hinest, I didn't have the experience to know then what the problem was.

This went on for a couple of years until I went on an agility camp with a top trainer who saw the problem straight away. His behaviour had now become a habit.

I was able to purchase my own equipment so I started setting up really easy sequences for him, putting a dead toy down for his forward focus. I got him working away from me, and now he is like a different dog. I almost gave up with him and got so disheartened that I thought he would never be able to run a course, but we are there now and I'm super happy with him. He screams with excitement when he runs he loves agility.

He has taught me so much in the way of training. He is faster than Fred so I've taught him to work away from me and I now absolutely love working him. He would work all day if he had his way. He is now Medium Grade 3 and I can't wait to start to get back to competing after COVID-19 break.

About the author...
Diane Boreham
got into agility around eight years ago and has been competing for five years. Before that, she had horses for 40 years and wishes that she had discovered agility in her younger days. It's definitely her favourite thing of all time.

First published 15th July 2020


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