Created primarily to work rat's and rabbit the Plummer Terrier, named after it's creator Dr David Brian Plummer, has a mixture of Jack Russell, Fell Terrier, Fox Terrier, Bull Terrier and Beagle blood, it has been bred true to type now for over 12 years considering the breed is relatively new (1960's).
The Plummer Terrier Association's present and previous committees have largely achieved the realisation of Brian Plummer, it is a pity that Brian did not live long enough to witness the culmination of his dream, nevertheless his legacy is being and will be realised. Thanks to the efforts of past and present members of the PTA's executive committee and all of the owners and breeders of these game terriers.
In the late 1960's and the 1970's Brian Plummer worked as a somewhat reluctant teacher in several schools in South Yorkshire and the Midlands . A self-confessed rustic eccentric and seemingly frustrated academic, Brian had a passion for hunting rat's with what was then his motley pack of Jack Russell type terriers, when he moved and settled in the Midlands, living in a run down cottage in the countryside surrounding Lichfield he continued teaching and in his spare time he hunted Rat's relentlessly.
Brian then established himself as an author of book's on hunting various quarry with lurchers and terriers, an expert in the science of genetics, he strove to produce a unique strain of terrier using the aforementioned bloodlines with Jack Russell terriers from seal cottage lines as a base line, these terriers were worked very hard and as the breed developed so did Brian's reputation as a breeder of hardy working terriers.
The Beagle used in the early 1960's was out of a russet show-bred strain and came form some of the USA imports owned by Philip Ainstay a fellow teacher friend of Brian's, brought into the UK to tidy up British exhibits, further outcrosses were introduced, the addition of Fell Terrier blood came from a dog named Jaeger owned by Nigel Hinchcliffe and a dog called Flint from Brian Nuttall, both were noted working lines and most likely descended from Cyril Breay's stock.
Infused refinement of shape and to a certain extent contributed towards fixing the type. Pagan a black and tan terrier (F1) is acknowledged as one of the early pillars of the evolution of the breed. Further additions included Jack Russell blood from Eric Forsyth's Pip, Alan Thomas's Hamish and Pip from the Chiddingfold and Leconfield foxhound kennels, unknown Bull Terrier blood was added to improve head and strength of jaw and to improve general toughness/durability of the field.
It must be noted that performance as an earth dog was and is a perquisite of most if not all terrier breeds and Plummer Terriers are no exception to this rule. At this point it has to be said that there are two distinct types began to developed, the smaller more snipey nosed form of Plummer Terrier and the more bully stronger headed types and after several years of painstaking discipline regarding choice preferable blood lines eventually a distinct and recognisable type was now finally secured.
Brian's now legendary dog's Vampire who died in 1980 aged 9 was a veteran of the weekly rat hunts at the local battery hen farm, his brother Warlock and his sister Beltane (who Brian regarded as the “matron” of his terrier team and indeed the prototype of the breed) and probably the most famous of all Omega, bred by her sire Vampire to his own daughter Janey, Brian dedicated a whole book to Omegas rat killing abilities, all of these terriers howed the characteristic look of what is now regarded as the Plummer Terrier.
On April 22nd 1994 the Plummer Terrier Association was formed to ensure and protect the future of the breed.
The commitment of the PTA's executive committee to breed top quality Plummer terriers has established some order regarding the evolution and development of the breed and it's gene pool, this has seen the production of some out standing individual dog's that have stamped their mark on the development and consolidation of the breed, such dog's such as Vampire, Hamish, Rocky, Rupert Welsh Viper, Stanhill Billy, Coalville Billy and most recently the breeds first supreme champion Wyremead Cerberus, the PTA can trace all of our dogs back as far as 1952.
Of course most breed have their faults and the Plummer Terrier is no exception, early problems encountered by the PTA (early 1990's) such as patella luxation and Perthes Syndrome are currently running at below 2% in the population, other problems such as undershot jaws and colouration patterns etc are now quite rare, but are always a fault to look out for when breeding closely.
In the 1980's during one scene in a documentary made about Brian and his terriers (hunting man, lone furrow) Brian stated that he would one day like his terriers to be known as Plummer Terriers and he would like for them to be recognised by the Kennel Club, this is something we at the PTA are striving to achieve, indeed we have recently applied to the Kennel Club for recognition of the Plummer Terrier and if we succeed in realising Brian's dream it would be a fitting tribute to the man who created the Plummer Terrier.
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