The Plummer Terrier

A History

At OneLife we are huge supporters of the popular countryside working dog, the plummer terrier. In my history, and certainly within living memory of many of our associates, the plummer terrier has become recognised as one of the best dogs available on the market for the exciting country sport, ratting. In this article we will explore the breeding strain of the all famous plummer. And also share a little of the history behind the original personality and creator of the breed, Brian plummer himself.

Since a very early time in human history the rat has been a notorious pest in regards to human life, since food has been able to be stored, at first in granaries, and now in huge silo’s and compounds the rat has brought disease and devastation to many communities throughout the times. Clearly it has always been necessary to remove this problem, and therefore animals have also been used to clear out the rats, almost for as long as the problem has ever existed.

This was first done with the base breed of dog that is the ancestor of all modern breeds today. This in itself was what would now be known as a mongrel, tough and hard-wearing. However the 17th century saw the onset of selective breeding, notably within cattle, which allowed prospective breeders to pick the best strengths within the herd and slowly cull out the weaknesses.

Of course this gave way to selective breeding within the dog family itself, and as a result it was possible to create dogs that were big, small, fast or strong, but more importantly, particularity matched to their working environment.

The terrier, where the plummer has most of it roots, was recognised in the early 18th century, most notably the long legged and short legged terrier. These two varieties gave way to most of the of terriers that are native to the continent today, and indeed all over the world. For example most of the terriers featured within the American market have their roots in Europe.

Related terriers of the world –

But of course the terrier that we so fondly love at OneLife is the Plummer Terrier. The Plummer was the brainchild of the late Brian Plummer, T.V star and a celebrity within the hunting community.

Born in 1936 in South Wales, Brian grew up within the small villages that were accustomed to hunting and the lifestyle associated with it. His early life features heavily in some of his biographical stories as a result.

After spending some time within national service he became a teacher and worked all over the country. This aspect of his life was to feature in several of his Television appearances. A strong example being the 1981 documentary, Hunting Man, in which he featured as a teacher who still hunted as a hobby on the countryside surrounding Birmingham.

However Brians most famous television début came with an appearance on Richard Whitley’s Calendar News, during which a ferret famously latched on to the hosts finger. In later life he featured in several documentaries such as the lone furrow (1987) and a way out of Walsall (1985).

During his life-time Brain developed the all famous plummer terrier, of course most noted for its strengths when catching rats. Derived from a blend Jack Russell Terrier, Fell Terrier, Beagle and Bull Terrier, the plummer became a reconised breed in the early 90’s, leading to the creation of the plummer terrier association in 1994.

Brain also carefully led the introduction of new blood into the plummer line in late nineties. This was introduced to root out previous problems, such as a tendency for a cleft palate, and to generally strengthen the breed itself.

Sadly after a long battle with cancer, the creator of the famous terrier passed away on the 12th of September, 2003. It was his wish that his name would live on within his breed. And due to his hard work and careful selection over the years, it seems certain his wish will be accomplished.

Many thanks to the resources and information that the following has provided towards making this article

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“I suppose I’ve always been keen to have a breed of dog called after me – and the “Plummer Terrier” does sound good, I admit. After all Wellington had a boot called after him, Davy had a lamp. Admittedly, Thomas Crapper, the inventor of the first self-flushing lavatory didn’t come off so well, but then you can’t win them all, can you? However, Plummer terrier sounds great, and who knows, when my shabby funeral procession of shabby mourners ambles down to Lichfield, and I am hurriedly shuffled into a shabby grave because my mourners’ ferrets are getting restless, perhaps these brown and white bull terrier-headed psychopaths I’ve set out to breed will be called Plummer Terriers”

Brian Plummer – 1936-2003.