Monday, December 19, 2011

Welsh Resting - SJ Merwin - Watercolor Dog Terrier Art Paintings by Montana Artist

Welsh Resting by S J Merwin

Welsh Terriers are not small Airedales. They are not miniature Airedales. Welsh Terriers are one of the oldest breeds known and once were known as the black and tan. They were originally used as ratters. Living on farms, they were released in the morning and spent the day on their own without supervision from humans. There were doing their job of looking for mice, rats and other pests to kill. The herding dogs were breed to help the farmers by protecting and managing sheep but the Welsh were breed for the vital job of protecting the farm from being over run by vermin. Mice, rats and and other rodents could ruin a crop or a store house of grain. I'm reminded of the story of the Pied Piper who cleared the land of rats. The story does have a foundation in truth. The truth is that rats could devastate a country. Many animals will kill mice or rats if they corner them. But the Welsh Terrier was breed to go underground after the prey and kill the colony. Many say that the Welsh tail is docked exactly the length of a hand hold, thus ensuring that the owner could grab the tail and pull the dog out of the hole if the fight got too intense. Intense is a good word to describe a Welsh Terrier who has his mind set on killing a rodent. They are so intense that they can't hear a command. Their ancient breeding commands them to dispatch of the rodent interloper. All of this makes the training very interesting when someone wants to train a Welsh who has been breed to work alone to get his job done.

The 8 x 10 inch watercolor painting shows the Welsh at Rest. Welsh Terriers often look like cuddly teddy bears when they are at rest. What a enigma the Welsh is. He can be an intense, fierce rodent hunter and look like a charming little teddy bear.

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