Anybody got any information for me?
This is a relatively new breed. It was started by Greg Houghton and his wife, Deedee McCarty of Port Angeles, Washington in 1985. His intentions were to breed for a good farm dog. It is a cross between the Welsh Corgis, Border Collie, Airedale Terrier, Jack Russell Terrier and Irish Terrier breeds.
Though an even better description is at Countryside magazine reply to a reader question about the dog. Here's just a small excerpt:
Greg Houghton and his wife, Deedee McCarty of Port Angeles, Washington started the breed in, I believe, 1990. They concentrate on breeding for personality, tractability, and sturdiness more than how the dogs look--and it seems to be working well. They're a medium size dog with the females in the 35-40 lb. range, give-or-take, and the males 45-50 lbs. or so. Most pups develop a rough-coat (sort of fluffy), or broken-coat (not as long-haired). Every so often one stays smooth-coated. They come in every combination of brown, black, and white; with all brown, brown and white and tricolor being the most common. I think it's really neat to have a litter of puppies where each one looks different. Marilyn Monroe's (the dog in COUNTRYSIDE), morn is black and tan; the first time I took her to the vet he said "Airedale, huh?," and then he told me how Northwest Farm Terriers were replacing Airedales in this area with regards to cougar and bear control.
There is contact info for Greg and Deedee later in that link though I'm not sure if it's current, and, last I heard, they are no longer breeding at this time.
What is his vision for the future of the breed
What are some pros and cons of the breed
what are some stories of great and funny things they have done
has he attempted to get them AKC registered, if so, how and what, if not, why not.
Tips for training Northwest Farm Terriers.
If anyone can give any suggestions for additional questions, I would appreciate it. Greg seems like a great guy who is willing to talk. Paul mentioned how fast these guys are so maybe I can get some footage of them fetching the ball. Any thing else?
This is my first post so remember the rules
Nothing against the effort to do what these people are attempting to do. That being said, if you are looking for a dog with the stated traits you will have a far better chance to get a decent dog from an established breed from breeders who are serious about maintaining the traits. Maintaining traits is hard enough, much less starting a new "breed".
The traits in the dogs of this project are far from established. Coat, for one is notoriously difficult to stabilize in a breed that should have a rough coat. If the outer harsh layer of hair is missing then you have a dog that gets soaked to the skin in wet grass and far more prone to injury from brambles etc. ..
Additionally, a dog that is actually capable of being an effective deterrent against bears and cougars will not be suitable for people with little or no experience truly training dogs ie: regional or national competition, protection etc. . .
The cost to care for a good dog and a lousy dog are the same. Buy from a reputable breeder who has a track record of producing what you are looking for from an established breed. Very few people in the dog breeding business are willing to cull the inferior individuals. Even fewer people are willing to get rid of a dog they buy as a pup, lavish with care and affection only to have it turn out to be mediocre or useless when it comes to their intended role.
My WAG is that most people tempted to buy one of these have never been more than average pet owners, and are attracted to not much more than the "newness factor" of the project. If your expectations are nothing greater than a pet then you likely won't be disappointed. And finally, most people do not have the time or expertise to train a working dog. You have to love the process of creating the partnership between you and the dog, not find it one more chore that is easily put off. . . . which results in a pet which has been "trained" to be poorly behaved and a nuisance.
The Germans (who breed some of the best) have a saying: A good dog adapts to the family, not the family to the dog.
My apologies if my comments upset some people. However, the comments are founded on 40 years of experience not only training dogs to national status, but training people to train dogs in both the US and Canada.