531B Plummer Terrier Standard

by   David Hancock


Working Role: To hunt ground vermin, going to ground when required, but to act too as an all-purpose sporting dog.

General Appearance: A small, sturdy, short-coated, compact but free-moving, well-boned, strong-jawed working terrier, just under a foot high, with a bright fiery red tan coat, accompanied by white on legs and collar, usually with a docked tail. Should appear bold but not aggressive.

Characteristics: Bright, alert, determined, self-confident, lively, bustling, sharp-eyed, spirited, keen to hunt, fearless but not foolhardy, physically robust, active without being hyperactive, independent-minded yet responsive to training and commands.

Temperament: Bold but friendly by nature; extrovert but not dog-aggressive or prone to give tongue without good reason; not immediately welcoming with strangers but not immediately submissive either. Stable, lacking the excessive excitability of some other small terrier breeds.

Aptitude: Willing to hunt ground vermin, above and below ground. Perseveres in difficult working conditions. Displays no hesitation in tackling ground quarry, without being too hard or oblivious to instruction. Has an offensive approach without ever being out of control.

Construction: Must have the anatomy of a working terrier: a flexible spine, a powerful jaw, sturdy legs, strong but never heavy bone, ample chest room without too much 'spread' in front, sound compact feet with well-formed pads and strong toe-nails.

Forefront: The head is strongly-made, broad--with good width between the ears and a well-defined 'stop'; strongly-jawed--the muzzle length measures roughly two-thirds the distance from the occiput or peak to the stop, giving a strong, tapering jaw, still broad at the nose; the jaws close in a scissor bite, with strong even teeth; the jaws are built for biting and gripping, equally strong in upper and lower jaw. The skull size is in proportion to the dog's size, lacking the distinct 'Staffie' chunky wedge-shaped head. The ears are set high, well apart, neat and V-shaped, but with slightly rounded tips, carried close to the head, dropping forward even when the dog is alert (half-prick). The eyes are oval, dark, never protruding, quite deep-set and fairly wide apart. The lips are tight, with dark pigmentation. The neck is strongly made, of good length, slightly arched, blending well into the shoulder construction.

Forehand: The shoulder blades and upper arm are of sufficient length and angle to permit a free front stride with good extension and ample reach of neck; the abbreviated restricted front action of many small terrier breeds is not desired. The elbows fit closely but allow free forward movement. The forelegs should be straight when viewed from the front, not over-boned but discernibly muscled. The forefeet are small and compact but still good-sized, round, with strong robust pads, sturdy toes and strong nails.

Torso: The chest is narrow whilst retaining breadth, with well-sprung ribs carried well back. In profile the dog is oblong but not excessively so, the distance from the point of shoulder to  hip not greatly exceeding the shoulder height of the dog. The topline is level; the body length indicating symmetry and balance, based on a lower station. The loins are supple and strong. Great flexibility in the body is desirable. The short rigid back of many show terriers is a handicap to a working dog. The underline shows a very slight tuck-up.

Hindhand: The tail is set level with the topline, which slopes very slightly downwards at the croup; the tail is carried high but not set too high. Pelvic angulation, turn of stifle and angulation at the hock must allow good forward reach when working underground and ample rear extension on the move, avoiding the short-stepping, chopping rear-leg action, lacking real stride, of many small terriers. The hindquarters are not broad across the hips but well-muscled. The hindlegs are straight when seen from behind. The hindfeet are small, round and compact, with strong, tough pads, toes and nails. The tail is normally docked to just less than 4 inches. 'Squirrel' tails are not desired, nor the spitz curl when undocked.

Movement: Purposeful with a low drive and a good stride, fore and aft, indicating well-laid shoulders and correctly-constructed hindquarters. The style is brisk, full of enthusiasm; the whole impression is one of perky assertiveness, supple strength and physical harmony.

Coat: Colour; the fiery red tan coat is a feature of breed type and must be present. This breed feature ideally consists of a rich red tan  full cape from head to tail, a white collar or brisket is permissible, as are  white leg markings. The head is preferred in solid red tan but a white blaze, or badger-marking is acceptable. Tri-coloured, whole red tan, black or black and tan terriers are not desired in the breed's gene pool.

      Texture; short, dense, close-lying but resistant to the hand when reverse-stroked; guard hairs are not desired; any looseness or untidiness of coat is not desired.

Dimensions: Height at the withers; 30-35 cms (dogs)

                                   25-30 cms (bitches)

Weight is to be commensurate with size.

Faults: Unwillingness to go underground.

        Excessive hardness.

        Cloddy build, lacking flexibility.

        Short neck, so often in sequence with steep shoulders.

        Prick ears.

        Overdone wedge-shaped 'Staffie' head.

        Barrel chest.

        Ribs not carried far enough back.

        Lack of extension fore and aft when on the move, giving  

        the abbreviated stride of the show ring terrier breeds.

        Coat colour too diluted i.e. too pale.

        Eyes too yellow, a light eye is not an automatic fault 

        but the darker eye is preferred.

        Undershot or overshot mouth.

        'Dudley' or 'putty' nose, i.e. lacking pigmentation.

        Snappy temper or constant barker.


Copyright: D.Hancock 2003.