The following article was written by Ian Jensen for the Stafford Review magazine in 1996. This is a remarkable story about his old dog Barney and I felt needed to be recirculated again for those who may of missed the article 1st time round.
Many thanks goes out to Ian Jensen for allowing me to publish this for all my Stafford enthusiasts around the world to read.
When thinking of a breed of dog for the job of following a scent the Stafford is not the obvious choice. This article by Ian Jensen goes to show that what a Stafford wants Stafford usually gets....
Thought I would drop a line to tell you of an incident involving my eight year old Staff Barney. Under Ed Reids I.K.C Barney was a weight pull champion, the most weight he ever shifted was 2,495lbs to beat all comers. He came second in a high jump competition clearing 6ft 3.. and best of all won a tug of war taking on all comers including Pit Bulls weighing 15lb's more than him. with all this behind him I felt he could not surprise me and he certainly had nothing more to prove, but on Monday the 9th September 1996 he did.
A friend had rescued a Jack Russell Terrier about six months ago, a real working type who took every opportunity to go to ground and seek out rabbits and on Saturday the 7th September he did just that, whilst being walked at 8.00am he ran into some brambles and never came out, the owner obviously scared searched all she could but after 4 hours of searching decided to come back at night when it would be quieter and she would know which hole Buster had run down, despite extensive searches he could not be located. Everyone in the village took their mutts to the area but none would mark his location, come Monday morning I decided I would give Barney a try, I was not confident, he'd had a tussle with the lost dog and Barney did not have much hunting instinct but Buster had been in the hole for three days and things were getting desperate.
After we had been in the area for about twenty minutes Barney began to show great interest in one rabbit hole in particular, he began to dig and bark and gradually started to disappear into the hole, when all I could see was his tail I decided to pull him out and have a listen, I could hear the faint yapping of a terrier emanating from the hole, Barney had marked his location for definite. It was getting dark so I ran to the pub for reinforcements, spades and torches were collected and digging commenced, after two hours we had dug down about six feet and along about eight feet the sound of Buster's barking was getting louder but as the warren branched out in three directions we could not tell which one to follow, momentarily halting our progress, I decided Barney should be able to indicate which tunnel to follow and lifted into the hole we had excavated, as his feet touched the ground his hackles went up obviously sensing his old enemy, he dived for one hole and began digging and growling furiously, I grabbed his tail just as we were about to lose sight of him, from Barney's reaction we knew Buster was close, we followed the tunnel Barney had marked and within five feet found Buster lying on his side exhausted, dehydrated and very weak, Barney was hailed a hero and Buster is recovering, he may lose the sight in one eye but he is eternally grateful to the dog who once almost tore off his ear during a Staff type difference of opinion.
The whole village hailed Barney as the hero of the moment, the local landlord inviting him down to the pub for as much ham as he could eat, this incident has led me to believe that after my dog showing his ''search and recue'' skills the Bull Terrier is truly the greatest all round dog.
''I,K,C'' Ch ''Iron Head Barney'' in his younger years.
Displaying the classic Staffy smile.
Powerhouse weight pulling Champion.
"Iron Head Barney".
Barney was also Kennel Club Registered
Polar Mick The Gladiator.
Welcome to the new Riskys Staffordshire Bull Terrier Blog page.. Owners/ Founders/ Breeders Gary Bater & Chris Brand..