Article from "The dog" # 1-2 1994 (published by The Danish Kennel Club)
In English by: Helene R. Pedersen
It just minded it's job,
The old Danish Pincher
The stable and barn is it's kingdom and work-place, the little stocky spotted Danish Pincher, that just a few generations ago was irreplaceable on the farms in the entire Danish country. Not even in the straw under the horses would mice and rats have many chances against it!...
It doesn't have many years of seniority, but yet the breeding is remarkably sure in it's heredity, and the breed seems to be pure Danish inheritage, in spite of it's international name.
Several breeds are living antiques, dogs carrying clear traces of both long and obvious history.
But these articles are not primarily about the historical backgrounds. They weren't started for the purpose of bringing the news about the breeds history, but rather to bring the attention to overall impressions and details, that chacterize in particular this breed's best individuals. In this manner it might be clearer for the public, why in particular one top winner is destinguished, rather than another.
Cause that is what truly is necessary to make a competition exiting to watch, knowledge about the details, to notice the differences for oneself, that the judges base their judgement on.
Danish-Swedish farmdog is one of the newest breeds in the large group 2. New because the breed doesn't have more than a few years as a pedigreed breed, but yet it feels like an old known friend. In reality it should have been called "Old Danish Farmdog", cause where the breed was located, it WAS originally old Danish land….but maybe we had just enough "Old Danish" (a Danish bitter) poured in our glasses in Danish dog sports, when we picked the breed's name. In all actuality anyways, we gave away a half-part to the Swedes. By rights the breed could also be called Slesvigsk Farmdog, but the Germans seem to have so many breeds of their own.
Started as a terrier
Some will claim that this old Pincher can be found on the Bayeux Tapestries and thereby be an old Viking breed, but enough about that side of the history.
The first time, in our time, we came across the breed was in the 1988 registry. For a while some had been looking for individuals, which would be suitable in type, and the pedigree printing started with 189 dogs in Danish dog registry.
Since then it's gone in the right direction with good numbers for a breed, that just resently was brought "inside". There is also breeding in Sweden, even though one might limit that to the Scania-area, and not all of Sweden, cause the breed is very limited outside of the old Danish lands on the other side of the waters.
When the actual work began about ten years ago, they focused on the breed's primary function as a mouse- and rat catcher, and that leeds the thoughts towards the terriers.
This turned out to be a mistake, and has now been appologized for. But yet the Farmdog does remind one of what in daily speech used to be called a "real fuks terrier", but it actually never did have ANYTHING to do with the long nosed, "highly improved" (in-bred) fox terriers….it was only the job description they shared, and the farm dog did manage without any complaints, to keep anything unwanted away from barn and stable.
One shouldn't forget either, that this old "working man" is from a time, where the largest population was living outside the cities, in country settings, and even the ones living in the cities were at the time surrounded by all kinds of pests and vermins with stables and ourdoors pantrys.
The farmdog has to be small, short and springy, about 37 centimeters over the shoulder, short haired and a white base color, with black, brown, red or yellow spots. The head marked with a wide scull, weakly marked stop. The nose should be shorter than the scull, the ears high set, and mostly carried close to the cheek, but standing ears can also be seen.
The good farmdog is wished to be well pigmented with a dark snout, dark eyes and eye-surroundings, just as well as many other breeds, especially breeds with white base color.
The farmdog doesn't need to be the great big runner, doesn't need to have broad shoulders or a long well curved neck. It wasn't that in it's original shape or form. It was a devoted working dog, putzing around, and without making a big deal out of it, it would do it's job, kill the rats, and eat a mouse or two, that the cats had let go of.
Muscular and springy, but never noble
So, it's an agile dog, and has to be created so that it's anatomical features doesn't prevent it from being faster than lightening in it's jump for the mice in the hay stack, and that allows it to duck immidiately if one of the horses isn't too shure footed on the slick cobble stone, but besides this the breed standard doesn't have any great demands about athletic performance or indurance. It wasn't a breed who needed to run around the entire township to find it's game, nor having to race it, as if it only had to touch the ground for the fun of it. The farmdog doesn't do anything for the fun of it, at least not the original farm dog. It just minded it's job.
For the same reasons it didn't have to rank in a ranking system, and therefore no reason to ever get involved in a fight. The breed still lives up to that. One doesn't fight other dogs, if one is a farm dog.
In the old days most farm dogs had their tails docked. On top of many other un-answered questions for the breeders, is now added the expectation of the puppie's carrying of their tails. Some are born without a bob- tail, which solves the problem. Those individuals will pass the "missing tail" onto half of their pups.
The rest of them has tails (it's no longer legal to dock tails in Denmark). Since the tail must not remind of a terrier's, it meens: low set, carried and lifted on an angle towards the rear. A curled tail is in my opinion only pretty on happy pigs.
But tails and tail settings will be one of the issues that the breed and it's breeders will have to discuss in many years to come.
The Farmdog meets in it's group, the new group 2, several breeds, that it has had certain things in common with, namely the entire pincher and Schnauzer group. But through the period of the breed's creation, most of them has changed characteristics, from the more original (could be called boorish) to something more elegant. While the job descriptions changed, the ideal picture also changed.
It will be interesting to follow how the Danish-Swedish Farmdog will correct it's type, and when this old breed, that lived for so long without attention, and away from the lime-light, will "modernize" it's type. In the first round one must assume it will affect the somewhat short and "clumsy" looking body with the straight hinds. If the farmdog breeders want to keep up with the fast runners in the group, it demands a correction of the type.
By the way, the Farmdog also has a very aristocratic past. Even though the breed wasn't named or had pedigrees 50 or 100 years ago, it lived distinguished, and fullfilled it's job in the finest manner with King Christian the Xth of Denmark and his queen Alexandrine in the royal stables in Christiansborg castle. In the very exiting museum in the stables is amongst other things the great horse-drawer Holger Worm's drawings of the king's riding horse "Rolf" with one of the stables "fukses" by his feet.
Kvik Year 1954
"It just minded it's job, the old Danish Pincher".
Karen's Lulu Year 1966
"This was never a noble dog".
"Not even in the straw under the horses, would mice and rats have many chances".
Here Flora's Han Solo passes his herding test, Nov 2003.