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Background on Northwest Farm Terriers.

A number of people were interested in the terriers mentioned in the Jan/Feb issue. Here's more information from the author:

COUNTRYSIDE: Northwest Farm Terrier is the name of the breed. They're a breed in the making, not yet recognized by an official organization such as the American Kennel Club; at this point they're kind of a "grass roots" local breed. They're becoming very popular in this area, many of the local veterinarians attest to what good, smart, healthy dogs they are.

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 3540 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.

The background of these dogs includes Airedale, Border Collie, Irish Terrier, Jack Russell Terrier, and Corgi that I'm aware of. Greg and Deedee could give more accurate info. It's funny, I was always a cat person, never very fond of dogs, until I got my first NW Farm Terrier eight years ago. That's when we bought acreage and started homesteading. A friend of ours told us we needed a dog to protect the livestock and that's how we came to get our first farm dog, Grits, who is still with us, better than ever. I purchased Sadie five years ago so Grits would have a companion, got Sadie bred three years ago and kept Marilyn from that litter, and we have one of Marilyn's babies (besides the little goat). He's named Smitty and is supposed to be my grandson's dog, but nine months later he still lives at our house and is part of the family now.

These dogs are very low maintenance, they don't eat you out of house and home; they don't need to be groomed, and there's very little shedding involved. They're long-lived, and stay "young" throughout their lives. They're very intelligent and eager to please. Three out of our four just about housebroke themselves, (Sadie was a bit of a knucklehead). They can live totally outside or be lap dogs. They're very loving and loyal without being clingy, and they have lots of stamina and are very energetic without being nervous. And like I said in my letter to COUNTRYSIDE, they're almost intuitive. They figure out, on their own, what "mom" needs and do it. (Sometimes this is bad: when Grits was a young dog I had to break him of putting the turkeys to "bed" 15 times a day.) I've seen my dogs run off coyotes and bobcats, and one cougar that I know of. They also run off ravens, eagles, hawks, and owls, but leave the little "tweety birds" and the free range farm fowl alone, unless I need one caught, which they do without harming the bird.

One of Marilyn Monroe's sisters lives on an exotic pheasant/ornamental waterfowl farm; she's treed 10 raccoons for her owner in a year and a half and saved many of his expensive birds. A psychologist in town has a NW Farm Terrier for a therapy dog. A little girl west of here has one that she's taught to do "circus" tricks like jump through hoops, ride in a wagon, walk on his hind legs, etc. Needless to say I love my dogs and think they're the greatest. The next time Sadie comes into heat, which should be soon, I'll get her bred again. These dogs usually have large litters; eight or nine pups seems to be the average. My two females have had one litter each, and all the pups lived and thrived. I've been getting $200 per pup, they have papers, have been wormed, and have had their vaccinations at the time of sale.

For more info about these guys you can contact Greg Houghton and/ or Deedee McCarty at 360-417-0605 or Thanks so much for asking about these wonderful dogs!
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Title Annotation:Country conversation & feedback
Author:Grisaitis, Sue
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:May 1, 2005
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