Species group: Terrier Group dogs
Other name(s): American Rat Terrier; Ratting Terrier; Decker Rat Terrier; Decker Giant Rat Terrier
An American farm breed officially recognized by the AKC in 2013, the Rat Terrier is a small, spunky dog that deserves to be better-known among active families with older children seeking an energetic companion. One of the most popular farm dogs in the early 20th century, the Rat Terrier was developed from the Fox Terrier crossed with some hound breeds to develop a capable hunting companion capable of chasing hares, rabbits, and other prey that gave a fast, long, straight run.
The hound DNA in its background was a double-edged sword. On the plus side, the Rat Terrier tends to be more even-tempered and outgoing than many terriers. However, because the dog was regarded as a mixed breed rather than a purebreed, it was ignored by many breeders and became a rarity in the mid 20th century as the family farm complete with loyal "varmint" dog was replaced by modern mechanical farming and poison control practices. This terrier's recent acceptance by the AKC may encourage pet owners looking for a small but lively dog to take a second look.
Appearance / health:
The Rat Terrier is a small-to-medium-sized terrier. The head is fairly long with medium sized muzzle, which is straight, tapered, but never snippy. Wide set eyes are round or slightly almond shaped and carry an alert, lively, but soft gentle expression. Ears are V-shaped, which could be pricked or semi-pricked. Tail is short or full length and is usually docked.
Rat Terriers have a short double coat and shed all round the year. Grooming the coat two or three times with a slicker brush keeps it clean. Occasional cleaning the coat with a rake help clearing matting. Bathing three or four times a year is sufficient as frequent bathing softens the undercoat and lowers its insulative and water resistant qualities. Checking and cleaning the ears, eyes, and teeth regularly go a long way in preventing infection.
They are very energetic and need lots of exercise. Taking them for a brisk walk and play sessions is necessary to keep them physically fit. They could be excellent jogging companions. It is good to involve them in obedience classes, obstacle course or earthdog classes to keep them physically and mentally stimulated.
The Rat Terrier is a hardy breed and faces few health problems.
Behavior / temperament:
Rat Terriers are full of energy and are predominantly an active breed. However they are also willing to relax with their humans and many Ratties even like to cuddle under the covers next to their person.
As puppies RT’s can be busy, and are best trained using only positive methods. Like all puppies, they must be watched so they do not escape fences, but this passes with maturity.
Rat Terriers are inclined to chase other animals and small prey. RT’s love to have a job and are ideal for playing dog-sports with their human such as Frisbee, Tug, Flyball, Agility, running on the beach or hiking (on a leash, until trained to be off-leash).
Rat Terriers are intelligent and are quick to learn commands. Ratties are very sensitive and training should be done by reinforcing the correct behavior, and being very careful to avoid “correcting”.
Rat Terriers have a high-pitched bark and like to bark at every sight of sound they come across. They need to be corrected whenever they bark excessively.
good watch dog, great personalities, excellent family dog, super outgoing, active little extrovert
constant supervision, strong willed breed, high strung, dog dominant, special diets, heavy prey drive
rabbit catcher, Decker Rat Terrier, rat population, low grooming needs
Aggressive, possessive, but lovable
Theo, after having lived in a dog shelter with about 40 other small dogs for many years, is very anxious all the time. We like to say that he has "no chill". When there are new people around, he often won't let them touch him growling at them if they approach him, and snapping at them if they try to touch him. However, he is often just as likely to walk right up to you and climb onto your lap, asking to be pet. But, he will sometimes change his mind in the middle of being pet and decide that he doesn't want to be pet and start growling at you. I said earlier that this is for new people, but really, he does this same thing with his family.
Theo fears men and we believe that he was once abused by a men, so he doesn't really like the men of the family very much. The women however, he sticks to like glue. He picked out the alpha female and he protects her at all costs. He sleeps by her and her husband, but when the husband gets out of bed in the morning to get coffee and bring it back to her, he growls at him. He sits next to her on the couch and if anyone approaches her too quickly, he will snap at them. Being a woman myself, I have fostered a really good relationship with Theo. He's really sweet when he doesn't feel threatened, by he has really bad shelter shock, so he often feels threatened.
He barks at everything. If a leaf falls outside, he knows, and he barks at it. A lot. He barks at everything that happens outside and sometimes at nothing, but, he is a great watch dog. Although, as aggressive as he is, he is not a great guard dog. When a new person comes in he will first jump on them excitedly and ask to be pet, but he might later realize he doesn't know them and bite them. Maybe.
Theo is great on a leash. He likes walks and behaves extremely well on a leash. He just calmly walks next to you.
It's hard to bathe him and trim his nails because he is so aggressive. He will feel threatened when we try to do these things and try to bite us. To avoid this, we drape a towel over his head and he doesn't bite.
He hates being picked up. He loves to jump up on your lap and climb and crawl up on you and be pet, but, if you try to pick him up, he will attack.
All in all, he is a sweet dog who's a bit too high-strung, but I actually kind of relate to him and love him for it. Not safe around children, prefers women, protects well..
From SydneyMarie Sep 2 2015 1:49PM
The way your dog's body was meant to be fed
There are so many misconceptions about raw feeding and I hope to quickly properly educate you so making an opinion for yourself is easier. I am a certified nutritionist for dogs and cats and the moment I finished my education I knew I needed to make better choices for my own personal dogs in regards to how I fed them. There are pros and cons to any feeding method so I cannot say it's going to be easy to know exactly what choices to make. The doubtful mind always says no, so anyone unfamiliar with anything is always hesitant. I see that a lot with other professionals in the field, specifically veterinarians. I am fortunate to have an integrative veterinarian who 100% supports this feeding method. Lets talk about the pros as there are many. There is no possible way to dispute that a dog's (especially cats) digestive system and teeth are designed for a diet of animal tissue, they are carnivores. Having jagged teeth throughout their mouth and a very short digestive tract, their bodies are not equipped to properly process plant material. Think of a cow's or sheep's flat teeth, made for grinding plants, and their 4 chambered stomachs, made to digest and assimilate nutrients from plants. They are herbivores. Feeding a diet of dry dog food, which is very heavy in plant based ingredients of many varieties,synthetic vitamins, and taste additives reeks havoc on their entire body systems over time. Some say feeding raw is expensive and time consuming. I'm part of a group with thousands and thousands of raw feeders around the world and we completely disagree. If you can follow a simple recipe you can make raw food for your pet. Learning how to shop for ingredients on sale and making relationships with local butchers is all you need to make it affordable. I feed two dogs raw cheaper than I wold purchasing an average quality dry food. It CAN be done if your pet's lifetime of health is important to you. There are so many support systems out there for this approach, it truly couldn't be any easier. The shelf life of raw food is far longer than that of dry food. Did you know that the nutrients and quality of dry food diminishes with the passing of each day? My dog's food is kept in a deep freezer and put in the refrigerator for thawing each night, ready for the next day. Freezing locks in all nutrients and can be kept for years without spoiling. Does your dog suffer from chronic conditions like ear infections and skin issues? Did you ever think it could be food related? Well let me tell you that it is. I have assisted with completely eradicating a host of chronic health issues in dogs and cats with diet alone. To most recently include a chihuahua with disc disease and no use of his hind legs. He now climbs steps and runs. He is 12 years old. No other therapy than a raw diet, regular massage, and one veterinary acupuncture visit. Let's talk about the cons. Now, most freeze dried and premade raw can be expensive for the amount you get. Feeding freeze dried is mostly for convenience. I use it when I need convenience like a weekend camping trip. I enjoy making my dog's food. There a lot of satisfaction in it for me. There is so much talk about bacteria like salmonella and e.coli when someone references raw food. Can it be present in raw food? Of course! But, did you know that your dry food can and does have the same bacteria? Dry and canned pet food recalls are a very common for bacteria. I have 100% control over the ingredients, processing, and storing of my pets raw food. Proper handling and sourcing of raw ingredients can and does deeply diminish the probability of bacteria. What about parasites? Again, yes of course raw materials can have parasites. As can dry and canned mass produced pet food. And again, the proper handling and sourcing of these ingredients remove this concern. (As a note: I have been raw feeding for over 5 years and NOT ONE of my dogs or clients have been treated for parasites or bacterial issues) Proper formulation can be a con to raw feeding. Honestly, its ridiculously easy. But without the proper ratio of ingredients you can cause issues. Companies make you think it is hard. They want to make you buy their product. It's a marketing scheme that works and unfortunately affects our pets negatively. I hope this review can shed light into the seemingly scary world of raw feeding. Educate yourselves and don't be afraid to jump in head first. Your pet's health and quality of life will be all the proof you need to know this is without a doubt the best decision you have ever made. .
From Megan S 56 days ago
behavior training tool
All dogs need to learn how to behave and a great "brain-break" and self soothing tool to use between activities or for crate training is a kong. Filled with a treat or small bit of peanut butter, this activity can provide the dog with a reward sensation as well as a much needed chewing activity for "down time" between trainings. We have utilized this with many of our breeds but huskies can be downright destructive to any material, so use of the kong is fabulous (while supervised) once the husky reaches maturity. As puppies are constantly teething and learning what is THEIRS and what is yours, kongs are a wonderful "replacement" tool for your couch, shoes and other destructible items in your home. .
From petlover2 89 days ago
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