Rat Terrier, A Multipurpose Dog
So I looked up the Rat Terrier on the AKC Breed page and the first sentence says this:
The Rat Terrier is a multipurpose companion dog that is capable of hunting rodents and vermin above and below ground as well as coursing small game.
This is the first time, writing about breeds, that I’ve run across a multipurpose dog! I wonder if Sparky knows that he’s so versatile.
Sparky is a good neighbor. He barks like he’s going to rip our heads off when he’s in his back yard, protecting his territory from bad guys and stray chickens. When he’s out front, he struts like a little general, approaches incoming neighbors cautiously, sniffing, but wholeheartedly welcomes those who come into the house with mom or dad’s permission.
And he likes his butt scratched.
About the Rat Terrier
A little more from the AKC Breed page about the Rat Terrier:
He is a sturdy, compact, small-to-medium sized parti-colored dog giving the appearance of elegance and athleticism. His short, smooth coat may come in any variation of pied patterning. … From 1910 through the “dust bowl” era of the 1930s, the Rat Terrier was one of the most common farm dogs, used for ratting, hunting varmints and other work.
So Sparky came honestly to Oklahoma. I can well imagine a farmer loving a Rat Terrier on the farm, killing the rats which eat the grain which lay in the house which Jack built. Being a chicken owner, I would love to have a Sparky in my backyard to kill the rats and mice which chicken feed attracts.
Sparky’s owner says that this little dog is his lap baby. Okay, he didn’t use that term, but his wife swears that he babies this dog. Sparky is well trained and sweet, but on the job when he’s outside.
What Jones Natural Chew Would a Rat Terrier Like?
I went over this weekend to bring Sparky a ratty, chewed Hoof, but also to take his photo. He had a difficult time sitting still at first, since I had something smelly, and I don’t usually enter his house. Once he got over that, though, Sparky showed off with his mama.
Rat Terriers, being terriers, are very bright dogs, learning and taking instruction well, great with kids, lively and energetic, wary of strangers. Let’s look at their pros and cons.
Pros and Cons
- Smart and alert – there’s no pulling the wool over this dog’s eyes – they’re also easy to train
- Loving and loyal – Rat Terriers are great pets, especially for someone with an active lifestyle
- Great with kids – I keep reading that they’re great with kids if raised with them from a puppy
- Good watchdogs – definitely, but not yappy
- Love the water – we love a good water dog
- Hunting – the Rat Terrier is more or less bred to hunt
- Short coat – y’all know how I feel about the long double coat that sheds all over the house – Rat Terriers have short, easy coats
- Virtually no health problems as a breed
- Small – if you’re into large dogs, this may not be your breed – the Rat Terrier is 35 pounds max
- Active – if you’re not an active, energetic person and don’t plan to be, don’t get a Rat Terrier – they require long walks and exercise
Eager to please. Well rounded. Good family dog. Holy smokes! Why would anyone NOT get a Rat Terrier? I’ll tell you why I wouldn’t have one, since they’re not really cons, but personal. I don’t care for a small dog as a pet. I love them. Like grandchildren – as someone else’s pet I can love on for a bit. I love the longer haired dogs, even though I whine about the shedding. I love agility dogs – the Rat Terrier actually makes for a great agility dog. Maybe I should say herding dogs. And I’m not a fan of terriers. I don’t know why, but I’m not. They’re smarter than me, and I think that bothers me.
Anywho, there’s the Rat Terrier in a nutshell. Rat Terrier owners, feel free to weigh in and tell me what I’ve missed. I really do love when breed owners fill in the gaps in the comments. These posts are meant for potential dog owners and I want people to be informed before they acquire any breed. The fewer dogs that go to shelters the better.
Spreading the good chews …
P.S. Today’s post is gently recycled. I’m on the road to Starkville, Mississippi, then on to Lonoke, Arkansas, where I’ll be treating dogs to Jones Natural Chews, and hanging out with friends on a farm.