Rat Race Rat Terriers

Rat Race Rat Terriers is a small country ranch in Colorado that is home to six awesome Standard Rat Terriers. The first Rat, EmmaLee, was purchased mainly to help disperse the large population of prairie dogs, as well as to be a bit of a house dog/lap dog. While the prairie dogs have not encountered her much, she has become a bit of a couch potato, content to sleep on the chair or couch. She does enjoy hunting the many mice that are in our fields, and checks the barrels of chicken feed for any errant mice. She’s also prone to chase coyotes, thinking somehow that she’s bigger and badder then they are.

EmmaLee traces her lineage to Fire Mountain and Decker lines on her sire’s side, with Fire Mountain’s Tonka showing up several times, as well as one line to Sycamore Flat’s Tuffy and Sycamore Flat’s Lacey . Her dam is from an Iowa line recently brought into the registry by her breeder Dereth Wylie, of Bear Tuff Rat Terriers. .

In April, 2012, EmmaLee whelped a small litter of Rat Terrier puppies, all males. While two found new homes, one has remained with us. Chance has grown into a very handsome Rat Terrier and has surpassed his mother in size. He is also very fond of tracking down and scaring up coyotes. He has a unique little barky sound when he’s on a hot coyote trail. Chance’s sire is Guero, from Ramirez Ratz.

Rat Race’s Sammie  joined the pack in 2013. Whelped in April,  she was not originally slated to stay here. But with her temperament and personality, there was no way that she was going to leave. She is also from Em and Guero. Although I expect her to remain on the smaller side, what she lacks in size she more than makes up for in intelligence and attitude. Definitely a keeper. She will be my first dog to train for scent work and possibly SAR. Watch for updates on her personal page.

A surprise litter gave us Rat Race’s Amazing Joy. She is out of Sammie and by Chance. Not a planned litter, but we didn’t realize that Sammie was sneaking out the cat door until too late. Joy was going to go to Prince Edward Island in Canada and be a flyball dog, but when that didn’t quite come together, she told us she was staying here. She’s a bit of a goof, loving to do somersaults on the couch. She and her mom are very close and are frequently found nestled together.

The April 2014 litter with Lil’ Ranchin’ Hercules as the sire gave us two more pups to stay here. Not something we particularly planned on, but the way it happened. If you have Ratties, you will easily understand! Out of 7 puppies, only one, a male, was the hoped for color of apricot, red or chocolate. The rest were black tris or black piebalds. My husband put dibs on the apricot boy, and I fell in love with little Maddie. So here they stay. They are a higher percentage of Decker blood, and have more bone and coat then the other pups have had.

Future plans with the Ratties is to work them in scent work, as well as to develop a line of standard sized, well-built Ratties with a stable temperament, calm in the house, but ready for any adventure that is put before them. I will be focusing mainly on the hunting lines, with plans on breeding back on EmmaLee’s dam’s side to bring that line forward in the Rat Terrier lines sometime in the near future. My goal is to have a nice, medium sized dog, with good bone and substance, preferably around 16″ – 18″, with an excellent mind, very athletic, speed, intelligence, willing to please and bold. My ultimate goal is to have Ratties as a recognized K9 partner in drug detection and other police work along that line. It’s going to be a long, hard, hard road, but that is my goal.

EmmaLee

Chance August 2013

Chance August 2013

Sammie - August 2013

Sammie – August 2013

P1100163

Amazing Joy

Madame Mustache - "Maddie"

Madame Mustache – “Maddie”

 

Colt

Colt

19 thoughts on “Rat Race Rat Terriers

  1. I was told my dog is Decker by a Decker owner at our dog beach. I found my pup at a shelter 9 months ago and now I am tracking down his past. By chance did either of your males go to, or near California? He is almost all black and tan. He’s a bit on the bigger side, 36 lbs of pure muscle. This may be insane but regardless, your site is so amazing. I have a lot to learn about my lovely pup!

  2. We recently lost our best friend, Browning, a Decker Terrier who was a very much loved member of our family for over 17 years. My husband very much needs a new best friend. We live in Northern California and are trying to find a breeder in the area. Browning was around 40lbs and strawberry and white and was an amazing hunter.

    • Hello Dana. No, I never have bred to anything but Ratties, and honestly don’t see me breeding to anything else in the future. I would honestly prefer to keep them purebred than have a designer dog.

  3. We just adopted a ” chihuahua” mix from the Larimer co Humane via Denver Humane. We recently lost our blond chihuahua mix of 16 years and ,though I was tempted ,I wanted a dog that was not a replica of her …so Sophie’s bark and pleading antics won us over. I knew she was not a chihuahua mix. I thought maybe a basenji mix and finally I realized…rat terrier. Admittedly ,I never longed for a rat terrier but she has proved to be very loving, smart, funny and a stubborn handful. She is not good with other dogs do you have any advise for us in training her. She is said to be 2 yrs old. Is house trained and does not chew or dig. She licks and ” bites” at our face when she gets excited. We need help with this behavior too. It is NOT aggression just loving zeal, but not acceptable.

    • Hello Jeannine,

      So sorry to hear about your loss. It is so hard to let our loved ones go.

      Congratulations on your new family member!

      I can offer a few suggestions for the two issues that you mentioned. In regards to her not being good with other dogs, it is difficult for me to really answer this question without further information. Does she just not want to interact with strange dogs? Is she aggressive? Fearful? Aloof? Is she better off leash than on leash? Is it certain dogs, maybe different sizes, colors, male, female? Is she food or toy aggressive? How is she “not good with other dogs?”

      I would highly recommend finding a reputable dog training business that offers assistance with this. You would need well-behaved, respectful dogs to introduce her to in a controlled environment. Also, a responsible trainer would be able to watch for things such as stress, aggression or fear. You could find one thru any of the local kennel clubs. (You can do a search online for “kennel club Denver CO.) It looks like there are several, so I would talk to them, local dog supply stores, or your friends/neighbors and veterinarians for recommendations for an excellent dog trainer. Watch how they handle dogs in some of their classes to see if you are comfortable with what they are doing before agreeing to let them handle your girl. Slow and controlled introductions to new dogs is the only way to get her accustomed to having new dogs around. And it would have to be a commitment on your part, as this is something that will take time and dedication. Not knowing her history, we don’t know if she was never socialized as a puppy, or if she’s just not a sociable dog.

      For the issue of her getting too excited and biting at your face, again, I would need a little more information to be able to answer this better. But here are my thoughts. Pay attention to when she reacts that way. Is she getting too wound up and excited, say when you get home from work? Are you getting to close to her face yourself or is she in your lap and jumping on you? Look for ways to tone her down so that she won’t jump on you and bite at your face. Remove the ability for her to do it. When she is getting too wound up, take a break from whatever is causing it. Disengage from her. Even negative attention, you scolding her for example, is a reward for her. Avoid that. Firmly but quietly tell her “no,” firmly but gently move her off of you, then calmly get up and walk away. Chances are good that she will look for some way of pleasing you, such as offering a sit or something. Reward her for being polite by quietly petting her and telling her she’s a good girl. Keep your face away from hers when at all possible and keep it quiet.

      Watch how you react to her. Maybe you are unintentionally getting her too excited? Even a kiss on the top of the head may be too much for her right now. Try having treats in a pouch, ask for a “sit” and when she offers a quiet sit, tell her “yes” and give her one or several small, bite-size treats. Vary the number of treats you give her. One trainer compared it to people at a slot machine. They get hooked because they never know how much they might win, a few quarters or a bucket full! (For a great, cheap and simple treat that most dogs love, cut up beef liver or chicken breast in thin slices and dry them on your food dryer, watching them after a few hours and flipping them once. These are easy to make and cut up in bite-sized pieces and the dogs love them!) Figure out how you can make it difficult for her to bite at your face, but easy for her to remain calm and to be a lady. Maybe teach her to sit up and beg, or go to a certain rug or doggy bed before you reward her or pet her. But keep it low key, keep it mellow. And keep your face unreachable when at all possible.

      I hope this helps. Good luck with her, and you are more than welcome to let me know how she is doing and if you are successful.

      Cordially,

      Tammy

  4. Hello!

    I really appreciate your site! Lots of good information and well laid out.

    We are looking into getting a dog to help with rats and squirrels at our farm. Do you train your dog’s to that end or do they naturally figure it out? Do you know if they have a tendency to go after chickens, or do they pick up quickly that they are off limits?

    Thank you for your time!

    • Thank you! I do hope that it helps other dog lovers.

      I would highly recommend Rat Terriers. My Ratties take after critters quite naturally. I don’t have to do any training at all on them. It is still bred in them, thank goodness! (My oldest girl has no hesitation in going after coyotes, either.)

      As to the chickens…I have lost a number of birds to my Ratties as pups until they learn that the chickens are off limits. I think they kill them in part because birds are pretty fragile and when they run and squawk and flap their wings, its too hard for the pups to resist the chase. You can teach them and they will learn. I think that if you are only working with one puppy, it would be easier to train. Introduce him/her as a young pup and watch them with the chickens. Always have them under your supervision and control. Teach them to “leave it.” Once mine are older, they also seem to lose interest in them, especially if they are given lots of opportunities to run and hunt elsewhere and are rewarded by being able to locate and kill mice and prairie dogs. We don’t have rats here, and only a few squirrels, but I know that if we did, my Ratties would go after them with gusto.

  5. We lost our little rat terrier a few months back and my family is looking for 2 new puppies. What are the price & would you be willing to sell two?

    • Hello Lily,

      All of the puppies have been sold except for the little chocolate piebald male. The price is $400. I would not recommend buying two puppies at the same time, as they frequently bond more with each other than with the people unless the people are very dedicated to working with each puppy individually on a daily basis.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s