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Old February 27, 2013, 01:36 PM   #1
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Rat Terrier can they hunt

I have been wondering if any one uses a RAT TERRIERS as a hunting dog. My Grandpa (according to my Dad) used one for rabbits and Squerills and sometimes birds. I have acquired a R T pup and wonder if she could be trained and I can have a new hunting companion. Can they be trained? Would it be more difficult than some or will be a waist of time and effort? I have only seen R Ts as companion dogs for little old Grandma and spend their time curled up on someone lap. But I have been told they can hunt. Can they be trained to be a gun dog??

J Budd
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Old February 27, 2013, 01:55 PM   #2
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i have found most dogs can be trained to hunt. my dad and i trained our miniature labradoodle (25 pounds) to be a water foul dog and she works almost as well as a full size lab. your rt has hunting instincts in his genes and with firm and proper training im sure you can teach him do do most hunting tasks
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Old February 27, 2013, 02:02 PM   #3
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High Strung? Check. They can hunt. . Actually, their relative, the jack russel, is a popular tracking dog in Africa.
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Old February 27, 2013, 02:33 PM   #4
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Rat terriers can be hit or miss. Like many breeds they've had a lot of ability breed outta them in the name of the almighty dollar and even before this they were not all created equal. Some had good noses but were more den dogs, some had good noses and tracked well, some only used there eyes and treed well, etc. Your odds of your RT being a world beater hunting dog are slim. Slightly better are the odds of having it be acceptable but odds are very good that you can have a world class hunting buddy that may help some in the woods.

Basically what you are looking at is having the dog tell/show you what it's good for and adapting your hunting to his, not vice versa. It's not like going out and buying a dog to fill certain traits to meet your style. You have no idea of this dogs traits so you'll have to go his way. There are things you can do to help but if that dog just don't have any tree in him you ain't gonna talk him in to it, same with tracking. Advantage, you have is RT and no matter how far away from any hunting breeding they are just dang gamey and like to chase. Turn him loose on some squirrels, maybe some rabbits, see what he does and try to build on that.
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Old February 27, 2013, 02:59 PM   #5
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"Rat terrier" isn't considered a breed but a "type" by the AKC because the bloodline contains damn near everything but stegosaurus, but they can be wonderful little dogs. Mine is a middle-aged rescue dog that adopted me two years ago at our animal control shelter. Like most terriers he's hardheaded and very strong for his fourteen-pound weight--they were bred to go into holes in the ground and pull out ******-off animals backward.

Moose has two speeds, Fast Forward and Off. He hunts primarily by scent, and his nose is always working, but he loves to chase squirrels. If I had gotten him as a pup, when I was still able to hunt, I think he might have made a good squirrel dog and maybe heavy-cover rabbit dog.

He's a very loving, happy little guy. Just has a mind of his own when he's on a scent.
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Old February 27, 2013, 03:29 PM   #6
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I used to raise rat terriers....They just about trained themselves on huntin squirrels....They pretty much killed anything that came in the yard....gophers..mice..rats..squirrels.....They killed a cat one time....
It was fun to carry the male dog to the woods....
Hog Hunters never die........They just reload.........
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Old February 27, 2013, 03:45 PM   #7
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When I married my wife, I inherited 2 rat terriers. I consider one of them to be the world's first 4-legged chicken, and the other is only suited to licking every single object/person in reach. I love 'em though.
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Old February 27, 2013, 03:53 PM   #8
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My 4 month old is nick named the "rat terrorist". I sure hope he calms down.
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Old February 27, 2013, 04:32 PM   #9
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My buddy had one that was trained to tree squirrels until the shooter got there. He said that what was they bred to do.
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Old February 27, 2013, 06:33 PM   #10
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Not Sure!

I don't know about hunting, but mine is a mix between a rat terrier and a chihuahua and it is 15 years old and LOUD!!!!
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Old February 28, 2013, 01:03 AM   #11
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what would a good rat terrier do to be a good hunting dog? excuse my ignorance, but i have no idea.
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Old February 28, 2013, 01:53 AM   #12
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Like most Terrier breeds the the rat terrier was actually bred for hunting. As their name so aptly states they are really good for pest control. They were bred specifically for for the small rodents that plagues farms. So yes, they can be trained to be efficient hunting dogs, if you have the patience to deal with their obviously ADD personalities.
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Old February 28, 2013, 09:35 AM   #13
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Rat terriers are very high strung..lots of energy....The ideal situation is to have them in a yard that squirrels frequent....They will grow to hate them....They will follow them tree to tree....Then they will know what to look for when they hit the woods....
Hog Hunters never die........They just reload.........
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Old February 28, 2013, 10:17 AM   #14
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they can make good squirrel dogs with some work
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Old March 2, 2013, 07:29 AM   #15
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Rat Terrier

After reading all the replies, I took Maggie-Mae to the park and see if we could find some squerills and see how this 7 month old would do in the field. We came across a large open area next to a small pond with at least 30 Canadian Geese feeding and resting. Maggie was interested and excited so I droped the leash and she sprinted full speed into the middle of them. What a racket of screaming geese trying to get away from this 10 pound pup. Maggie cleared that clearing and swear there was an ear to ear smile on her face. I called her back when I thought she might go into the water after the few that went into the water. She came back to me but she still interested in the Geese.

Later we were sitting on a bench and some women walked by and commented "What a pretty dog" and petted Maggie and Maggie just love the attention. later Maggie saw a squerill, her ears went straight up, eyes alert and a low growl I let go of the leash and Maggie shot out of my lap straight toward that tree-rat. The squerill made it up a tree and Maggie tried to go up the tree with him. She barked and circled the tree and would not come to me when I called, had to go get her and pick her up and carry her away.

A great day in the park and I think if I can get her used to gun fire, she will make a good huntin buddy.

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Old March 2, 2013, 01:38 PM   #16
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Post some pics of your rat terriers! I have one, a black and tan one. He always chases the squirells and geese in my yard, but he only manages to catch the anole lizards that get in my house (and I like lizards).

I don't have time for busy people
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Old March 2, 2013, 04:41 PM   #17
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terriers are natural hunters.

the scottish border terrier just recently regained its hunting status here in Sweden, bred for old ladies companionship for generations, and now there is a boom in people hunting deer and pigs with them
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