Q: Rat Terrier Population?

October 15, 2012 | By Ches21 | 1 answer | Expired: 758 days ago


When we got Skitters I was 10 they were a very new dog breed then at least in my area once I got Skitters I showed her to my 5th grade teacher and friends every kid in class wanted one then when I was in middle school I had to do a project and I took Skitters in the classroom for the project where everyone once again said they wanted a rat terrier finally in high school I had one last project where I had to do a presentation in front of the class I brought Skitters in I believe it was something to do with your best friend but the thing is once more everyone wanted to get a rat terrier I noticed my senior year volunteering for the humane socitey and for rescued paws that there were the normal dogs you always see the Labs, the pitt bulls, the mutts, the chihuahuas and the couple pure bred dogs or the ones you would not expect to see in that situation but I noticed an occrance of one new breed in rescue and in shelters it happens more and more now with the Rat Terrier now I know that I couldn't have made the homeless rat terrier population that bad but my qeustion is do you think this is because rat terriers are over bred now and people don't know how hyper they are and tempermental they are until they get one so when they find out they abandonded them?

Readers' Answers (1)

Oct 16, 2012

No, you definitely are not the cause of all the rat terriers. Rat terriers were very common in the 1920s and 30s in farming country because they were used on farms for keeping rodents and other nuisance wildlife away. They were also used for hunting. As farms were replaced by industry the need for and the number of rat terriers also decreased. Some of the confusion about their rarity stems from the fact that they weren't recognized as a separate breed until 2010. They were just another type of dog before then, but Teddy Roosevelt had one during his administration. AS far as the numbers of them in shelters and rescues, yes, a lot of it is because people don't research the breed before getting one and then realize they require a lot of training and work. But these things are cyclical. Every breed has its time when it's THE breed filling up the shelters. Right now it's the bully breeds. Recently it was chows, and there always seems to be a problem with labs. There are periods for every breed where the demand is high and the breeders over breed to meet the demand. Then people realize that cute puppies become adults and they missed the optimal time to socialize and train them and now they have an out of control dog that they can't handle, so they dump them. You're probably just more aware of this breed because you had one, but for all intents and purposes, they're not at a critical level. And FYI, ratties aren't really known for being temperamental. They have a typical terrier personality which means they can be feisty, but they're easy to train and very eager to please. They're known for their loving personalities. Typically when a rattie has a problem it's due to the owner who didn't socialize or train them properly which can result in small dog syndrome.

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