TEACHING YOUR RAT TERRIER
TO CATCH MICE
By Geraldine Janes
PAGE CREATED 1/12/99 LAST UPDATED 12/31/02
The question most often asked
is how do I teach my Rat Terrier to be a mouser?
Most rat terriers have a natural instinct to
be hunters. The toy terriers seem to lack the instensity of this
instinct as they were developed by crossing the chihuahua with the
rat terrier. The following methods should help your rat terrier to develop
the hunting instince.
The method we use most with pups is to set
some snap traps to catch mice. Once a mouse has been caught in the trap,
call the pup to you and then with a pair of pliers open the
trap, and drop the mouse on the ground. While doing this use a sound that
you want to use , to make them understand that you want them to pick up
the mouse. Once they have picked up the mouse and started to play with
it be sure to praise them for a job well done.
This step should be repeated for several days
or weeks to give the pup the idea that
this is a good thing to do. Remembering to
praise the dog each time it grabs the
mouse and plays with it.
The next step in the training is to catch
a live mouse in a trap. Call your dog to you
and drop the mouse on the ground. With any
lick at all the dog will grab it and begin
to play with it and even kill it as it will
not like the feel of the moving animal in it's
mouth. Once again when the dog does his part
of grabbing the mouse and playing
with it remember to praise the dog for a job
We usually try to give three (3) live mice
to the dog to make sure it knows what is
of them. Once this has been done your dog should be well on it's way to
being a good hunter.
Ohers we have talked with, use a little different
method for training their dogs to
hunt, the following is how they have described
it to us.
First you must build an enclosure or get one
that is constructed in such a way that
neither the mouse or the dog can get out of
Next you take a live trap and catch a mouse
or two in the trap. Place the dog in the
enclosure and then turn the mice loose with
the dog. Once the mice are loose you
stand back and encourage the dog to catch
and kill the mice. Once they have killed
the mice remember to praise them for a job
It has been said that you will have to repeat
this method at least two or three times to
get the dog to go hunting on it's own.
Should you be so lucky as to own a dog that
is already catching and killing mice. We
suggest the following method, which is quick
Introduce the new dog to the other dogs and
observe that they are getting along
together well. Once they have adjusted to
each other the experienced dog will teach
the new dog how to hunt for mice.
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