I have a schipperke/rat terrier mix. I find she has more rat terrier tendencies, especially after all that I've read about each breed. This morning I couldn't find her (Cricket) out back. After searching I found her hiding in the shrub. I was offering her a treat and she wouldn't come which is when I knew there was a problem. When I reached her, there was a dying rat at her feet. I almost screamed! I finally got her in the house and managed to put an empty pot over the dying (now probably dead) rat until my husband comes home. We just moved into a house that has a lemon tree (I know....rat club-med) as well as lots of shrubs. Our cousin who lives in the area says that rats are a constant problem. I feel like I have the right dog for my backyard, but my concern is once she kills the rat, will she eat it? I'm concerned about other neighbors putting poison out to kill rats and if she tries to eat one, she'll be poisoned as well. My thought is she'll just play with it until it's dead and then leave it alone. Yet I want to be sure. I'm really freaking out! Thanks!
It is very possible your dog will injest a killed rat. I'd consider finding out just what your neighbors/local pest cotrol are doing for rat control. It would give you a heads up on when poison is being used so you can keep the little killer in for a few days. :)
My rattie kills squirels rats and mice. She does not eat them but carries them around in her mouth like trophies, which to her they are. We praise her as we do not want mice or rats in our house so if one gets in we want her to take care of it!
I don't make a fuss cause that what they are supposed to do , but as soon as she gets distracted, usually with a tasty bit of something like a bit of ham or hot dog, she will drop the prize and my husband disposes of it.
Left alone... she would probably eat it after a while. yum.
I have recently heard of an electronic device, which plugs in- (you could extend a weatherproof lead out into the shrubbery perhaps)-and emits a audible signal. Apparently, it can be set to different frequencies, and there is one which deters rodents, but at that frequency, it does not affect dogs, humans or cats.
This might be worth a try, as I can see why you are concerned. I would be too.
It's not the breed of dog, but the individual dog who decides whether a rat or mouse will make a tasty treat. LOL!
Over the years our dogs have bagged the occasional squirrel or rat, but only one seems to enjoy munching on them. That would be our Dalmation, Doc. He's quite the hunter and I've seen him snatch a rat out of the shrubbery at night, shake it to death and gulp it all in about 2 seconds. If we catch on soon enough, he'll leave it alone if told. Dals were bred to be carriage escorts for the reason of clearing the road of vermin that might cause an accident - not for their good looks. LOL! They're quite good at hunting and killing any of the smaller creatures and feeding themselves if necessary. It really is too bad that we don't see more Dals used in field and agility work, because they're extremely talented and athletic dogs.
I just hate it when the dogs fatally injure a critter but don't feel like killing them completely. That's when Hubby has to get out the .22 and put the poor things out of their misery. With the coon population here dying of distemper at a rapid rate, he's had to euthanize two of the things in the past month. It just kills us to have to do it, but better than letting them die a horrible death of constant seizures.
My Misty catches mice (she only once had a run-in with a rat, got her nose bitten, and steers well clear of them now!) I know it's a good thing to know she can catch her own food, like a little Wild Thing! Secretly I'm kind of proud of her for being able to do that.
BUT....it gives me the creeps, because of any possibility they may have been poisoned. If we are ANYWHERE near dwellings or farms I tell her to drop it. She is so good, and does drop straightaway. She kills them quickly, my only regret is that the little creature has been killed, for no good reason at all!
However I found that after I allowed her to eat what she had skilfully hunted (in wild areas where there would be no chance they were poisoned) -she would always come down with worms afterwards. It was costing me so much in special worm meds from the vet (the OTC ones make her vomit) that I had to call a stop to it. If I see her begin to snuffle excitedly in a tuft of grass I distract her right away with the frisbee.
I always used to shoot rats when they became too close to my doorstep for comfort! I didn't like the idea of poisoning them, for their sake, and for environmental concerns.
Now I've heard of this electronic 'beeper' it sounds like a good idea, at least to keep them away from your home or property, but of course, that just means moving the problem along to a neighbour! This isn't so much of a problem in rural areas like mine. The rats will just go and hang out 1/2 mile away in another place, and keep away from my home!
Another possible solution to a rat problem is to get someone in with a small pack of Jack Russells. (Some people do this for a small payment, or even a good roast dinner! At least they do in country areas in England!) It may sound cruel, but it is a LOT less cruel than using poison! The rats are killed exceedingly fast and thoroughly, with hardly any suffering, and there is no need to use toxins. The Jack Russells are very good at 'cleaning up' too. They won't let even one get away.
Rat terrier were bred to kill rats and if you research this you will find that Teddy Roosevelt, president of the US, brought them in to control the rat population in the White House. That is why they are sometimes called Teddy Roosesevelt Rat Terriers. They are great ratters. I have 3 and they have never eaten a mouse, because they are type b, that they have killed, but they are well fed.
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