These dogs can basically be for most everyone. They have successfully co-existed with elderly, families, single people etc. When people have a problem with a Rat it is those who should not own a dog period or they should have chosen a personality more fitting to their needs. Each Rat Terrier has their own personalities. Some are more alpha and some beta etc. There are those that you have no problem with and then their are some who can be a nightmare in the wrong hands. It largely depends on the lines that they have been bred out of. The Rat Terrier has very distinct and individual personalities and with that comes the challenge of treating them for there own individual needs. Although they are very much alike in many ways they are also very very different. It is like brothers and sisters. You can have a rebellious, strong personality and then you can have a sweet loving one and they both came from the same parent. It is in the socialization of the dog or person that makes them what they ultimately are. A dog will respond to the emotions that are around him. If everyone is excited and jumping or running around he will join in. If they are sitting quietly and talking softly the dog will calm down and respond to that emotion.
All living creatures need love, Rats will adapt to the amount of love that is shown to them be it less or more. Some would like to have lots of attention, but more they get the more they want and the more they will demand it. However negative attention to them can be just as rewarding if not properly taught. They are generally grateful for the love that is shown to them and will be quite content regardless of the amount. The quality of the time is much more important. On the other hand some Rats are quite independent and have a need to be on there own and a space of there own. They do not need the constant attention of their owners.
Discipline is just as important as reward and love. The Rat Terrier is a very smart dog that will get over on you. How is a dog to know what is right and what is wrong if they are not taught. That is what us humans are there to do for them. Dogs play amongst themselves and establish an order in their pack. They think of us as one of their pack. The human needs to be the alpha of the pack in order to keep peace. Rats think they can handle it all but they need to learn social behaviors of the humans and how to live in an environment run by them. Proper discipline is usually the key with an unruly Rat.
The first mistake that people make when they bring their new pups into their homes is that they wait until they have a week to spend with the dog. Big mistake. So they lavish attention on the new pup and play with him all his waking hours and the pup runs all over the house. Then it is time to go back to work as the average person does. Well, pup now has a problem. He says, what happened to them all, now I am alone.
A Second mistake is that puppy biting is not cute and it's not fun. Allowing a puppy to chew on your fingers may be adorable when they are little but not so cute when they have not learned to control how hard they bite when they get a little older. Then it down right hurts. This can be controlled from the get go by simply not allowing it in the first place. Because they are intelligent and want to get their own way, this puppy biting can lead to aggressive angry biting when they don't want to do something or don't want to be picked up.
If your dog is running into the street to chase cars the human should be taking steps to prevent the situation from happening. If the dog repeatedly chews your shoes or clothes or furniture the human is responsible for teaching the dog not to do this type of thing. For each time the dog gets away with it without discipline he has won. For each time he is not shown the proper way he will once again do the only thing that he knows and thinks is fun. It is not the dog most of the time that is out of control, it is the human.
People need to feel the underlying atmosphere if you will in how to listen, relate and talk to the dogs. It is that very relation, and ability to understand that makes the successful up bringing with a dog.
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