...............Young Rats and that Nippy/Jumping Stage
What to do?

     A rat terrier can get easily excited when he or she is a little tyke. This is normal, even for human children, right? Most puppies are a whole lot like a human toddler at this stage in his life.

Try this:  When your pup starts to nip you, immediately clap your hands, one time, very hard and suddenly.  You want to shock him and get his attention immediately.  In a firm voice, say, "NO!"  or, if you rather, "DON'T!"  He should stop immediately, wondering what just happened; if he nips again, do it again, then get up and leave him.  You will have to repeat this several times, but after about a week or so he'll get the idea that nipping is not a good kind of playing and it results in getting startled.

     As far as jumping on you, the same type of strategy goes.  When your pup jumps up on you, immediately clap your hands, sharp and loud, one time.  Put your hand on his little back and say firmly, "DOWN"! and push him into (gently) a sitting or laying down position. This shouldn't take him too long to figure out.  Once he's in the either sitting or laying position, give him praise (Good boy!!!!), and a tiny treat (I recommend Bill Jack Liver Treats).
Keep this up and he'll not only understand it's not good to jump up on his humans, but he'll also be on his way to understanding the verbal command to either sit or lay, which ever you teach him.

Be diligent and he'll train quickly.
Sherri Chatterton

A Rat Review !!!

     We have a two-and-a-half year-old tricolor rat terrier who is named "Tinker".  Although I think we should have named him "Hoover" only because anything that hits the floor is gone in a heartbeat; sure saves time on mopping the floor all of the time.  He likes to jump onto the bottom shelf of the refrigerator when it is opened and help himself to some grapes or anything which is within his reach.  His favorite thing is yogurt, especially vanilla.  He is an excellent watchdog and does not miss a thing. We live in South Florida so he gets to go to the beach and chase the crabs and seagulls when they come down to the shore.  He sure can catch lizards likes a pro.

     Anyone who wants to get a small dog with a great personality and a wonderful disposition I would recommend a rat.  They are very protective of their "human" family and their home front.  They are very clean and are a low maintenance dog.  Just give them playtime, attention and affection and they are your friend for life.  They are full of energy 24/7 and are great with small children.

     I wish that we could have a houseful of rat terriers but my family would also have to have some place to live.     Anonymous send in.


   Ask your veterinarian what problem he or she sees most on a day to day basis and the answer very likely is “canine obesity”.  For it seems that along with the benefits of the dog’s close companionship with man. There are drawbacks to being incorporated as a member of the family.  Overweight in its extreme form, obesity , is as much a problem in dogs as in humans and every bit as hard to deal with.

   Dogs put on weight for the same reason as humans: they overeat.  In most cases they also do not receive enough exercise although it is  difficult for anyone, dog or person, to exercise away excess calories.  Some breeds, because of their conformation, are more prone to overweight than others. Low-slung, long-bodied breeds tend to gain weight unless the owner is careful.  Big-boned breeds or individuals of any size may conceal extra poundage and need weight checks more often than less weight-disposed dogs.

   The only legitimate excuse for weight gain is a physical disorder which produces excess weight as a symptom of the disorder, or a side effect from medication. But these animals are relatively few compared to the dogs whose overweight is caused by the too much food/too little exercise syndrome.

   Obesity is a problem because being overweight has precisely the same disadvantages, even dangers, for the dog as for the human.  To begin with, think about the fat dog’s existence on a day to day basis.  Have you ever seen an obese dog waddling down the street after his owner, panting and wheezing at every step?  It doesn’t take a trained eye or a veterinary examination to know this dog is uncomfortable, he cannot be made comfortable and his enjoyment of life is vastly impaired.

   A veterinarian’s examination is apt to reveal far more serious problems and, indeed, potentially life threatening situations.  Obesity can cause impairment of heart, respiratory and digestive functions.  If the dog has orthopedic defects, excess weight bearing down on the joints aggravates the condition, or induces it.  An overweight bitch-if the owner is unwise enough to breed her, is much more likely to have a complicated whelping.  Wounds heal more slowly in the obese animal.  It also has less resistance to bacterial and viral infections.  In brief, the obese dog can be considered in a state of borderline good health, with a greater potential for medical problems than the normal weight dog.

Canine obesity does not have to be a problem.  It’s easier to control today than ever before. All that the owner has to do is, 1)recognize the condition in his pet, 2)feed recommended amounts of a reduced calorie dog food product, or reduce the amount of food given at one meal by one fifth. Over a slow period of time the dog will reduce his weight. 3)eliminate snacks, and 4) give the pet adequate exercise.