Does anyone have dogs for rat control?

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Captaincatholic

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Would a twerier or a dog with a good high prey drive also pester the rabbits? I am thinking of finding a ratting dog to keep the rats away. I live too near the city to ever be rid of them.
 

TroubleMakerAcres

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I don’t let my dogs in the rabbitry because all they’ll do is eat the manure and scare the rabbits, even though they would both absolutely kill rodents. We just got a farm cat for the mice, not sure if he’ll ever be big enough for the pack rats, but we usually dispatch those with a pellet gun ourselves anyhow.
 

TroubleMakerAcres

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I would make sure you want a dog and want that type of dog first. If it’s a yes to both then you could absolutely get a ratting dog. If your rabbits ever get out or are in an outdoor run where the dog can see then, you might have problems. I don’t think my mice ever leave lol they’ve got cozy little tunnels under the waste hay, sheltered from the weather and food dropped right in front of their doors!
 

BuffBrahmaBantam

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I’ve read in older books about rat dogs and it sounds like a neat idea. In one of James Herriot’s books he mentions rat dogs being really effective in his hen house. I think the breed was some kind of terrier in that book. I would think that breeding matters a lot and unfortunately most dogs are just kept as pets nowadays. Even if you get a rat breed, the dog may not be as effective as they used to be. I’m just musing out loud. Let us know what you try and if it works.

We keep traps out 24/7/365 and it is really effective for us. We have mice, voles, pack rats and the worst are California ground squirrels, which are terrible. I will say that if you don’t keep on top of things, and you only try to control rodents when you see them and they become a big problem, you are already behind the ball. About 15 years ago I had problems. We don’t ever have problems anymore now that we maintain traps all the time. It takes work, like any chore does, but if I didn’t like work I wouldnt keep rabbits, chickens, ducks, and garden LOL.
 

Shea

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I’ve read in older books about rat dogs and it sounds like a neat idea. In one of James Herriot’s books he mentions rat dogs being really effective in his hen house. I think the breed was some kind of terrier in that book. I would think that breeding matters a lot and unfortunately most dogs are just kept as pets nowadays. Even if you get a rat breed, the dog may not be as effective as they used to be. I’m just musing out loud. Let us know what you try and if it works.

We keep traps out 24/7/365 and it is really effective for us. We have mice, voles, pack rats and the worst are California ground squirrels, which are terrible. I will say that if you don’t keep on top of things, and you only try to control rodents when you see them and they become a big problem, you are already behind the ball. About 15 years ago I had problems. We don’t ever have problems anymore now that we maintain traps all the time. It takes work, like any chore does, but if I didn’t like work I wouldnt keep rabbits, chickens, ducks, and garden LOL.
If you go on to youtube, you can find quite a few videos on ratting with dogs. A lot of larger farms will hire a pack to come in and get the population under control when other methods fail, or they need to keep their Organic certs. It does work. There is even one fellow with trained mink and ferrets that will track rats down in their burrow. Neat stuff.
 

tambayo

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If you want dogs to do a specific job find people that already have dogs doing that job and see if they can help you find a suitable dog (already trained) or a pup (+help with training) for you. Just buying a breed that used do the job according to the breed standard is zero guarantee + they need training and possibly some additional prevention vaccines and so on for safety. And note that depending on your situation you may need a specific size dog. I watch plenty of the ratting vids and the breeds vary from lurchers to many terriers to mixes with pit to spaniels (that are not bred for such work). Close work is for small dogs, open terrain for larger, very fast dogs. Also these dogs are hardwired fanatics when it comes to ratting, training an offswitch and obedience is vital for safety and efficiency, not fixate on just one while X others escape running right under them... for starters. Or grabbing the same one to fight over when there are more dogs on the job.
 

Scooter1A

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Would a twerier or a dog with a good high prey drive also pester the rabbits? I am thinking of finding a ratting dog to keep the rats away. I live too near the city to ever be rid of them.
Rats seem to be a problem for many people. Terriers would do it. You just have to get your rabbits used to the dog. My doe loves my cat. So maybe a bunch of cats? I would sit out there with a .22 all day and nite, put out poison that can be picked up, get cats. The dog would probably do a better job but I would be afraid of injuries to the dog. Whatever draws the rats, eliminate it. I rake poo every day but I have owls, hawks, cat and chickens. Natural eco flow. Bummer of a problem.
 

Bunnies4me

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Rats can't walk upside down. Build your cages on legs that are set inside the cage floor frame, so that the floor frame hangs over the tops of the legs. Then rats climb up the legs of your cages and are stuck, so they run down again. Real old fashioned idea that works time and time again - it's how the first settlers used to build food storage / pantrys before they had finished building their houses. Helps if the legs are steel because they're slippery, but that's not always possible. Most of mine are built that way, and there's no maintenance to keeping them rat safe :)
I don't set traps because we have neighborhood cats that find their feed from our place, and I know one of them is a good ratter.
 

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