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Subject: Rat Terrier Quirks?
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Jake's Mom


Ratterific
Ratterific
01/02/2014 6:20 PM Rat Terrier Quirks?  

I'm new to the rat terrier community and I'm learning about my little guy.

I'm just wondering of some of the things he does are Normal.

The one that seemingly bothers me is when ever he burrows into clothes,  blankets, quilts, etc., he has to Lick them. Not just once, but until they are really wet. Then he crawls into the item and falls fast asleep. Is this a normal trait for Ratties? I've had him almost 3 months (he's almost 6 months old)

The other weird trait my rattie does is if he has a rawhide or a bully stick, he has to eat it on my foot (or shoe). If I get up and move he will follow me (with the item), and continue to eat off my foot.

He also does not like to eat his food in a bowl or dish, but off the floor.  I've read in some of the posts that many of you, add a little water to their kibble. This is impossible for me as he won't eat in a bowl or dish.

If you have any suggestions, as to whether this is normal or not, it would be greatly appreciated. Also, are there other things Ratties do that I have to look forward to.

Thank you.

JUWECO


Ratastic
Ratastic
01/02/2014 8:56 PM Rat Terrier Quirks?  
Welcome, Jake's Mom! I am not a behavior expert but I wonder if your little guy might have been weaned too early. I have read about similar behavior in cats when they are separated from their mothers too early. They apparently find the licking behavior soothing, like nursing.
I don't know what to make of the parking on your foot to eat a bully stick except maybe Jake wants to make sure he doesn't lose track of you. If he's on your foot, there's no way you can get away without him noticing!
Maybe you could try feeding Jack on a flat plate or party platter that is fairly open with a very low edge. If he accepts that, maybe you could progress to a bowl. I used to have a dog we adopted from the SPCA at 5 months old and for the next 16 years she picked up kibble and canned food out of her bowl, walked a few feet away, and dropped it on the floor before eating it. We never could get her over the survival skill she learned at the SPCA when she was in a kennel with other hungry puppies.
Good luck to you. Be sure to post photos of your Rattie! We love photos.
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Jake's Mom


Ratterific
Ratterific
01/03/2014 6:32 AM Rat Terrier Quirks?  

Thank you, for your welcome.

It's a possiblity that he was weened early. When I got him, only he and his brother were left of the litter. When his mom came out to check us out before we got Jake. He ran over to her to nurse. The owner (breeder) said that she had dried up, and there was no more milk in her.

I met both of his parents. He looks like his mom. Dad was white and black.

I like the idea that maybe, he is afraid I might leave him, that is why he eats on my foot.

I'm going to try your suggestion of getting a plate, and seeing if he will eat off of it.

Thank you so much for your help.

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Kimcmrn


Newbie
Newbie
01/03/2014 7:29 AM Rat Terrier Quirks?  
I just had to let my 17 1/2 year old Rat Terrier go and he never ate out of his bowl. He would scoop a mouthful and take it over to the carpet to eat. This is the only Rattie I have had so don't know how common it is. I just know he was the BEST dog I have had. Smart...protective of our home....we had him before my twins and he would lay on the floor beside them when they were babies and was tolerable of their pulling and tugging. I miss him soooo much. you have a wonderful future to look forward to.
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rattagan's mom


Pack Leader
Pack Leader
01/03/2014 9:25 AM Rat Terrier Quirks?  
We have 5 ratties and they all like to sleep under the covers. Only Woody won't bury himself, you have to cover him but he likes a blanket. The other four will gladly nose, nudge and push the blankets until they can get under them, Jack needs a little help sometimes. Our Jackie always is licking the blankets or pillow cases, etc. He starts out licking his feet and moves on to whatever he can get his tongue on. I think he likes the roughness on his tongue. But then he is 14 years old. But because of his licking and sometimes he leaks because he's on water pills, I have to wash their doggie blankets often. Another member here had a little old girl that wouldn't eat from a bowl. She bought plastic place mats and put the dry food mixed with a little canned food on the mat and the she would eat. My question to you is how does he get his water, if he doesn't like bowls?? The eating on your feet sounds like he's kinda protective, either of you or the bully stick. He may think that you will keep him and his treat safe. Try to stop him from eating on your feet now, because if you don't it will be that way it is for the rest of his life. Once a rattie learns something they stick to it pretty well and don't generally forget and they love, love, love being with their people.

Janie, Mom to the Palm Bay Rat Pack
Rest in peace our darling Girl Baby, Cameo Nora 10/24/07-11/06/09
Rest in peace Cutter Bug Gotcha 8/2/08 Died 11/17/09
Rest in Peace Rattagan Lee 2/16/1997-3/29/2011
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rattagan's mom


Pack Leader
Pack Leader
01/03/2014 9:27 AM Rat Terrier Quirks?  
Oh and don't forget to brush his teeth, it helps him and you. It will help keep his teeth and gums healthy and help you by longer times between dentals which helps the wallet tremendously. Your vet should be able to help you with toothpaste and toothbrush for his little mouth. Remember his teeth are as important as your own.

Janie, Mom to the Palm Bay Rat Pack
Rest in peace our darling Girl Baby, Cameo Nora 10/24/07-11/06/09
Rest in peace Cutter Bug Gotcha 8/2/08 Died 11/17/09
Rest in Peace Rattagan Lee 2/16/1997-3/29/2011
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Jake's Mom


Ratterific
Ratterific
01/03/2014 5:58 PM Rat Terrier Quirks?  

I'm so sorry to here of your loss.

Maybe, it is more common than we think about them putting their food on the floor.

So far I agree with you, they are a beautiful breed and smart too, I don't know why I never came accross this breed before, but I'm sure glad I did now.

Thank you for responding.

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Jake's Mom


Ratterific
Ratterific
01/03/2014 6:10 PM Rat Terrier Quirks?  

I'm thinking of trying the mat over the plate. Hopefully he won't move it around the room. I think that is why he won't eat from the bowl because when he is eating it moves.

Here is the funny thing about the water issue. When we first brought him home it was still warm out. I would put ice cubes in his water bowl, along with water. He would take the ice cube out of the bowl and place it on the floor. Then while he was outside, we would have the sprinkler on our lawn, in which, he would run through it and drink the water. I always have the water bowl out for him, but I never see him drink a drop of water. Now with winter in our mists, and he loves the snow.....he eats the snow for his water, while we are outside.

He may drink water from his bowl, but I've never seen him drinking. I change the water out in the morning and again in the afternoon, so he always has fresh water to drink.

I really don't know how to stop him from eating off my foot (feet). I get up and move and he follows. If I stop to make supper...there he is at my feet chewing on his bully stick. If you have any ideas how to stop him so it doesn't conitInue would appreciate it.

.

Thank you for taking the time to answer.

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Jake's Mom


Ratterific
Ratterific
01/03/2014 6:11 PM Rat Terrier Quirks?  

I will contact my Vet for the things needed to keep his teeth healthy.

Thank you again.

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RJ


Newbie
Newbie
02/04/2014 2:33 PM Rat Terrier Quirks?  

Hi. I just happened upon this site. I've been a rattie parent since 3-2006. I got my girl at about 6 weeks old. My question is this: Does anyone else have a rattie who HATES to have their paws touched? My Trixie will jump off my lap if I attempt to touch her paws, and Forget about clipping nails!  It's nearly impossible. I can not do it without taking her to a groomer. She licks her paws a lot and I have heard sometimes they can be allergic and the allergens get on their paws making them sensitive. If anyone else has a rattie with these issues, I would love to hear how you solved them.

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allnew2me


Rat-A-Tat-Tat
Rat-A-Tat-Tat
02/04/2014 4:17 PM Rat Terrier Quirks?  
Jubal is silly about his paws. He didn't used to be. When he was a puppy, I could hold him with one hand and clip his nails with the other and he didn't even squirm. Then I took him to a groomer who used a Dremel, and ever since then he's been a PIA to trim. If it's a weekend when his "daddy" is home, Blaine can hold him and distract him, and if I'm quick I can get it done. I usually just take him to the vet. It's worth the $22 to me, not to have to worry about trying to restrain him. His little legs seem impossibly fragile, and I'm terrified of hurting him.

"If you don't own a dog, at least one, there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life.” (Roger Caras)

Shirley -- Jubal's mom-person
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rattagan's mom


Pack Leader
Pack Leader
02/04/2014 4:34 PM Rat Terrier Quirks?  
Our Kiara(Kiki) is horrid about nail trims. She'll kill herself trying to get away. We tried with one holding her and one cutting nails, no way, we tried wrapping her in a towel with just one paw at a time out, nope not happening. Then one day I got a great idea. "Hey honey, she likes peanut butter, let's try that." So we put some peanut butter on a spoon and Phil holds her in one hand, peanut butter spoon in the other. She licks peanut butter and while she's busy with that I cut her nails. I just smear a thin coating on each side of the spoon so she doesn't get a lot, just enough to keep her busy while I do the nails. We can hold her feet somewhat but she's not fond of it. And she hates, hates, hates having her feet dried off if they're wet. All the dogs I've ever had I started working with their feet when they first came to me. All puppies raised for Ratbone Rescues had they feet messed with from day one. If their feet are not handled when young they generally don't like it. Every pup we raised started getting their nails done by 3 weeks old so it would be easier for the adoptive parents to work with them. I got Kiki at 8 weeks and she hates her feet messed with and she's almost 4 years old. Little snot but she's my little snot.

Janie, Mom to the Palm Bay Rat Pack
Rest in peace our darling Girl Baby, Cameo Nora 10/24/07-11/06/09
Rest in peace Cutter Bug Gotcha 8/2/08 Died 11/17/09
Rest in Peace Rattagan Lee 2/16/1997-3/29/2011
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Peekapuppy


Rat-A-Tat-Tat
Rat-A-Tat-Tat
02/05/2014 8:20 AM Rat Terrier Quirks?  
Ratties have more quirks per lb than any other breed!

The funniest is when mine are running and the surface changes (from path to grass, grass to concrete, concrete to mulch) they automatically hold up one of their hind legs and "hobble" for a few steps. People who aren't familiar with the breed comment that the dog is injured, but really ,they are just "quirky"

Lacey loves her little tennis balls, has several stashed all over the place. Her favorite "storage" is in the toes of any of our shoes left out....

Bobbi
Mom to Lacey and Pokey
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JUWECO


Ratastic
Ratastic
02/05/2014 6:44 PM Rat Terrier Quirks?  
My Dandelion hates having her feet touched too. We tried to handle her feet regularly and to cut her nails but it was traumatizing for everyone. Now we either get her nails cut at the vet's office (where she sings tragic opera) or we occasionally cut one or 2 nails at a time at home. This seems to be working out okay.
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