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Old 02-12-2007, 10:10 AM
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tinksmama tinksmama is offline
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Default Are Chihuahuas ratters?

I was just wondering,are chihuahuas rat hunting dogs by breed? We just got a hamster, and Tinkerbell is insatiably excited by it, I thought our cats would be a problem, but Tink seems to have "the call of the wild" instincts all of a sudden... It's like a light went on in her eyes,and she's been scrabbling at the door to get in and get at it....our other dog is NOT like this at all. She's 1/2 chi and 1/2 peke..... just wondering....
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Old 02-12-2007, 10:19 AM
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Chis were originally used as ratters, as were many other terriers

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Old 02-12-2007, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by tinksmama View Post
I was just wondering,are chihuahuas rat hunting dogs by breed?..........She seems to have "the call of the wild" instincts all of a sudden... It's like a light went on in her eyes,and she's been scrabbling at the door to get in and get at it....our other dog is NOT like this at all. She's 1/2 chi and 1/2 peke..... just wondering....
Perhaps you are misinterpreting her interest. Their may be an even more basic instinct at work! This 2004 Watley's review study offers some insight.

sorry, couldn't resist linking to this pseudo-scientific article, no offense intended I LIKE Chihuahuas and just thought it was funny.
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Old 02-12-2007, 08:05 PM
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Cassiepeia Cassiepeia is offline
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Chihuahuas aren't terriers and were not originally used as ratters (not to my knowledge and I haven't found any info saying they were).
They do have very terrier 'like' temperaments though and like a lot of dogs can get excited by sight and scent of small animals.


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Old 02-13-2007, 10:52 AM
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FoxyWench FoxyWench is offline
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actually, reaserch belives that chis are partially descendants of the aztec techihi a small terrier like dog with large ears used by the family as ratters, companions, guard dogs, AND food and sacrifices! if this is correct then yes, our modern day chihuahua could very well make good ratters.
Ive also read that while there are many speculations on how the chihuhua came about, some belive that fennec fox played a part in making the breed what it is. (and after meeting fenneces ill admit i do see a strong resembalance not only in look but in behaviour!) fennecs are rodent hunters.

dodger stalks butterflies and other bugs
But we dont own rodents anymore so have never seen interaction with our chis and rodents.

I wonder if other dogs think Cresties are members of some weird religious cult?

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Old 02-13-2007, 12:02 PM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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Remember, the instinct to stalk and hunt small furry animals is a dog thing, not a breed thing. They get that from their wolf ancestors. Some breeds have it stronger or not so strong and even within a breed, some individuals have it stronger than others. Some breeds have more of the predatory motor behavior sequence than others. In other words, some dogs will just eye & stalk, some will eye, stalk and chase. Some will eye, stalk, chase, bite/grab. Some will go onto the kill and dissect. Most dogs do not have the entire set of motor patterns. So, your Chi may be eye stalking and if she could, might chase. Whether or not she'd go onto the grab/bite and kill.....who knows? I wouldn't want to find out. LOL. If they were ever used for ratting, that grab/bite and kill tendency could still be in her.....or it may have been selected against in the breed for a long enough time that it's not such a strong or prominent tendency in most. All of my dogs are enticed by running squirrels and will chase after them. I have a Dobe, two Chi's and a mix. It's mostly a "dog thing."
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