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Which terrier to get?

Discussion in 'Forum Help and Suggestions' started by Londinia, Oct 7, 2018.


  1. Londinia

    Londinia PetForums Newbie

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    Hello all

    I’ve never owned a dog before. I’ve a good amount of time in the day to devote to a dog. I’d like a terrier (to be a pest controller first and foremost) but also an intelligent companion. I’d like a small dog which will be happy to sit on my lap but catch mice too. I have a visiting 5 and 8 year old at times so it needs to be a breed which is child-friendly and visitor friendly as I also teach children at home every Saturday. I’m not mad about long-haired dogs.

    Is there a terrier which would tick all those boxes, please?
     
  2. labradrk

    labradrk PetForums VIP

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    If you want a dog for pest control, then honestly a cat would be far more efficient for that job. Unless you are talking about game bred terriers which aren't typically kept as pets, most pet dogs are going to be utterly useless at pest control.

    Terriers are a MASSIVE mixed bag of breeds so I think you need to narrow down your selection a bit more. Being a 'lap dog' is more of an individual dog thing rather than a breed thing, as is being child/visitor friendly. What I would say is that terrier breeds aren't necessarily known for their tolerance compared to some of the 'softer' breeds.
     
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  3. Londinia

    Londinia PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for your reply. I had a cat and she was non-plussed about the mice! No interest...I’ve done a lot of reading up and it seems even terriers which are pets still have the mousing instinct? Cats suit themselves. Yet I’ve seen great videos online of terriers which are pets being v intent on finding and dispatching mice?

    Confused of North London.

    I hear what you say re individual temperament.
     
  4. Londinia

    Londinia PetForums Newbie

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    I could have narrowed down my ‘which terrier’ question but instead thought it might be best to give all of my ideal criteria - small, mice-catching, child- and stranger-friendly, short-haired, ok for someone new to dogs - and see if they gave rise to a particular type of terrier. Method in my madness
     
  5. planete

    planete PetForums Senior

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    I have had various terriers and terrier crosses. They were respectively a Border terrier, a JRT x Whippet, and a Dachshund x JRT. They have all been keen ratters when given the opportunity. The Border Terrier I had from a pup was friendly with everything and everybody, the others were ok once they knew the dogs or people. Being stranger and child friendly depends very much on how relaxed around strangers you can educate them to be. If you teach children in your own home, I would keep the dog and the children separate for the short time the children are with you as you cannot always prevent a wayward child doing something stupid around dogs and you will reduce any potential risks to zero.
     
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  6. Londinia

    Londinia PetForums Newbie

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    That’s such a useful reply thanks. I’d be getting a rescue dog (probably) so I’d have to be very sure re temperament and as you say, simply keep the two apart.
     
  7. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Then it’s probably best, rather than get set on a breed, to go along to the rescue, explain your circumstances and they should be able to introduce you to some suitable dogs.

    Easier to assess the temperament and demeanour of an older dog and whether they enjoy laps, etc.

    Managing and supervising interactions between kids and dogs is essential, of course, but I’d be inclined to limit him to a small number of family/friends and not to include visiting pupils in his circle tbh.
     
  8. Londinia

    Londinia PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you. The thing is, I do want a breed that will catch mice - is that terriers only?
     
  9. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    I have two terriers, and recently had a mouse in my house. One of my terriers was completely uninterested. The other one definitely knew it was around and was totally obsessed with it, but she wasn’t able to catch it (and it was living with us for quite a while before I finally caught it in a humane trap). She actually was very stressed by the mouse and it became a bit of a problem.

    I think mouse traps are your best bet.
     
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  10. Londinia

    Londinia PetForums Newbie

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    Sigh, thanks for that. I guess there’s no guarantee that all terriers will chase down house mice and that is one of my priorities. I was hoping the presence of a dog would mean any mice venturing in would be caught and dispatched. I’ve got traps down but no joy and I had professional pest controllers in.

    I guess I’ll need to seek out a dog who is known to chase mice!
     
  11. Londinia

    Londinia PetForums Newbie

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    What kind of terriers do you have?
     
  12. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    I have a Wheaten (uninterested) and a Westie (obsessed).
     
  13. Wild With Roxi

    Wild With Roxi i love Animals too much

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    I 100% agree with this. Humane Mouse traps are the best way to go, you can't depend on a dog to catch mice, it's very unlikely that your average pet dog will be able to catch a mouse. And a rescue probably won't either.

    Any breed has the ability to catch rodents, but very few make it a hobby. You only really get pest control dogs or pet dogs not a bit of both. Pest control dogs don't make great pets, they're usually highly strung and constantly after scents and stuff like that, very wired dogs.

    If you are looking for a pet dog, go ahead and get a dog in a rescue that suits your lifestyle, they'll match you to the perfect companion. But if you want a working, hunting and pest control dog you won't get a lap dog, more a crazy creature that wants to hunt. These dogs are bred specifically for that purpose, not bred as pets.
    Dogs you see from good pet breeders and rescues won't have that urge to hunt and kill.

    If you want a pet that can hunt too, get a cat. Your cat that you had is just one, 95% of cats hunt every day and are successful. You can get cats that are already hunting from people on farms, they're called barn cats.
     
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  14. Wild With Roxi

    Wild With Roxi i love Animals too much

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  15. Wild With Roxi

    Wild With Roxi i love Animals too much

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    Just a question, but do you really want a dog that spends its days chasing rodents round your house and garden relentlessly? And leaving the rodents half eaten sometimes around your house, blood everywhere etc. dogs aren't very discreet and clean animals..they wouldn't care about tearing apart a rat limb from limb on your couch:rolleyes::Vomit
     
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  16. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    Terriers kill but it's far fetched to say the rip rats apart limb from limb. They chase and shake if they are efficient at their job and no interest in eating or tearing the prey to pieces as a general rule

    I wouldn't advocate a terrier to buy for pest control though.
     
  17. Magyarmum

    Magyarmum PetForums VIP

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    I've got a Miniature Schnauzer a breed that was specifically bred to search out and catch vermin on farms. Love him to bits but someone forgot to tell him his job description and he wouldn't recognise a mouse if one walked up to him and punched him in the nose

    One evening last year I could hear a mouse scratching around in the log basket in my living room, Sir, who was lying next to it didn't even raise an eyebrow, just carried on snoring! I had to shoo both dogs out of the room and bring in my 11 year old cat who spends most of her life outside and is a wonderful hunter. Within half an hour she'd found and killed not one but two mice.

    Job done!
     
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