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I live on a farm, and I'm hoping to get a terrier-type dog. I'm hoping for a dog that will do what it was bred to do- ratting. but is trainable so that it doesn't attack our other animals. i do not want a wire-haired dog (i don't like how they feel) i also want one that isn't "famous" for attacking other dogs (i have a dog who would not stand for dominance issues in a small dog) I'm hoping for a breed that is also rather small. i've been told by a vet that an australian terrier would be great, but then it has the wire hair. i've been wanting a jack russel, or a dachshund, but they've been known to kill cats, and i've heard some stories about doxies killing EVERYTHING (including goats) does anyone have any suggestions for good breeds? (if you want to ask questions about my lifestyle and such to get more info ask away.)
 

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Look for a 'feist' or a rat terrier, ideally one that is from stock that actually WORKS. In many rural areas, asking around about squirrel dogs will find you some good ones.
 

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A doxie killing goats? A dachshund doxie or is there some other kind of doxie I don't know about?
 

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Rat Terrier gets my vote, as well. Be careful to get a pup from working stock. Many of the smallest ones are obviously crossed with Chihuahuas, and there are very few things more useless than a ratter with bug eyes. Some so-called Rat Terriers also have weird bird-like feet. Ratters aren't earthdogs, per se, but any working dog needs structurally sound feet.

Patterdale Terriers are another good choice, but they are of the "kill 'em all and let the devil claim his own" school of vermin control.

I think (but don't know for certain) that the JRT's rep for dog aggression is partly due to breeding. Working earthdogs--of which the JRT is one--normally work in concert with other terriers, hounds, and/or lurchers. Pet breeders don't value the JRT's proper working temperament because they don't really know what it should be. The other factor in their rep for bad behavior is due to lack of training by pet owners. Keeping a high drive hunting dog in a chronically understimulated state is a recipe for a raft of behavior issues.
 

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I agree that a rattie or a working feist - very similar types - would be good choices. These are both basically derived from the all-purpose family farm dogs back in the day. Most of the time, they get along well with farm stock without any specific training and they also naturally get along well with other dogs. They do tend to target on small animals so if you keep hamsters or the like as pets you will have to be careful with that.

As for training, they are somewhat like other terriers - very smart but not always so biddable. However, being that they derive more from farm dogs rather than from hunting terriers, they do seem to be able to turn off their "terrier-ness" as needed. BTW, a rattie placed fifth in the AKC National Agility trials - they compete in the same class with the Shelties and the BCs so that does tell you something about their biddability.
 

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If you don't hand strip a harsh coat it will turn soft, so don't worry about the wired coat, it is unlikely your dog will have one if you don't want it that way.
 

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Patterdale's are awesome.

Of course I would not recommend any if you plan for them to not possibly kill a cat or chase a smaller animal other then rats. You can't trust them to roam and not get in trouble as its very possible. Especially a ratting terrier from working stock, will have a lot of drive to find and hunt.
 
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