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Yorkie Killing A Rat

While the Yorkie is a small dog, it has a big dog attitude. You may have admired their perfect silky coats and the jaunty topknot in the dog show ring. However, this breed is much more than just good looks and style.

Can a Yorkie kill a rat? Yes, they can. Yorkies are bred to be a ratter, killing mice and rats in small spaces. They may have even been used for hunting. Terriers are experts at killing animals that live in dens or burrows (usually vermin).

Yorkies have a long and illustrious tradition of big stories told with elegance, flash, and attitude. Read more to know more about the rat-killing days of Yorkies. I will also give tips on what to do if your Yorkie kills a rat.

Yorkie And Rat Killing

The Yorkie is a distinct breed as a result of rats. Rats brought disease, destroyed crops, infested homes and businesses. These rodents made life miserable for most of the humankind for eons. What a long way they have come.

England was in the middle of the Industrial Revolution in the mid-nineteenth century. It needed people to run the new machines. Many Scottish families were lured to England cities by offers of simple factory jobs. They brought scrappy little rat hunting dogs, aptly named Scotch Terriers, with them.

Yorkshire Terrier dogs were much more significant at the time, and they had already proven themselves as ratters. They are good at ratting mines, factories, homes, and fields.

This adaptable little dog was also hunting foxes, badgers, and other small games. The working class had it tough. This terrier had to carry its weight and more.

Most people bred dogs for their purposes or the purposes of the two or villages they lived in. Dog breeding records were lax or nonexistent during this period. Only true breed enthusiasts held some records.

People and animals both struggled during the mid-nineteenth century. For the first time in history, people were leaving the rural life of the farms and moving into towns and cities.

RATS have arrived in town and multiplied as quickly as they could. A good ratting dog was quicker and had more motivation for the job than a cat. Most cats will kill a mouse or two, but not for the sake of killing, as dogs do.

Ratting competitions started in Great Britain as a lower-class pastime, though I am sure a high-born Count or two took part in them. Dogs were put in a ring or pit with many rats during those competitions. Observers bet on how many rats each dog will kill in a certain amount of time, usually 8-10 minutes.

Yorkie Facts

The Yorkie is one of the most common dog breeds today. Despite their size, they have prominent personalities. They are just about 9 inches tall at the shoulders and weighing between 5 and 7 pounds. The Yorkie is a Toy breed rather than a Terrier because of its small size. The Yorkie shares many characteristics with the Toy, such as being alert, active, clever, and curious.

Socialization Skills

The Yorkshire Terrier is a friendly dog that is far from shy. They are fearless and unafraid of anything. They are protective, especially when it comes to their families, and will bark if they feel threatened. As a result, they make excellent watchdogs.

However, keep in mind that while their barking can be a great feature, it can also be irritating. So, you must be ready since Yorkies enjoy barking.

Yorkshire Terriers and children get along well, so it is best if they grow up together. While Yorkies are tolerant of children, a child must understand how to play with and appreciate the dog. If a kid is unintentionally disrespectful or bullying the dog, a Yorkie would not hesitate to snap at them.

Yorkshire terriers, for the most part, do not get along with other species. They can get along with other dogs if they have grown up with them. If you are living with other pets, make sure the dogs are well socialized.

Yorkies are often not generally compatible with cats, regardless of how well socialized they are with dogs. And they never agree with rodents of any sort. Remember that the instinct of Yorkies is to hunt rodents. It is an instinct that is difficult to condition out of them.

Canine Intelligence

Yorkies are a breed that is very intelligent and learns quickly when it comes to training. Simple obedience is easy for them. They should be taught so that they grow up to be a credit to their breed. The last thing you want is a Yorkshire Terrier who is overly defensive, violent, and spoiled.

Shedding And Grooming

Yorkshire Terriers do not shed. However, they need to be groomed regularly. To avoid mats, they have fine, silky hair that must be washed and combed. To keep hair away from his eyes, wrap the top with a rubber band or ribbon. If the dog’s long hair is too much work, you have to trim and groom it regularly.


You must provide your Yorkie with the necessary exercise. The Yorkie likes to run every day and be taken for a pleasant 10-15 minute stroll. If you cannot take your dog on walks regularly, you will notice that he is busy indoors. Yorkies will find ways to entertain themselves.

Exercise is crucial for your dog’s physical development and overall health. It will help to ensure that your Yorkie lives a 14–16-year lifespan. You can also take your Yorkie to the vet for routine checkups so that he can be screened for common ailments.

What To Do if A Yorkie Kills A Rat

The first thing we want to know is if the Yorkie has passed on a disease to us. Rats can carry a variety of diseases, but not all of them are harmful to dogs.

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome

Hantavirus can infect dogs and cats, but it does not spread to humans. This infection usually begins with flu-like symptoms like headaches, muscle pain, and fever. Shortness of breath and other severe symptoms follow, and death is a possibility.

Hemorrhagic Fever With Renal Syndrome

Fever, hemorrhage, headache, abdominal pain, and acute kidney damage describe Haemorrhagic fever with Renal Syndrome (HFRS). It is a rodent-borne infectious disease caused by hantaviruses.


The Leptospira bacteria causes leptospirosis, which is a bacterial infection. Leptospirosis in dogs manifests itself in a variety of ways. Some infected dogs have no symptoms of illness, while others have a mild and transient illness that goes away on its own. Some experience severe illness and die.

Lymphocytic Chorio-Meningitis (LCM)

Lymphocytic choriomeningitis, also known as LCM, is a rodent-borne viral infection. It is triggered by the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) and a member of the Arenaviridae family that was first isolated in 1933.

Rat-Bite Fever

Another thing you should worry about is rat-bite fever. It infects the dog when it comes into contact with dead rats or eats something contaminated by the diseased rat’s feces.


Salmonellosis is a kind of infection caused by the Salmonella bacteria that affects dogs. Gastroenteritis, spontaneous abortions, and septicemia are all common side effects. This bacterial infection is also zoonotic, which means it can be passed from humans to humans.

Rats can spread disease through their blood. It is likely that if a dog kills a rat, infection will occur through the mouth. However, merely putting the rat in their mouth will spread bacteria if the rat’s fur is infected.

Even if the dog does not contract the disease, the bacteria or parasites may be transferred through the dog’s mouth. Humans can contract them.

This situation may seem frightening. It is crucial to note that several events may occur for the disease to spread. Rats may be disease vectors, but that does not mean they will be. If the dog is properly vaccinated and dewormed, this is much less likely.

Regardless, if the dog has killed a rodent, we can take it to the vet. It will rule out any issues and provide prompt care in the unlikely event that one may arise.

Stopping Ratting Behavior In Yorkies

Many factors affect a Yorkie’s prey drive, and some dogs may have very little, to begin with. Even other ratter dogs, for example, will enjoy playing and chasing objects. However, some will need to get their prey drive tamed.

The most significant factor in preventing ratting is education. It does not imply reprimanding. Since the prey drive is a normal instinct in dogs, chastising them for acting on it would only confuse them. It may contribute to problem behavior. Instead, you’ll have to teach them not to respond when they see small animals.

You can start with stuffed animals and work your way up. However, you must still ensure that no other animals are endangered.

After you’ve taught them, you’ll need to put them to the test. Ethologists and coaches do this. They have undergone extensive training. It’s similar to the test that Greyhounds must pass to ensure they don’t chase small animals. Make an appointment with your veterinarian to schedule this procedure.

The following step is to take preventative measures. Always keep your Yorkie on a leash while you’re out with them, particularly if they’re likely to chase down potential prey. This practice must remain in place until the dog learns to regulate his or her actions.

Some dogs can never learn to handle it properly, and if they flee too quickly, they risk hurting themselves. A muzzle can also help to prevent the Yorkie from eating anything it sees.


Although Yorkies were raised to hunt rats, modern Yorkie cannot match their forefathers. They’re more like a toy dog than a hardworking working dog. Ratting necessitates a high pain tolerance and a lot of gameness. Remember that rats can bite and claw the dogs’ ears, which are very difficult to kill.