Do Whippets Catch Rats?

In this post we’re going to go answer a question we get asked regularly, do whippets catch rats?

In short, yes whippets do can catch rats. However, there is much more to learn about whippet ratting as it’s not something they particularly enjoy or thrive upon.

When whippet owners think about ratting, they often imagine whippets catching rats. This is understandable because whippets are very fast dogs, so it would seem logical for whippets to catch rodents.

However, there are several reasons why whippets almost never catch rats. In fact, the majority of whippet owners will never see their dogs catch a rat during their lifetime together.

In general, whippets prefer to chase things that run from them as opposed to actually catching the prey and killing it.

If a whippet does manage to catch a rat then it is more likely that he/she will kill it out of fear rather than excitement.

Are Whippets Good Ratting Dogs?

When it comes to whippets catching rats, they can be exceptional. However, it’s not something they particularly enjoy in most cases.

This is because whippets prefer to chase moving objects rather than actually catch them, so whippet owners should not expect their whippets to actively hunt and kill rats.

As whippets are small dogs, they are agile and easily able to catch rats if they need to.

Some whippets with a high prey drive will catch rats for fun all day long, especially if taken to an environment where there is an infestation, for example, a farm.

How Can I Make My Whippet Catch Rats?

To get your whippet to catch you a rat, you should take him out to an area where he is likely to catch one.

As whippets are extremely fast, it’s best that whippet owners take their dogs out with other whippets that are born and bred ratting whippets in order for them to become accustomed to the scent of rats at a young age.

Training your whippet to catch rats will take a long time, but is worth the effort as whippets can become exceptional ratters.

Will My Whippet Catch Rats?

Not all whippets will be natural-born ratting dogs. However, with a little training and dedication, they can pick it up very easily.

Just like any other dog that’s bred for a specific purpose, whippets can be trained into excellent ratters with proper training.

If your whippet gets bit by a rat, it may be put off and never follow the scent of a rat again. This largely depends on the individual dog, as they will all react to rats a little differently.

Understanding A Whippets Prey Drive

Some whippets have a much stronger prey drive than others, meaning they will be more inclined to catch rats.

Although whippets have been used for coursing because of their prey drive, they have a strong desire and instinct to chase smaller animals such as rabbits, hares, rats, and more.

The stronger your whippet’s prey drive, the more likely they will be to pick up ratting and be a great ratting whippet.

Other Considerations

Ratting with whippets is a popular sport, but whippets are not a catch-and-kill breed.

Ratting whippets usually wear protective clothing to avoid damage from the rat’s teeth and claws.

Often whippets will catch rats in an area with little room for whippet movement, so it is very important to train whippets to be swift and accurate.

If your whippet does receive a bite, try not to worry too much. Most rat bites will heal very quickly but you should take them to see a whippet-knowledgeable veterinarian regardless.

More On Ratting Whippets

Using whippets for ratting isn’t ideal, these are dogs that are primarily used for coursing and racing, and are certainly not pleased with the idea of being bitten by a rat.

However, if required, whippets can be exceptional ratting dogs. They have the speed, agility, and prey drive to make quick work of small rodents such as rats.

If whippets are to be ratting, they must be trained to only go for the kill when the whippet handler gives a command.

This is important because whippets must not lose focus of their role at hand or they may end up chasing rats into areas that they are not allowed to hunt in. For this reason, it’s important whippets are well-trained.

Whippets should only be allowed to rat as a complement to whippet activities such as racing and coursing, not as their primary purpose because whippets were bred for speed and agility, not for courage or tenacity.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, whippets can be used as ratting dogs if needed. They are swift, agile, and great all-purpose dogs that will make quick work of rodents such as rats and mice.

That being said, you may want to look at a terrier instead as these are specifically bred for the purpose of ratting.

Hopefully, you’ve learned a thing or two about whippet ratting in this post and now have a better idea as to whether your pet will be a good ratting dog. So can whippets can rats? Yes, absolutely.

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