Historically Ratters

English Toy Terrier (Black and Tan) puppiesEnglish Toy Terrier (Black and Tan) puppiesIn the mid to late 1800's, ratting or vermin killing was important to maintain some form of human hygiene. As the show dog scene developed, individual breeds were recorded in the first Stud Books. Over the next century or so, the traditional role of ratting terriers diminished because of the use of more sophisticated means of vermin destruction. But in this section we shall consider six separate Toy breeds which were originally developed as specialized killers of vermin, particularly rats and mice.

Australian Silky1

Yorkshire Terrier and Australian Silky Terrier

These two breeds are coupled together here because from the Yorkshire terrier, the Australian Silky developed. It is often hard to believe that the Yorkshire Terrier with his glamorous coat historically originated for ratting. The Australian Silky Terrier which also was originally a ratter, developed from a cross between the Australian Terrier and the Yorkshire Terrier. »» Read more...

Griffons rough smooth

Griffon Bruxellois and Peitit Brabancon

The Toy breed popularly called 'the Griffon' comes in three varieties, the rough coated Griffon Bruxellois, his smooth coated counterpart the Petit Brabancon and the Griffon Belge which come in colours other than red. But because all three are combined here in Australia as Griffon Bruxellois, they are considered here together. The rough coated Griffon Bruxellois historically had its origin ... »» Read more...

Affenpinscher profile


The Affenpinscher is a terrier like dog originally bred in Germany for ratting. He only comes in a rough coat and is always black in colour, although grey shading is permissible. His mischievous monkey-like expression indicate he could share a common background with the Griffon Bruxellois which originated nearby Belgium with which Germany shares a common border. »» Read more...

English Toy Mum and pip

English Toy Terrier

There are two smooth coated toy dogs of roughly the same size. Historically both were ratting dogs. Because of this, they are compared here together. But in reality, they are quite different! The first, the English Toy Terrier (Black and Tan), is still called the Toy Manchester in USA and Canada because it is considered the toy variety of the ... »» Read more...

Min Pin Show Red Dog

Miniature Pinscher

The Miniature Pinscher is the second of the two smooth coated ratting dogs considered here. Unlike the English Toy Terrier, his origins are in Germany. His precise hackney gait distinguishes him from other breeds. Confusingly, although he may come in black and tan like the English Toy Terrier, he may also come in solid red, black, blue or chocolate. He ... »» Read more...