Have you even had a teacup dog
"Looking for mini Prague rattlers ..."?
Are you looking for the smallest possible Prague Ratter puppy? Then you are exactly right here.
You won't find such a puppy with us, but you will find detailed and helpful information that you should really know before buying a mini ratter! We at “The Devils in Disguise” cannot imagine breeding with dogs that have extremely low weights or shoulder heights and we will explain this to you here in a comprehensible manner. To be honest, we'd like to try to convince you not to have a mini rattler under 2 kg. But of course we know that especially cute little puppies are very attractive and that it is often impossible to talk people out of their strong desire to own such an animal. Nevertheless, we hope with this information (which, by the way, can all be proven) to educate you about mini rattlers at least so well that you are prepared for all risks that other breeders like to hide. Maybe in the end some people will still decide in good conscience for a puppy of a healthy size.
"WHAT IS A TEACUP DOG"?
This name comes from America and means "teacup dog". It has existed for a number of years and describes extremely small miniature dog puppies (e.g. Chihuahuas, Yorkshire terriers, toy poodles, etc.) that are so tiny at the time of delivery that they can sit comfortably in a teacup. The term was probably invented by some American breeders who usually offer their puppies on the Internet by photo (often sitting in a teacup) and who can sometimes even be bought just like a product with a mouse click and paid for directly (or ordered by mail order)! Usually these are not real breeders but so-called "multipliers" or backyard breeders "who produce puppies in large numbers and under very poor housing conditions, where the dogs all live in cages as cheaply as possible and have little contact with people. They are actually dealers who want to sell puppies as if they were a commodity, without taking the health and wellbeing of the animals into account and also having no personal relationship with their breeding animals and puppies. For good reason, you never give the guarantee in your sales contracts that you have sold a healthy animal with a healthy psyche. Since these are business people, however, you should breed dogs that are particularly easy to sell. They know that extremely small dogs are found very cute and desirable by many people and that they quickly find buyers who are willing to pay a lot of money for something that hardly a reputable breeder elsewhere would want to offer. The term “teacup” was invented at some point as a kind of “advertising slogan”. It's not an officially recognized term that serious breeders would use, just a slang term. Just like the expression "Mini Prager Rattler", which also originally comes from the sales advertisements of dealers.
IS THE PRAGUE RATTLER THE SMALLEST DOG IN THE WORLD?
No, this is probably impossible. The breed standard of the Chihuahua describes a weight of 500 grams to 3 kg. He has been the smallest dog in the world for many decades. A weight below this is anatomically impossible, since such a tiny dog would no longer be viable! Many Prague ratter dealers and hobby breeders now want a ratter to weigh between 1 and 2 kg. This is exactly the weight range that was also considered ideal for a Chihuahua for years (until you learned about damage, but more on that later ...). The rattler cannot be called smaller than the Chihuahua. Again, this is just another slogan with which dubious breeders and dealers try to draw the buyers' attention to their puppies and to encourage them to buy. Because people always want something extraordinary and new! Many people who are interested in a rattler and are still novice dogs do not know that a large number of dwarf dog breeds in the weight range of 1-2 kg are now being bred and that this has not been anything special for years! Yorkshire terrier or toy poodle, for example, and a few other breeds can now be found in such small sizes.
IMPORTANT: One could easily breed any smaller breed of dog within a few generations to the lowest possible limit of the body size of dogs (approx. 500 grams). This is not only the case with some specific breeds, e.g. the Prague Ratter, and absolutely no proof of racial unity! Of course, you also have to consider that in nature the smallest puppies in a litter are almost always the weakest and most vulnerable, and most of them do not survive, but in any case would never reproduce! Such “poor babies” are often premature births, may be lagging behind, have any physical or organic abnormalities, are more susceptible to disease and simply do not have the necessary vitality like their larger littermates.
However, all dwarf dog breeds have the peculiarity that they lack a certain growth hormone, so that on average they remain so much smaller than their larger conspecifics. This mutation arose sometime by chance in dog breeding from long ago, probably in several different countries and was further bred by humans. The Prague Ratter is, so to speak, nothing more than a Doberman with too little growth hormones and therefore in a dwarf format. The reason for the dwarfism of the rattler in this case is NOT that these dogs are all inherently weak "poor people", although this mutation would have had difficulties to survive anywhere in the wild. But of course there are also "stunted" litters in dwarf dogs that are not actually intended by nature to survive or reproduce. Most miniature dogs of up to two kilograms are much more likely to have difficulty giving birth. A noticeable number of other complaints then accumulate under 1.5 kg. Such tiny creatures can also be found in litters of normal-sized dwarf dogs and if they survive they deserve a loving home as pure animal lovers. However, they have no place in serious dog breeding. From the often rigorous point of view of nature, to put it bluntly, one would not multiply anything other than cripples! Seen in this way it seems insane and inhuman to have the desire to own a cripple or to support a "breeder" who breeds with animals for which every birth means great danger to life and whose pups will inherit this pathological size.
MINIZWERG DOGS AND THE GERMAN ANIMAL PROTECTION LAW AGAINST "QUALZUCHT"
Surely some of you are still wondering what on earth we have against mini-rattlers, that we write such "bad things" about them !!! These animals are no different from larger rattlers, just smaller and sweeter!
But unfortunately that is not the case. As already mentioned, the Chihuahua is the smallest dog in the world and there are a number of other breeds that have been bred as small as possible for years. Over the years, one has had very bad experiences with the breeding goal of having the smallest possible dwarf dogs. It has been shown that dwarf dog breeds, especially the smallest ones, today suffer from a variety of serious illnesses and other health problems. Scientific studies and statistics from veterinary institutes have long since proven this. Experienced, responsible miniature dog breeders and veterinarians also strongly advocate miniature dog breeds weighing a healthy 2-7 kg.
This went so far that in 1995, when the German torture breeding law was to be passed, many sides demanded that the breeding of some dog breeds that are too overbred (torture breeding) should be completely forbidden! Because the new torture breeding paragraph of the Animal Welfare Act expressly forbids breeding with animals whose offspring have to reckon with foreseeable physical or mental suffering!
The smallest dog in the world, the Chihuahua, was one of the breeds endangered by the breeding ban. The Association for German Dogs (VDH), the most influential German dog breeding association and its three breed specialty clubs that look after the Chihuahua, were just able to prevent this. New breeding regulations for the Chihuahua were established, including that breeding with animals under 2 kg was strictly prohibited!
All official breed standards (precisely formulated regulations for the ideal appearance of the individual dog breeds) are set by the FCI (the largest international umbrella organization for pedigree dog clubs) and its affiliated national associations (e.g. in De der VDH).
What many do not know: All other pedigree dog clubs that do not belong to an umbrella organization affiliated to the FCI, such as the VDH, also orient themselves to the FCI standards, but MUST not adhere to them, but can define their own rules.
This has the disadvantage that the German animal protection law was satisfied with the new breeding rules of the VDH (and the Chihuahua was not banned), but ignored the numerous pedigree dog associations, which do not have to comply with the rules of the VDH.
It would of course be more sensible and responsible if all German dog breeding clubs, including those outside the VDH / FCI, would forbid breeding with dogs under 2 kg, as this ultimately also violates our animal welfare law! But as before, especially small dwarf dogs simply sell better and more expensive. And because the smaller clubs outside the VDH often have to fight hard for membership numbers and their financial existence, the breeding rules here (not everywhere, but often) are rather relaxed.
An important point is that the Prague Ratter is ONLY recognized by the FCI in his home country of the Czech Republic. But in the Czech Republic there is no animal protection law, so a breed standard or a breeding goal for the Prague rattler has been set there, which is only based on a desired ideal of beauty of the breeders. This means that the breed clubs there are not forced by law to protect pedigree dogs from disease-causing breeding goals. In a certain way, breeders in the Czech Republic can decide for themselves and find out when a breeding goal makes an animal sick and to what extent they would like to accept this in favor of beauty. And the profession of dog breeder is practiced all over the world (including in Germany!) Amateurs who can simply start without any training or proof of specialist / prior knowledge. (YOU could also do this tomorrow if you have a pedigree bitch with papers and are affiliated with a breed association of your choice - nothing more is necessary to call yourself a breeder)
In the Czech Republic, like everywhere else, there are of course some breeders who love their dogs so much that they take good care of their health and are very well informed. One should just not assume that the Czech standard already includes protection against hereditary diseases and overbreeding. So one must not forget that the Czech breed standard of the Prague Ratter in Germany would have to be changed in terms of weight in order to be compatible with our animal welfare law.
Because the Prager Rattler is not yet recognized by the German FCI Rassehundeverband (VDH), or is not yet allowed to be bred in this club, there is still no breed standard that one has to / can adhere to in this country. In Germany, the Prague Ratter is only bred in pedigree dog clubs that exist outside of the VDH and the FCI.
On the one hand, this means that in the German Prager Ratter breed you don't actually have to submit to any particularly strict rules. You CAN orientate yourself to the Czech standard, but you don't have to, because it is the FCI standard that has no influence on outside clubs. One does not have to orientate oneself to the German Animal Welfare Act, because this is only controlled and enforced within the VDH. In other words: Even among German Prague Ratter breeders, every breeder can decide for himself how responsibly he wants to deal with the health and the entire breed of the Prague Ratter! And here, too, there are such and such breeders, also because you don't have to have learned the profession of dog breeder beforehand.
This is one of the reasons why German Prager Ratter breeders abroad are viewed with a great deal of suspicion and do not have the best reputation. The many small clubs that are independent of the VDH are also currently trying very hard to win over profitable Prague rattle breeders, among other things to stabilize their club financially. Unfortunately, in some clubs, rattlers in extremely small sizes and with hereditary diseases are often allowed to breed. Rattler puppies are in great demand at the moment and represent a financial injection for the club, which no club wants to miss. All clubs know: If you are rejected from one club with a bad breeding dog, you will go to the next club and do your thing with the competition.
HOW SMALL DOES THE PRAGER RATTLER REALLY BELONG?
The Prague Ratter has only been bred in a planned manner since 1980, which means only for 27 years (a very short time in dog breeding!). So since 1980 there has been a breed standard in the Czech Republic, which the chairmen of a purebred dog club thought together at the time. Since then, the breeding animals of Czech Prague Rattlers, whose puppies are to receive a certificate of parentage (papers) from the Czech Ratter Breeding Club, must meet the breed standard and have received a breeding license from the club at an exhibition. Each breed standard is nothing more than a precisely formulated breeding goal, which some influential people in an association imagined when the breed was founded. In all breeds, however, there have been changes in the standard over the years, which are determined by fashion and the ideas of the current board of a dog club and are always interpreted differently.
CAUTION: Please do not think that the breed standard of a dog breed can be compared with the description of a wild animal species such as the wolf, which has always been this way since time immemorial, is always preserved in its original state and can be precisely determined by each user in a manual. As a layperson, you cannot simply read through the breed standard for every dog breed and then reliably recognize which dog belongs to a certain breed and which does not. Because the breed standard and its interpretation keep changing, but not every breeder is always up to date!
Almost all dog breeds originated at some point in the beginning from a relatively inconsistent looking group of dogs that the first breeders selected when starting a breed. Due to the strict selection of only those animals that were regarded as ideal by the following generations (and unfortunately also through inbreeding) our dog breeds became what they are today.
A breed that looks completely uniform at some point is also referred to as "well-bred" (everything that is inconsistent has been eliminated). This uniform appearance, adapted to the breed standard (which nature achieves in wild animals over millennia through natural selection and environmental adaptation), is what humans try to achieve in a few decades at exhibitions and through inbreeding of the individual dog breeds. Breeds whose individual specimens almost look like cloned, such as the German Shepherd Dog or the Golden Retriever, have been adapted to the breed standard, which demands uniform beauty, in a very short time (since the beginning of 1900). However, breeds always lose their original appearance and (through inbreeding and overbreeding) their health, which a dog needed in the past, especially as a working dog (in the past almost all dogs were working dogs) and still needs today! The invention of the breed standards at the beginning of 1900 led to the strictly subdivided breeds, which should look uniformly beautiful and unmistakable and therefore could no longer be crossed with each other (in the past, dog breeds were occasionally crossed with each other to improve the breed and refresh blood).
In many cases, however, dog breeds today are only caricatures of themselves because breed characteristics have been exaggerated too much. If you see e.g. German Shepherds or Chihuahuas before 1950, as a layperson you often think at first that it is a completely different breed!
The Prague Ratter AND the Miniature Pinscher are both breeds that, for various reasons (the Ratter has not been rediscovered long and the Pinscher was never a fashion or show dog that should be flawlessly beautiful), are NOT particularly well bred.
Animals of the same breed of dog can (as in the past) have very different sizes or different proportions.With every breed there are also breeders who stay true to the old breed type (performance breeding) and the others who try to breed according to the fashion and the current breed standard (show or beauty breeding).
Larger Prague Rattlers and Miniature Pinschers are often similar, but of course that is by no means a reason to want the Rattler to be smaller than the Miniature Pinscher if it wasn't before and if it is bad for your health !!! These (and other) dog breeds are related to each other and are similar to each other, like the English Toy Terrier, the Rattero Mallorcin (pied piper breed from Mallorca) or the Manchester Terrier. Nevertheless, it is mainly the typical proportions of a breed and not the size that determine the breed affiliation of an individual animal.
Before 1980, the Prague Ratter breed was almost extinct, as mentioned above, and can only be found sporadically as a rat catcher on rural farms, from where the breed got its name. The Prague Ratter was therefore not a small lap dog before 1980 (even if it may have been a long time ago in the noble houses), or a companion dog or dwarf dog (by the way, this means a group of dog breeds that EXCLUSIVELY as companions of humans and are bred without particular suitability for a work area).
Formerly in the Czech Republic in the country, where luxury dogs were certainly never bought, was a small dog that hunted rats, a so-called working dog (the opposite of society dog), because his job was killing vermin and reporting strangers on the farm was. A tender, sensitive luxury dog with health problems would certainly not have been needed there, or had been fed with it! Sick, weak animals would inevitably have died there at some point, just like wild animals in nature.
Originally the Prague was something like a small terrier, a small hunting and court dog and very closely related to the German pinscher and miniature pinscher, which are also old court and hunting dogs. However, all small terrier breeds must have a certain size and stability for the hunt for rats, because rats can become very large and dangerous and are able to kill and eat piglets, chickens and other small animals without problems! In the same way, a rat could easily kill a Prague ratter who is too small. So it is very likely that the Prague Ratter was at least 2-3kg at that time, but probably more like other small hunting dogs about 5kg in weight (larger specimens, up to Parson Jack Russel size not excluded).
We have already heard the funny rumor that the Prague ratter is said to have hunted IN the rat den and that is why it is to be bred so tiny today. This is of course complete nonsense! Rat holes are very narrow that a ratter would have to be under 10 cm tall to squeeze into them. And with this tiny size it would hardly be viable, let alone be able to fight off one or more extremely agile rats, wedged in a narrow hole. Small hunting dog breeds that hunt in burrows (fox, badger, hare, etc.) are also "low legs", so they have short legs. Best example of the Dachshund, West Highland Terrier or Jack Russell Terrier. The Prague Ratter, on the other hand, is rather tall and elegant, like the large hunting dog breeds (Weihmaraner, Grosspudel Pointer, etc.). He hunts by sight, preferably in a group (they circle the prey) and in the open, whereby the rattler can develop a lot of speed and agility thanks to the long, muscular legs and is even able to cope with such a well-fortified rat!
In the meantime, most breeders want the Prague Ratter, as I said, in pocket format (1-2kg) and as a pure lap and companion dog. However, this can by no means be its nature and its original appearance!
Another point why extreme tinyness does not suit the rattler: The Prague ratter still has the character of a hunting dog. They don't just want to lie around and cuddle all day, like other dwarf breeds, but often overwhelm their owners with their enthusiasm for movement and their desire to be constantly occupied (the will to work is in their blood from birth). Due to their nature, Prague rattlers are much more difficult to train, because they were bred to hunt independently for a very long time without the influence of a guide. So the ratter has a mind of his own.
With the wrong upbringing and too little activity, rattlers can develop some unpleasant traits that a novice dog (who usually underestimate the rattler) can no longer cope with. Destruction rage, howling and screaming in the absence of the owner, uncleanliness in the living area, pinching and biting, defending toys, aggression against conspecifics and children, as well as constant yapping are common reasons for selling Prague rattlers. A noticeable number of rattlers also die in accidents because they are too brave for their small size and attack larger dogs or run away and stray and then die in an accident.
Dog sports such as agility or a basic course in a dog school are ideal in order to steer the typical character of the Prague rattler in the right direction and to keep it busy enough. It will replace the hunt work and help the owner get along better with this BIG dog in a small package. But mini dogs under 2 kg are often too small and too sensitive or often have skeletal disorders, so that they cannot participate in something like this or only with restrictions.
Most of the time, however, novice dogs buy a Prague ratter because they consider it a simple dog due to its small size. But if he does not keep what was promised of him, a rattler puppy (often bought from a dealer in Germany for little money) is given back just as quickly as it was bought because there is no time, money or desire, more to commit to a harmonious coexistence. This could certainly often be prevented if the buyers of Prague Rattler puppies were informed from the beginning that this breed is not a typical, easily trainable lap dog breed, as many believe, but is very agile and idiosyncratic !!!
How does extreme dwarfism harm your dog's health?
This is the general name given to a phenomenon that can be observed in all dwarf dog breeds. The smaller a dog is, the more you can observe that the body proportions change in contrast to large dogs. The smaller the dog, the larger the eyes in relation to the head, the larger the head in relation to the body, the more arched the forehead, the shorter the muzzle in relation to the skull, the larger the teeth in relation to the size of the muzzle, the larger the teeth Kneecap in relation to the thin thighbone of the hind leg and the larger the organs inside the dog. What this creates seems very pleasant at first glance. It is nothing more than the well-known “child pattern” to which our heart reacts emotionally and, especially in women, arouses the desire to have something so cute to take care of. Basically, that is not a bad thing if it is not exaggerated! Experience shows that dogs up to a minimum size of 2-3 kg also show signs of dwarfism, but are on average much healthier than dogs under 2 kg.
Pathological consequences of dwarfing symptoms:
If a dog becomes too small or is descended from extreme dwarfs (pathological dwarfing symptoms are also passed on to larger offspring of miniature dwarf dogs), the following health problems can arise:
1. Sensitive, vulnerable eyes that are so large that they protrude from the eye sockets and have tear ducts that are too narrow, which means that the tear fluid does not drain away and runs down the corner of the eye
2. Water-headedness, intellectual disability, seizures, paper-thin skull bones (partially open fontanelles when Chihuahuas crossbreed)
3. If the muzzle is too short, the airways are narrowed - the teeth are too big and are so narrow that they grow crooked, a lot of tartar accumulates, milk teeth cannot fall out, teeth fall out early or individual teeth do not even grow in the first place
4. Jaw abnormalities such as undershot or undershot bite
5. Narrowed windpipe that leads to attacks of suffocation
6. Soft soft palate too long, the dog shows what is known as "sneezing backwards"
7. The heart is enlarged and presses on the lungs - poor condition is a warning signal
8. The kneecap is too big to get hold of the thin thighbone and slips out regularly (patella luxation) or the fine bones do not form "crests" and "furrows" so that the kneecap is also very loose and slips out (very painful, often requires surgery)
9. Thin, fragile, brittle bones
10. Shortened lifetime in some cases only 2-3 years
11. Puppies that are very large in relation to the bitch and often do not fit through the birth canal - caesarean section, danger to life for mother and puppy, expensive surgery
12. Small litters and the resulting inadequate labor at birth - caesarean section, see above.
13. High risk of anesthesia - the dosage for anesthesia is heavy and there is a high risk that a dog will die during the operation
WHY HEALTHY SIZE PRAGER RATTLER ARE OUR CHOICE
We have now tried to explain to you as well as possible why WE cannot imagine breeding Prague rattlers under 2 kg and have dealt with the subject ourselves in detail, so. Because of course we would also have the opportunity to acquire smaller breeding animals if we wanted to.
But we consciously orientate ourselves on a very likely original size of the Prague ratter of 2-4 kg, whereby bitches for unproblematic births should preferably have at least about 3 kg, which has also been good experiences with the Chihuahua nowadays. So there are mostly natural births and healthy litter sizes of approx. 3-7 puppies. Hereditary diseases are also much rarer. Our rattlers are big enough for dog sports, for jogging, hiking, cycling and for families with children who want to run around with the dog without hurting it. Even large dog owners, with 2-4 kg rattlers, can take a dwarf dog as a second dog, much more safely. Nevertheless, these Prague rattlers are still small enough to be carried around comfortably for a while, to cuddle on your lap in the evening, to sleep in bed with you, to be kept in an apartment and to be taken anywhere without taking up too much space or worrying about you to trigger strangers.
We learn from the experiences with the breeding of the real smallest dog in the world, the Chihuahua, which is also often bred again today between 2-4 kg and has thus regained much better health, although he is still under the wrong breeding goals of the past Has to suffer for decades that cannot be eliminated anytime soon.
And last but not least, we feel responsible for the puppies we breed and want to do everything we can to ensure that they have a long, symptom-free life. We also think of our puppy buyers, who should ultimately enjoy a healthy, versatile miniature dog.
We do not address the people who are looking for a small pocket dog ratter at all. That is why we stand by our bigger rattlers from the start and do not claim that our puppies are small. They are small, but in healthy proportions!
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