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Training For Rat-killing Matches

Discussion in 'APBT History' started by Rocky H. Balboa, Feb 24, 2009.

    For Fox-Terriers, Black and Tan Terriers, and Small Bull-Terriers, or any Rat-Killing Dogs or Bitches.

    Speed is the main thing to train for, but the dog's bite should also be trained, so that he will be a sure killer. A fat dog is generally of little account, as he possesses neither speed nor wind. However, I will give my method for taking off fat and producing speed, at the same time developing the bite. Ten days is plenty of time to condition a dog for a short ratting contest.

    For the first day's work give your dog a run of five minutes on the training machine (described elsewhere), following this with the fishing-pole work for about the same time. This will be enough work for the first day, as you must get the inside fat off the first thing. Feed your dog lightly once a day. Give him cold boiled water to drink This will aid in reducing his weight. After all, that is the main purpose in the training, inasmuch as the lighter the dog enters the pit the fewer rats he will have to kill.

    Repeat the work as above indicated for about five days After you have taken off your dog's extra flesh, work him entirely on the fishing-pole and spring-pole. Arrange the coonskin at such a height that the dog's fore feet are off the ground when he has hold of the coonskin Stop the dog as soon as his speed is gone, he has done enough for one work-out You may work him twice a day, if you think it desirable, but if you adopt this plan don't work him too long at a time Occasionally work him on the fishing-pole and coonskin by leaving the coonskin on the ground all the time, pulling it back and forth and around, exercising him to turn and snap quickly, as he will have to do in the rat pit A grass lawn or sandy ground is the best for this sort of work, so your dog will not hurt his feet Keep this work up as indicated till the morning of the match.


    1. Each dog must kill as many rats as he (the said dog) weighs pounds.

    2. Any dog exceeding one-quarter of a pound over the pounds he weighs is to kill one rat extra, unless otherwise agreed on.

    3. The name of the owner, the color, name, etc , of the dog, weight and number of rats they have to kill must be written on separate slips of card and put into a hat or can.

    4. A referee and a time-keeper to be appointed, with a stop-watch and another person to look over him, the time to be kept by one watch only, and in case of any dispute, the decision of the referee to be final.

    5. The smallest number of rats are to be put into the pit, a card is then to be drawn from the hat or can, and the number of rats named on it to be announced, and the rat catcher is to make up the number (if any is required) when the name of the owner and of his dog is to be announced.

    6. The second is to let the dog go when the timekeeper is ready to take the time by anyone that may be agreed on.

    7. The second is not to touch the dog or rat until he considers the rats are all dead He is then to pick up his dog and call time dead, the timekeeper to stop his watch and announce the time N B —If the second infringe upon this rule by touching the dog or rats for any purpose, the referee shall adjudge the dog to have lost the match.

    8. If the owners of any dogs not engaged in the match (but no other person) consider that the rats are not all killed, or that the second has picked up his dog foul—that is, he has taken up the dog before he had bitten all the rats—he is to appeal to the referee, and if he (the referee) considers that he has done so intentionally, the said dog to be excluded N B—if the referee considers that it is not a foul pick up, but that the rats are not all dead, he is to point them out, and if there is any doubt, the second is to tread on their tails, and if they crawl their whole length they are to be considered live rats, and the dog is to be put down again to kill them.


    1. The owner of each dog to provide, at the time named m the agreement, the number of rats that his dog is to kill.

    2. Half of each person's rats is to be put in the pit, and then toss for choice of rats; and if the winner of the toss chooses the rats that are in the pit, his dog is to kill the first.

    3. If one rat catcher finds rats for both parties, the rats (if possible) are all to be put 111 one cage; and the number of rats the first dog is to kill is to be put into the pit, when the parties are to toss for choice of rats, and the same proceedings to be observed as in Rule 2, unless otherwise agreed on. In all handicap matches each clog must kill an equal number of rats to the number of pounds he weighs.

    4. A five-pound dog to kill five rats; a ten pound dog to kill two rats extra; a fifteen-pound dog to kill three rats extra; a twenty-pound dog to kill four rats extra; a twenty-five pound dog to kill five rats extra, or one rat for every additional five pounds weight.

    5. Any dog weighing one, two, three or four pounds between any of the above weights, one second of time shall be allowed to the time he kills his quantity of rats in; for instance, a seventeen pound dog kills three rats in fourteen seconds, he is to have two seconds added to his time, because he weighs seventeen pounds, which is two pounds above the specified weight, viz.: a fifteen-pound dog to kill three rats, and so on in the same proportion.
  2. simms

    simms CH Dog

  3. Time for another bump since we have many new members......
  4. luge

    luge Big Dog

    good call on the bump rocky very interesting read thanks:D
  5. No problem members! There might be other "pit bull" oriented sites out there but unless they copy from us, none of them even come close to the wealth of information and knowledge....BAR NONE.


  7. Inter-tel

    Inter-tel Big Dog

    starting young dogs on vermin(mice/rats) is a good way to get them interested in hunting larger game when they are older. Just take em out in a field in the fall/winter or old structures and dumps. they kill a few and you will see em catch on quick. great way to spend time with your dog and it will help imo with conditioning later on. The foundations of prey drive being laid early.jmo.
  8. LOL @ crazycooter......you are a closet lover of the site now? Come on now, you know this site remains the best in the "World Wide Web"....hehehehe......

    The above was hand written by me but taken out of one of my older books......might dust it off again and pull some very old accounts from the early 1900s....
  9. Bxpits

    Bxpits CH Dog

    very good article
  10. Pit Bull Pride

    Pit Bull Pride Big Dog

    Good rea. Reminds me of when we turned our lil Patterdale pup we had onto rats for the first time....he loved it.....
  11. farm curs

    farm curs Big Dog

    My bitch lives to catch critters,mice,squirrels,opossums,rabitts.She will catch a bird in flight,ever since she was a pup she would watch the bird feeder just waiting and trying to jump high enough.She dives so deep inbetween the bales all you see is the tip of her tail.She is a joy to watch and earns her keep daily.
  12. Inter-tel

    Inter-tel Big Dog

    i hear ya its alot of fun. mine was up on the shop roof lastweek. i couldnt figure how the hell she got up there cause its a 5ft vertical wall on oneside and 15ft on the other. whatever, she loves to get after it.

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