Thursday, August 30, 2012

Now that I am back in town, I will be working on the next article. :-)
I can't believe September is here already!  As always, summer was too short!

I just spent some time in VT visiting a friend and helping her VT Total Doberman Club put on the UDC (United Doberman Club) New England Regional show.  One of her dogs took Best of Breed on Saturday, Aug 25! Then Sunday took Best Opposite Sex. Her young dog picked up another youth CC. My friend had a very successful weekend! 

We were all very busy setting up, running and taking down the show. Overall I had a fantastic weekend!

I always bring my dog, Drako. He thoroughly enjoys running around on the very large property my friend owns.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Why You Should Get More Than One Rat

Rats are intelligent and highly social animals. They live in colonies that range in size depending on resources and other factors. In good conditions, the colony is often quite large. Within the group, a social structure is necessary for the health and happiness of the group. Their complex communication provides the colony with information about their surroundings, where to find food, where dangers may be, and even inform the others about any poisonous foods. The colony provides the social interaction that only other rats can provide. Other rats provide play, someone to cuddle and sleep with, protection, safety and comfort. A lone rat's existence is like keeping a dog chained to a dog house without human interaction. I think many people could understand that analogy. At least I hope so!

Humans are just not able to provide the same continuous interaction a rat needs and craves. A lone rat will survive, but its existence will be very lonely and the rat will be depressed. When a rat is depressed and is stressed too. This leaves the rat vulnerable to physical and behavioral problems. A stressed rat has a lowered immune system and thus it becomes much more susceptible to diseases, such as Mycoplasma. This means vet bills and probably a shorter lifespan of your rat. Why put your pet rat through all that!

A lone rat is likely to have behavioral changes too. Your rat will not bond to you in any different or better way than if you have 2 or more. It could be quite the contrary! Your rat could become shy and not want to come out of its cage. It may startle easily and run to hide from what it perceives as a threat. It might even become defensive and aggressive. Your lone rat doesn't have other rats to provide security, so it feels "open and exposed to danger."
It's best to have a pair or more of the same sex in a cage large enough to accommodate the number of rats you have. (See the article on housing). Making certain they are all the same sex will prevent unwanted litters. You could be stuck and quickly become overwhelmed with 15 or more babies that in only 5 or 6 weeks could be breeding even more litters!

These are all reasons why a breeder will only sell rats in same-sex pairs. A good breeder will only let somebody take one rat if they are certain the person already has another rat to give the new one company of its own kind.

I do hope this article has provided you with the understanding of why you should acquire 2 or more rats instead of just one. Believe me, your rats will be grateful!

I meant to get the next article out by the end of last week, but am just now writing it. It will be on why rats need company, i.e. why you should get more than one as pets.

There should be news soon abut whether Nibbles is pregnant or not.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I am working on my next article and hope to have it finished by the end of the week.

I am placing a pair together for breeding this weekend. The female, MWR Never Say Goodbye,  is a black berkshire and the sire will be MWR Excaibur, a Russian Blue berkshire blazed dumbo. I might also place Never Say Goodbye's brother, MWR Nimbus with MWR My Fair Lady Sukha. Nimbus and Excalibur can be seen on my boys' page: and Sukha on my girls'page:

Monday, August 6, 2012

Here is the final installment of this article on, How to Find a Responsible breeder. I hope this article has been helpful and informative for you!

A few other comments about responsible breeders:

1. The breeder you are "interviewing" should be honest with the answers they give. Just because they don't know everything doesn't necessarily mean they are a bad or irresponsible breeder. If they are honest and don't have an answer don't think the worst of them. It might be they never had that experience, or maybe they are working with a new line, in which case, they have reason to not know certain information. For instance they can't say for sure the average longevity of the line. All they could say is what the other breeder told them to expect. If they haven't been working with a line very long then they should not take credit for the other breeder's work.

2. At the end of the day, follow your intuition. If something doesn't sound right, or too good to be true, then that might be the case.

3.While at the breeder's home keep an ear out for chronic wheezing and sneezing coming from one or many rats. If you do hear
this ask the breeder about it. How old are the rats? If they are 2+ - 3+ years old then you don't need to be as concerned, unless it is several rats doing this. Like elderly humans and other elderly animals the immune system weakens and illnesses often occur.

4. They should be willing to take the rats they have bred back if the owners can no longer keep them. At the very least, they should help place them. They should inform you of this before you take your rats home.

5. The breeder should have asked information from you if you are already prepared to get rats and how you will care for your rats before they let them leave their premises. These pups are their babies and they won't them to go to the homes!

Finally, the breeder should be available to you for the life of your rats, and that means 2+ years. They should take time to answer your questions and concerns. Please keep in mind, if this is a responsible breeder, you are going to be entering into a type of partnership or friendship with the breeder for the life of your rats. * So, with this cooperation in mind, you should keep the breeder up-to-date of any health issues your rats develop, so they can adjust their breeding program for the line. *

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Here is the 3rd installment. There will be another following this. Hopefully that will be finished in one or two days.

6.      Do you plan on keeping any from this litter?  Breeders typically only breed to keep their lines going – they breed for themselves, for the love of rats and to improve them - not to make money off of litters. I consider breeders that don't keep any from a litter suspect, unless there is a good reason for it.

7.      May I meet the parents? I have found good breeders generally let you see the parents, but some may be worried about illnesses being brought in if you are a current rat owner.  That is why some ratteries are closed to the public. You can’t blame them for that, because an illness brought in could devastate their rattery. I advise that you respect and abide by any precautions the breeder asks you to follow. They are only being responsible in taking care of their colony’s health.

8.      Do you screen potential adopters?  The answer should be, yes, and they tell you how they screen.

9.      If you don’t have any litters or pups available, who do you recommend? Typically a responsible breeder will only recommend another good breeder or a rescue.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

This is the second installment on the "How to find a responsible breeder." Here are some questions to ask breeders that you are considering getting rats from.  More questions will follow in the next installment.

Many breeders will have answered some or all of these questions on their website.

1.      What are your breeding goals? The breeder should be able to tell you what their “mission” is with their rattery. They should have over-all goals for their rattery and specific goals for each line they work with.

2.      What are your specialties? Each rattery should have specific lines and specialties. That means they have particular colors/varieties that they work with. If they just put 2 rats together to produce babies, and there is no real reason behind it, steer away!

3.      Do you have any pet store or rescue rats in your pedigrees? They shouldn’t!  It is a very rare occasion that a breeder might do this, but they should have an excellent reason for doing so!  There are enough responsible breeders out there that have long lineages on their rats that a good breeder can turn to, even if it means traveling some distance or paying for shipping (only a few breeders ship though). Each breeder should have a lot of information they can share with another breeder about the line’s health and temperament, so any new addition to a rattery has a known history.  Pet store and rescues’ health history is an unknown.

4.      What was the goal for the litter I am interested in? Everyone can say, “I really liked their temperaments,” or, “they have really pretty colors,” or “I wanted to have another rat just like their mom/dad.” A good breeder will tell you something more specific about their goal for this breeding, for example, improving type: the body, head, ears, color, or tail length; or improvement of temperament.

     5. How is the health in the line, especially the parents and grandparents? The answer should be   
         easy if the breeder has been working with a line for many generations. The longer they have
         worked with a line, the more knowledge they have of any health issues in the line. They might
         still have the grandparents and possibly even the great grandparents if the line tends to live
         longer than the average. If the line is new they might not have the grandparents – if still alive. If
         this is the case, then they should give the other breeder credit if they state the line is really

Friday, August 3, 2012

Now that everything seems to be well with linking to this page from my website, I am beginning my first article to post here. It is titled, "How to find a good, responsible breeder."  Here are the first couple of paragraphs.

If you are thinking about getting a rat for the first time, or looking to get more rats, but would like to know how to find a good breeder, I hope this article will help. I cannot over-emphasize the importance of thoroughly researching breeders! There are SO many elements involved with breeding good rats, than just putting a pair together to raise a litter. Sadly, there are numerous unscrupulous individuals posing as good breeders or trying to sell you a "rare" color or type of rat and charging outrageous prices! The internet makes it much easier for these unethical types to fool a prospective buyer.  You and your family could regret not choosing the right breeder!

Once you have spent time to research fancy rats to be certain they are the pets for you and your family, then the search begins. There are many factors to consider, and you need to arm yourself with knowledge. That means be prepared to ask the breeder questions. The breeder shouldn’t mind taking the time to answer your questions. After all, they should want to have their prospective adopters as knowledgeable as possible.

My next post will have a list of questions that you might consider asking the breeder/s you are considering adopting (purchasing) from. The article in it's entirety will be found on my website sometime soon.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

This whole process - trying to figure how to connect my site to this blog, has been a challenge. Especially for somebody that isn't that great with detail! Despite the challenge of having to go through the DNS on my website, it seems to have worked.

Now that is taken care of, I can get on with using this blog as a learning tool for rat owners, especially for new rat owners or those just considering bringing rats into their family.
Well maybe I finally found out what the link is for this blog to be accessed from my home page. It wasn't as easy as just copying it from the address bar! Then again maybe the link was only to the "I give up" post page. Guess I'll find out after I post this.

I Give Up!

I am SO FRUSTRATED!  I've been trying to find a way to just add a link from my website to this blog, but nothing is working that I've tried. I can't find any help for it and I can't even sign into the blogger discussion group to post a question!  I GIVE UP and may just go back to posting on my news page

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

It's been a long time again since I've blogged. In part because I went without a computer for nearly 2 months! I just bought a new one 1.5 weeks ago. So now I can start up again.

I have taken the time to add some links to my link page:
There are many links for rat related items for people: gifts, t-shirts, mugs, jewelry and so much more.

I also finally added an on-line application form!