Thursday, July 7, 2011

Unusual Breed: Pražský Krysařík

A typical black and tan Pražský Krysařík
Also known as the Prague ratter, it is said that it could be the smallest breed in the world. Though the record smallest dog is a Chihuahua, as a breed the Chihuahua can be fairly large. So, as Irish wolfhounds are the largest breed but the record is held by a great Dane, it is possible this claim could be true. The breed was developed in the Czech Republic and is currently not accepted by any major breed registry.

This tiny breed was bred to be non-utilitarian. Due to this, the name "Prague ratter" is probably not in reference to the dog's abilities in killing rats. It is usually seen in a smooth coated black and tan, but red or other differently colored dogs and dogs with longer fur are sometimes seen. It is rarely seen outside of Prague. They are very delicate with thin leg bones that are prone to being broken. I am unsure of other health problems in the breed, but patellar luxation is mention on the Pražský Krysařík Club of Czech Republic website.

Unfortunately, I was unable to obtain much information on this breed in English. Because of this, my main source for material was Dr. Bruce Fogle's The New Encyclopedia of the Dog. According to this book, the Prague ratter is characterized as follows:

Height: 6-9 inches (16-22 cm)
Weight: 2-6 pounds (1-3 kg)

Here is the standard from the Pražský Krysařík Club of Czech Republic.

Image is from Wikimedia Commons under a creative commons license.

8 comments:

  1. They look like deer.

    We should import them as "deer dogs."

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  2. Sounds better than a "ratter" that can't hunt rats.

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  3. That actually were used to kill rats around the castle ground. They were mainly kept by royalty in Poland and Czech. They are a pretty common breed where I live in Germany. Mine is also very keen on searching for mice in the tobacco fields next to where I live

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  4. That may be true, but a two pound dog taking on a mouse is very different from a two pound dog taking on a rat. Rats have very sharp teeth, are quite strong, and can weight as much as two pounds (possibly more) themselves. When pit against a dog that was bred down from a creature much larger in size, and sue to this breeding has small, soft teeth and delicate bones, you can clearly see why I'm skeptical.

    Whether or not they once hunted rats, their current size and shape wouldn't prove very effective against a rat.

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  5. my Prazsky randomly died with accelerated heart rate with in the first 2 years, anybody know any information on this?

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    1. I wish I did. I haven't been able to find any information on heart issues in the breed. It may have been an unfortunate fluke or it may be sometime that occurs but isn't well reported.

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  6. They are an awesome breed!! Think 4 pound lab (high energy, really intelligent, and strong desire to please). They are also really sweet and patient with kids & strangers. They are nothing like the chihuahuas or min pins they're mistaken for. They aren't as fragile as you've been lead to believe either. My 7 year old is a jumper with muscular legs and they're no more fragile than any other long legged dog. I would love for more people to know about these pups. They are sweet, graceful, smart, and travel-sized!

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  7. Yes, I agree; these dogs are the best possible breed! The one I have is infinitely cuddly while also loving to play. He is silent when I carry him around in his carrier. He is friendly and affectionate with kids, strangers, and other animals. He is obedient and learns tricks easily. He is healthy with a shiny, silken coat that does not shed. He keeps up with me on daily jogs and he loves to faithfully retrieve balls as though he is a Lab. Sweet little angel dog.

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