There has only been an official FCI breed standard for the Pražský krysařík since 2019. Breeders have long fought for the recognition of the breed, which almost became extinct in the 1980s. The Prague Ratter is a clever companion dog that enjoys national dog status in the Czech Republic. With an average weight of 2.5 kilograms, he is a real toy dog who wants to be treated like a big dog.
Risk of Confusion with Other Toy Dogs
Prague Ratters are often confused with other breeds because of their petite build and prick ears. For laypeople, they can hardly be distinguished from Miniature Pinschers, which are somewhat larger and more powerfully built and are only bred in dark colors. They are more like the Chihuahua but have a pear-shaped head with a longer muzzle
Weight and height
- Males and females reach a height of 21 to 23 cm at the withers. Deviations of up to 1 cm are allowed inbreeding.
- The FCI specifies an ideal weight of 2.6 kilograms.
- American breeders prefer even smaller animals from 20 cm at the withers and 1.5 kg in weight.
External characteristics of the Prague Ratter in detail
- According to the FCI, the head must be longer than it is wide, and the muzzle must not be more than half the length of the head. The lips are tight. The stop is pronounced and the almond-shaped eyes are set wide apart and match the color of the coat.
- The ears are set far back and are carried slightly angled outwards. They are triangular, strong, and do not bend even when not in use.
- On the body, the chest reaches halfway up to the height at the withers, with the belly line slightly tucked up. The shoulders and hip bones are not as heavily muscled as in the Miniature Pinscher and stand out slightly.
- The fore and hind legs are finely built according to the body size, but at the same time well muscled. The step is spacious and light.
- The tail is strong and is usually carried upright, although it may bend over the back in an arc. It must not be docked and should reach the hock.
Coat and colors: Often black, rarely multicolored
Two coat variants are bred in the Czech Republic: The short coat variant with a smooth, shiny coat is widespread. There is also a variant with medium-length hair that forms fringes on the chest, ears, back of legs, and tail.
- Black (also grey)
- Brown (dark brown to beige)
- Blue (dark to mouse gray)
- Dilute brightening of the primary colors are permissible
- If the base color is dark, tan markings are desirable
Origin and Emergence: More Toy Spaniels Than Pinschers
Although a close relationship with the German Miniature Pinscher cannot be denied, the Rattler is genetically more closely related to the Continental Miniature Spaniel. The Prague Ratter is a surprisingly old dog breed, having been purebred for over 1000 years. They served as pet dogs for the upper classes in the Middle Ages, but with their excellent sense of smell and seriousness, they also made excellent domestic pied pipers. The fearless dwarfs were also used as stable dogs.
A rare sight
- The breed has historically been a rarity, with female dogs only giving birth to 1-3 puppies per litter.
- It is estimated that there are only around 6000 purebred Pražský Krysařík worldwide.
- Toy dogs have also been in high demand among the middle class since the end of the Cold War. In the 1980s, breeding of the endangered breed was resumed, especially in the Czech Republic and Scandinavia.
Nature and Character: The Prague Ratter is an Adaptable Bully
The breed combines traits of Pied Piper dogs and lapdogs. They form a close bond with their owner and love attention and affection. At the same time, they are active and not squeamish when playing. They will adapt to the owner’s lifestyle – provided they are sufficiently occupied with toys and intelligence training.
Typical character traits at a glance
- Active and fun
- Obedient and loyal
- Poor socialization can lead to the “Small Dog Syndrome” (aggressiveness when insecure)
- Reluctant to strangers
- Confident and brave
Who is the Prague Ratter the right dog for?
City dwellers and singles
The little whirlwinds feel just as comfortable in apartments as in the palaces of the medieval upper class. Given enough exercise, they can easily be kept as apartment dogs, rarely barking and not destroying furniture. They also do very well as office dogs and quickly become the darling of the department. The clingy mini-dogs can occupy themselves by the hour if being alone in puppyhood is properly practiced.
Elderly and disabled dog owners
The mini dogs are easy to lead on a leash and want to make their owner happy at all costs. Although they are very active and sometimes short-tempered in play, they are also good for the elderly and those with mobility needs. If there is a dog park nearby where they can freely work out, they can easily adjust their speed on the leash.
The Rattler feels comfortable in the family circle but clearly prefers his main caregiver. He enjoys playing with children and quickly learns new tricks. When playing, however, he doesn’t put up with everything and has a relatively low stimulus threshold.