We keep chickens and ducks at our house which is rather rural. Our road is the last road in the town. On the other side of the road, the farm fields begin. We see owls, buzzards, hawks, kestrels and stoats. There is a multitude of wildlife and the rats are easy prey for these creatures I've mentioned.
However, because we are close to the fields, some of the vermin like mice do nest in the shed. Our chicken coup is often visited by rats that come from the fields. Our mongrel dog, Dotty, will spend all day in the garden if she knows there are rats and mice.
About eight months ago we were putting a new floor in the old shed which the chickens use. It is inside their coup. Dotty was nosing around in her usual way when a rat jumped out and hid under a water bucket. My wife put the hose on and flooded the creature out. The second time Dotty pounced like grease lightning and caught the screaming rat. Snarling and chomping, Dotty quickly killed the rat, which we had to prize from her.
Our dog did good and we let her know this. Over the months we've let her wonder freely because she hunts the mice too. She has caught several out by the sheds and greenhouse.
On Sunday my wife, Carole, reported that a new rat had moved into the chicken coup below the shed again. We blocked off all air ports and summoned Dotty, who knew exactly what the problem was. This was today on Tuesday 3rd November 2015.
As we cordoned the air holes leading into my driving port, we blocked off all but one escape route. Here Carole was poking the hose pipe into the hole that the rat had burrowed. On went the water and Dotty was standing on guard barely able to contain her excitement. Then as the water level rose the rat shot out just passed Carole's leg. She screamed out, but before the rat could even get a few steps away, Dotty pounced - snarling and biting and shaking the rat to death in a few split seconds.
We persuaded her to let go of her dead prize and took a photo. We made a big fuss of Dotty and gave her some ham and biscuits. Dotty is a born ratting dog and she loves hunting them. A very useful helper indeed.