Kathy Wakefield, from Tualatin, Oregon, grew up with two Rat Terriers — Kelly and Turbo. They were her best friends and learned every trick quickly and willingly. As an adult, Kathy decided it was the right time to get her own dog. She met a few different breeds, but they didn’t feel like the right fit. “I decided to look for a Rat Terrier,” she says, thinking back to her first two dogs. That’s when she found Kit.
When she first met with Kit’s breeder, Kit immediately curled up at her feet. Kathy knew right away she was the right dog. Plus, Kathy was already accustomed to the breed and was experienced with owning Terriers.
“Now that I have her, I think I will always be hooked on Rat Terriers,” Kathy says. “Rat Terriers are such an amazingly versatile breed. I love their drive, athleticism, intelligence, and loyalty. They have such a huge personality bundled up in the perfect size dog. You could say they are the total package!”
The Versatility of Rat Terriers
Kit certainly lives up to being versatile. She participates in CAT, Fast CAT, Trick Dog, and Barn Hunt. Her favorite? “FastCAT and Barn Hunt are her absolute favorites,” Kathy says. “Anything that really puts her prey drive to the test is extremely rewarding for both of us.”
The most important part of Kit’s training is keeping her healthy. Kathy carefully researches Kit’s exercise and diet regimen. On occasion, the pair attends Barn Hunt classes and FastCAT practices or they will work with a professional dog trainer.
In 2018, Kit won the Performance Ratter and Super Ratter awards for Barn Hunt at the Eukanuba AKC Performance Games. “She passed every single class we entered,” Kathy says. “She even managed to score bonus points in some of them. We brought home two HUGE ribbons and a lot of great memories!”
Getting Started in Dog Sports
Kathy’s advice for others looking to get started in dog sports is to go for it and try new things.
“It is so rewarding to see your dog have fun and see them reach their physical and intellectual potential,” she says. “I think that doing any kind of dog sport or activity with your dog really strengthens your bond with them. Find a local trainer or club that can help introduce your dog to an activity.”
Kathy wishes more people knew that Barn Hunt is open to all dogs — including mixed breeds — and not just Terriers. “Barn Hunt really tests a dog’s natural hunting instinct and ability, but also their partnership with their owner.” Plus, no rats are harmed in the process!
What better way to share Kit’s adventures in dog sports than on social media? Kathy started Kit’s Instagram in 2016 after borrowing a friend’s camera. That was when she realized Kit ended up being the subject of most (if not all) her photos. Can you blame her? The versatile Rat Terrier is on a mission to gain more titles and inspire others to compete.
Follow Kit’s journey through dog sports on Instagram. To find the right dog breed for you, check out the AKC Marketplace.
Any breed can participate in Barn Hunt and Fast CAT. To find out more, visit the Barn Hunt and Fast CAT page and find an event.
Think your dog has what it takes to be Dog Star of the Month? Use the hashtag #ThisIsAKC on Instagram.