Spunky, stubborn, and fearless, this perfectly sized dog (not too small, not too big) offers an abundance of personality. This spirited breed will bring lots of entertainment into your home! Are you ready for the well-rounded Rat Terrier?
The Rat Terrier was bred to help farmers control the rat population on farms. Bred originally from the Manchester Terrier, Smooth Fox Terrier, and later the Italian Greyhound, Whippet, Chihuahua, and Beagle, this breed offers speed and a high prey drive towards small critters, yet they have a friendly and loving personality.
The Rat Terrier was one of President Teddy Roosevelt's favorite breeds. It is believed they
became popular when a Rat Terrier was portrayed in a photo with President Roosevelt in Life Magazine in the early 1900's.
This breed comes in three different sizes: toy, mid, and standard. Average weights are from 6 lbs (toy) to 35 lbs (standard).
Perfect Family Dog
When properly socialized at a young age with children, cats, and other dogs, the Rat Terrier does very well with all of them. They are not recommended for households that have small caged animals, like hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, and especially RATS!
The Rat Terrier is extremely affectionate, preferring to lie next to you on the couch than a doggy bed. The Rat Terrier is very smart and learns quickly. They are the perfect companion for children, and kids will enjoy teaching their Rat Terrier an abundance of tricks and commands.
They are often confused with Jack Russell Terriers (JRT), but Rat Terriers can actually enjoy "down time," they aren't so high strung, and they are less aggressive then the Jack. They still have many of the strong "terrier" traits, but don't mistake them for a JRT.
They are not a yappy breed (which is unusual for a terrier breed), but will be happy to alert their families of visitors.
The Rat Terrier typically enjoys water and is a good swimmer. If you have a pool, live near a lake, or have other water access, consider including your Rat Terrier to join in on the fun water activities.
Don't forget to put a life jacket on your fur kid!
Playful Is Their Nature
Doggy Daycare is a great option for the Rat Terrier. If you are away from home for long hours, please consider doggy daycare as an option for your fur kid.
The Rat Terrier is energetic and can be a busy body. They have a tendency to become bored and frustrated if their energy is not channeled properly. A daily 30-minute walk will help keep your Rat Terrier fit and mentally healthy. The mid- to standard-sized breed can make good running partners too!
A fenced in-yard is recommended for this breed, as they will not hesitate to bolt after a squirrel, rabbit, or other wild critter.
Various shades of coloring are common in this breed, including tricolor, piebald, black and tan, brindle, blue and apricot to list a few. These colors offset the white parts of the dogs that are located throughout their bodies.
Consider looking for a Rat Terrier through rescue organizations first. Every year, there are millions of dogs being euthanized - not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescue agencies. By adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!
At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for a reputable breeder to work with.
On a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!
Original Dog Bible, 2nd Edition by Kristin Mehus-Roe