Rat Terrier

The cutest looking rat you’ll ever see!


Behavior common to the Rat Terrier

Rat Terriers are very energetic dogs who like to keep busy. For them, this means digging, chasing animals and killing things such as rats and other vermin. They have a very independent nature and may do what they want more than listen, but families who have this dog say they are constantly smiling thanks to this breed. They love to run around outside and particularly enjoy the farm life where they can run for hours and chase things down. They are very active dogs and need to have an active family that will help meet their needs.

While a Rat Terrier is better suited for life in the country or the suburbs, active families in the city can also be successful owners of this breed. You just need to be sure that you are prepared for daily walks and lots of trips to the park for regular exercise to keep your dog moving, happy and healthy. Training a Rat Terrier is no easy feat. They do not like to listen and are stubborn and work at their own pace, making training difficult. Stick to short training sessions early on to teach your dog the obedience you would like.

If you do not live on a farm, you need to be sure you have a fenced yard or keep your Rat Terrier on a leash. The dogs are prone to bolt after other animals and will not heed your calls to come back until they are done.  You need to be sure the fence is high and dug deep as Rat Terriers are excellent jumpers and accomplished diggers.

Appearance of the Rat Terrier

Rat Terriers are compact, muscular dogs. They have the perfect body type for all the running and digging that they like to do. They are equipped with very strong shoulders and legs and their pointed ears will stand straight up when they are on alert. These terriers are found in a wide variety of colors that almost always include some kind of white markings on the body. Most of the Rat Terriers are between thirteen and eighteen inches tall and weigh between ten and twenty-five pounds. The coat of the Rat Terrier is smooth and short and is very shiny and dense.

Grooming your Rat Terrier

Brushing is the primary grooming commitment when you have a Rat Terrier. The hair must be brushed a couple of times a week to make sure you get rid of any debris or loose hair that might be around. This will go a long way in keeping the coat looking good and staying healthy. Rat Terriers will heavily shed in the fall and spring months and lightly for the rest of the year. The type of activities that your dog takes part in will really determine how often you need to bathe your dog to keep him clean.

History of the Rat Terrier

While the complete name of this breed is the American Rat Terrier, the origins of the dog can actually be traced back to England in the 1800s. It is a cross between the Fox Terrier and the Manchester Terrier. This dog was bred specifically to be expert at getting rid of rats, a big problem in Britain in the 1800s. Once it was brought to America, Teddy Roosevelt made frequent use of this breed in the White House both as a hunting dog and to help with rat problems. Over the years this breed has been crossed with many others to build up an even more athletic and agile hunter that is perfect for farm life.