Rat Terrier

Breed Group: Miscellaneous Class
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The Rat Terrier was originally named by none other than Teddy Roosevelt. The Rat Terriers were developed in Great Britain from a cross between the Smooth Fox Terriers and the Manchester Terriers in 1820. They were brought into the United States in the 1890's, where they became more popular. American breeders crossed this breed yet again with the Smooth Fox Terrier, the Beagle, and the Whippet. Breeders wanted to retain the hunting instincts of the Beagle along with the red color and the bulkiness, while the Whippet provided to speed and agility with the blue and brindle colors.

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The Rat Terrier can be stubborn and willful at times, and are sometimes reserved around strangers but warm up very quickly. Even with his small size, this breed is fearless and shows the true colors of a terrier. This breed makes an excellent companion for a single person home. The Rat Terrier is not recommended for the average family as he has the tendency to become destructive without proper stimulation, and also loves to roam and wander providing much stress.

Does your Rat Terrier bark, howl, and cry whenever you leave the house? Separation anxiety is extreme anxiety experienced by your dog when you are away from him.
Spunky, energetic, lively, and alert, this breed makes a good watchdog. The Rat Terrier makes a great companion to the right family, but should be trained properly as they have the tendency to snap if frightened. This breed can do well around other pets, but should be socialized at puppy hood to prevent difficulties. Smaller animals should not be placed around this breed if they are not properly socialized around them or raised around them.
Rat Terriers do not require much in the grooming area. Brushing with a firm bristle or rubber brush occasionally will remove any loose or dead hair. Baths are only necessary approximately once every six months. Bathing too often will remove the natural oils from the coat, which can cause skin problems that this breed is prone to having. The Rat Terrier should be protected from cold weather via sweaters as this breed has a very short coat and gets cold very easily.

If your dog is displaying behavior uncharacteristic of his normal actions, call the Vet.
The Rat Terrier has a very short coat lying close to the body of the dog. Grooming is not a large task, however this breed should be protected from the cold via sweaters. The coat should be firm, and harsh to the touch while still remaining glossy.
The Rat Terrier being so lively can be very stubborn and sometimes difficult to train. This breed requires a firm and experienced handler. Consistency is a must, as this breed tends to lose interest very quickly. A variety of techniques should be exercised to keep this dogs attention. Obedience classes at an early age are recommended by many breeds and Rat Terrier owners, however it is not required. Training can be a definite task for this alert and willful breed. Teaching your dog to sit, lie down, and stay is vital to the training of your new puppy. There are several accepted methods of house training your new Rat Terrier puppy. Consider crate training if you need to adapt your dog to a safe and confined environment for various safety and comfort reasons.
A small yard should be sufficient for this small yet energetic breed. They love regular romps free, however are escape artists and should always be kept on lead or in a fenced area. This breed should be trained not to pull on lead, and does very well on long walks or jogs. Rat Terriers should have at least 40 minutes of exercise per day to avoid overeating and/or laziness, which this breed is prone to. Socialization is one of the single most important things you can do for your puppy.
12-35 lbs
14-23 inches
red and white, tri-spotted, solid red, black & tan, blue & white and red brindle



Grooming Needs:⬛⬛⬛⬜⬜⬜⬜

Exercise Needs:⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛⬜⬜

Good With Dogs:⬛⬛⬛⬛⬜⬜⬜

Watchdog Ability:⬛⬛⬛⬜⬜⬜⬜

Rat Terrier Questions

My 6 and1/2 year old UKC registered Rat Terrier was just diagnosed with a heart murmur, grade 5. Is this a common problem in this breed? I am devastated.

I'm so sorry to hear about your Rat Terrier, I hope he/she is able to continue a healthy life. The Rat Terrier over-all is a healthy and hearty breed of dog, but with their popularity growing in the recent years some common health concerns have arouse in the breed. The health concerns that breeders should be checking their stock for are patellar luxation, cardiac abnormalities, hip dysplasia, and Legg–Calvé–Perthes syndrome. Sadly, because cardiac abnormalities are becoming common in this breed, heart murmurs are a problem the Rat Terrier is experiencing.

What is the definition of piebald Rat Terrier?

The Piebald Rat Terrier is a color of the Rat Terrier. Piebald means the animal is one that has a spotting pattern of large unpigmented, usually white, areas of hair, feathers, or scales and normally pigmented patches, generally black or another solid color.

Piebald means it has a white base coat with coloured areas over the white. Piebald describes a pattern and isn't a color.

Is a Rat Terrier a good dog to have? We were thinking of getting a Rat Terrier.

I have seen these in action as working dogs and they are very high drive and aggressive -ie killing rats. I would say that they are not a good dog for the everyday pet or for the fainthearted! But, if you live an active life and have the time for a high drive terrier that love their owners, then go for it!

I disagree with the aggressive response. I have been showing and breeding Rat Terriers for 15 years. While they ARE bred to kill vermin and are VERY good at it, they are a PERFECT family or farm dog. They are just as happy hunting vermin on the farm as they are snuggled under your covers at night keeping your feet warm or running with your children outside playing. Or maybe just a good cuddle on the couch while watching tv. I wouldn't be breeding them if I thought for one moment they are or even could be an aggressive breed. They ARE terriers who love to play. Aggressive? NO WAY!

Our little Rat Terrier is the best dog I have ever been around or owned in my entire life. Eager to learn throughout his entire life even as a 4-year-old (current age). My fiance and I led an extremely active lifestyle prior to the birth of our son. This dog could sprint up and down a 100 ft incline faster than we could hike 1/8 of the hill. Yet, even now my son is almost 2, and we are substantially less active than we once were and he still fits right in. He loves our son like his own brother, has never snapped (even when our son may have deserved it), and knows more of the English language than many children around age 5. To give you an idea of his dedication to me and my hubby, he once helped me herd and catch a white lab rat that was loose near our home without hurting it in the slightest. (I am a big softie and didn't want the rat to freeze during the winter since it clearly was not wild). He listened to my every command and helped me get it into my pocket.

I have an almost 2-year-old Rat Terrier, he is the best breed of dog I have EVER had. He is so eager to please and always wants to be with us. He only barks when someone comes to the door or hears a doorbell. He is a wonderful family addition, and we love him to pieces. We are actually looking for another Rat Terrier.

My Rat Terrier is a rescue that I took at 1 year (now 3.5 years). She is very intelligent, loyal and a wonderful watch dog. She is the love of my life and rescuing her was one of the best things I have ever done.

I have had two Rat Terriers and they are wonderful dogs! They are highly intelligent and they learn easily. They are very clean dogs and have no skin problems. They make good watch dogs, but are not aggressive towards people we invite into our home. They love to play and make great family dogs.

We have had three Rat Terrier doggies - 1st one lived to be 17, 2nd lived to be 12yrs and 3rd one we lost a yr ago was 17 yrs. All were very smart, loving, cleaned our neighborhood out of snakes and ground squirrels, very good hunters, very active and loved being cuddled. The first two were raised with our girls and last doggie was an empty nest baby to us.

Anonymous poster #3, how funny that you say your Rattie understands English. My husband says that about our girl Thistle all the time and it is so true. We are not active peeps, just do some walking here and there now and then and our Rattie girl is happy as can be. this is by far the best dog I have ever had. easy to care for, no health issue though she did get a rattle snake bite when she was two, she blows her coat about once a year, but other than that shedding is minimal compared to my hubby's Boston Terrier. She is smart and sensitive and oh so loving.

My girl will be 10 shortly and she is by far the best pup I have ever had. Great temperament, mindful, non-destructive, easily trained, litter box trained to boot and what a guard dog. She is TDI trained and travels everywhere with me. Is not A YAPPER either. Self-motivated, independent. She understands when spoken to gets please and thank you and can even identify what item or color you are referring to when asking her to fetch.

If you decide you want a rat terrier pup, make sure you socialize them early and often, because if you don't, they can become aggressive and very attached to you and not like anyone else to come around you and will bite, we have one that is that way.

What does a Pomeranian and Rat Terrier puppy look like?

Normally the dog looks like a Rat Terrier but has longer hair. But that is just the ones that I've come across. In general, it all depends on if the dog takes after the sire or dam more.

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