Rat Terrier

The Rat Terrier, native to the United States of America, was bred as a multipurpose dog. It is a relative of the Feist, a small hunting dog that is also from the U.S. Because of its mixed-breed heritage, the Rat Terrier is sometimes classified as a type of dog, rather than a dog breed. Nineteenth-century immigrants to the U.S. created the Rat Terrier by breeding Fox Terriers with a variety of other European Terriers. They included the Bull Terrier, the Old English White Terrier, and the Manchester Terrier. Dogs used a little later included the Smooth Fox Terrier, the Italian Greyhound, the Whippet, and the Beagle. Eventually the breeders were able to come up with a dog that could hunt tiny animals above and below ground. Because of this skill, Rat Terriers were widely used as farm dogs for the first four decades of the 20th century to hunt and rattle rats and vermin. Today, the Rat Terrier is popular as a family pet with an amazing sense of pest control.

The Rat Terrier comes in three sizes: Standard, Mid-Sized, and Toy. Standard terriers are the biggest members, with a height of around 14 to 23 inches (35 ½ to 58 ½ centimeters) and weight of 12 to 35 pounds (5 ½ to 16 kilograms). The aptly-named Mid-Sized terriers stand at 8 to 14 inches (20 to 35 ½ cm) and weigh 6 to 8 pounds (3 to 3 ½ kg). Toy dogs constitute the smallest variant, with a height of 8 inches and weight range of 4 to 6 pounds. A short- and smooth-haired dog, the Rat Terrier has a coat that can sport any of a variety of colors, which include white, red, fawn, black and tan, lemon, brown, blue and white, and red brindle. (Some dogs are tri-spotted.) The Rat Terrier is a comparatively short but well-muscled dog with strong shoulders, solid neck, deep chest, and powerful legs. Personality: Thanks to its pedigree, the Rat Terrier lightens up outdoors because of the wide possibilities of exercise and mental stimulation. However, the dog is equally as good for indoors, with the ability to relax and behave accordingly in an enclosed setting. The Rat Terrier is also eager to please, functions as an excellent guardian, and easier to train than most dogs.

Rat Terrier image
Life Span
15 - 23 years
Other Names
American Rat Terrier, Rat Terrier

Rat Terrier Build Information

Size
Toy - Small - Medium

The Rat Terrier comes in three sizes: Standard, Mid-Sized, and Toy. Standard terriers are the biggest members, with a height of around 14 to 23 inches (35 ½ to 58 ½ centimeters) and weight of 12 to 35 pounds (5 ½ to 16 kilograms). The aptly-named Mid-Sized terriers stand at 8 to 14 inches (20 to 35 ½ cm) and weigh 6 to 8 pounds (3 to 3 ½ kg).

Toy dogs constitute the smallest variant, with a height of 8 inches and weight range of 4 to 6 pounds.

A short- and smooth-haired dog, the Rat Terrier has a coat that can sport any of a variety of colors, which include white, red, fawn, black and tan, lemon, brown, blue and white, and red brindle. (Some dogs are tri-spotted.) The Rat Terrier is a comparatively short but well-muscled dog with strong shoulders, solid neck, deep chest, and powerful legs.

Behaviour and Personality

Kid Friendliness
Affection Level
Activity Level

Thanks to its pedigree, the Rat Terrier lightens up outdoors because of the wide possibilities of exercise and mental stimulation. However, the dog is equally as good for indoors, with the ability to relax and behave accordingly in an enclosed setting. The Rat Terrier is also eager to please, functions as an excellent guardian, and easier to train than most dogs.

Appearance

Shedding
Moderate
Grooming
Low maintenance

Possessing a coat with short and smooth hairs, all the Rat Terrier requires is a brushing once in a while to remove dead hairs.

Breed's Talents and Facts

Training
Easy
  • The Rat Terrier is also known as the American Rat Terrier to emphasize its country of origin
  • The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the breed in 2009
  • Founded in 1993, the Rat Terrier Club of America (RTCA) is the official parent club for the dog

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Common Health Conditions in Rat Terriers

Generally, the Rat Terrier is a healthy dog, with virtually no distinctive or major health problems. Additionally, the dog has a relatively long lifespan, at around 15 to 23 years. The dog should be tested for hip disorders, cardiac abnormalities, or floating kneecaps.

Rat Terrier Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

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