The Appearance of a Rat Terrier
Rat Terriers are small, compact, muscular and somewhat muscular (showing their sturdiness and strength). They have small heads, medium snouts, black noses and ears that stick up. They have strong necks and shoulders, deep chests and sturdy legs. Their tails can be long or short at birth. Rat Terriers have short, medium-dense coats that come in red, yellow, black, black and tan, black tan and white, and blue and white. In general, Rat Terriers have a tough, alert and outgoing appearance.
- Tough and fearless
- big rats
- Easy to train
Ideal Human Companion
- Active, sporty types
- Farmers and Farmers
How they are to live with
Whether you’re an energetic person or need a companion to keep you moving, a Rat Terrier can make the perfect friend. They have enough intelligence and energy for three dogs, but their diverse genetic background helps them maintain an even keel. In other words, Rat Terriers aren’t the type of dog that bounces against the wall — in fact, they’re more than happy to cuddle up on the couch.
If you spend a lot of time outdoors – be it for work or pleasure – your Rat Terrier will always follow suit and prove to be an excellent worker and devoted friend. Easy to train and eager to please, Rat Terriers can help out on the farm, field or yard. And if you have a rat problem, they can be amazingly helpful. Or if you just need a walking or jogging partner, they can do that too – thankfully.
Rat Terriers are fun and loving playmates for children. They have soft, cheerful personalities and know when to adjust energy levels. Their solid terrier instincts can make them somewhat territorial, but they are generally good with strangers. They do, however, have a nose when it comes to intruders – they will bark and alert the family if they sense a threat.
Things you should know
Rat Terriers need at least 30 minutes of exercise each day, whether it be for walks, jogs around the neighborhood or walks in the park. Being an intelligent working breed, they also enjoy constructive games and tasks to keep their minds sharp. They will happily live in an apartment as long as their daily exercise requirements are met. Rat Terriers may be high-energy dogs, but they do appreciate cozy time indoors.
A healthy Rat Terrier can live up to 18 years old. These are sturdy, healthy little dogs for the most part, but some can develop hip dysplasia and allergy problems. Their short coat is a cinch to manage. Just brush them every few days.
History of the Rat Terrier
Rat Terriers originated in America as a cross between Fox Terriers and a long list of European Terriers, including Manchester Terriers and Bull Terriers. To stop a rabbit epidemic that threatened crops in 1910, farmers increased the speed and agility of these dogs by crossing them with Whippets, Italian Greyhounds and Smooth Fox Terriers. Meanwhile, in other parts of the country, hunters crossed early Rat Terriers with Beagles to improve their tracking abilities. While it was common in the 1920s and 1930s, the modernization of agriculture reduced the demand for Rat Terriers. Today, Rat Terrier clubs struggle with the true lineage of the modern breed. But most of them agree that the Rat Terrier’s diverse gene pool allows them to remain a healthy, adaptable and intelligent breed.