Rat Terrier Breed Information

Rat Terrier  

The active Rat Terrier has a life expectancy of 12 to 18 years.

Rat Terriers got their start in England, but were refined in the United States. In the 1820s, the English crossed a smooth-haired Fox Terrier with a Manchester Terrier to create a terrier that was highly skilled at tracking down and catching rodents.

When the English migrated to the United States in the 1890s, they brought the terrier with them and subsequently bred it with other dogs including the Greyhound, Whippet and Beagle. As a result, they created the American Rat Terrier, a faster and more intelligent terrier breed. From 1910 to 1930, the Rat Terrier was the most popular farm dog in the United States.

The Rat Terrier weighs 8 to 25 pounds and measures 10 to 18 inches.

Grooming Needs
The Rat Terrier has a short, smooth coat with thick fur. The Rat Terrier just needs to be brushed once or twice a week and bathed as needed. Like all dogs, the Rat Terrier also needs basic grooming. Brush their teeth, clean their ears and trim their nails on a regular basis.  

The Rat Terrier is bold and lively.  

The Rat Terrier has many of the typical terrier traits. The Rat Terrier is playful and happy, but also demanding of their family’s attention. When Rat Terriers feel like they are not getting their due attention, they will bark and make noise. They want nothing more than to be included in their family’s activities. Rat Terriers can develop separation anxiety if apart from their family for too long.

The Rat Terrier likes people, but is wary of strangers and makes a good guard dog. They will bark to sound the alarm and have no problem going up against much larger dogs. However, the overall temperament of the Rat Terrier is loving and affectionate. They would much rather play than fight.

Training Needs
The Rat Terrier is smart and easier to train than some other terrier breeds. The Rat Terrier is eager to please and responsive to commands. Some Rat Terriers are prone to digging and barking. These habits can be managed by training, but may never fully disappear.

Rat Terriers like to use their minds as well as their bodies. With proper training, Rat Terriers can excel at agility and obedience.

Activity Level
The Rat Terrier is very active and likes running around and playing games. The Rat Terrier needs a daily walk and regular time outside.

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