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Rat Terrier

Adorable, funny, and lively – that is how you can describe your little Rat Terrier’s disposition. Always intended to be an energetic farm dog, President Roosevelt had coined the name after his dog exterminated rats at the White House.

As far as its size is concerned, this compact, smooth-coated terrier occurs in two varieties – the Miniatures and the Standards. It is amazingly perceptive and can instinctively respond to your emotions. The Rat Terrier also has an intense desire to please you, following you from one room to another.

It has a shrill, discernible bark and is not the best breed to have if you live in a neighborhood or apartment with strict noise rules.

Breed Characteristics

  • Other Names:Decker Giant, Rattie, RT, Ratting Terrier, American Rat Terrier
  • Colors:Tan, chocolate, gray, blue, black, pearl, apricot, lemon, tri-color or bi-color
  • Life Expectancy:15-18 years
  • Height:10-18 inches
  • Weight:10-25 pounds
  • Temperament:Friendly, intelligent, inquisitive, lively
  • Good with Kids:Yes
  • Exercise requirements:Quite high
  • Hypoallergenic:No
  • Litter Size:5-7 puppies
  • Barking Capacity:High
  • Health Problems:Allergies, incorrect bite, demodectic mange, patellar luxation
  • Trainability:Quite difficult
  • Origin:USA
Rat Terrier Dog
Rat Terrier Puppies

Rat Terrier’s History: A Timeline


    Hatch, the earliest known rat-catching dog, was used on board the Mary Rose (the warship of King Henry VIII) that sunk in July 1545


    As the British migrants brought these ratters to the US, the breed became popular and bred with Manchester Terriers, `Italian Grayhounds, and Beagles


    The RT became a common farm dog because of its speed and hunting ability


    It lost its popularity because the farmers started using poison for controlling rat population


    RTs were recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC)


    These dogs were permitted to take part in American Kennel Club’s Earthdog Tests


    The Rat Terrier Club of America was recognized as the parent club for the breed

Rat Terrier Full Grown
Rat Terrier Pics


Since Rat Terriers are highly energetic dogs, you need to spend a minimum of 40 minutes per day exercising your pet. While it thrives with regular walks, a short session of fetching the ball and other forms of interactive play would help in releasing its pent-up energy.

Your Rattie loves digging and would not be able to resist the urge to dig up if you provide it a dedicated area in the garden. You should never allow your dog to roam outside off lead, else it would end up chasing small animals like squirrels or cats.

Your Rat Terrier has a short and dense coat that does not need much grooming. A weekly brushing with a hound glove or a soft bristle brush is all it needs to keep its coat glossy.

A bath may be needed in every month, depending on your dog’s lifestyle. Since it sheds seasonally, a shedding tool such as a rubber curry brush would help in removing all the loose hair.

The RT, being a lively breed, requires a high-quality dog food with all the essential nutrients in balanced proportions. You may use treats while training, but keep them to the minimum to lessen the chances of obesity.

Your dog would do well on both home-prepared and commercially manufactured foods. If store-bought food is your thing, then Merrick and Wellness Core are among the better choices for your pet.

Despite being intelligent, the Rat Terrier’s occasional stubbornness does not make training easy. You need to adopt a firm and positive approach while training your Rattie.

Like most terriers, it loves to chase for which early obedience and leash training are essential. Make sure that it learns to respond to commands like ‘stay’, ‘stop’, and ‘leave it’ so that it grows into a well-behaved pet.

Although friendly and devoted to its family members, the Rattie takes time to warm up to unknown people. Therefore, training your Ratting Terrier on socialization by exposing it to different situations is recommended.

Rat Terrier Images
Rat Terrier Size

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