They are also quite versatile, working well as both a hunting dog and a family pet. However, before you run out and buy one of these adorable dogs, there are some things you should know. In this article, we will discuss everything an owner should know before buying a Rat Terrier dog breed.

Rat Terrier History

Rat Terriers are descended from the English White Terrier, which was brought to America in the late 1800s. These dogs were originally bred for hunting rats and other small prey. They quickly gained popularity as both a working dog and a family pet. In the early 1900s, however, their numbers began to decline due to the rise of other rat-hunting breeds such as the Jack Russell Terrier. It wasn’t until the 1990s that Rat Terriers began to make a comeback in America. Teddy Roosevelt came up with this dog’s name.


As we mentioned before, these small dogs are descended from the English White Terrier. This breed was originally developed in England during the Victorian era. The first Rat Terriers were brought to America in the late 1800s, where they quickly gained popularity as both a working dog, farm dogs, hunting buddies and a family pet.

Rat Terrier Temperament and Personality

Rat Terriers are known for being intelligent, playful, and loving dogs. They are also quite versatile, working well as both a hunting dog and a family pet. However, before you add one of these adorable dogs to your family, there are some things you should know about their temperament and personality. For instance, Rat Terriers are very active dogs that need plenty of exercise. They also have a strong prey drive and may chase small animals if not properly trained. Additionally, Rat Terriers can be stubborn and headstrong, so they require consistent training and socialization.

Breed Characteristics & Appearance

Rat Terriers are medium-sized dogs that typically weigh between 12 and 25 pounds. They are ca. 15 inches tall at the shoulder and have short, dense fur that can be any color or combination of colors including black, brown, tan, white, and blue. Rat Terriers also might have long tails that they often carry over their backs when they are excited.

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Rat Terriers and Kids

Rat Terriers are generally good with kids. However, because they are such active dogs, they may not be the best choice for very young children. Additionally, Rat Terriers may chase smaller children if not properly trained. Therefore, it is important to socialize and train your Rat Terrier from a young age.

Rat Terrier Health

Rat Terriers are typically healthy dogs with few health problems. However, like all breeds, they are susceptible to certain health conditions such as hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, Leg Calf Perthes disease, eye concerns, heart diseases and epilepsy. Therefore, it is significant to have your Rat Terrier checked by a veterinarian regularly and to keep up with their vaccinations. The life expectancy of this pooch is around 10 to 17 years.


Rat Terriers are relatively easy to groom. They have short, dense fur that does not require much maintenance. However, it is important to brush your Rat Terrier’s fur regularly to remove any dirt or debris. Additionally, you should also trim your Rat Terrier’s nails every few weeks and bathe them as needed.

Rat Terrier Trainability

Rat Terriers are intelligent dogs that are generally easy to train. However, they can be stubborn and headstrong at times. Therefore, it is essential to be consistent with your training and to use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats and praise. Additionally, socialization is also important for Rat Terriers. This will help them become well-rounded dogs that can better handle new situations and people. Rat Terriers like to play with different kinds of toys. They might like to play with balls, bones, or chew toys. Rat Terriers are also known for being good at fetching things.

Feeding Tips

When feeding your Rat Terrier, it is critical to choose a high-quality dog food that is appropriate for their age and activity level. Puppies, for instance, should eat a diet that is rich in protein and fat to help them grow and develop properly. Adult Rat Terriers, on the other hand, should eat a diet that is lower in calories to help prevent weight gain. Additionally, all Rat Terriers should have access to fresh water at all times.

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Adopting & Raising Ratting Terriers

If you are interested in adopting or buying a Rat Terrier, there are several things you should keep in mind. First of all, be sure to do your research before bringing one of these dogs into your home. Additionally, consider adoption if you are looking for a cheaper option. There are many Rat Terriers in shelters and rescues that would love to have a forever home. Finally, when you do adopt or buy a Rat Terrier, be sure to take them to the vet for a check-up and to get them up-to-date on their vaccinations. Additionally, consider adoption if you are looking for a cheaper option.

Looking for a Reputable Breeder

If you are looking for a reputable Rat Terrier breeder in the USA, we would recommend contacting the National Rat Terrier Association (NRTA). This organization is dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the Rat Terrier breed and can help you find a responsible breeder near you. If you’re lucky, you might even find a Whippet Rat Terrier which is a mix of a Ratting Terrier and a purebred Whippet. Other mixes include, for example, a Raggle i.e. the outcome after mixing a Decker Giant and Beagle.

Prey Drive

Rat Terriers have strong prey drives and will chase small animals if given the opportunity. Therefore, it is important to keep your Ratting Terrier on a leash when they are outside and to supervise them around other animals. Additionally, you should also provide your Rat Terrier with plenty of toys and activities to keep them occupied and mentally stimulated.

Breed Recognition

These Decker Giants are recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as well as several other kennel clubs around the world. They are also recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC) as well as the National Rat Terrier Association (NRTA). However, they are not currently recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC). Nevertheless, Rat Terriers make great companions and are suitable for a variety of homes and families.

Smooth Fox Terrier Vs. Rat Terrier

Some people might confuse these two canine breeds! Make sure you know which is which before purchasing one! Smooth Fox Terriers and Rat Terriers are two different types of dogs. Smooth Fox Terriers are smaller and lighter than Ratting Terriers, and they have a longer coat. Our rodent pup is easier to train, but the Fox one adapts better. Last, but not least, the American Rat Terrier is more intelligent. Check this for yourself and let us know!

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The Pros and Cons of Owning a Rat Terrier

There are many pros and cons to owning a Rat Terrier. Some of the pros include their small size, low-maintenance coat, and friendly personality. Additionally, Rat Terriers are great with kids and make great family pets. Some of the cons include their high prey drive (which can be dangerous if not properly supervised) and their susceptibility to some health problems.

The Perfect Owner

So, who can be the perfect owner of a Rat Terrier? Well, anyone who is looking for a small, low-maintenance dog that is great with kids would be a good candidate for a Rat Terrier. However, it is important to keep in mind that these dogs have high prey drives and need to be properly supervised when around other animals. If you are looking for a family pet that can also protect your home, a Rat Terrier may be the right dog for you.

Dog Breed Recap

If you are thinking about adding a Rat Terrier to your family, be sure to do your research first on the internet, talk to friends or family members who have owned dogs before, and visit your local animal shelter to get a better idea of what type of dog is right for you and your family. These dogs can make great companions, but they are not right for everyone. Consider all of the factors discussed in this article before making your decision, and remember to take your new dog to the vet for a check-up as soon as you bring them home. Thanks for reading! We hope this article was helpful. Please feel free to share it with anyone who might be thinking about adopting or buying a Rat Terrier. Have a great day! 🙂

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