Solid and sturdy, the Rat Terrier is a tenacious hunter. This is a small dog with a lot of energy and a big heart. President Teddy Roosevelt was a fan of this sporty little breed. Rumor has it that he used the Rat Terriers while in the White House to keep out rodents. This breed is especially loyal to their families. A Rat Terrier will "shadow" his owner. Comforting and affectionate, they get on with kids and all other pets. Also, these lively Terriers are super-cute, with perky erect ears, and big wide eyes. They make fun exciting pets and will keep you entertained 24-7. Also, be aware, these dogs make good watch dogs as they are super alert and always on "patrol".
Find out more about this breed at the American Kennel Club
The life expectancy of the Rat Terrier is 15-18 years.
Size & Activity Level
The Rat Terrier comes in 3 sizes and are all part of the Terrier Group since 2013:
- 18-35 pounds - Standard
- 10-17 pounds - Miniature
- 5-9 pounds - Toy
Bred for hunting and working, this breed needs plenty of exercise. They have a very high energy level. Sufficient exercise and play is critical for this compact, sturdy, little dog. Boredom can set in easily, which makes for a naughty dog. Apartment living is ok, as long as they get out for 30 minutes of exercise per day. Also note that Rat Terriers love to dig and are very skilled at it. A small, but secure, yard will work fine. Lastly, these dogs love to play both outside and inside, so be sure to have plenty of balls and toys on hand.
Care & Grooming
Rat Terriers are a low maintenance dog and easy to groom. Although they shed periodically, their coats are short and dense. A weekly brushing will remove dead fur and keep shedding down. Since this breed loves to dig, bathing will be more necessary. Usually however, monthly baths suffice, unless your guy is big on digging and loves to sleep in your bed. Also to note, monthly ear cleaning and nail clipping is necessary, with a regular teeth brushing too. Additionally, this breed is an easy going, loyal, loving and fun companion for most everyone. Ultimately, they are an overall healthy breed. Always contact your vet or breeder for more information.