Rat Terrier



The Rat Terrier: A Versatile and Lively Companion

The Rat Terrier is a small yet spirited breed that has captured the hearts of many dog lovers around the world. Known for their intelligence, agility, and friendly nature, Rat Terriers make excellent pets for individuals and families alike. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of Rat Terriers, exploring their history, characteristics, and why they make such wonderful companions.

The History of Rat Terriers

The Rat Terrier breed originated in the United States in the early 19th century. These dogs were initially developed to control rat populations on farms and in homes, hence their name. Rat Terriers are believed to be a mix of various breeds, including Fox Terriers, Manchester Terriers, Beagles, and Whippets.

During the 1920s and 1930s, Rat Terriers gained popularity as they excelled in rat-baiting competitions. However, their numbers dwindled during World War II. It was not until the 1970s that dedicated breed enthusiasts worked towards the preservation and revival of the Rat Terrier breed.

Physical Characteristics

Rat Terriers are small to medium-sized dogs, typically weighing between 10 to 25 pounds (4.5 to 11 kg) and standing at 10 to 18 inches (25 to 46 cm) tall at the shoulder. They have a well-muscled body, a deep chest, and a strong neck. Their coat can be smooth or broken, with a variety of colors and patterns.

One of the distinctive features of Rat Terriers is their expressive face. They have large, round eyes that are often dark in color, and their ears can be erect or tipped. Their tail is usually docked to a medium length, giving them a balanced appearance.

Temperament and Personality Traits

Rat Terriers are known for their lively and affectionate nature. They are highly intelligent and eager to please, making them relatively easy to train. These dogs thrive on human companionship and enjoy being part of a family. They are loyal, protective, and form strong bonds with their owners.

Due to their history as rodent hunters, Rat Terriers have a natural prey drive. They may exhibit a high level of energy and enjoy activities such as chasing balls, playing fetch, and participating in agility courses. Regular exercise and mental stimulation are essential to keep them happy and well-balanced.

Rat Terriers as Pets

If you are considering a Rat Terrier as a pet, you will not be disappointed. These dogs are adaptable and can thrive in various environments. Whether you live in a small apartment or a spacious house with a yard, Rat Terriers can easily adjust to your living situation.

As highly trainable dogs, Rat Terriers respond well to positive reinforcement techniques. They enjoy learning new tricks and can excel in obedience training. However, consistent training and early socialization are crucial to ensure that they develop into well-behaved and sociable companions.

Rat Terriers are generally good with children and other pets when properly socialized from a young age. They have a playful and gentle nature, making them suitable for families with active children. However, it is essential to supervise interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any accidental injuries.


In conclusion, the Rat Terrier is a versatile and lively breed that brings joy and companionship to countless households. With their intelligence, agility, and friendly disposition, they are well-suited for families and individuals seeking an active and loving companion. If you are considering adding a pet to your family, the Rat Terrier may be the perfect choice. Visit our website to learn more about these amazing dogs and find your ideal Rat Terrier companion.

Julieth Bill

Hi, I'm Julieth Bill. Before I was a writer for the NBCpet.com blog I was known for inventive and unusual treatments of dogs, cats, bird, fish, snakes, horses, rabbit, reptiles, and guinea pigs. Julieth worked for major zoos around the world. He Also Receives Pets a Scholarship.

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