Rat Terrier Puppies

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A self-assured, sweet, and playful breed

Rat Terriers are not named for their appearance, but for their skill in hunting small rodents during the 19th century American Farms. They were crossbred with Greyhounds, Beagles, and Whippets to get the AKC-recognized breed you see today. They are small to miniature-sized dogs who feel right at home in country or city environments.

Rat Terrier At a Glance

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Rat Terrier At a Glance

  • Size: 10"-18", 10-25 lbs.
  • Lifespan: 12-18 years
  • Energy Level: high
  • Coat: Short, dense
  • Shedding: moderate
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Dog Group: Terrier
  • Common Nicknames: Rattie

Rat Terrier Breed Guide

Learn More About Rat Terriers

  • Temperament

    Rat Terriers are playful, friendly, and confident family companions. They are very curious and should be kept as busy as possible to prevent mischievous behavior. They do well with children when socialized early, and get along with other dogs. They adapt well to positive reinforcement training.

  • Health

    Rat Terriers typically live long and healthy lives, but can be prone to limb issues. You should keep an eye out for things like Patellar Luxation, Elbow Dysplasia, and Hip Dysplasia.

  • Activity Level

    Rat Terriers have a medium energy level, which can usually be satisfied with daily walks and indoor playtime. A fenced-in yard is encouraged so they have room to play and run. On walks, they should always be kept on a leash so their prey drive doesn't cause them to chase small animals.

  • Grooming

    Rat Terriers should be brushed weekly to maintain a healthy and glossy coat. A bath every month is typically enough, if you are going on regular hikes this may need to increase. During shedding season shedding brushes are encouraged to decrease hair cleanup around the house.

  • Shedding

    Rat Terriers shed moderately year-round and will shed more heavily during the spring and fall. Owners can expect to find fur around their houses throughout the year.

  • Appearance

    They are found in two sizes, miniature and standard, and both sizes are muscular and athletic. Their coat is shiny, smooth, and comes with a wide variety of markings. They are slightly longer than they are tall, and their wide chest is supported by muscular legs built for speed.

  • History

    Rat Terriers were named for the vermin they were bred to catch, the common rat. They played a key role on early farms, as rat infestations could compromise the year's crop if not kept in control. Their speed and hunting instincts still make them desirable hunting dogs today, and their calm disposition in the home has made them desirable family dogs.