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Short History of the BreedThe rat terrier is an American breed which had it's roots in england. Originally bred from Manchester and Smooth Fox terriers they were used to keep barns free from vermin. Transplanted to the U.S. to serve the same purpose they were mixed with other breeds probably including Italian Greyhounds, Whippets and Beagles. The most famous ratters were owned by Teddy Roosevelt who much appreciated their efforts to keep the White House rat free. In fact, the Type B or short legged rat terrier is now referred to as the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier.
Physical Description and Size
TemperamentRat terriers have a definite terrier personality (aggressive and intelligent). They are smart and active and enjoy being outdoors, playing catch or going for walks (preferably untethered). Rat terriers are natural hunters having been bred to hunt rats in barns and they will chase squirrels and other small animals. They respond well to training and are not as difficult to work with as the Jack Russell terrier. They are also very affectionate and dedicated to their owners though they can be aloof to strangers. They prefer to be close to their people and will want to sit on the couch with them and even sleep in the bed. They love attention of any kind and are very much aware of the mood of the people around them. They are also very protective of their owners. Female Rat Terriors are very maturnative and will treat new puppies and babies as if it is their own. They are also very dominant and will become aggressive if they feel another dog is trying to become the leader.
Dog Care(exercise, grooming, diet)
Rat terriers are very energetic when they're not sleeping. Plan to give them some time to walk, or, ideally, run every day. They also have active minds, so it's better if you keep them occupied in a way that you like - if they invent their own games, it may include chewing something you like.
They're short haired and basically self-cleaning. Mud dries and falls off; so they very rarely need professional grooming.
Like many smaller dogs they develop plaque on their teeth quickly and frequent brushing is highly suggested.
They should be checked for ticks often.
Health Issues and Life ExpectancyRat Terriers are long lived, hardy dogs with few genetic problems. Some may have luxating patellae. Average life expectance is 15+ years.
- Rat Terrier - Online Community
- Rat Terrier Rescue Canada -- Rescued Rat Terriers available for adoption in Canada
- Ratbone Rescues -- National Rat Terrier Rescue with rescued Rat Terriers available for adoption
Rat Terriers on WikiFido
Latest page update: made by sands904
, May 2 2008, 11:22 AM EDT
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