Rat Terrier Dog Breed Profile

The Rat Terrier is an American farm dog breed common on family farms in the 1920s and 1930s. Today the Rat terrier is a relaxed and familiar domestic dog.

The American Kennel Club recognized the Rat terrier in 2013 as a rare breed.

This Post May Contain Affiliate Links. We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. Please read our disclosure HERE

 Breed Summary

  • Group: Terrier group
  • Country of Origin: United States of America
  • Weight:  10-25 pounds (4.5-11.3 Kg)
  • Height: 10-18 inches (25-46 cm) 
  • Coat: short, smooth
  • Color: Black, blue, chocolate, gray Isabella (pearl)
  • Energy: Medium
  • Amount of shedding: Sheds occasionally
  • Grooming: a weekly brushing and a once-monthly bath
  • Lifespan: 12-18 years 
rat terrier breed profile

Rat Terrier Physical Characteristics

The Rat Terrier is a breed of the Terrier group that includes two sizes: miniature and standard. Its coat is short, and it comes in a variety of colors. They can be tricolor or bicolor, always with some amount of white present.

These dogs tend to be smart and stubborn, knowing how to get what they want when they want it. They are also considered good family pets due to their energy and compatibility with children. They are playful and require a lot of exercise.


Created in the 19th century to kill rats, the Rat Terrier was one of the most popular dog breeds on American farms.

Although they are no longer used on farms to hunt mice or rats, Rat terriers still are hunting companions, watchdogs, roost keepers, and playmates.


This friendly and curious  terrier is an easy to train and social dog. It’s important to socialize the puppy during the first three months of life.

This breed gets along well with children, pets and is usually loyal to its owners.


Rat Terriers with weight problems must eat a healthy weight formula.

Giving too many treats can cause obesity, but a small number of treats can help when you train your dog.

Consult with your veterinarian if you have any questions about your dog’s weight or diet.  

Clean water must be available at all times.

Grooming and Care

The Rat Terrier sheds according to the season.

During the seasonal shedding, he needs a brush with a rubber brush to remove loose hair.

His short coat is easy to maintain: a weekly brushing and a bath once a month should be enough to keep the coat in good condition.

Rat Terrier Health

The Rat Terrier is generally a healthy dog. However, the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) recommends to test the dog for patellar luxation, heart abnormalities, pancreatic problems, and hip dysplasia.

The average lifespan is 12 to 18 years.

Exercises Requirement

Like most active and intelligent dog breeds, Rat Terriers are playful and require moderate exercise to burn off excess energy.

Curious Facts about the Rat Terrier

The Rat Terrier is a dog of many breeds, including the smooth Fox terrier, the now-extinct Old English white terrier, Manchester terrier, Bull terrier, Whippet, Italian Greyhound, and Beagle.

Image credit: Pixabay. Unsplash Pexels
Source: Purina 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

Pooch'n Cat will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.