Rat Terrier: origins, physical characteristics and personality

Rat Terrier: origins, physical characteristics and personality

Rat Terrier

The Rat Terrier is feisty, energetic, great companions, but not big at pleasing people. He digs, he is an escape artist, and he entertains. He is a loving pet that ideal for a farm.


The Rat Terrier is an all-American breed. Within its ancestors, one can count Fox Terrier, Bull TerrierManchester Terrier, Old English White Terrier, and some others. By the 1910s and 1920s, people saw the need for a dog breed that could catch prey and pests.

The earliest record of a Rat Terrier comes from Hatch, a mongrel that was brought into Mary Rose, the flagship of Henry VIII, which sunk in 1545 and was re-raised in 1982. Hatch was brought with them to control rats.

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Physical characteristics

There is a miniature size of Rat Terrier that is becoming increasingly popular. But the standard usually weighs from 10 to 25 pounds and are 10 to 18 inches tall to the shoulders.

The Rat Terrier comes in a variety of coat colors that include the classic tricolor (black tanpoint with piebald spotting), tan, blue, isabella, lemon, and apricot are some usual colorations. They can be bicolor or tricolor but the white is always present.


These small dogs are a powerplant. They are energetic, intelligent, wary, and a handful. They are not very liking of strangers and will have a hard time warming up, especially if you are not there. The fearless Rat Terrier is very sensitive to your mood. They love to be praised and will follow you all around the house.

Caring for a Rat Terrier

If you want to keep your Rat Terrier happy, you should try to keep him active at all times.  You can do this through physical and mental stimulation. He is very energetic so plan at least 40 minutes with him per day.


The Rat Terrier is a smart breed that can pick up commands fairly easy. You should crate train your puppy but not keep him inside as if it were a prison. Socializing is also important for these pets.

Fun facts

  • The Rat Terrier was allowed to compete in AKC Earthdog Tests at the May 2006 Board Meeting, effective September 2006.
  • This is a terrier, which means he is a digger. This one particularly will dig his way under your fence.

Let us help you take good care of your best friend.  Here in Dogalize, we have lots of information and resources to help you raise your four-legged friend. Visit us and check out everything we have in store for you.