Rat Terrier Breed Information and Pet Insurance coverage


Introduction to Rat Terriers

One of many many forms of terriers is the rat terrier, a curious and lovable canine that is available in two official sizes. There are customary and miniature rat terriers, and each varieties have a sublime look, happy-go-lucky angle, and versatile demeanor. Initially bred to hunt small animals, rat terriers are fashionable family pets which can be extremely trainable and glorious companions.

On this Wholesome Paws canine breed information, you’ll study all concerning the rat terrier breed, together with their bodily traits, typical behaviors, and the right way to take the very best care of their well being.

Dimension of Rat Terriers

Rat terriers usually weigh between 10 and 25 kilos, relying on whether or not they’re miniature or customary. Miniature rat terriers stand 10 to 13 inches tall, and customary rat terriers are 13 to 18 inches tall. Some breeders have created toy rat terriers which can be smaller, weighing simply 5 to 10 kilos, though this variation shouldn’t be acknowledged by the American Kennel Membership (AKC). All rat terriers are thought-about absolutely grown by at the very least 12 months of age.

Canine of this breed are within the pet stage till three months of age and undergo puberty from age three months to 9 months. Female and male rat terriers mature at completely different charges, and canine researchers have discovered that males are usually much less liable to stress, whereas females could study new tips extra rapidly.

Traits of Rat Terriers

Rat terriers are compact, smooth-coated canine which can be robust and playful. They’re enjoyable to be round and love a hardy day of labor or play. These canine excel at canine sports activities and make glorious watchdogs. Nevertheless, rat terriers like to dig and chase, and so they aren’t as people-pleasing as different forms of canine. Rat terriers are typically nice with older kids, though they could be too rowdy for youthful youngsters. These canine are additionally straightforward to groom.

As you get to know a rat terrier’s character, right here’s what you’ll be able to anticipate primarily based on the breed traits:

Breed Attribute Stage (Excessive, Medium, Low)
Affectionate with Individuals Medium
Good with Children Medium
Good with Pets Medium
Want for Train Excessive
Vitality Stage Excessive
Intelligence Stage Medium
Capable of Be Educated Excessive
Quantity of Barking Medium
Quantity of Shedding Medium

Historical past of Rat Terriers

Rat terriers had been initially bred in America, and a few historic data point out that President Theodore Roosevelt selected their identify. As their identify suggests, these canine had been bred to kill rats. This was a necessary job on farms within the early 1900s, the place rodent infestations may deplete grain provides and put farmers out of enterprise. Rat terriers have additionally been used to hunt different animals, function watchdogs, guard henhouses, and entertain kids.

The rat terrier breed resulted from mixing bull terriers, fox terriers, Manchester terriers, and Outdated English white terriers. Some individuals have additionally bred rat terriers with Italian greyhounds and Whippets to hunt jackrabbits. They had been additionally bred with beagles to create pack-oriented canine. A breeder named Milton Decker created the Decker rat terrier to be bigger than customary rat terriers and excel in water retrieval and different versatile looking abilities. A hairless rat terrier was born in 1972, which led to the event of the American hairless terrier. The American Kennel Membership first acknowledged the rat terrier breed in 2013.

rat terrier dog in fall leaves on a leash

Rat Terrier Commonplace Info

The American Kennel Membership has printed breed customary data for the rat terrier to explain the best traits for this multipurpose companion canine able to looking small recreation. The outline particulars how the canine ought to be sturdy, compact, and small-to-medium sized.

Right here is an outline of the breed customary data for rat terriers:


  • Clean, blunt wedge-shaped head
  • Clever, alert expression
  • Eyes are small and set large aside
  • Ears are set on the highest outer fringe of the cranium
  • Cranium is average in width
  • Muzzle is robust and shorter than the cranium
  • Nostril coloration corresponds with physique coloration
  • A few damaged enamel or scars will not be faulted
rat terrier dog standing in desert

Neck, Topline, Physique:

  • Neck size is proportional to the top
  • Topline is {smooth} and blends from the again via the loin
  • Physique is compact, robust, and versatile
  • Tail is normally docked between the second or third joint
  • Tail may also be left naturally lengthy or be a pure bobtail


  • Shoulder blades are properly laid again
  • Forelegs are straight and parallel
  • Toes are oval-shaped
  • Toes are compact and reasonably arched
  • Entrance dewclaws could also be eliminated


  • Hindquarters are muscular and balanced with forequarters
  • Stifles are properly bent with brief hocks
  • Hind toes are barely smaller than entrance toes
  • Rear dewclaws ought to be eliminated


  • Clean, brief, shiny, and short-lying coat
  • Texture could also be considerably tough or wave alongside the again
  • No kinks or curls
  • Don’t take away whiskers


  • Any pied patterning variation is appropriate
  • Massive patches of a number of colours with white


  • Environment friendly, ground-covering trot with good attain and drive
  • Legs converge towards the middle line with elevated pace

Caring for Rat Terriers

Rat terriers are adaptable and versatile canine that do properly with condominium existence. They fare higher in hotter climates than colder ones and have excessive power wants. They’re straightforward to groom, straightforward to coach, and like to play greater than anything.

Listed below are some basic suggestions for taking the very best care of a rat terrier:

Greatest Residing Environments:

  • Wonderful farm canine
  • Properly-suited for flats
  • Houses with backyards are preferrred to run round and dig
  • Nevertheless, their small measurement makes them appropriate for seniors and metropolis residing

Sort of Train:

  • Playtime in a fenced yard
  • Roaming round a farm or yard

Psychological Enrichment:

  • Following relations round the home and yard
  • Playtime with kids
  • Interactive canine toys
  • Canine sports activities and agility coaching

Coaching Methods:

  • Usually straightforward to coach
  • Use rewards and video games for coaching
  • Crate-train your canine to forestall undesirable chewing

Grooming Suggestions:

  • Low-maintenance grooming wants
  • Brush as soon as per week
  • Bathe each 4 to 6 weeks
  • Use a rubber curry brush for seasonal shedding twice per yr

Frequent Well being Issues of Rat Terriers

The typical life expectancy of a rat terrier can fluctuate vastly relying on the canine’s measurement, well being situations, and care. Most of those canine reside between 12 and 18 years. To make sure that puppies are wholesome, breeders ought to present well being clearances for elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, von Willebrand’s illness, hypothyroidism, thrombopathia, and eye ailments.

These are among the most widespread well being points that come up with rat terriers:

  • Patellar luxation
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes illness (a dysfunction of the hip)
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Misaligned jaw construction
  • Allergy symptoms
  • Demodectic mange
  • Coronary heart illness
rat terrier dog standing on a rock outside

Eating regimen and Vitamin for Rat Terriers

Most rat terriers might want to eat ½ to 1 cup of meals per day, though your canine’s preferrred meals consumption will rely upon their measurement and the caloric density of your pet food.

These high-spirited, energetic canine can grow to be underweight due to their exercise degree. To beat this concern, some pet mother and father let their grownup rat terriers free-feed with accessible meals always of day. You may also strive feeding your canine thrice per day as a substitute of two occasions. Nevertheless, weight problems may also be a priority in some rat terriers, so it’s essential to watch your canine’s weight intently and modify their meals consumption as wanted.

The place to Undertake or Buy Rat Terriers

One useful resource to begin with in case you are inquisitive about rat terriers is the Rat Terrier Membership of America, which affords a list of breeders by state on its web site. You may also think about adopting a rat terrier needing a loving residence via a rescue group, resembling New Rattitude or Ratbone Rescues.

In case you are interested in the dimensions, temperament, and character of rat terriers, you may additionally wish to find out about comparable and associated breeds of canine earlier than deciding to buy or undertake a brand new pet. Listed below are another breeds to find out about:

Pet Insurance coverage for Rat Terriers

One of the essential issues you are able to do to guard your rat terrier long-term is enroll your canine in a pet medical insurance plan with Wholesome Paws. We provide rat terrier insurance coverage that covers accidents, sicknesses, most cancers, emergency care, genetic and hereditary situations, breed-specific situations, and different care. We’ve had the top-rated pet medical insurance plan for seven years in a row and have versatile premium and deductible choices to match your finances and enable you to keep away from having to pay exorbitant veterinary payments out-of-pocket.

Contact us as we speak to study extra about insuring your rat terrier at any age and to get your rat terrier insurance coverage quote.


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