The Rat Terrier
is an American dog breed, one of many terrier varieties
most of which are closely related to the feist. It is a small, active terrier.
Although the breed has been around in similar form since the early 1900s, it has
remained more of a type than a breed.
Cosmo the rat terrier is up to high jinx
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The Rat Terrier comes in a variety of coat colours and patterns. It is often
white with either black, tan, apricot, blue, or brown spots, although
predominately brown or black coats are not unknown. The most common colour is the
tricolour: white coat with black and tan markings. Many have ticking on the white
part of the coat; most have freckles on their bellies. Ear carriage can be
erect, tipped, or button, and the tail is traditionally docked to about 1/3 of
its original length. In 1999 when United Kennel Club recognized the Rat Terrier,
breeders agreed to allow the hairless dogs to enter the UKC registry as Rat
Terriers, hairless variety. The American Hairless Terrier was recognized by the
United Kennel Club on January 1, 2004.
The Rat Terrier ranges from about 2 to 40 pounds, although the larger sizes
are sometimes called Deckers or Decker Giants, after a breeder
named Milton Decker who has been developing a larger version of the Rat Terrier.
The Toy size (10 pounds and under) is becoming increasingly popular as a house
pet & companion dog. Despite their diminutive size, many Toy Rat Terriers
display the same prey drive & hunting instincts as their larger cousins.
There are 5 distinct sizes of Rat Terrier: toy tot, or tiny tot; toy;
miniature; standard and Decker Giant, as discussed above.
Although often mistaken for a Jack Russell Terrier, the Rat Terrier has a
very different temperament. It is less aggressive and comparatively calm
(although still exhibiting terrier personality). They are normally cheerful
dogs, but there are occasional dogs who are extremely sensitive to changes in
their environment or to unexpected noises, people, or activity. They can be,
however, extremely bonded to and protective of their owners.
When searching for a Rat Terrier be sure to find a breeder who does
temperament testing to determine if the individual dog will suit your home and
family. Rescuing a Rat Terrier is a good alternative to contributing to the
sometimes cruel breeding process. If looking for a rescue Rat Terrier be sure to
ask lots of questions about the dog you are looking at. Answer all questions
that the rescue organization asks you so that they can determine the right fit
Your Dog Photos and Stories
Hello, I rescued MIA as a 3 months ago puppy from
the pound. She is 7 months old now and I believe this is a Rat
Terrier mix. Although, at the pound they label everyone
terriers. Some people say they see Jack Russell in her but her
characteristics and temperament is so rat terrier. What do you
think is she a rat or is she not??? Any input would help. I have
been looking at pics online and I see Rat terrier not Jack
Russell in her. - Thanks - Emmy from Miami
The Rat Terrier type originated in England; like all terriers of this type,
it most likely developed from crosses among Manchester Terriers, Smooth Fox
Terriers, and Whippets. After the 1890s, as the breed type became popular in
America, other breeds were added to the mix. Beagles and Italian Greyhounds may
have been used.
Rat Terrier organizations rank among those in the dog world among which there
is dispute over the best course of action to be taken for the promotion and
preservation of the dog breed. Points of departure are, as usual, which dog type
best represents the breed, and, as is common among working breeds, whether the
dog's working qualities will be sacrificed to show conformation. Perhaps because
the Rat Terrier has existed for decades with several different evident types
being upheld by different clubs, disagreements can be highly charged.
The Rat Terrier has been recognized by the United Kennel Club. The Rat
Terrier Club of America is actively working towards recognition by the AKC and
the breed was accepted into the AKC's Foundation Stock Service in 2005. The
first Rat Terrier to earn a title under AKC Sanctioning was in Agility on
January 14, 2006 in Van Nuys CA.
Rat Terrier Dog - Dixie
The RCA trademark dog, Nipper ("His Master's Voice") might have been a Rat
U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt enjoyed a Rat Terrier variation that has
more recently become known as a Type-B Rat Terrier. Type-B's are now recognized
as a separate breed, the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier, named after President
The Rat Terrier was a common farm dog in the early 1900s, bred for catching
barn rats in haystacks.
A rat terrier was mentioned in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.
- Kane, Alice J. (2004). Rat Terrier: a Comprehensive Owner's Guide
(Special Limited Edition). Kennel Club Books ISBN 1-59378-367-1.
Taz and Bubba sent in by Gwyn - Many thanks
These are me and my husband's two spoiled rotten rats! The
smaller one is Taz Marie K, a female we bought from a breeder. My husband has to
let her come meet me at my vehicle when I get home from work every day. The
bigger one is Bubba K. I found him on my way home from work at a construction
site. He had a collar on, but was skin and bones. I brought him home and he fell
in LOVE with my husband -- probably because he was the first person to feed him
something in no telling how long! Thanks for letting me share our precious pets
- Thank you, Gwyn K.
Meg sent in by Melissia with a Question - Thanks
|I think my dog is a Rat Terrier, not a Jack Russell as some have told me.
She is a found dog (we found her roaming the park alone and no one claimed
her). Is it possible to tell from a photo if she is a rat? Her temperament
just seems like a Rat Terrier to me... Attached are a couple of pictures. Her
name is Meg and she's about 3.5 years old.
Thanks for any insight you can give...Melissia
|You can compare pictures with Jack
Russell, but it seems that temperament is the key. What does everyone think
? They look virtually identical to me.
|She looks like a rat terrier to me... I have 2 toy rats.
The jack russells I have seen tend to be a little furrier than rat terriers.
She definitely has the head and body shape.
Pictures of your dog wanted
Send a picture of your dog attached to this
tell us a little about him or her and we will show it here.
My husband and I have a Jack Rat terrier and he is a lot of fun and we enjoy him
very much. He is our favorite!
i love my rat terrier Jack Russell ma=ixed with a Chihuahua
and she loves playing in the pool with us
rat terriers are cute
Odie the Jack Russell Dog turned Rat