Rat Terrier: From Farmlands to Hollywood

rat terrier dog in a white background

Anything is paw-sible when you have a rat terrier. 

There goes my attempt to make a good dog pun, but hey at least I tried. 

In today’s session on dog breeds, we will be discussing the infamouse Rat Terrier. (See what I did there?

Jokes aside, Rat terriers are amongst the cutest and tiny-looking canines but don’t be fooled by their small size.

Rat terrier dogs were initially bred to work as hunting dogs on farms. They are tiny but full of energy and enjoy running and chasing.

They are very swift and nimble for a dog that stands 10-18 inches tall and weighs 10-25 pounds.

Rat terrier attitude is cheerful, warm, and active, and sounds exactly like your next outgoing buddy.

However, rat terriers, like other dogs, are fiercely protective of their owners. 

They can also adapt to any habitat in which they exist. Talk about adaptability!

Because of their small size, they can accommodate practically any place with minimal room.

They have lots of energy, so this lil pup will definitely put your stamina to the test.


Due to their tiny size, rat terriers were extremely popular in the 1930s.

Breed Picture

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Quick facts 

figure class="wp-block-image size-large">at a glance rat terrier

Average Height: 10-18 inches

Average Weight: 10-35  pounds

Dog Group: Terrier 

AKC Ranking: N/A 

At A Glance 

Rat terrier’s size is generally small. These little rat chasers weigh approximately 10-25 pounds and rat terrier heights range from 10 to 18 inches for both male and female rat terriers.

The span of a rat terrier is generally long and the average lifespan of a rat terrier is 10 to 12 years, so that means you can live a long and comfortable life with your canine.

Rat terriers are frequently small in size and possess a high level of adaptability. They can easily adapt to and live in small places, thus living in an apartment will be ideal for a Rat Terrier.

The personality of a rat terrier is very friendly. They make an excellent family pet since they have a strong desire to please and obey their pet parents. They are very observant and clever.

Bark Bark

Rat terriers dogs are on the quieter end of the barking spectrum. Rat terriers do not do a lot of barking, making them an ideal pet for an apartment.

Brrr Brrr

Rat terriers have a single short coat of fur, which means they can adapt well to hot environments. However, because of this, they cannot keep their bodies warm and require an extra layer to keep them warm in cold environments.

The Rat Terrier dog is a very clever breed since they were once hunting dogs, and as a result, they are very attentive and enjoy training.

Since Rat terrier dogs were originally bred to be hunting dogs, they require a lot of physical activity.

The exercise need is high and they must be walked daily for an hour or more.

A rat terrier dog is a low-maintenance breed that requires little grooming. They simply need a little brushing and a bath when necessary.

Rat terrier dogs are not hypoallergenic. This is due to the fact that rat terriers have small short hair coats. Rat terriers tend to shed during the summer season thus they are not ideal for anyone who is allergic to dogs.

$700 to $4,000

A rat terrier dog breed costs approximately $700 on average, however, this can vary and change depending on the breeder as well as the lineage, color, and other factors.

[Fun fact]

Flash Terrier

 According to a New York Times report, a Rat Terrier dog can clean 2500 rats in just 7 hours.

About About

"wp-block-image size-large">brown and white rat terrier sitting on a soft surface

Let’s have some fun with this and start with a joke, shall we?

what is a dog that designs a room called?

He is an in-terrier decorator.

A rat terrier dog is a hunting breed that stays loyal to its terrier heritage. They’re adorable, but they’re also energetic, lively, and did I mention, active?

Rat terriers weigh 10 to 25 pounds and stand between 10 and 18 inches tall, this would be the same for both females and male rat terriers.

A rat terrier’s lifespan is generally 10 to 12 years.

You may anticipate your canine buddy to have a long and happy life with you, as these small rat chasers can hunt rats for years! 

The temperament of a rat terrier is very friendly which makes them an excellent family pet and they also have a strong desire to please their pet parents.

This pooch is also very observant and clever.

These small dogs are also great for apartment life because they don’t bark much, so if you live in an urban city, this terrier might just add a touch of shine to your interior.

Rat terrier dogs’ prices can range from $700 to $4,000, but the prices of these dogs are completely dependent on the breeder you choose and the bloodline and color of the terrier you choose to adopt. 

History History

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The rat terrier dog was first bred in England in the 1820s, as per history. 

These rat chasers are a cross between a smooth fox terrier and a Manchester terrier, but when they were initially brought to America, they were crossed with a beagle and a whippet.

The beagle genes contributed to the rat terrier’s ability to trail and increase their bulk, and the whippet genes contributed to agility and quickness.

During the 1950s, they were in decline, when farmers began to use poisons to manage vermin and pests, the breed began to dwindle. However, this soon changed when the breed became popular in the 1970s.

Because of the rat terrier’s popularity, breeders began crossing them with other canines, including:

The Hairless Rat Terrier, which was hairless like its name, and the Decker Rat Terrier, which was larger and excellent in hunting.

During his heyday in old Hollywood, the rat terrier dog was bred with a variety of canines from many states. 

For example, the rat terrier was bred with whippets and greyhounds in the Midwest to create a faster-moving breed to manage jackrabbits in those areas.

In South and Central America, they were crossed with beagles to create a more pack-oriented dog with a keen sense of smell.

All of these cross-breedings have resulted in the current dog.

The terrier dog is a high-activity breed that is ideal for bringing energy and excitement into your home.

Facts Theatre


Parenting An>Parenting And Care

-block-image size-large">two rat terriers sitting on the bed

Pet Parents Buckle Up! Now that you know about your little rat, it’s time to see some tips and care routines for the little one:

Exercise And Walks

Since the breed was originally bred as a hunting dog, this small creature has a lot of energy.

Every day, your rat terrier must be taken for 30-minute walks. It is critical to remember this and walk them. 

You may also play games such as Treasure Hunting and Fetch. These games can keep your dog physically and mentally healthy.

Dental Care

Dogs’ teeth are constructed of the same material as human teeth, which means they are susceptible to decay.

Brush your dog’s teeth at least once a day.

Brushing your canine’s teeth is critical to preventing periodontal disease. It’s alright to give them dental treats, but only in moderation.

Kentpartment Care

Make sure your dog’s bedding and sleeping area are kept clean by cleaning the bedding on a regular basis as uncleaned bedding may invite a foul smell. 

Also, disinfect goods like bedding, toys, and anything else to prevent diseases from spreading throughout the house.

Also, disinfect goods such as bedding, toys, and anything else that could cause infections 

Look After Those Doggy Ears

It’s just as important to ensure your dog’s ears are cleaned as it is to keep his body clean.

To avoid infections, this should be done.

Check the ear, especially the bottom of the ear, on a regular basis and get it cleaned.

Lastly, as a pet parent, be sure to love and care for your dog as if it were a child. It’s a duty that you’re given the moment you choose to adopt a dog.

Personality An>Personality And Temperament

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The rat terrier has an outgoing and fearless nature.

In addition, rat terriers are apprehensive of meeting new individuals.

It is critical to socialize your pet with other family pets as well as new humans, as this will improve their behavior.

Your rat terrier may be a little stubborn at times due to his intelligence. 

A rat terrier is also an ideal family pet and companion for any household.

Rat terriers also have a tolerant and caring demeanor, making them excellent companions for youngsters. They may also become overly protective of their pet parents and other family members.

They are also quite daring and do not hesitate to attempt new things.

Go on that trek you’ve been planning, and don’t forget to bring these little rat chasers along.

Rat terriers require a lot of outside activity because they were bred for hunting and working.

Training rat terrier dogs is simple since they are bright and rapidly learn new tricks and stuff.

Start taking your can on regular walks lasting 30 to 1 hour to ensure that he gets the essential amount of exercise.

If you do not meet your rat terrier’s desire for walks and exercise, he will grow anxious so 

playing activities like Treasure Hunting and Fetch can keep your pet both physically and mentally active.

Colors And Gro>Colors And Grooming

en a dog grooming salon.

I’m going to call it “doggy style”.

Rat terriers are available in five conventional colors, as well as tricolor and two distinctive colors.

White markings can also be found on the coat and underside of some rat terriers.

Vector image of different types of rat terrier colour
Rat Terrier Colours

Coat Care

A rat terrier’s coat is short, close, silky, and sleek, so they don’t require much upkeep.

They do, however, require brushing and combing of their coats, as do other dogs.

Bathing should only be done if absolutely essential.

They also do not shed frequently but shedding can increase during the summer. But Rat terriers are not hypoallergenic, therefore anyone with allergies should be cautious.


Remember to keep your pet’s nails trimmed since overgrown nails might make it difficult for them to move about. It’s generally a good idea to get your pet’s nails cut once a month to keep them tidy and clean.

So get ready to clip the nails of your pet once a month to keep them tidy and clean


ck-image size-large">two rat terriers  where one is eating food from a bowl and the other is looking excitedly

What is a dog comedian’s favorite treat?

A funny bone

Now that I’ve given you a lil treat, let’s get on with the real thing 

Woof Woof

We know you love your pet so make sure your dog is getting the correct balance of nutrients by feeding him the right diet.

Just as you eat the right amount of food and nutrients, it is the same for your doggo.  

Feeding proper dog food is essential because it maintains the body in good shape.

The quantity of food you can give can be determined by the rat terrier’s size, height, and weight.

Following is a table showing how much to feed your doggy depending upon its weight.  

  • 5 to 9 pounds:  1/2 cup per day
  • 10-15 pounds:  1 cup per day
  • 20-30 pounds: 1.5 cups per day
  • 30-40 pounds:  2 cups per day

Puppy ( 8 weeks to 12 months)

a puppy rat terrier on the grass lawn with a pink ball
Photo credits: MaxPixel

Breastfeeding is recommended for the first 8 weeks of a rat terrier puppy’s life, following which the dog can gradually move to weaning.

Because a rat terrier puppy’s molars and incisors are required to chew on food, it is critical to feed the puppy only soft, chewable food that will not strain the puppy’s teeth.

As most terrier pups are just 3 to 4 pounds at this age, giving them small meals would suffice.

Feed only kibble and prepared meals for your puppy.

Feeding raw meat and meals is not recommended since the rat terrier puppy’s digestive system is still developing and will be unable to manage the food.

It’s also a good idea to have a set schedule for your puppy’s mealtime to help them settle into a habit.

Adult (14 months to 5 years)

A rat terrier
Picture source: Dailypaws

Now that your canine has reached adulthood, it’s time to readjust his diet and meal quantities.

A full-grown rat terrier should be fed a healthy diet of 470 to 740 calories

This caloric diet should be maintained since he is highly active and full of energy.

The diet of your dog should mostly consist of high-quality dry food.

For a rat terrier dog, it is best to feed grain-free dog food. Grain-free dog food is great for your canine since it aids in the correct functioning of their digestive system. This aids in the proper functioning of their digestive system.

To keep them energized, make sure to offer them meat-based protein.

But be careful not to overfeed your canine, since this can lead to an increase in weight and obesity and weight increase, as well as health problems.

Senior Dog (9 years and above)

a rat terrier

It is critical to feed your dog a good and balanced diet as they get older.

High-quality dog food should be given to a senior rat terrier.

To maintain muscular mass, be sure to offer plenty of protein. Make sure to offer wet food to your senior rat terrier as well, as their teeth are weaker.

If you decide to feed them dry food, make sure it is kibble size. 

Your rat terrier’s bone density might weaken as they get older, so feeding them food rich in vitamins and minerals is just as vital.

For more details, you can check out this article on foods for senior hunting dogs.

Health And VaccinationsHealth And Vaccinations

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Photo credits:Petful.com

“Dogtors sounds like a better term, don’t you think?” 

These dogs are of the hunting breed and enjoy a long and healthy life, averaging 15 to 18 years. However, some of the health issues that your dog may encounter are listed below.

Hip Dysplasia:

Hip dysplasia occurs when the joints are not properly grown to fit together, causing discomfort and cartilage damage in the dogs, which worsens as they age. There is no treatment for hip dysplasia because it is a hereditary condition.

Decreased activity is one symptom to look out for including reduced joint mobility, difficulty or unwillingness to walk and move, and muscle mass loss in the thighs.

Elbow Dysplasia:

Elbow dysplasia is a disorder that affects how the elbow joint develops.

This is caused by excessive growth and abnormalities in a dog’s elbow.

This disease can also be caused by abnormal weight growth and distribution. 

Swollen and puffy elbows, as well as limping and stiffness, are symptoms to look out for 

Patellar Luxation: 

When a dog’s kneecap shifts sideways and deviates from its natural position it is called patellar luxation and this is a regular occurrence in dogs

The kneecap tends to occur inwards and towards the hind limb in smaller types of dogs.

Some signs to look out for include limping and inability to bend the knee, swelling, legs that are feeble, and refusal to work out

Lyme Disease:

Lyme disease is a kind of tick-borne illness.

This is a bacterial infection spread by ticks that affect both canines and people. Ticks can be found in tall grasses, dense shrubs, and woodlands. It is a prevalent sickness in dogs.

After your dog has been bitten, it will begin to display symptoms in 24 to 48 hours.

The following are the signs and symptoms:

  • fever
  • Appetite loss.
  • Low energy level
  • Inflammation of the joints


A microscopic parasite causes giardiasis, which is an intestinal infection in animals. If your dog sniffed a cyst from contaminated ground or water, your canine can become infected.

Vomiting, excessive foul-smelling gas, decreased appetite, decreased energy, and frequent desires to defecate are all indications of Giardia in dogs.


>Vaccinationslarge">rat terrier right before he gets an injection (vaccination)

Your rat terrier can get Terrier-fied but it is of utmost importance to get him vaccinated 

Listed below are some of the most necessary vaccinations to give your canine. 


It is critical to vaccinate your dog against rabies. In most places, giving rabies vaccination doses is also mandatory.

If your dog is bitten by a rabid dog, get treatment for him during the first 24 hours.


This is a very infectious virus against which all dogs must be immunized. This virus targets the gastrointestinal tract, causing symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea, and can kill a dog in as little as 42 to 72 hours. This virus also has no known treatment. 

Bordetella Bronchiseptica

Bronchiseptica Bordetella is the most common cause of kennel cough.

It’s also critical to get your dog vaccinated against this since it can cause violent coughing, vomiting, and even seizures and death in certain cases. 

Canine Distemper 

Since this illness affects the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and neurological systems of dogs, it’s vital to start immunizing your puppy before they reach full development in order to build immunity. 

Canine Hepatitis 

This is a contagious viral illness that affects your dog’s liver, kidneys, lungs, and eyes. Symptoms can range from moderate to severe, and while severe symptoms, such as high fever, stomach enlargement, and pain in the liver, can lead to death, It is also advisable to get your canine this vaccine.

If you want to know more about mandatory vaccination for your canine, you can also read a detailed article on dog vaccination 

A point to remember: The vaccination should be done under the guidance of a veterinarian, and the vaccination schedule can be altered as per the requirement. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

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Rat terriers are an active and vivacious breed. They are excellent with their families and also with children. The intelligence of a rat terrier dog makes it simple to train and teach them new abilities.

Rat terriers are a vivacious, active, and non-aggressive breed of dog. Is it, however, necessary to socialize your rat terrier dog from a young age in order for them to establish and maintain the habit as they get older. 

Rat terriers do not shed a lot. They do, however, have a tendency to shed during the summer.

These dogs are generally a small breed of dog. A rat terrier full grown can reach the height of 10 to 18 inches.
The Rat Terrier is a dog breed that was developed by crossing many canine breeds, such as the Smooth Fox Terrier, Bull Terrier, Manchester Terrier, and Old English White Terrier.

The cost of a rat terrier dog can range from $900 to $4,000. However, the cost of these pups is entirely dependant on the breeder you choose, as well as the bloodline and color of the terrier you choose.


Woof Woof 

Greetin>Woof Woof !

This was all about the terror dog the Rat terrier.

From the White House to Hollywood, the rat terrier has been everywhere. 

And now they might be in your household, so make sure to save the article or share it with people who are planning to adopt one. 

We also have socials that we update regularly!! 

Check out our Instagram and Youtube 

Happy Petting to y’all!!!


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