Rat Terrier

Terrier Group

Two Rat Terriers standing in front of a black background

Height at Shoulders

Miniature 10-13 in, Standard 13-18 in

Weight

10-25 lbs

Life Expectancy

12-18 yrs

History

The Rat Terrier originated in the United States in the early 1900's after its ancestors were brought over by British Migrants. Beagles, Italian Greyhounds, and Miniature Pinschers were bred in to improve their skills. Rat Terriers were very popular in the 1920's-40's because of their hunting and ratting abilities but eventually, their popularity declined with the introduction of chemical pesticides. Today, they are popular companion animals and multi-purpose working dogs in some fields.

Breed Characteristics

While not all Rat Terriers will display the exact characteristics typical of the breed, most share a personality and temperament can be generalized by the characteristic rankings below. 

Intelligence

Affection Towards Family

Friendliness Towards Strangers

Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

Exercise Needs

★★★★☆

★★★★☆

★★★★☆

★★★☆☆

★★★☆☆

Energy Level

Sensitivity

Noise Level

Prey Drive

Shedding

★★★★☆

★★★☆

★★

★☆

Intelligence

★★★★


Affection Towards Family

★★★★


Friendliness Towards Strangers

★★★★


Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

★★★☆☆


Exercise Needs

★★★


Energy Level

★★


Sensitivity

★★★★☆


Noise Level

★☆


Prey Drive

★★


Shedding

★☆

Common Traits

Intelligent, clever dogs who love puzzles and other challenges

Great jumping and digging abilities, which makes for a great escape artist

Shy around strangers but warm up eventually

Chasers that will go after prey regardless of training

Known to bond to items such as toys and generally don't like change