Rat Terrier is a dog made in the USA. They were developed in the 1800s by crossing various European terriers like Manchester Terrier and Bull Terrier. Later, they were probably also crossed with other breed like Whippets, Italian Greyhounds and Beagles, just like with some other Terriers, for example the Smooth fox terrier,. The Rat Terrier was developed as a multi purpose farm dog which would excell at hunting rodents and vermin.
2) On farms
In the beginning of the 20th century, Rat Terriers were one of the most popular dog breeds among the American farmers. The reason why they were so popular was, that they were just amazing at eliminating farm pests like rabbits and rats. But since the farmers started using poisons to kill rats in the 1950s, the Rat Terriers lost their purpose on farms.
Their lost their popularity for a decades, but they made a huge comeback in the 1990s. They gained recognition for competitions. A lot of people fall in love with Rat Terriers and celebrities were no exception. Carrie Underwood have put Rat Terriers in the spotlight just like the Laurie Anderson, who made a whole documentary about her Rat Terrier. The documentary was called Heart of a Dog.
The rat terriers love to work and they are extremely dedicated to hunt the rats. There is a legend about one Rat Terrier which says, that in the early 1900s there was a rat terrier who cleared out over 2 500 rats in a barn in under seven hours. It is probably not true, but when you see a Rat Terrier in action, you will have to agree, that it is maybe the best rat hunter in the whole dog world.
This breed was not only used in the countryside. Big cities have problems with rats as well and the New York city used this breed to help them with the rat problem in the big apple. Today, there is still a group of a few rat terriers and their owners who go out at night on hunting expedition in the New York City. They are called Ryders Alley Trencher Fed Society, which can be shortened to R.A.T.S.
6) Chasing instinct
All the hunting dogs have strong chasing instinct and the Rat Terrier is no exception. That is why it is not recommended to have your Rat Terrier off leash. Even the most well-behaved are likely to "forget" their training when they are face to face with a rat or rabbit.
7) Escape Artists
Rat Terriers are highly energetic and they love to explore, which can lead to a desire to escape. If your rat terrier has acces to a yard, you should make sure to have a high and secure fence, otherwise, you’ll have an escape artist on your hands.
This is a very smart dog, but they get bored easily. That is why you should keep the training sessions short and entertaining, otherwise the dog will loose interest quickly. It is always a good idea to start a dog sport with your rat terrier, they are great at agility and flyball.
As i already mentioned in the video, Rat Terriers are highly active dogs, which means they need a plenty of daily exercise. It can be a long one hour walk a day, but they will like to go out jog with you and they are always ready for a vigorous playtime. They also need a mental stimulation. A bored Rat Terrier is a bad rat terrier, which can develop a barking or chewing problems.
This is a compact dog which comes in two size varieties – the miniature and the standard. The miniature type should be 10-13 inches tall which is 25-33 cm and the standard version height should be between 13-18 inches, which is 33-45 cm. The weight can vary a lot – from 10-25 pounds which is 5-12 kg.