Rat Terrier

Rat Terrier​ - Terrier Group

Quick Facts


Height: 10”-13”

Weight: 10-25 lbs

Color: Pure White or a combination of two or three of: White, Black, Tan, Blue, Chocolate, Fawn, Red, Sable, Apricot, Lemon, Silver with or without marking which include: Spotted or patched, Tan points, Badger markings, White markings & tan points, Piebald, Sable & white markings, White mask & white markings, Blanket-back, Irish marked

Lifespan12-18 years

Temperament: Energetic, Confident, Friendly



These pups deserver their name, because no one, and we mean no one can, catch a rat like they can. To this day a group of 8 rat terriers and owners band together on the streets of NYC to hunt the vermin at night. This breed has gained and lost popularity over the years, having made a splash on farms and now in the hearts of loving families.

Rat terriers have very high energy and are excellent companions to families that are exceptionally active. It is ideal for this breed to have access to a securely fenced in area to run. The fence should drop 18” into the ground and have a height of 5-6 feet. These pups have ups!

Celebrity Owners

Carrie Underwood, Teddy Roosevelt

Fun Facts

  1. The Little Colonel starring Shirley Temple, features her tucking a rat terrier into bed. Sweet dreams indeed little pup!


Rat terriers are generally healthy pups. Some issues owners of these pups should be aware of include:

  • Patellar luxation: Luxating simply means out of place or dislocated. Patella is a kneecap. A Luxating patella is a kneecap that chronically moves out of its normal position.
  • Elbow dysplasia: This condition is an abnormal development in the elbow joint.
  • Hip dysplasia: This condition is when the socket joint in the hip isn’t large enough, or more often too shallow, for the femoral head.
  • Demodectic mange: This parasitic skin disease is cause by two different mange mites. One lives just under the skin while the other lives in the fur.
  • Epilepsy: The most common neurological disease in dogs, seizures affect about 1% of dogs.
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes disease: This disease occurs at the head of the femur (the ball and socket joint in your dog’s hips. Here, the femur degenerates which can cause the hip to collapse and can cause arthritis.
  • Color dilution alopecia: This inherited disease causes hair loss and various skin problems, including itchy skin.
  • Malocclusion: This condition encompasses everything in a dog’s bite from teeth being out of place to overbites and underbites. These abnormalities can lead your dog to eat certain foods in specific ways.
  • Heart conditions: There’s a myriad of causes of heart disease in dogs. Age, health and nutrition all play a vital role. With 95% of heart diseases coming in small dog breeds who are 5 years or older, thinking about preventative care and coverage is smart to do.

When considering a breeder, always request the health screening of both parents.

While you always hope your pet will live a long and healthy life, it is always a good idea to invest in pet health insurance.

Keeping your dog’s mouth clean and problem free goes a long way to your pup’s overall health. Dental hygiene can be the cause or can be the byproduct of other serious health issues.

Visual inspections can be performed to keep track of the signs of potentially waning oral health. These signs can be anything from bad breath to abnormal chewing to loss of appetite.

Keeping ahead of these warning signs can pay dividends. A preventative approach can delay and stop many of the common dental problems from arising.

Oral health can be tackled in five basic steps:

  1. Brushing your dog’s teeth to prevent an undesirable buildup of plaque
  2. Feed your dog a diet where the high quality dog food has dental benefits
  3. Regularly give your dog dental toys and treats
  4. Use mouthwash, to help where brushing misses
  5. At the sign of any abnormalities, consult a vet. You can even do it virtually, from the convenience of your home.

Dogs are just like humans in that they can experience anxiety. The degree to which they are susceptible to anxiety and how they deal with anxiety is breed specific. Left unchecked, initial signs of anxiety could give way to an anxiety disorder. The symptoms of anxiety disorders can lead to a myriad of behavior issues.

Knowing the signs and symptoms will best equip you to keep ahead of it and to nip it in the bud at the earliest signs. There are options available to help with anxiety.

Are You Covered When Your Pup Gets Sick?


To help remove dead hair and redistribute naturally occurring oils, brush your pup’s coat once a week. Give your pup a bath monthly or as needed. Rat terriers shed moderately throughout the year with two increased seasonal shedding periods.

Keep your pup’s eyes and ears clean and clear of debris. Regularly clip your pup’s nails. Brush your terrier’s teeth several times per week.




Rat terriers have lots of energy. Expect to spend at least 40 minutes on brisk leashed walks or playing fetch. Never let your terrier off leash in an unenclosed area. The instinct to chase prey will often overwhelm their ability to respond to return calls.

The same goes for fenced in areas, make sure they are completely secure. You pup will love to run and run and run, but can slip through crack or jump over fences that are too short.


Your rat terrier will eat between ¼ and 2 cups of food per day. The exact requirements for your dog will vary with age and activity level. Be mindful that little dogs that receive lots of treats and or table scraps end up overweight. A little dog that is overweight is significantly more likely to develop other health issues.

We’ve taken a look at some premium dog foods, high in nutrition here.

Are You Feeding Your Dog The Best Food?


As with all dogs, rat terriers should be socialized with humans and other pups early. They are very intelligent pups and will do well in training. Keep your feedback positive.

Avoid harsh criticism as they may cause your pup’s stubbornness kick in. Training with any terrier is a must as they tend to become destructive when they are bored. Training will help nip this behavior in the bud.

Proper training is essential to ensuring the safety of your dog and those around you. Having your dog come when they should, and in general having them listen is something you want to address early in your pup’s life, as it will pay dividends down the line. There are many tried and true training programs to accomplish this training – faster and better than you might think!

Unless you’re living on a farm, or have the space, a yipping dog, or one that barks all day when you are gone could be an issue with the neighbors and/or landlord. Historically, dogs would bark to communicate with the rest of the pack when hunting and bark as a warning shot to predators eyeing up their flock. Barking is deep rooted in dogs and manifests itself in many ways and for a variety of reasons.

Just like any habit or instinct, there are effective ways you can train this issue away.

The Best Dog Vitamins and Supplements To Keep Your Pup Healthy. Period.


A solid Glucosamine Supplement for hips and joints will go a long way to helping your furry friend.

Other helpful supplements include full-spectrum hemp oil or CBD oil. Fish oil skin and coat supplement.

Ensuring a comprehensive preventative vitamin and mineral plan is essential to keeping your dog healthy. Truth is, there are vitamins and minerals that your dog needs, but doesn’t produce naturally. While many of these vitamins and minerals can be found in your dog’s current diet and dog food, the question becomes, are there enough vitamins to ensure they aren’t deficient.

Poor nutrition can lead to some of the most common health issues, such as weak joints, compromised immunity, increased allergies, and low energy.

Vitamins play a vital role in your pet’s health and overall life expectancy. Here are some multivitamin and joint relief options.

As regulations around marijuana have eased, the emergence of CBD oils for humans and dogs have sprung up.

Just to begin to dispel the negative stigma, CBD extract comes from Hemp, marijuana’s cousin. Unlike its cousin, there are no psychoactive qualities in CBD oil. An emerging number of clinical and institutional studies have shown the wide variety of healing qualities in CBD, including pain management, and the containment of seizures and epileptic episodes.

Explore this remedy further to see all the health benefits that have transformed the lives of so many dogs to date.

Have You Tried CBD For You Dog's Health?

The Good

  • Low grooming requirements
  • Excellent with family
  • Easy to train

The "Ruff"

  • Needs lots of exercise
  • Hunting instincts are very strong

Annual Vet Bills: $1,500+

Be Prepared for the unexpected.