Rat Terrier Resource

Rat Terrier

The Rat Terrier is commonly seen on farms and in homes as an alert watchdog and lively companion. This breed was originally developed from crosses between Smooth Fox Terriers and Manchester Terriers. The breed received its name from Teddy Roosevelt, who admired them for their outstanding abilities in rat-baiting pits. The Rat Terrier comes in a variety of sizes, and the larger ones were used to hunt various game. They are rugged and determined in the field. Whether of the smooth-coated or hairless variety, which the UKC calls the American Hairless Terrier, the Rat Terrier requires little grooming. As a household pet, it is charming to those who enjoy its vigor and zest for life, and it fits well into any size living accommodations.

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Breed Details

Country of Origin:
United States
Small Dog Breed
Tri- or bi-colored with white base predominant and any spot color acceptable; tan or rust point preferred; brindle, merle and any solid color other than white not allowed

Short, dense and smooth.


Brush weekly. Routine nail cutting and teeth cleaning.

Life Expectancy:
12 to 17 years
AKC Group:
UKC Group:
Two size varieties: Miniature (should not exceed 13 inches at the shoulder) and Standard (more than 13 inches but no more than 18 inches.)
Proportionate to height
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Ratter, flyball, companion