Standard: 12 - 35 inches; mini: 6 - 8 inches
Standard, 12-35 pounds (5-16 kg); mini, 6-8 pounds (3-4 kg)
Black, chocolate, tan, blue and blue fawn, apricot, and lemon, all with white markings; all white is also acceptable.
Lively and inquisitive, the Rat Terrier is a feisty, friendly and lovable dog. The standards are excellent dogs to have on a farm where control of vermin is an issue; mini Rat Terriers are most suitable as companions. Both sizes are fearless and have a great loyalty to their owners. They are playful and always ready to participate in any activity.
The standard and mini Rat Terriers are exceptional watchdogs, ever on the alert for intruders or suspicious activity, but they are not known as “yappy” dogs. They do well in any climate and are equally happy in the country or city. They can be wily escape artists, so secure fencing (higher than 6 feet [2 m]) is recommended.
Both sizes are sturdy dogs who appreciate and enjoy participation in dog sports, such as agility, competitive obedience and earthdog events.
The spunky Rat Terrier will want to accompany you everywhere. Besides getting exercise from playing with you and following you around the house, he needs several outings a day to keep his energy in check.
The spirited Rat Terrier is a hearty eater whose weight should be monitored. He needs the energy he receives from food, but of course he also needs to be kept in shape. A high-quality, age-appropriate diet is best. Feeding twice a day as an adult is recommended.
The Rat Terrier is naturally well mannered. He is responsive and learns quickly - especially when motivated through reward-based training. Rat Terriers aim to please, and once they get what it is you want them to do, will try their best to do it for you.
Rat Terriers are devoted to their families. They love to be with people and are great with children, especially if raised with them. Their size and ease of grooming make them excellent companions for older people. While they tend to see other pets in the family as part of their "pack" they may consider neighbor's cats or small animals as fair game, and their strong prey drive can kick in.
The average life span of the Rat Terrier is 12 to 18 years. Health problems of the breed include allergies and bite problems.
The short, smooth coat of the Rat Terrier is easy to take care of and can be kept looking its best with an occasional going-over with a hound glove. This will loosen dead hair and stimulate new growth while massaging the skin.
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