Rat Terrier Pictures and Information

The Rat Terrier is a breed of dog which showcases a muscular build. They have broad chests, powerful shoulders, and strong legs.


Rat Terrier Description

They have small heads with muzzles that are slightly sharp. The ears of these dogs will be upright when they are active, but can also be tipped as well. Some owners will also have the tails docked, though this is not mandatory for dog shows. The Rat Terrier has a very smooth coat which should either be tan, black, blue, or red in color, and it may also have spots. If the dog is bred for work, owners will not care much about the way it looks.

The Rat Terrier was first bred in England in the 19th century and was originally mixed with the Smooth Fox Terrier and Manchester Terrier. These dogs were popular with US President Theodore Roosevelt. These dogs get their name from their unusual ability to kill rats and were popular on farms because of their vermin killing skills. They are good for owners who wish to rid their homes of mice or other pests.

Rat Terrier

Also Known As

  • American Rat Terrier
  • Decker Giant
  • Feist

Country of Origin

United States


The Rat Terrier is a breed that is active and affectionate. It is a good pet for owners who enjoy highly energetic dogs. It is good with children and will behave very well if they are socialized while they are puppies. Though they can be territorial, they are friendly towards strangers. Despite this,  the Rat Terrier is an excellent watchdog, and is quick to warn owners of anything it feels is suspicious.

This dog has traditionally been used by hunters but is not good at swimming. Owners will want to supervise them when they are near water. Though these dogs like to play, they are not excessive barkers. This breed is somewhat hard to train, and should only be purchased by experienced owners.

Health Problems

There are no health problems that are specific to this breed. They are healthy and have a maximum lifespan of about 18 years, which is an excellent amount of time for dogs.


Owners will want to give the Rat Terrier good amounts of exercise. In fact, owners will need to reserve at least 30 minutes a day for giving these dogs the exercise they need. The dogs enjoy physical activities.

Special Grooming Needs

The Rat Terrier is easy to groom. The coat will only need to be brushed every so often, and this will allow dead hair to be removed.