The Rat Terrier or American Rat Terrier was once used for catching mice, rats and other vermin, but gradually became a guard dog and a pet. Although the ancestors of this breed are from England – the Manchester Terrier and probably the Whippet, its main development started in the United States.
In the past, people placed these dogs in a pit or enclosure with rats and dogs, the one that kills most of them is the winner. In the period 1920 - 1940, it was among the most popular breeds in the United States.
In the 19th century, canine specialists began to cross greyhound, Chihuaha, a large fox terrier, beagle and othersto improve the breed.So besides a blood of terrier, there are many qualities imported from other breeds such as the greater speed, highly developed sense of smell and good manners. The Rat Terrier was first imported into the US in the late 19th century and then called Feist. They felt great in farms and were invaluable helpers because they successfully coped with mice, rats and other pests both above a ground and below.
The breed is still not recognized by the FCI, but is accepted by many national kennel clubs and associations. Listings for puppies for sale can be seen in the UK, the USA and Australia.
The Rat Terrier is a small dog, with a healthy and muscular body, which is more longer than high. Its size is 25 to 46 cm, and average weight ranges from 5 to 15 kg.
The dog's head resembles a truncated cone. Its eyes are oval and color varies from brown to amber. Ears are V-shaped with a sharp point. Tail is typically cut in the second and third vertebra. It wears it straight or slightly bent down, never up. Muzzle is strong and slightly shorter than length of the skull.
The dog's coat is short, dense, smooth and shiny. It is never monochrome. Colors include white and chocolate, orange, black, blue, fiery. White color prevails as it may represent between 10% and 90% of a whole coloring.
The Rat Terrier gives impression of an elegant, but powerful and fast dog, regardless of its small size.
There are two varieties of this dog - a miniature and standard. It moves vigorously and gracefully.
Character and behavior
The Rat Terrier is an intelligent, energetic dog. At the same time it is also gentle and sensitive, very cheerful and playful dog. During hunting, it shows great perseverance and courage. It loves to be with its family and to participate in all activities. Often people confuse this dog with Jack Russel, but the Rat Terrier is not quite as energetic, and is much more sensitive.
Training and education
The dog is very smart and easy to train. It is better to begin the dressage from an early age to teach your puppy how to behave at home.
Grooming and care
Like all energetic breeds, the Rat Terrier loves walks outdoors, games and exercise.
This breed does not require any special grooming. It is enough to ripple a few times a month, and bathe two or three times a year.
Although this dog is not pretentious to food, it needs between 50% and 75% of meat in its rations.
This breed is healthy with no typical specific hereditary diseases. Some representatives are allergic to grass. Average lifespan is impressively long – 15 to 18 years.
Children and other pets
The Rat Terrier is a good friend, it gets along great with children and other dogs and cats. It loves to be with people and participate in their activities.
The current name of the breed was given by the US President Franklin Roosevelt. And first dog was actually buried in the garden of the White House.