Rat Terrier

The Rat Terrier is an intelligent, alert and loving dog. They are calm and cheerful, often easy to train and an easy dog to live with. Rat Terriers do best with socialization from an early age. They thrive with mental stimulation and exercise. Without proper stimulation they can become territorial and exhibit some behavioral issues. They do well in a calm environment.


Rat Terriers were bred to be a farm dog by chasing out rat infestations. They are feisty, energetic, funny, and never boring. Typical terriers, they are stubborn and love to dig. They also love to figure out how to escape – if they get out, they are impossible to chase. Because of this, a secure yard is necessary along with daily, rigorous exercise. Rat Terriers like to bark and have a signature “yip” that is distinguishable from other dogs.

Though highly intelligent, Rat Terriers can be very stubborn. You may need to try a few different training methods before one sticks. They take time to warm up to strangers but are very devoted to their family. They could be aggressive with other animals and strangers if they are not socialized properly. If they do not have enough exercise, they can become bored and destructive.

Major Health Concerns: Rat Terriers are a generally very healthy breed. They can suffer from skin and coat allergies and patelar luxation. They are long living dogs.

Interesting Fact: Rat Terriers have one of the widest ranges of coat color of any breed including black, tan, chocolate, blue, isabella (pearl), lemon and apricot. They may be tri-color or bi-color.

Read up on other dog breeds and our tests

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