Welcome to the Rat Dog Rescue site, a site dedicated to information about the Rat Terrier dog. Rat Dog is an affectionate term for the Rat Terriers as they were born to hunt small prey … namely rats in barns and houses.
Rat Terriers are an American origin. They are an original cross of Manchester and Fox Terriers in England. Then, in the USA some enterprising souls mixed them with some other breeds to make them what they are today. What mix? You tell me … probably Italian Greyhound, Whippets and/or beagles.
Of course, as the name implies, they were ratters. They did their best work keeping the barn and surroundings free of rats and other small rodents.
Rat Terriers come in two sizes … miniature and standard. The miniature should not exceed 10 inches at the shoulder while the standard should exceed 13 inches per the AKC standards. They range in weight from 10 to 25 pounds with the miniature rat terriers being at the lower end of the weight scale.
They are fierce, prey driven dogs. Very assertive, bordering on aggressive with not an ounce of fear when doing their job. They are intelligent and have a great deal of energy. These dogs are not for the faint of heart. You need to provide these guys plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. They learn easily and quickly. They can be very obedient. The owner needs to be a strong, consistent leader.
Socialization is a must as these dogs tend to mesh primarily with their owners. They tend to be weary of others and seem to be on alert while strangers are around.
Screaming, yelling, crazy children are not a good match for these dogs whether the children are in the household or neighbors down the street. Having said that, if you are willing to commit to these dogs with proper exercise and mental stimulation and establish good boundaries for their lives, these little dogs make great pets. They are very affectionate with their owners. You just have to keep an eye on them.
If you are interested in finding out more about the Rat Terrier and possibly adopting one only if he/she is right for your family, go to http://www.americanratterrier.com. The website says they currently have Rat Terriers available for adoption.