Rat Terrier


The Rat Terrier is a compact, yet very strong breed. Its erect-standing ears are probably its most distinguishing feature. It has an average-size muzzle with a definite stop. The breed has an elongated neck that angles as it transitions to the well-muscled shoulders. Its back is straight. The breed’s back legs are well angled and muscular. The front legs are straight. The tail is docked and positioned level with the back.


The Rat Terrier may be a small breed, but it has a large heart and big confidence. It is a loyal breed that attempts to protect its family. It shows affection and entertains its family with humorous antics. It is an effective hunting companion. Owners will not experience any obedience problems with this breed because it longs to please. It is intelligent and a fast learner. Training the breed to teach it new skills should not pose a problem.

Height and Weight

There are three different types of Rat Terrier. In general, the breed is between 12-18 inches tall and weighs between 10-28 pounds.

Health Problems

The Rat Terrier is a hardy breed that is not associated with very many health problems. The breed may develop luxating patellas and hypoglycemia. Luxating patellas is a condition that is common to most dogs of the same size as the Rat Terrier.

Ideal Living Conditions

The Rat Terrier will do fine in an apartment or comparable residence. The breed can easily adapt to varying living conditions, so it can also live outdoors. If the breed is kept outdoors, it should have plenty of activity since it has a tendency to dig when it becomes bored.


The Rat Terrier needs a great deal of exercise. It does not obtain a lot of exercise on its own, so the breed should at least have a daily walk.

Life Expectancy

The Rat Terrier has an average life expectancy of 13-16 years.

Litter Size

The Rat Terrier has an average of 5-7 puppies.


Grooming is not an issue with the Rat Terrier. Its coat is short and smooth. Brushing is all that is necessary for this breed’s coat. More brushing is required during shedding season, but this breed does not shed heavily.


The Rat Terrier originated in England during the early 1800s.




The coat of the Rat Terrier is a tri-color. The main colors of the coat include blue, red, orange, brown, and black. These colors are combined with white.