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History Of the Rat Terrier


Named by Teddy Roosevelt, the Rat terrier is also referred to as the Feist. Rat terriers were developed in Great Britain in 1820. They are believed to be a cross between the Smooth Fox Terrier and the Manchester Terrier.

In the 1800's, the sport of ratting was popular among the common people. They would wager on which dog could kill the most rats in a given time. This usually took place in landfill or rubbish disposal areas. The Rat Terrier made a perfect addition to this competition. They were quick, fierce, and able to get into small burrows. As more settlers came to America, they brought these little dogs with them. They found that the Rat Terrier could adapt to different climates and terrain.
Without the abundance of rats in the new world, the Rat Terrier evolved to chasing squirrel. This came naturally to the little dogs having been bred to chase rats. The Rat Terrier makes a perfect farm hand, able to rid an infested barn of vermin in just minuets.
The appearance requirements are:
The coat is to be smooth and short.
The head is to be small and the muzzle pointed.
The ears are to be V shaped and erect.***
The body is to be compact but meaty and muscular.
The size: Three size categories
Toy: Under 10 lbs.
Standard: 10 to 20 lbs.
Large: Above 20 lbs.
The tail should be docked at the first or second joint. Natural bob tails can be to the third joint.
The color can range from 1 solid color up to 3 different color combinations.
*** As a puppy, the ears will not stand. Around 12 weeks of age, the ears will start to stand. There is no need to crop the ears.

Special note about Appearance

It has been brought to my attention that my page titled "Appearance" may be a little misleading. The list of requirements are the standard for the breed. In other words, this is what the Rat Terrier should look like. There are many Rat Terriers whose appearance does not comply with this standard. This is disheartening to breeders like myself who is striving to preserve the Rat Terrier Breed. These standards have been around since the 1800's. They are not something that I have made up or discovered. On the other hand, if you have a Rat Terrier that does not conform to these standards, IT IS STILL A RAT TERRIER. So I am sorry if I have offended any one.


The Rat Terrier makes a perfect companion for anyone. They are extremely loyal and dedicated to pleasing their master. They are very clean dogs, making them excellent indoor pets. They are great with kids, as well as adults. They also make a great watch dog, as they are not afraid of anything.
With a little patience from the owner, they can easily be trained to do almost anything. {and learn quickly!}

The Rat Terrier does good in almost any climate, and is able to adapt to almost any weather conditions.

The Rat Terrier also makes an excellent hunting dog for small game such as squirrel.

The Rat Terrier can adapt to other animals or pets that you may have. If the Rat terrier is raised with other animals, it will be no problem.

To sum it all up, The Rat Terrier is; Loyal, Devoted, Brave, Intelligent, Adaptive, and Lovable.
Everyone needs a Rat Terrier!




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