Rat Terrier Information & Dog Breed Facts
Collection of all the general dog breed info about Rat Terrier so you can get to know the breed more.
Compare the Rat Terrier With Other Dogs |
Select at least one dog breed to make the comparsion.
Other Names |
What other names does the Rat Terrier have?
|Decker GiantRatRattieRatting TerrierAmerican Rat Terrier|
Breed Type |
What type of dog breed is it?
Is a Rat Terrier small, medium or large dog?
How big do Rat Terrier get?
What is the average size of a Rat Terrier?
How much does the Rat Terrier weigh? How much should a Rat Terrier weight? What is the normal weight of a Rat Terrier? How much does a full-grown Rat Terrier weight?
|Standard: 12-35 pounds (5.5-16 kg)|
Average Weight |
What is the average weight of a Rat Terrier?
|Standard: 23.5 pounds (5.10.5 kg)|
How tall is the Rat Terrier? Rat Terrier height:
|Standard: 14-23 inches (35.5-58.5 cm)|
Average Height |
What is the average height of a Rat Terrier?
|Standard: 18.5 inches (35.5-58.5 cm)|
How much does the Rat Terrier puppy cost? What is the price range of this puppy? What is the average price of a Rat Terrier in the United States? How much money is a Rat Terrier?
Where to buy a Rat Terrier with a good pedigree?
If you choose to purchase the Rat Terrier, you should know that the mentioned amount of money is an average of the collected data from breeders’ sites and puppy finder places. If you have a Rat Terrier for sale, please advertise it on a reliable website to make sure the Rat Terrier gets to a happy place.
How easy is it to get a Rat Terrier? How many Rat Terrier are there in the world?
Very frequent: The Rat Terrier is quite easy to get. There is a risk of overbreeding, as it is an extremely popular breed.
Inbreeding is common because of its popularity. A new study suggests that inbreeding contributes to the incidence of disease and health problems.So be careful, buy from a trustworthy place or kennel and seek the help of an experienced person, a professional, to make the right decision.
Intelligent Rank |
How smart is the Rat Terrier? Is the Rat Terrier breed dumb or smart?
Smart: The Rat Terrier dogs have great intelligence. They understand and memorize new commands in 15-25 repetitions.
The Rat Terrier is among the smartest dogs in the intelligence ranking.
Are Rat Terrier dogs easy to train? Do they go well on dog training? How hard is it to train a Rat Terrier?
Rat Terrier dogs are quite easy to train. Sometimes they can be challenging, but if you're consistent in teaching new commands they will obey for sure.
Watchdog Ability |
Is Rat Terrier good as a watchdog? Are they alert at night?
Rat Terrier dogs are average watchdogs. If they sense something different, they will alert you, but observation isn't considered their main job.
Guarding Behavior / Territorial |
Do Rat Terrier dogs have aggressive behavior to protect their home/house/territory? Do they have guarding instincts?
Rat Terrier dogs are extremely protective guard dogs. This breed doesn't hesitate to protect its territory so the Rat Terrier can be a good choice if you want an excellent guard dog. Keep calm and the Rat Terrier will take care of unwanted people or animals.
What kind of personality does the Rat Terrier have? What characteristics or traits does the breed have?
Sensitivity Level |
How sensitive are they? Rat Terrier sensitivity:
They are a little bit more sensitive than other dog breeds. Soft punishment affects them emotionally. Rat Terrier dogs don't tolerate irregular daily routines, noisy households, and frequent guest visits really well.
They are receptive to their owner's emotions and make wonderful family companions.
Affection Level |
How affectionate are they? Is a Rat Terrier a good family dog?
High: Rat Terrier dogs are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving, and affectionate dogs toward their handlers. They enjoy quality time with their owners despite the activity and are considered great therapy dogs for those in need. This breed responds strongly to their handler's emotions because they bond closely. Their happiness is your happiness.
Social Needs |
How much social interaction does the Decker Giant need? Rat Terrier social needs:
Rat Terrier dogs need a lot of social interaction. They desire to always be with someone or around people. This breed hates being left alone.
Impulse to Wander or Roam |
How likely is the Rat Terrier to run away? Does this breed explore or wander a lot? Does Rat Terrier roam?
The wanderlust potential of the Rat Terrier is strong enough to escape from home. They have a strong desire for exploring the world. Safer to walk them on a leash unless you teach them how to get back to you on command.
Prey Drive |
Do this canine have a strong prey drive? Does Rat Terrier have high prey drive?
Rat Terrier dogs have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds. Cats or any other small animals might be in danger. It's a natural instinct, doesn't necessarily mean that Rat Terrier dogs are aggressive. Better to keep this breed on a leash.
How playful is this breed?
Average: Rat Terriers, like any other dog breed, like playing. Sometimes they bark in excitement for playing, but they are not the most playful dog breed.
Do Rat Terrier dogs bark a lot? Are they barkers/noisy? Why does my Decker Giant bark?
Average: The Rat Terrier barks occasionally. They can change their barks depending on their emotional level and what they're trying to say. Different barks could mean the same and the same barks could have different meanings.
Top reasons for barking: protection, alarm, fear, boredom, attention-seeking, greeting, separation anxiety, compulsive barking.
Apartment Friendly |
Is Rat Terrier good as an apartment dog? Can they live in a flat? Can you have a Rat Terrier in an apartment?
Very house-friendly dog the Rat Terrier breed. It's good if you have a small garden where he can go out and do his business, but it's not important at all. You can get enough exercise with one or two walks a day, so keeping them indoors shouldn't be a problem.
Are they adaptable and easy-going?
Rat Terrier dogs adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments. They don't mind moving from one place to another with their owner.
Tolerates Being Left Alone |
How long can a Rat Terrier be left alone? How long can you leave a Rat Terrier alone?
Rat Terrier dogs tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
Bite Force PSI |
Does the Rat Terrier has a hard bite? What is the bite force of a Rat Terrier? How much bite force does a Rat Terrier have? How strong is a Rat Terrier bite?
Between 100 and 200 PSI 🔽
Rat Terrier bite force: Weak. The Rat Terrier bite force is considered weak when compared to other dog breeds. The bite force Rat Terrier measurements usually fall below 200 PSI, making them one of the breeds with the weakest bite force. The bite force of a Rat Terrier may be weak, but it's important to remember that any dog's bite can still be dangerous if not managed properly. Despite the bite force of Rat Terrier being lower, it does not make them any less lovable or enjoyable as pets.
Rat Terrier bite wounds might not be as severe, but it is still essential to be cautious and prevent any biting incidents.
They are usually not aggressive and very friendly towards children and other animals. To ensure a well-behaved dog, it's essential to learn how to train a Rat Terrier puppy not to bite from an early age. With proper training and socialization, a Rat Terrier can be a wonderful addition to any family, providing love and companionship for years to come.
Biting Potential |
Do Rat Terrier bite humans? How likely are you to get bitten from the Decker Giant? What are the odds of getting bitten by a Rat Terrier? Why do dog bites happen?
The Rat Terrier has a low chance of biting somebody. Top reasons for dog bite: protection, pain, excitement, herding instinct, being provoked. (Data based on the available online bite statistics.)
How much mouthing/nipping/play biting does the Rat Terrier do?
Rat Terrier dogs have a lower than average tendency to nip, chew, playbite, or herd people. It's a common habit during puppyhood, not aggressive behavior. These "bites" don't hurt, but Rat Terrier dogs need to be taught a good attitude.
Health Issues |
Is it a healthy or unhealthy breed? Do Rat Terrier dogs have health problems or genetic diseases?
The Rat Terrier is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
Health Problems |
What genetic/health problems does the Rat Terrier breed have? What are the health issues and concerns of the Rat Terrier breed? Most common health risks of Rat Terrier:
|Hip Dysplasia Legg-perthes DiseasePatellar LuxationEye ProblemsHeart Problems|
Veterinarian Visits |
How often does the Rat Terrier breed need to go to the vet? How often should you take your dog to the vet? How often should the Rat Terrier see the vet?
The Rat Terrier should have a complete physical check-up at least once per year. If your dog shows any symptoms, call your veterinarian.
Life Expectancy |
How long do Rat Terrier dogs live? How old can a Rat Terrier be? What is the age limit of the Rat Terrier? How many years can the oldest Rat Terrier live?
What is the average life expectancy / lifespan of a Rat Terrier?
How long is the lifespan of a Rat Terrier?
The average lifespan of Rat Terrier: 16 years
Weather and Climate |
Which weather condition is preferred by this dog? Can they tolerate hot or cold weather and climate?
| Prefers warm weather |
Dogs that prefer warm weather conditions are typically breeds that were originally bred in warmer climates.
Energy Level |
How much energy does the Rat Terrier have? What is the activity level of the Rat Terrier?
Rat Terrier dogs are high-energy dogs. An active lifestyle makes them happy.
Activity Requirement / Exercise Need |
How much exercise does a Rat Terrier need? How much exercise do Rat Terrier dogs require per day?
Do Rat Terrier dogs need a lot of exercises?
Rat Terrier dogs have an average exercise need. This breed is satisfied with short walks every weekday and a long ones on weekends.
Sleeping Need |
How much sleep does the Rat Terrier breed need?
Rat Terrier dogs don't need too much sleep. They are energetic and desire to live active life. If you think naps are overrated, this breed can be the best choice for you.
Weight Gain Potential / Prone to Obesity |
How easy to gain weight for this dog? Rat Terrier risk for obesity:
Average: The Rat Terrier has an average risk for obesity. Daily walks should be on schedule. To make your dog happy and fit, feed him with quality dry dog food and live an active life together. Try to find the happy medium between exercise and feeding.
If you notice any weight gain, consult your veterinarian and make a diet plan. Reduce unhealthy food and snacks, and measure the Rat Terrier weight regularly.
Coat / Hair Types |
What type of coat does the Rat Terrier have? What does this canine coat/fur look like?
What color is the breed's coat? What color are proper Rat Terrier coats?
|BlackTan Blue White Brown Tricolor|
How to groom the Rat Terrier and how often? How often should I take my Rat Terrier to the groomer?
Effortless: The Rat Terrier requires minimal grooming. Seasonal flea treatment is needed, but cutting the dog's hair by a professional groomer isn't necessary.
Ears and eyes should be cleaned sometimes to avoid infections. Rat Terrier is one of the best choices if you don't have the time, skill, or money to take care of a high-maintenance dog.Highly recommended for beginners.
Shedding Level |
How much do Rat Terrier dogs shed? How to control, reduce and prevent the shedding of the Decker Giant? Do Rat Terrier dogs shed a lot?
Rat Terrier dogs shed above average. It's a natural process of the hair growth cycle. The amount and frequency of hair loss mostly depend on their health status and breed type. If you don't like vacuum cleaning, you might have to reconsider your choice of having a puppy from the Rat Terrier breed.
Bath Time / Bathing Frequency |
How often does the Rat Terrier need a bath? How often should you give a Rat Terrier a bath? Can I bathe my Rat Terrier every day?
| 4-6 weeks |
Average. Experts recommended at least every 4-6 weeks for this family pup. According to a study, 56% of pet parents don’t bathe their dogs as frequently as they should, and 60% use the sniff test when deciding when it’s bath time.
Bathing your dog is beneficial to them in more ways than just one. It’s also a good time to look for unusual scratches, bumps, fleas, and other irregularities. When their hair is wet and flat against their body, these details are more visible.
Is the Rat Terrier breed hypoallergenic?
Rat Terrier dogs don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reactions. Some dog breeds are even considered to higher possibility of an allergic response. Coat type isn't necessarily relevant, because most people are allergic to dander (flakes on the dog's skin) or saliva, not actually to dog hair.
How stinky is this dog? Why does it smell bad and how to get rid of the smell?
The Rat Terrier has an average chance of bad smell. Top reasons for dog stinkiness: infection of bad tooth/ear/skin folds, gas attacks.
Drooling Tendency |
Does the Rat Terrier drool?
The Rat Terrier is a perfect example of a very low drooling tendency. If you're disgusted by slobber spots on your clothes, the Rat Terrier could be a perfect choice for you. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. It can be completely normal or a sign of a health problem. Certain dog breeds drool minimum compared to others, just like the Rat Terrier.
If you notice any change in your dog's drooling habit, you should contact a vet as soon as possible.
Pet Friendly |
Are they pet-friendly dogs? How well do Rat Terrier dogs get along with other pets? Are Rat Terrier dogs good with pets? What is this canine temperament with other pets?
Rat Terrier dogs are usually friendly towards other pets.
Stranger Friendly |
Are they aggressive or friendly towards/with strangers? Rat Terrier temperament with other people:
Rat Terrier dogs are stranger-friendly dogs.
Child Friendly |
Are Rat Terrier dogs kid-friendly? Are they good with young children? Rat Terrier temperament with children:
Rat Terrier dogs are very kid-friendly dogs. This breed enjoys being surrounded by children.
Cat Friendly |
How well do Rat Terrier dogs get along with cats? Are they good with kittens? What is this fido's temperament with cats? Can they be good with cats? Can the Rat Terrier breed live with a cat?
Rat Terrier dogs are cat-friendly dogs.
Dog Friendly |
Is Rat Terrier good with other dogs? Are they dog-friendly dogs? How well do Rat Terrier dogs get along with other dogs?
Rat Terrier dogs are dog-friendly dogs. If you want more dogs in your family or you'd like to join dog meetups, the Rat Terrier can be a great choice.
Good For First Time Owners |
Is Rat Terrier breed good for first-time owners? Do they make a good dog for novice owners? Is Rat Terrier breed suitable for first-time owners?
Rat Terrier dogs are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
Office Friendly |
Are Rat Terrier dogs good office canines? Do Rat Terrier dogs make good office-friendly pets? Can they be office dogs?
Rat Terrier is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly |
Are they senior citizens friendly dogs? How well do Rat Terrier dogs get along with the elderly people? What is the Decker Giant temperament with senior people? Are Rat Terrier dogs good for elderly owners?
Rat Terriers are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
Service Dog |
Are they good as service dogs? Can Rat Terrier be a guide dog? Are they used as seeing-eye dogs?
This breed generally not used as a service dog. A service dog is a term used in the USA to refer to any type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people who have disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing impairments, mental disorders, seizures, mobility impairment, and diabetes. Service dogs are protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).
Rat Terrier is not the best breed for service purposes.
Therapy Dog |
Are they good as therapy dogs? Can Rat Terrier be a therapy dog? Are they good anxiety dogs? Can a Rat Terrier be an emotional support animal?
This breed is generally not used as a therapy dog. A therapy dog is a dog that might be trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and people with anxiety disorders or autism.
Rat Terrier is not the best breed for therapeutic purposes.
Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog |
Are they good as detection dogs? Can Rat Terrier be a sniffer dog?
They are not typically employed for this type of work, but there may be exceptional cases. A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.
Rat Terrier is not the best breed for detection purposes.
Search and Rescue Dog (SAR) |
Are they good as SAR dogs? Can Rat Terrier be a search and rescue dog?
This breed would make an excellent search and rescue dog. The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people.
The Rat Terrier breed is a good choice for SAR purposes.
Boat and Sailor Dog |
Are they good as boat dogs? Can Rat Terrier be a boat dog?
Rat Terrier breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Boat dogs were typically bred for their strength, stamina, and water resistance, as they were often required to perform tasks such as pulling in fishing nets, and jumping into the water to retrieve ropes or lines, or helping to move cargo.
Sailor dog is a type of dog that was bred to accompany sailors on their voyages. They were typically used for three purposes: as a working dog, a watchdog, and as a companion. A boat dog is a term used to describe a type of dog that was traditionally bred and used as a working dog on boats.
Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog |
Are they good as cart pulling dogs? Can Rat Terrier be a drafting dog?
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling. Dogs bred for this work have strong builds and qualities that are needed, strength and determination.
Rat Terrier is not the best breed for drafting purposes.
Fighting Dog / Military Dog |
Where Rat Terrier dogs used as fighting / military dogs in history?
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.
Gestation Length |
How long is a Rat Terrier pregnant?How long does it take to have puppies? How to tell if the Rat Terrier breed is pregnant?
Reproductive cycle of the female Rat Terrier: The first period called Proestrus lasts for about 9 days.
During this time the females start to attract males. You can notice by swelling vulva and bloody discharge.
The second part is the Estrus when the female is receptive for the male. It lasts for about 3 to 11 days.
The sign of the proestrus part is the soft and enlarged vulva. The discharge decreases and lightens in color.
The third part is the Diestrus. Normally, it occurs around day 14. In this period the female’s discharge changes for vivid red and coming to its end. The vulva returns to average, and she will no longer permit mating.
The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time frame between heat periods normally lasts about six months.
Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy. It is very important not to buy a dog from a puppy mill, where the needs of the pups and their mothers are ignored. It's an inhumane high-volume dog breeding facility, where puppies born several times a year.
Litter Size |
How many puppies can the Rat Terrier have in a litter? How many puppies can the Rat Terrier breed have for the first time? How many puppies does a Rat Terrier have? How many puppies can a Rat Terrier give birth to?
AKC Group |
Is Rat Terrier recognized by the American Kennel Club?
|Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2013 as a Terrier breed.|
FCI Group |
Is Rat Terrier recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)?
|Not recognized by FCI.|
Breed Recognition |
What kennel clubs and organizations recognize or register the Rat Terrier breed?
|American Canine RegistryAmerican Kennel ClubAmerica's Pet RegistryDog Registry of America Inc.North American Purebred Registry, Inc.American Canine Association, Inc.Continental Kennel ClubNational Kennel ClubUnited Kennel Club|
Rat Terrier Pros and Cons
- Intelligent Rank: Smart: The Rat Terrier dogs have great intelligence.
- Apartment Friendly: Very house-friendly dog the Rat Terrier breed.
- Grooming: Effortless: The Rat Terrier requires minimal grooming.
- Drooling Tendency: The Rat Terrier is a perfect example of a very low drooling tendency.
- Mouthiness: Rat Terrier dogs have a lower than average tendency to nip, chew, playbite, or herd people.
- Adaptability: Rat Terrier dogs adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
- Child Friendly: Rat Terrier dogs are very kid-friendly dogs.
- Cat Friendly: Rat Terrier dogs are cat-friendly dogs.
- Dog Friendly: Rat Terrier dogs are dog-friendly dogs.
- Senior Citizens Friendly: Rat Terriers are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
- Good For First Time Owners: Rat Terrier dogs are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
- Search and Rescue Dog (SAR): This breed would make an excellent search and rescue dog.
- Hypoallergenic: Rat Terrier dogs don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reactions.
- Shedding Level: Rat Terrier dogs shed above average.
- Impulse to Wander or Roam: The wanderlust potential of the Rat Terrier is strong enough to escape from home.
- Tolerates Being Left Alone: Rat Terrier dogs tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
- Office Friendly: Rat Terrier is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Rat Terrier History
According to researchers, it all began in England around the 1820s. At that time they were known as “Fyce” because of their spirited nature when going after their prey, in America, it is pronounced as “Feist”. However, others claim that it is an American breed even though the breed was brought to the USA in the 1890s. What we know for sure is that they were the result of working with the Fox Terrier, Bull Terrier, Manchester Terrier, and Old English White Terrier, to name a few.
Being a farm and a hunting dog, the need for the Rat Terrier to catch prey and pests drove breeders to start adding new strains to the breed in the 1910s and 1920s. In the Midwest, the breed was bred to Whippets and Italian Greyhounds to produce a quicker dog who could control the jackrabbit problem. The new and improved Rat Terrier could keep up with the fast-moving rodent and continued to prove his value.
Furthermore, when they first came to America the breeding process was based on function. They were mostly black and tan colors with their ears buttoned over and they were around 8kgs, a medium size. According to some historians, president Theodore Roosevelt is said to have named the breed as he called his own dog Rat Terrier who had solved the White House rat problem, but not everyone agrees. He kept many Rat Terriers as house pets for their keenness, intelligence, and perfect self-groomed appearance. He often hunted with the breed as well. There is still an ongoing debate whether the dog that the president owned was in fact the same Rat Terrier as appears today. The short-legged dog that Roosevelt had has become the accepted breed standard for the terrier named after him. Not so much later, they quickly became popular throughout the Southern and Central American regions. The settlers found that the breed could easily adapt to different climates and they had an excellent ability to keep the farms free of rats and foxes. However, the Americans started modifying the breed for their needs. The Smooth Fox Terrier was re-introduced setting the predominance of white coat color and the breed was also bred to the Beagle to create a more pack-oriented dog. This was the time when the Rat Terrier earned an even stronger sense of smell and faster speed which came from the Whippet.
Moreover, the breed was very popular between the 1910s and 1940s but eventually started to decline after farmers started using poison to control rodent populations. By the end of the 1950s, the breed was no longer widespread. However, a handful of breeders did not give up and managed to sustain the breed until a reemergence in the late 1970s.
The Decker Rat Terrier is a strain of the breed that gained popularity. It all began with a dog who was owned by a hunter called Milton Decker, who thought that his own dog, Henry, had terrific qualities that he wanted to preserve in his breeding program. He started producing a larger Rat terrier with fixed ears, a hunting dog who could even retrieve from water. The Deckers were used by many people for hunter wild pig, deer, and bear as well as in more traditional Rat Terrier roles.
In 1972, the first hairless Rat Terrier was born and from that little hairless dog a new strain of the breed was developed further and it became known as the American Hairless terrier which comes in two sizes. Overall we can say that the Rat Terrier is a breed of many breeds that have brought in their own individual characteristics and traits. It has also been recognized by the American Kennel Club and several other American clubs.
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Rat Terrier Comments, Reviews and Questions
Nov 25, 2019, 1:41:44 AM:
I have a rat terrier and he is the best dog. He is very protective of children, he loves to cuddle in bed with me, and he took care of my mom when she was going through chemo. He is very active and loves to play and walk.