About RTRC

About Rat Terriers

Rat Terriers are strong, very intelligent, and great for sports, utility or companion dog. Very caring, loving, protective of their family. Rat Terriers love to cuddle and are addictive, once you have one ... you've got to have another! With lots of praise Rat Terriers can be trained to do anything, they love to please. Ratties are a big dog in a small dog package and their favorite thing to do is any activity with their family!

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Did you Know?

History: Considered an all American Breed, they originated in England in 1820. The Rat Terrier was a cross between a Smooth Coat Fox Terrier and Manchester Terrier and Italian Greyhound, Bred and raised for sport of rat baiting, most Rat Terriers today still perform their jobs as mousers and ratters. Brought to the US in 1890, President Theodore Roosevelt introduced them while in the White house for pest control, and for their great companionship and hunting abilities.

Interesting Tidbit: Rat Terriers come in a rare, hairless variety as well, known as the American Hairless Terrier

American Hairless Rat Terrier - Oopie

Ratties are like Potato Chips - once you have one, you want another!

Height: 8 – 23 inches, ranges from toy size Ratties to Decker Giant Ratties

Weight: 8 – 35 lbs, ranges from toy size Ratties to Decker Giant Ratties

Colors: Black/White and tan tricolor, apricot, sable & tan, black and tan

Coat: Smooth & short. Protection from elements is needed in winter, they do not like the cold! Most Ratties 'melt' in the rain and won't go out in bad weather, they need jackets and boots for winter and an area sheltered from rain and snow for a winter potty area.

Temperament: Quite active, easily trained, sociable, loving & loyal. Playful with family. Ratties tend to closely bond to their family and like to be with their people at all times. Ratties are a very affectionate breed and prefer to sit on or with you and cuddle at any opportunity. Many Rattie owners report that since getting a Rattie, they have never been to the washroom alone again! Protective of their home and family. Good watchdogs, will bark to alert of approaching people, animals and vehicles.

With Children: Yes, very protective & loving of children it lives with, a Rattie's playful, affectionate and inquisitive nature make them good family dogs. Children and Ratties should be taught how to interact with each other and supervised at all times, not a tolerant breed of rough or inappropriate handling and particularly small Ratties can easily be hurt. As typical terriers, Ratties are not a breed well suited to very young children or toddlers, an exception may be experienced terrier households.

Pets: Yes, except small animals in most cases, some Ratties have more prey drive than others, some may not be able to be around cats, small animals or birds, and some may be just fine. As Ratties were a breed developed to kill small animals, for the most part if your family includes birds, or other small animals, a Rat Terrier may not be for you.

Care & Training: Need little grooming, easily trained with positive reinforcement.  Very sensitive & alert to sounds.

Learning Rate: High, fast learning rate, highly intelligent.

Living Environment: Must be kept inside with their family only. Needs at least 45-60 min vigorous and interactive exercise per day. Taking your Rattie out to play fetch in a yard, walks, runs, trips to parks or other outings is preferable. A Rattie will not tire himself out simply let out in a yard to play, they will wait at the door for their people to come out and play with them. A tired Rattie is a good Rattie! If left to become bored, Ratties will find their own entertainment, likely something you prefer they do not find time for, such as barking, digging, chewing things. Ratties are not typically good apartment dogs, though small Ratties may be suited to an apartment if issues like enough exercise, possible barking, and suitable pottying area can be handled.

Health Issues: No Major health issues.

Life Expectancy :15-18 years

Country of Origin: Originated in England, but developed in the United States.

How to Adopt

If you see a little one that pulls at your heartstrings, or even if you aren't sure which Rattie is for you and want to find out, please fill in our Application to start the process!


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The Animal Rescue Site
Help RTRC and Helping Homeless Pets win a $1000 grant! The Animal Rescue Site is hosting a special challenge for eligible Canadian Petfinder.com member shelter and rescue groups to win a $1000 grant. Help us win! All you have to do is vote in The Animal Rescue Site Shelter Challenge for All Breed Canine Rescue, a HHP member group. You can vote once a day, every day, starting January 9th, 2012. Every time you vote, or tell a friend to vote, you are making a huge difference for us. Click to Vote today!