Excerpt from the book: Rat Terrier by Linda Hibbard
"The Toy Rat Terrier is a dedicated dog....quite able to catch rats and mice. His
disposition makes him a wonderful companion. He is a small dog, short coated, easy
to take care of, and genetically sound. He makes a fine pet, companion, and hunting dog.
The Rat Terrier is an attractive dog and possesses great loyalty for his owner. The
dog has a natural slick satin coat that is extrememly easy to care for. The breed
requires very little grooming and can survive in just about any climate, from
extreme cold to hot temperatures. Rat Terriers make excellent indoor as well
as outdoor pets."
History of the Rat Terrier
The Rat Terrier is an American breed descended from the terriers brought over by English
miners and other working class immigrants. These terriers probably included crosses
between the Smooth Fox Terrier, the Manchester Terrier and the now extinct white
English Terrier. These dogs were used as ratters, and gambling on their prowess in
killing rats was a favorite hobby of their owners. Some of these dogs were crossed
with Whippets or Italian Greyhounds (for speed) and Beagles (for hunting ability).
Eventually, these tough little terriers evolved into today's Rat Terrier. The breed
was popularized by President Teddy Roosevelt, who frequently hunted with his Rat Terriers.
Many are still used as ratters and squirrel hunters, particularly in the South, where
they are sometimes known as "Feists." The hairless variety appeared for the first time in a litter in 1972.
The Rat Terrier is an energetic, alert dog whose curiosity and intelligence make him easy to train. The
Rat Terrier has sometimes been described as having a dual personality. He is a fearless,
tenacious hunter with seemingly unlimited energy. When he is not hunting, however, the Rat Terrier
is an exceptionally friendly companion, getting along well with children, other dogs, and even cats.
Rat Terriers enjoy human companionship immensely and will enthusiastically share any activity with
their owners. Rat Terriers should not be sparred during conformation judging.
'History' and 'Characteristics' taken from UKC's site.
Used by persmission.