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Rat Terrier

Origin: United States

AKC Group: Terrier

Height: Standard: 12 - 35 inches; mini: 6 - 8 inches (Male)

Weight: Standard, 12-35 pounds (5-16 kg); mini, 6-8 pounds (3-4 kg) (Male)

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United States
Male height: 
Standard: 12 - 35 inches; mini: 6 - 8 inches
Male weight: 
Standard, 12-35 pounds (5-16 kg); mini, 6-8 pounds (3-4 kg)
Short and smooth.
Black, chocolate, tan, blue and blue fawn, apricot, and lemon, all with white markings; all white is also acceptable.

Originally a cross between the Smooth Fox Terrier and the Manchester Terrier, the Rat Terrier excelled at something that was very popular in England in the early 1800s: killing rats. The Rat Terrier first arrived in the United States in the late 1800s and became a favorite of President Theodore Roosevelt. American breeders crossed the Rat Terrier with the Smooth Fox Terrier (which brought white into the coat) and also with the Beagle and Whippet (for trailing, hunting, stamina and speed). In addition to ratting, the standard-sized Rat Terrier is used to hunt squirrels, raccoons, wild boar, deer and other varmints; mini Rat Terriers are expert at hunting smaller quarries.

Lively and inquisitive, the Rat Terrier is a feisty, friendly and lovable dog. The standards are excellent dogs to have on a farm where control of vermin is an issue; mini Rat Terriers are most suitable as companions. Both sizes are fearless and have a great loyalty to their owners. They are playful and always ready to participate in any activity.
At home: 
The standard and mini Rat Terriers are exceptional watchdogs, ever on the alert for intruders or suspicious activity, but they are not known as “yappy” dogs. They do well in any climate and are equally happy in the country or city. They can be wily escape artists, so secure fencing (higher than 6 feet [2 m]) is recommended.
The spunky Rat Terrier will want to accompany you everywhere. Besides getting exercise from playing with you and following you around the house, he needs several outings a day to keep his energy in check.
The spirited Rat Terrier is a hearty eater whose weight should be monitored. He needs the energy he receives from food, but of course he also needs to be kept in shape. A high-quality, age-appropriate diet is best. Feeding twice a day as an adult is recommended.
The Rat Terrier is naturally well mannered. He is responsive and learns quickly - especially when motivated through reward-based training. Rat Terriers aim to please, and once they get what it is you want them to do, will try their best to do it for you.
Rat Terriers are devoted to their families. They love to be with people and are great with children, especially if raised with them. Their size and ease of grooming make them excellent companions for older people. While they tend to see other pets in the family as part of their "pack" they may consider neighbor's cats or small animals as fair game, and their strong prey drive can kick in.
The average life span of the Rat Terrier is 12 to 18 years. Health problems of the breed include allergies and bite problems.
Fun fact: 

President Theodore Roosevelt said of his favorite dog, a Rat Terrier named Skip,"[He] was a good hunter and fighter and would stand his ground before a bear or lynx at bay. But Skip was also a loving little dog."

Grooming blurb: 
The short, smooth coat of the Rat Terrier is easy to take care of and can be kept looking its best with an occasional going-over with a hound glove. This will loosen dead hair and stimulate new growth while massaging the skin.
This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.

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