Rat Terrier

Published: Last updated: by Kyle J. Larson

Average size and lifespan

chihuahua silouette
great dane silouette
Height: 1ft 0in - 1ft 4in
Weight: 10-24lbs
Lifespan: 13 - 18 Years


  • Affection4/5
  • Kid-Friendly4/5
  • Stranger-Friendly2/5
  • Dog-Friendly3/5
  • Barking Amount3/5


  • Grooming Difficulty2/5
  • Shedding Amount3/5
  • Easy to Train4/5
  • Can Be Alone3/5
  • Exercise Need3/5


  • Cold Tolerance1/5
  • Heat Tolerance4/5
  • Apartment-Friendly5/5

Rat Terrier Information

Rat TerrierHappy, curious and fearless, the Rat Terrier is a jolly, long-lived dog with a great sense of humor and a love of family. The breed is compact and sturdy, weighing up to 24 pounds, with an elegant, agile appearance. His smooth coat is most often white with or without markings of black, chocolate, red, apricot, fawn, tan, lemon or blue.

The Rat Terrier originated in America in the 1800s and comes from a mix of quite a few different breeds – Fox Terriers and other European Terriers of the time, plus Beagle, Toy Fox Terrier, Whippet, Italian Greyhound and more. The result is a versatile canine who makes a faithful hunting dog specializing in small game.

All dogs have their own personality and unique training, causing them to differ slightly from these breeds stats. However, please let us know if we made an error in the stats, we appreciate your help!

Breed FAQs

Can Rat Terriers be apartment dogs?

The Rat Terrier is an excellent apartment dog. They don't need as much space for activity and will be happy in a condo or apartment.

Can Rat Terriers be left alone?

While Rat Terriers prefer to be around their owners, they can do fairly well when left alone if necessary.

Are Rat Terriers good with kids?

Rat Terriers do well with kids. As with any dog they should be monitored closely, they're unlikely to become aggressive.

Are Rat Terriers friendly with strangers?

Rat Terriers tend to be uncomfortable with strangers. They will require extra training effort to socialize them with those outside their family.

Do Rat Terriers get along with other dogs?

Although Rat Terriers will mostly get along with other dogs, they may have some issues. They can typically be dealt with by socializing them with other dogs.

Do Rat Terriers bark a lot?

As far as dogs go, Rat Terriers bark an average amount. You can expect them to bark to alert you, get your attention, or when there are strangers or other dogs.

Do Rat Terriers shed a lot?

Rat Terriers shed a medium amount. They will have seasonal shedding, but aren't terrible to clean up after.

Do Rat Terriers need a lot of grooming?

Rat Terriers don't require very much effort for grooming. You'll just need to provide typical maintenance and baths.

Do Rat Terriers need a lot of exercise?

A Rat Terrier will need a moderate amount of exercise to be happy. You'll need to plan some basic walks or fetch during the day.

Are Rat Terriers easy to train?

Typically, Rat Terriers are easy to train. They enjoy the bonding process with their owner and are quick to learn.

Can Rat Terriers handle cold weather?

Expect Rat Terriers to not do well with the cold. If you live in a cold climate you'll need to take special consideration for this breed.

Can Rat Terriers handle hot weather?

Rat Terriers do well in hot climates and can stay out longer without overheating.

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