Rat Terrier

Anyone who’s raised kids knows about the “terrible twos”—I just happen to be in them all the time! I’ve got nonstop energy and a need make mischief and entertain. You’ll never be bored with me, though I won’t win many obedience treats. I do bond with family, but I’m not always good with children and can be wary or sometimes aggressive with strangers. Early socialization will improve my human encounters.

I need ample exercise to keep me settled in the house. Without it I’ll create my own, often destructive, fun. Like any terrier I tend to bark, dig, and chew. Plan on a good half-hour walk followed by some lively, challenging games every day. I will chase small animals—and rid the house of any unsavory critters. I’m a master of escape; keep me in a secure space outdoors. I might be a handful for new dog owners.

Rat terriers are classified into two sizes: miniature at 10 to 13 inches and 5 to 10 pounds, and standard at 13 to 18 inches and 10 to 20 pounds. My coat is smooth and shiny; a weekly brushing will control loose hair. My coloring may be white, black with tan or rust, white with black or tan, red, lemon, orange, blue, or chocolate—some with ticking (spotting); all dark colors have white markings.

I’m a generally healthy breed that will keep you on your toes for 13 to 18 years. Issues to watch for include kneecap luxation, demodectic mange, and a misaligned jaw.