Rat Terriers are friendly, playful, and energetic dogs. They love their families and tend to get along well with children and other dogs. Here are a few facts about Rat Terriers:
1. Rat Terriers Originated in the United States
Rat Terriers are one of the few dog breeds that can claim origins in the United States. If you trace far enough back, you can find various ancestors across Europe; but, this is more of a shared history than an origin story.
2. They Were Developed for Pest Control on the Farm
Small hunting dogs were commonly used on farms for pest control. As they gained popularity throughout the 1920s-1950s, the Rat Terrier started to become its own breed. These little dogs were prized on the farm for their small size, endurance, and agility, which helped them track down, keep up with, and get rid of common pests around the farm.
3. Pesticides Put Rat Terriers Out of Work
Although Rat Terriers were popular on farms and as pets prior to the 1950s, they became less popular and were relatively rare after the 1950s. This coincided with a rise in popularity for pesticides, poisons, and other manufactured pest control methods.
The breed wouldn’t make a comeback until the 1970s when a group of dedicated breeders brought Rat Terriers back. From there, they increased in popularity as family pets. Although they could still be found on farms, they were more commonly found as companions instead of working dogs.
4. They Are Versatile Working Dogs
Rat Terriers may be most popular as family companions and pets, but they are still versatile working dogs. You can still find them on farms working to keep pests at bay, but they can also be found providing pest control services in other environments as well.
In addition to that, these dogs can also be found working as service dogs and therapy dogs. Rat Terriers have also joined police and investigative forces as drug or bomb-sniffing dogs to help identify contraband or danger.
5. Rat Terriers Are Great Family Dogs
They may be known for having a feisty, playful, and energetic personality, but these small dogs are also known for being great family dogs. They tend to get along well with children and other dogs.
Their high prey drive can be a challenge for smaller pets in the household. They tend to do well with other pets they were raised with as long as they are socialized and trained properly with them. This prey drive also gives them an urge to chase, so you only want to let them off-leash in secure areas.
As long as they are well-socialized and trained, Rat Terriers are open and friendly dogs that even warm up quickly to strangers. After all, they are more than happy to have another friend, someone to play with, and someone to receive attention from.
These are just a few facts about Rat Terriers. If this sounds like the right dog breed for you, learn more about them, and then check out the available Rat Terrier puppies. You could end up finding your best friend!