Rat Terrier

The Rat Terrier is an American breed. Early 19th century immigrants originated the breed from a mixture of crosses; Smooth Fox Terriers, Old English White Terriers. Bull Terriers, and Manchester Terriers. Later, Chihuahuas, Toy Fox Terriers and available Feist Breeds were added to the cross.

During the 1910 and the 1920s, most farmers owned a Rat Terrier. Rabbits were plaguing crops in the Midwest so farmers began breeding Rat Terriers to Whippets and Italian Greyhounds for “speed”. Farmers in the Central and Southern regions bred their Rat Terriers to Beagles to bring out a stronger prey drive and gave the Rat Terrier breed the “nose”, as well as the good disposition they are known for today.

Bred primarily for protection against vermin on the farm or ranch, and not as earth dogs, the Rat Terrier will follow most quarry to ground but are more suited to trailing, flushing, treeing game and hunting rabbits and vermin.

The Rat Terrier is a hard-working farm hand, able to rid an infested barn of vermin with no problem.

Click here for a link to the CKC Breed Standard.

Click here for a link to the AKC Breed Information.

Image source - AKC