Rat Terriers are considered amazing dogs for families. They are very intelligent and very easy to train. This article should give you a better understanding of this breed and its lifespan.
Ratters, as Rat terriers are also called, are what professionals call a true terrier dog breed. They were developed and bred in the US, although the dogs originate from England. This breed was made by settlers that crossed the Manchester Terriers, which is an extinct White English Terrier, with the popular Fox Terrier. To improve their hunting skills, they were also bred with the beagle, and to boost their speed and stamina, they were also mingled with the Greyhound and Whippet dogs. The Rat Terrier dogs were used in the 1800s by the English miners to hunt rats that were populating the shacks and shafts of mines.
They were also very good in dog fights. As soon as Teddy Roosevelt got one as a pet, the Rat Terrier became a very popular and sought-after breed. The dogs even got the name Teddy Roosevelt Terriers because they were taken on hunting trips with the President.
The Rat Terriers have a life expectancy of around 25 years, although usually, they would live anywhere between 15 to 19 years. Some dogs from this breed are even known to go over the age of 25 years, but only when cared for properly. There are some experts that consider that this breed’s life expectancy is only around 15 years. In the end, it will come down to their genetic makeup, the inherited characteristics, the level of care they receive, and any health problems that affect them throughout their lifetime.
There are basically two different types of Rat Terrier dogs. These are the long-legged and the short-legged Rat Terriers. The long-legged ones come from the crossing between the Greyhounds and the Whippets, while the short-legged Rat Terriers have been made by breeding the Dachshunds with the Welsh Corgi dogs. The long-legged breed has amazing stamina and speed, very useful in sports and hunting, inherited through genetics from its parents. Rat Terriers also differ in their average height. These dogs have a standard height of anywhere between 14 and 23 inches. Those considered medium-sized will be somewhere between 8 and 15 inches tall and the toy dogs will be 8 inches or slightly lower.
These dogs are very beautiful and will be great additions to your family. The Rat Terriers have a solid and powerful neck, strong shoulders, and a deep chest. Although their body is compact, it is also very solid. The color of the coat will be white, chocolate, red, pearl, sable, black-and-tan, blue-and-white, or red-bridle.
Based on its character, we can categorize this dog breed as very active. Some specimens are known to have even double the energy that a Jack Russell Terrier might have. When running or chasing things, these dogs present a lot of grace. Their nose is very skilled at tracking scents and their overall personality is positive, making them very good-natured, well-behaved dogs.
They are considered very intelligent and inquisitive. Rat Terriers will get along amazingly well with children, especially if they are raised together. They will continue to be great companions to both children and adults even through adulthood, staying very playful and faithful. They are very quick and will make great watchdogs. They come with a fearless temperament, although they aren’t known to bark a lot. Training won’t prove to be a difficult task when it comes to these dogs. They are very fast learners and like to please their owners, making the training activity a joy. They are very good swimmers and very well-behaved. They need to be led by a confident owner, acting like a pack leader with a strong character and consistent behavior. This is to prevent them from developing territorial issues or a small dog syndrome.
Rat Terriers can be apartment dogs, but they will need their daily dose of outside exercise that shouldn’t last less than 20 minutes. They will do a lot better in a medium-sized yard where they can easily release their energy. They love both staying outdoors and indoors. You sdhouldn’t stress too much about grooming either. Weekly brushing and combing to remove any dead hair will usually suffice.
They have enough energy for the both of you, are very hard-working, and will help you get rid of any rats and mice around your house. Although they aren’t high maintenance, if you want to have them live for as much as possible, you will have to attend to their basic needs.