The Rat Terrier is a small American breed of Terrier common on farms in the early 1900s. This tenacious dog was used for ridding farms of vermin, including rats, giving it its almost too obvious name. Rat terrier populations plummeted with the availability of rodenticides, or rat poisons, but its numbers started ticking back upwards in the 1970s as these little dogs started gaining popularity as hunting and companion dogs.
The Rat Terrier is true to its Terrier group, meaning that it shares a certain stubbornness and Napoleonic complex with other Terrier breeds. However, Rat Terriers are extremely intelligent and willing to learn if given the right environment. Firm but gentle training will help your Rat Terrier learn who’s boss – otherwise they will assume that role for you! Early socialization to other pets and children can also help ensure a peaceful home.
A small breed with a big personality, Rat Terriers are still prone to hereditary and congenital conditions which may adversely affect their health – as well as your family budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Rat Terriers are prone to include knee problems such as luxating patellas; skin conditions such as demodicosis; hearing problems such as deafness; hip diseases such as Legg-Calve-Perthes disease; and thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism.
Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Little Napoleon inherits more than the ability to keep mice at bay, you’re protected.