The short, dense coat requires regular grooming and currying to minimize shedding.
This loyal, active and playful breed is at its best as a member of its human family, but may be reserved with strangers. Intelligent and trainable, many Rat Terriers excel in Agility and Obedience, events which also serve as excellent exercise outlets. The breed sheds seasonally and requires brushing with a soft brush or rubber curry mitt.
Depending on the size of your dog as an adult you are going to want to feed them a formula that will cater to their unique digestive needs through the various phases of their life. Many dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large and giant breeds.
The Rat Terrier is a small breed and has a lifespan of 13 to 15 years. What you feed your dog is an individual choice, but working with your veterinarian and/or breeder will be the best way to determine frequency of meals as a puppy and the best adult diet to increase his longevity. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
Beyond regular weekly grooming with a brush, the occasional bath will keep them clean and looking their best. Grooming can be a wonderful bonding experience for you and your pet. Their strong fast-growing nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting and cracking. Their ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris which can result in an infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.
Intelligent and trainable, many Rat Terriers excel in agility and obedience, events which also serve as excellent exercise outlets. Rat terriers thrive on praise and make excellent house dogs and can be crate trained, but they don’t do well in kennels, consistently tied-up, or as outside-only dogs where they are isolated from people. Beyond their intelligence, they are unusually sensitive, intuitive, anxious to please, and determined.
Rat Terrier &HEALTH
Like all breeds there may be some health issues, like hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, Legg-Calve-Perthes, cardiac and eye disease. Some dogs may be faced with these health challenges in their lives, but the majority of Rat Terriers are healthy dogs.
Working with a responsible breeder, those wishing to own a Rat Terrier can gain the education they need to know about specific health concerns within the breed. Good breeders utilize genetic testing of their breeding stock to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.