The balanced, compactly built rat terrier is tough yet elegant looking. There are two size partitions: the miniatures stand 10 to 13 at the shoulder; Standards are over 13 and up to 18 high. The sleek, shiny coat comes in varieties of brindle patterns. (Pied, a term borrowed from the Horseman’s Lexicon, meaning “comparatively large patches of one or more colors in combination with white.”) These are required for a long day’s work in smooth muscle exterminations. Designed for efficient movement.
Here is a breed that says in front of what they are doing: Rat terriers are terriers born to kill mice. A good rater was standard equipment on old-time farms, where a rodent infection could mean the difference between having enough grain in the winter and staying hungry. But practical-minded farmers expected their dogs to outnumber experts, so RTs also earned their upkeep as all-purpose hunting partners, watchdogs, poultry, and strong childhood companions.
Rat terriers were originally reared for ratting and agricultural work. A multipurpose Companion Dog that is capable of hunting rodents and insects above and below ground, and of course, for small game. He is a strong, compact, small-to-medium sized halftone dog, giving an appearance of elegance and fitness, reflecting speed, power and balance. Honorable scars or a pair of broken or missing dogs or rodent teeth should not be blamed. The following is a description of the ideal rat terrier. Deviations are punished to the extent of deviation.
The gestation period in lasts for 60-64 days The primary period of the reproductive cycle of the female is called Proestrus and goes on for around 9 days. During this time the females begin to draw in males. The subsequent part is the Estrus when the bitch is receptive to the male. It goes on for around 3 to 11 days. The third part is the Diestrus. Usually, it happens around day 14. In this period the bitch’s discharge changes for distinctive red and reaching its end. The vulva gets back to average, and she will no longer allow mating. The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time span between heat periods ordinarily keeps going around a half year. The litter size ranges between 6 to 8 puppies at a time’
The small, dense coat of rat terrier requires very little care to be in good condition. Once weekly with a soft brush or hound gloves will keep her coat healthy and shiny. Bathing every month will be sufficient depending on the dog’s lifestyle. Rat terriers shed seasonally, during which a shedding tool or rubber curry brush will help remove loose hair. Nails should be trimmed at least monthly, keeping them short and clean, as extremely long nails can be painful for a dog. Check her ears weekly, and remove any excess wax and debris that may cause ear infections. If possible, teeth should be brushed daily, using toothpaste prepared for dogs.
The Rat Terrier is highly intelligent and trained, although some may be stubborn and sometimes assertive. They can excel in agility, obedience, rally and other dog sports. They are unusually sensitive and comfortable, and they like to please their boss — they thrive on praise and respond quickly to positive training methods. Most are patient and tolerant of children but can be reserved with strangers. While they are the quietest of the terrier breeds, they are still high-energy dogs that require exercise, daily walks, and lots of companionship. He is the best as a member of a human family.
Some rat terriers can get enough exercise for their needs through indoor playtime, but most will thrive with daily walks and tennis-ball-chasing and other sports in a fenced enclosure. They do well with other dogs their size or larger. Early socialization is necessary, and puppy training classes are recommended. Rat terriers have a strong hunting drive, and they should never be allowed to lead, as most will not be able to resist the desire to chase when faced with a strange cat or squirrel.
Rat terriers should perform well on high quality dog food, whether it is commercially manufactured or prepared at home with the supervision and approval of your vet. Any diet should be appropriate for the age of the dog (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are at risk of being overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight levels. Treatment training can be an important aid, but giving too much can lead to obesity. Know which human foods are safe for dogs and which are not. Contact your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water must be available at all times.
Rat terriers are generally very healthy dogs, and responsible breeders have screened their stocks for health conditions such as hip dysplasia, patellar laxation (loose knees), leg-calve-partes disease, and heart and eye disorders. A dutiful breeder performs a genetic test of all breeding stocks with the aim of reducing and ultimately eliminating the incidence of health problems.
Recommended health tests from the National Breed Club: